The Spider Dating Guide
Even as a human the dating world can be terrifying, but what if you couldn’t even talk and had to try and catch someone’s eye? We may think dating in the human world is difficult, but it’s nothing compared to spider dating. These little arachnids have to go to some pretty impressive lengths to win over a mate, and sometimes that means they might even end up as their date’s dinner. Have you ever wondered what makes a spider a good date and what will get them thrown to the curb? Which spiders are the best dates and which ones bore their mates to tears? Here are some examples of how spider men win over their ladies.
So, which spider is the best date? First prize goes to the Pisaura mirabilis. These guys really take the cake when it comes to pleasing their ladies. These male spiders offer nuptial gifts to their mates either before, during, or after they do the deed. There are a number of species that practice this courting ritual, which can be anything from “glandular secretions” to a nice big meal wrapped up in spider silk. But when it comes to these dating gifts, P. mirabilis definitely wins the prize for best present…at least for a female spider. These males find the largest prey they can and catch it to help them catch a female. After they wrap it up in their own spider silk, they present this gift to the female. If she likes the gift enough to sit down to eat this tasty dinner, he gets to mate with her while she’s distracted by his present. Of course, this might not be the kind of gift a human woman would really fall head over heels for, but in the spider world, it’s about as good as a girl could possibly want.
Of course, no spider dating manual would be complete without mentioning the king of courtship, the male peacock spider. The male peacock spider wins the prize for the “most elaborate courtship”. Their courtship ritual is easily one of the most elaborate and beautiful in the spider world. You might have seen this colorful dance, as they have caught quite a bit of attention on social media. The males of this species have a very colorful and eye-catching tail flap, much like the tail of an actual peacock. To catch the eye of a lady they unfurl and flip up their bright flap and perform a dance in order to catch the eye of a female. The dance itself involves them hopping about and lifting up each leg alternately, waving them back and forth in front of the female. It looks a bit like the movements of an air traffic controller.
Have you ever witnessed any dating rituals of spiders? What did the males do to win over their female? What is your favorite spider courtship ritual?