INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Patterns of Sperm Transfer Behavior in a Pholcid Spider with Two Distinct Copulatory Phases
CARGNELUTTI, FRANCO; PERETTI, ALFREDO V.; CALBACHO-ROSA, LUCIA; CÓRDOBA-AGUILAR, ALEX
JOURNAL OF INSECT BEHAVIOUR
Springer New York LLC
Año: 2018 vol. 31 p. 616 - 616
Sexual selection is the responsible force for the evolution and maintenance of genital diversity and function. This is the case for example, of genital movements performed by males during mating and copulation duration. Spiders perform ritualized copulations whereby males carry out different types of movements using their pedipalps with varying duration. The function and duration of these pedipalp movements is unclear. In the pholcid spider, Holocnemus pluchei males that copulate with virgin females perform two copulatory phases: phase I in which the pedipalps move and phase II in which pedipalps remain motionless. Using H. pluchei as a study species, our study aims were: 1) to assess if sperm transfer occurs when pedipalps move or are still and quantify the number of sperm in male bulbs and in the female uterus externus after copulation; and, 2) to determine if amount of sperm transferred to females is associated with duration of each copulatory phase. Two experimental groups (i. e. complete copulation and interrupted copulation) were established in which the amount of sperm remaining in the male bulbs and the amount of sperm stored by females were determined. Our results show that sperm transfer occurs during phase I, that males transfer almost all sperm from their bulbs while the females store only 20% of that male amount. There was no relation between the amount of sperm transferred or stored and the duration of the copulatory phases. These results support the hypothesis that while both phases may serve a copulatory courtship, only phase I (when pedipalps move) serves for sperm transfer.