<mate-plugging by genital mutilation>


Does "genital mutilation" particularly refer to "genital mutilation of male spider genital organ (while the female's would keep intact)"?

Thanks in advance
“I would expect that males evolved measures of paternity protection and I am curious to see what the mechanism will be D. tenebrosus.” Some of these mechanisms include such charming measures as mate-plugging by genital mutilation, where males will break off pedipalps and leave them in the female.


  • MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    After the male spider has fertilised the female, a pedipalp ( one of a pair of sensory appendages from the head of the male spider) is inserted into the female spider's genital passage and breaks off. This prevents any other male spider from also fertilising her, so ensuring that the female spider's progeny is exclusively his. The 'plugging' is genital mutilation of the female.

    ( Then, of course, some female spiders have adopted Third Wave Feminism, and after fertilisation...kill the male spider.)
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    ...thus no more ensuring that the female spider's progeny is exclusively his?
    No, killing the male can't change the paternity. MilkyBarKid was making a joke about the reason for some female spiders killing their mates.
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >