Thursday, August 16, 2012

post-coital consumption

Spined Micrathena female

Before we leave the topic of Micrathena spiders altogether, I was somewhat surprised to learn that there are only three species in this Genus in the eastern United States. I would have thought there were oodles.

The black and white, spined micrathena, M. gracilis, is the one I most often see out and about.

If the wiki entry is correct, and I assume it was written by an expert in spiderlogy, then the female does the elaborate orb-weaving. 

The male? Well, "They tend to be only half the size of the females. Also, they have fewer spines, a flatter abdomen and a slightly lighter tone. Although males can produce silk, they mostly use it in the mating ritual, which frequently also proves fatal." 

In this case, she eats he. (I've had a few harsh dates in my life but none that ended this mean-spirited. Talk about a blow to one's confidence.)

To me, a female spined micrathena looks fierce, Wagnerian intense, so you have to give him kudos for even broaching the topic. Brave little guy. It would be a bit intimidating to mate with something named in honor of the Greek goddess of heroic endeavour. (See last post.)

In humans, post-coital tristesse (PCT) is a feeling of melancholy after mating. It's more common in males than in females. As far as I know, post-coital consumption (PCC) of your paramour is confined to the world of insects and spiders, and Wagnerian operas.

As far as I know.


Rikki Hall said...

According to there are four species in this genus in North America, and there are a few closely related genera as well with similar, spiny abdomens, like Gastercantha and Verrucosa.

Marie said...

Fascinating post! I am always amazed at God's infinite varieties of plant and animal life. This is so interesting! We just try to make ourselves (as humans) as creepy as the insect/animal/plant world, don't we? :-)