When Do Spiders Mate?
Spiders mate during their lifetime. Typically, a spider will mate twice in its life. During mating, males use specialized pedipalps to deposit sperm into the reproductive organs of the female. The eggs are fertilized by the sperm, which passes through oviducts.
Female spiders are generally larger than males. This gives them more fecundity. They can lay as many as thousand eggs in eight to ten minutes. Females also have the advantage of sheltering in webs, making it easier for them to keep their offspring safe.
The female genital structure is a hardened plate on the underside of the abdomen in front of the gonopore. The epigyne is a black shiny spot. Depending on the species, the epigyne may be present in two different places.
The female has a pheromone that attracts males. She also gives the males a signal by shaking her legs in the air or by plucking the web. In the case of jumping spiders, the epigyne will be clearly defined.
Male spiders are generally smaller than females, and are easily spotted. Some spider species have specialized pedipalps that are used to transfer sperm into the reproductive organs of females. A male’s primary objective during his lifetime is to mate and impregnate a female. He also has to contend with rivals and try to avoid being eaten.
After mating, the females will usually kill the males. There are some species that have a cocoon that the females carry around. But most species are solitary.