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    The Secret Life of the Female Orb Spider

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Garden orb weavers spend their time much like any other spider. They spin webs, catch prey, and like to hang out in people’s back yards. Their mating rituals, however, set them apart.

    Garden orb weavers spend their time much like any other spider. They spin webs, catch prey, and like to hang out in people’s back yards.

    Their mating rituals, however, set them apart. It’s not just the weird, drawn out 12-step dance they do that ‘s noteworthy.

    The big news item is that after insemination, the female stabs the male and delivers a fatal dose of poison. He pretty much seizes up and dies immediately.

    Then, she grips him tightly with her legs for a bit, holding him close to her abdomen.

    Before long, she carries him off and wraps him in silk so he’ll eventually be liquefied by digestive enzymes and become easier to consume.

    The cannibalism is brutal, indeed, but not gratuitous.

    Female orb spiders, especially those without sufficient access to food, need the nourishment to produce viable eggs.

    The male of the species often dies on their own after copulation, anyway, as they are often unable to find a source of energy replenishment quickly enough to carry on.

    Those that do manage to evade death can only mate once more during their lifetime.

    Usually, that happens the same day.