Reproductive Biology

In the North American family Eremobatidae, the male grabs the female with the suctorial organs of his pedipalps. Immediately upon contact, the female stops all movement. No one understands what triggers this lethargy in the female (Cargnelutti et al. 2023). The male bends her body over and inserts the upper part of his chelicera (called the fixed finger) into the female’s gonopore (genital opening) and proceeds to chew. He then pulls the fixed finger out, moves his abdomen opposite her gonopore, deposits a sperm packet, lowers his body, and uses his fixed finger to push the sperm packet into her and proceeds to again chew. When the female begins to awaken, the male releases her and both run away. This behavioral sequence is described in Rowsell & Cushing (2020). Mating in other families is quite similar except the male removes the sperm packet with his chelicerae and then pushes it into the female (Peretti et al. 2021). A video of this mating can be seen here.

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