The mate preference characteristics of adult Tetragnatha elongata were assessed with respect to measures of female mass, linear size (length), and condition (mass scaled by length: body condition). Males preferred longer, heavier females and females with higher body condition indices. When mass is partially controlled, males still preferred females of higher body condition, but reversed their preference for length and chose smaller females. We present evidence that female body condition and mass are associated with the volume of her egg load and the proximity of oviposition, whereas female body length is not associated with either. Females displayed no clear preference among males for mass or linear size, but were reluctant to mate in female-choice trials. The small sample size obtained may have obscured the detection of female mate preferences if they exist. This may be the first evidence that mate choice is influenced by body condition rather than mass or linear size among spiders.
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