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

Professor Maydianne CB Andrade, Canada Research Chair


ABS 2017 Logo

Prof Andrade & Prof Mason are co-hosting the 54th annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society at UTSC.   Join us! June 12-16, 2016.


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).


March 2017. High school coop students from the Andrade lab featured in UTSC homepage story. Read about it here

January 2, 2017: Prof Andrade begins her new role as Vice Dean, Faculty Affairs & Equity, working with the Dean’s group on issues related to Faculty recruitment, development and career progression. She will split her time between the Dean’s office and the lab.

Congratulations to Luciana Baruffaldi, who has taken up a new role as Lab Director. Luciana will split her time between overseeing lab operations and research and conducting her own research as a post-doc.

Thursday February 9, 8pm. See what happens when a bunch of entomologists (and one arachnologist) figure out how many bugs live in a typical Toronto home!Watch on CBC’s The Nature of Things: The Great Wild Outdoors

Recent Publications


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:
  • Elias, DO;  Sivalinghem,S;  Mason, AC; Andrade MCB & Kasumovic MM. 2014.  Mate-guarding courtship behaviour: tactics in a changing world.Animal Behaviour. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.08.007.
  • MacLeod, EC & Andrade, MCB. 2014. Strong, convergent male mate choice along two preference axes in field populations of black widow spiders.Animal Behaviour. DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.12.023.
  • Modanu, M., Li, LDX, Said, H, Rathitharna, N., Andrade, MCB. 2014. Sibling cannibalism in a web-building spider: Effects of density and shared environment.Behavioural Processes. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.03.011