REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Linyphiidae

Linyphia litigiosa
      Linyphia litigiosa males engage in a scrable competition polygyny mating strategy, combined with multiday guarding of particular females of high reproductive value. Females are sequentially polyandrous. First mates are determined during a 2 to 5 days series of intensive male-male fights immediately preceding a females sexual maturation. The first male to mate with a female, fertilizes 60-70% of her eggs.
      Pre-inseminition phase copulation lasts 2-6 hrs. The male constructs a sperm platform, inducts fresh ejaculate into his palpi and returns to inseminate the female. Although both pre-insemination and insemination phase copulation are inactive for females. During preinsemination phase copulation, each intromission lasts 1-2 sec. After uncoupling, the male grooms the palpus and may rest for 1-60 sec or more before attempting the next intromission either with the same or the opposite palpus.
Pre-insemination phase copulation clearly serves no attractant function; when it begins, the female is already in contact with the male. It also serves no mate guarding function, because copulation ceases and fighting begins whenever a new male arrives at a web harbouring a copulating pair.
Lycosidae
Mating of wolf spider takes place outside the female’s burrow at night. The male is attracted by scent markings left by the female, often associated with her drag-line silk. Male performs a courtship ritual prior to mating, often involving complex leg & palp signalling to the female.
The female constructs an egg sac of white papery silk, shaped like a ball, which she then carries around attached with strong silk to her spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch, they are carried around on the female’s back until they are ready to disperse by ballooning or on the ground.
       Wolf spiders live for up to 2 years.

Nephilidae
Nephila clavipes
They go through many moulting stages. Male when reaches maturity inhabit the female’s web. It occupies a hub position, an area 5 cm above the female and guard her. Female ceases web preparation and prey capture nearly 4 days before reaching to the final moult. It remains sexually receptive for 48 hours after final moult.Male excites the female and arouse it inorder to prevent from becoming prey. However, predation is uncommon in this species. The male vibrates its abdomen using a plucking motion. The behaviour is dependent on the females age. Sperms are stored in the spermathecae following transfer. Usually the sites are changed after copulation.
      After the final moult, female lives for 4 weeks while males for 2 to 3 weeks.
Nephila pilipes
Male many times smaller than female. Insemination may at times remain unnoticed to female. Male does the job when the female is feeding. Mating may take up to 15 hours. The female digs a shallow hole in the ground with strong mandibles & legs for egg laying. The hole is then lined with woolly silk. Eggs are laid on the silk. Another layer of woolly silk covers the whole assembly with camouflaging debris and soil. Egg laying may take 4 hours. Hatched spiderlings remain attach with their egg yolks and stay together. Dispersal or cannibalism in fully developed individuals is a common phenomena.
Oxyopidae
Oxyopes chittrae
Following the final moult, the male prepares a circular sperm web that often remains attach to the substratum. After completion of the sperm web, he deposits a tiny drop of semen in the center of the web on the dorsal side after the speedy up and down movements of the abdomen. Then the palps are brought to the sperm drop and charge alternately. It takes 7-19 minutes to change the palps.
       The male recognizes the presence of the female by turning towards her, raising his cephalothorax and drumming his palps. If she is receptive, she moves her palp up and down alternately once or twice. The courtship lasts for 15-30 minutes.
       Both male and female then come very close, facing each other and the male comes in contact with the female by his anterior legs. Then the male approaches the side of the female by his anterior legs. He then approaches the side of the female and mount her from the front or directly from behind. He moves over the abdomen of the female, stretches the palps laterally downwards to reach the epigynal orifice. He leans towards the direction while inserting the left and right palps. Mating lasts for 20-30 minutes. One female lays on an average of 97 eggs in one season.
Sparassidae
Heteropoda venatoria
They have a lengthy courtship, which involves mutual care, with the male drumming his palps on the trunk of a tree. He then inserts his palps into the female to fertilize her eggs. A silken retreat is often built for egg laying, as well as for moulting. The female produces a flat, oval egg sac of white papery silk, and lays up to 200 eggs. Some females also carry their egg sac under their bodies while moving about. During this period the females are very aggressive.
      Young ones are pale, they undergo several moults while still with their mother, hardening to a darker brown and eventually disperse.
      The life span of most H. venatoria species is about 2 years or more.

Tetragnathidae

Tetragnatha versicolor
During mating, males release equivalent amount of sperm to virgin and non-virgin females. When mating with non-virgin females, males show twice as many pedipalp insertions and half the copulation duration as compared to virgin females. Males release half of the sperm contained within their pedipalp during mating. Sperm release is not directly proportional to total copulation duration.
Tylorida ventralis
Sexes are of approximately equal size. Each copulation is in response to a body jerking ‘invitation’ display by the female. Males and females copulate almost continuously from dawn until dusk over several days. After temporary separations, females are almost as likely as males to solicit the re-initiation of copulation.

Theraphosidae

Reproduction of tarantula is very complicated. Males are small, bright and mature earlier than females.
      Mature male spins sperm web before copulation and on lower side of which he attaches the drop of semen. Finding female, male carefully entering inside female’s burrow and try to attract attention of female by performing ‘wedding dance’. If female expresses readiness to mating he unwinds the pedipalps and insert it in female’s gonopore. This moment of copulation lasts for several seconds and after that male rapidly runs away because female usually immediately begins to pursue him.
      Female lays eggs in egg sac after 4-8 months of copulation. She protects egg sac and takes care of it.

Theridiidae

Black widow spider
Mature male spins a sperm web. He deposits semen on it and charges his palpi with the sperm. Black widow spiders reproduce sexually when the male inserts his palpus into the female’s spermathecal openings.
      The female deposits her eggs in a globular silken container in which they remain camouflaged and guarded. She can produce 4 to 9 egg sacs in one summer, each containing about 100-400 eggs. Usually eggs incubate for 20 to 30 days. On average, 30 will survive through the first molting, because of canabalism, lack of food, or lack of proper shelter.
      It takes 2 to 4 months for black widow spiders to mature enough to breed, however full maturation typically takes 6 to 9 months. The female can live for up to 5 years, while a male’s lifespan is much shorter.