While large males outperform smaller spiders in head-to-head mating contests, the smaller ones make more successful lovers, a new study reveals.
The research, published in the current online issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, shows the importance of maturation in defining mating and paternity success.
It found larger males were better at mating with and impregnating females when they competed directly with smaller males. But when the faster-maturing smaller males were given a one-day head start, their paternity rate was 10 times higher than larger males.
"The results reveal that big males don't get it all their own way," says lead author, UNSW postdoctoral fellow, Dr Michael Kasumovic, who co-authored the paper with Maydianne Andrade of the University of Toronto.
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