First Male Sperm Precedence in Multiply-Mated Females of the Cooperative Spider Anelosimus Studiosus (Araneae, Theridiidae)

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Patterns of sperm usage in multiply-mated females have profound fitness consequences for males, and create strong selective pressure on male behavior. In the cooperative theridiid spider Anelosimus studiosus Hentz 1850 adult males are tolerated in females' webs, and females have been observed to mate multiply with different males. In this experiment, virgin females were mated with two different males on consecutive days under controlled conditions to determine paternity patterns and behavioral responses of males to non-virgin females. The paternity of broods was analyzed using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPDs). Fifteen broods were analyzed and complete first male sperm precedence was found. Mating behavior differed between first and second males with the first males attempting fewer intromissions, but having a longer total time of intromission. This suggests that the second males are either prevented from normal copulation, or are reacting to the different condition of the females. The sperm precedence pattern is discussed with respect to its ramifications for male behavior, juvenile inclusive fitness, and the evolution of cooperative behavior.