Episode 71: Black Widow Spiders and Praying Mantises (Frightening Sex Edition)


You are justified in your fear of black widow spiders. Even male black widows have a reason to fear their female counterparts. Daniel explains the risks these male spiders take when trying to copulate with a female. Apparently the risks are worth taking, as there is no shortage of black widow spiders hiding in a dark corner near you.


male black widow spider via wikimedia commons

Sex in the insect world is often dangerous, particularly for the males. Consider the praying mantis. Casey describes how males are occasionally cannibalized by females after sex. Luckily the nutrients they gain from this act benefits their babies, so that’s got to count for something.

Mantids don’t only eat their mates; sometimes they eat birds and other creatures of unusual size. Check out this link for a gruesome example.


This episode aired on Radio Boise in July 2019 and featured music by Toy Zoo.

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