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Timing and patterns of mating in a free-ranging population of Lycosa tarantula (Araneae, Lycosidae) from central Spain

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We analysed the timing and patterns of mating in a free-ranging population of the wolf spider Lycosa tarantula (Araneae, Lycosidae) in central Spain monitored during a whole reproductive period. The population showed a polygamous mating system. However, the frequency of multiple mating was relatively low. Reproductive success of males was highly skewed, as a few males monopolized most of the copulations recorded. Males matured slightly before females but male and female maturation largely overlapped. Mortality of subadult spiders was independent of their sex, and the operational sex ratio was 1:1. Early maturation of females resulted in a larger number of visiting males but not higher mating success, indicating the possibility of female mate choice in this species.

Nous analysons ici la phénologie et les patterns de la reproduction au sein d'une population de Lycosa tarantula (Araneae, Lycosidae) en nature, dans le centre de l'Espagne, pendant un cycle reproductif complet. Cette population pratique la polygamie lors du choix du partenaire. Cependant, les accouplements multiples sont relativement rares. Le succès de la reproduction s'est avéré très inégal et quelques mâles monopolisent tous les accouplements. Les mâles parviennent à maturité un peu avant les femelles et la maturation des mâles et des femelles se fait avec beaucoup de recoupement. La mortalité chez les araignées sub-adultes est indépendante de leur sexe et le rapport mâles : femelles opérationnel est de 1 : 1. La maturation précoce des femelles entraîne une augmentation du nombre de visites des mâles, mais leur succès reproducteur n'augmente pas pour autant, ce qui laisse supposer que le choix des partenaires est peut-être l'apanage des femelles chez cette espèce.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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