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1 April 2010 Stealing for love? Apparent nuptial gift behavior in a kleptoparasitic spider
George W. Uetz, Andrea McCrate, Craig S. Hieber
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The presentation of nutritional resources as nuptial gifts before or during the mating process is well known among insects, but has only rarely been documented in spiders. Here, we report on observations and a series of photographs made during field studies in Fortin de las Flores, Veracruz, Mexico, which, although a single anecdotal report, represent a potentially significant finding. A male of the kleptoparasitic spider Argyrodes elevatus Taczanowski 1873 (Araneae, Theridiidae) was observed stealing a prey item from within a communal web of its host, the colonial orb-weaver Metepeira incrassata F.O. Pickard-Cambridge 1903 (Araneae, Araneidae). The male A. elevatus then carried and presented the prey item to a female, waited nearby until she began feeding, and copulated with her as she fed upon it. As far as is known, this is the first report of kleptoparasitic Argyrodes apparently utilizing a prey item stolen from a host spider as a nuptial gift.

George W. Uetz, Andrea McCrate, and Craig S. Hieber "Stealing for love? Apparent nuptial gift behavior in a kleptoparasitic spider," The Journal of Arachnology 38(1), 128-131, (1 April 2010).
Received: 10 December 2008; Published: 1 April 2010

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