Integrative Behavioural Ecology of Mating

Are there native black widows in central Canada?
Photo: Ken Jones
Why do female jumping spiders fight to the death?
Photo: Ken Jones
How do male black widows use chemicals to find females & defeat rivals?
Photo: Ken Jones
Are male black widows choosy about females?
Photo by Ken Jones
How do male redback spiders avoid cannibalism?
Photo by Ken Jones
Thanks to the Awesome Summer 2017 Lab Crew!
Amira, Ridda, Allison, Sharunan, Mariaelena, Chris, Abel, Yousef, Vighnesh, Emmanuel

Professor Maydianne CB Andrade, Canada Research Chair



We examine how reciprocal effects of ecological and social factors influence reproductive tactics, life history decisions, physiological performance, and sexual selection. One recent focus is exploring how these processes shape divergence in phenotypic traits related to mating in geographically separated populations. Our work includes laboratory and field studies of invertebrates, and our primary study organisms are the black widow spiders (genus Latrodectus).

Recent Publications

  • Baruffaldi, L & Andrade, MCB.  2017. Neutral fitness outcomes contradict inferences of sexual ‘coercion’ derived from male’s damaging mating tactic in a widow spider. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 17322  .doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17524-6

  • Andreas Fischer, Manfred Ayasse, Maydianne C B Andrade; Natural Compounds as Spider Repellents: Fact or Myth?, Journal of Economic Entomology,  tox339,
  • Rosenthal, MF, Gertler M, Hamilton AD, Prasad S & Andrade, MCB. 2017. Taxonomic bias in animal behaviour publications. Animal Behaviour 127, 83-89 .
  • Biaggio, MD, Sandomirsky, I, Lubin, Y, Harari, AR, Andrade, MCB. 2016. Copulation with immature females increases male fitness in cannibalistic widow spiders. Biology Letters DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0516
  • Andrade, MCB & MacLeod, EC. 2015. Potential for CFC in black widows (genus Latrodectus): Mechanisms and social context. in Cryptic Female Choice in Arthropods – Patterns, Mechanisms and Prospects. (A. V. Peretti and A. Aisenberg, editors). Springer International Publishers Inc. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-17894-3
  • Baruffaldi, L & Andrade, MCB. 2015. Contact pheromones mediate male preference in black widow spiders: avoidance of hungry sexual cannibals?  Animal Behaviour. 102, 25-32. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.01.007
  • DeLuca, PA, Stoltz, JA, Andrade, MCB, Mason, AC. 2015. Metabolic efficiency in courtship favors males with intermediate mass in the Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasselti. J. Insect Physiology. doi: