Agelenids of the World

Systematics and Taxonomy of Agelenidae, a Worldwide distributed Spider Family

The effect of the copulatory plug in the funnel-web spider, Agelena limbata (Araneae: Agelenidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1993
Authors:T. Masumoto
Journal:Journal of Arachnology
Date Published:1993
ISBN Number:0161-8202
Keywords:Agelena limbata (Araneae)., Agelena limbata [Fertilization / / Sperm precedence, Asia, Eurasia, fertilization] [Mating / / Polyandry, Land zones, Palaearctic region, plug effect] [Polygamy / / Second mating incidence] [Japan / / Kyushu, plug] [Genitalia / / Copulatory plug effect on remating &, Polyandry & copulatory plug completeness]., Reproduction, Reproductive behaviour, Reproductive system, role of copulatory, sperm precedence & copulatory, University campus

Some females of the funnel-web spider, Agelena limbata multiply mate. After copulation, males make a visible copulatory plug which covers the female's genital opening. I assessed the effect of copulatory plugs on the fertilization success of second males, by conducting double mating experiments, using fertile and sterilized males in sequence. When females copulated with only one fertile male, more than 90% of their eggs were fertilized. Some males deposited complete plugs and other incomplete plugs. The relative size of the males to females and absolute male size affected the completeness of plugs. Complete plugs prevented another male's insemination completely, but incomplete plugs allowed insemination by second males. In general, first males had higher fertilization success than second or later males, and copulatory plugs enhanced the first male's advantage.

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