Researchers from Miami University in Ohio have discovered that the size of the male spider in relation to the female determines if the male is more likely to be eaten by the female. Studies have shown that in one species of wolf spider, Hogna helluo, small males have an 80 percent chance of being eaten by the female while attempting to mate. Large males, on the other hand, have no risk of being eaten.
What drives the female spiders to consume their male partners? The answer appears to be hunger. The much larger female spider is not likely to turn down an easy meal when presented with an opportunity.
Learn more about this study, see:
- Female Spiders Eat Small Males When They Mate (Science Daily)