Integrative Behavioural Ecology of Mating

Invasive redback spiders from New Zealand and Japan are more dispersive than Australian natives. Click to learn more! Mowery et al 2021.
What is new about sexual cannibalism in South American Widows? Click to learn more! Baruffaldi & Andrade 2021
How do male black widows use chemicals to find females & defeat rivals?
Are there native black widows in central Canada?
Does female choosiness change with social context?
How do male redback spiders avoid cannibalism?
Masked Lab! May 2021
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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, and how these may be related to invasiveness. Our work includes laboratory and field studies of invertebrates, and our primary study organisms are the black widow spiders (genus Latrodectus) and their relatives.

Statement of Lab Values & Commitments

New Paper: Juvenile Experience with Male Cues Triggers Cryptic Choice Mechanisms in Adult Female Redback Spiders

Representation of a rectangular plastic cage, bisected at its long axis, with a female spider on one side and a male spider on the other side.

Juvenile females were held in experimental cages that allowed them to experience cues and signals produced by other spiders. As adults, female mating behaviour shifted if they had experienced cues from males, but not from other females. Andrade et al 2021. Insects


Recent Publications

  • NEW: Andrade, M.C.B.; Baskaran, A.; Biaggio, M.D.; Modanu, M. Juvenile Experience with Male Cues Triggers Cryptic Choice Mechanisms in Adult Female Redback Spiders. Insects 2021, 12, 825.
  • Mowery, M.A., Vink, C., Mason, A.C. & Andrade, MCB 2021. Behavioural, morphological, and life history shifts during invasive spread.  Biological Invasions.
  • L Baruffaldi, MCB Andrade. 2021. Female control of a novel form of cannibalism during copulation in a South American widow spider. Behavioural Processes, 188: 104406.
  • LB Castilho, MCB Andrade, RH Macedo. 2021. Males mate indiscriminately in the tropical jumping spider Hasarius adansoni (Audouin, 1826). Ethology 127 (1), 83-90
  • CE Scott, S McCann, and MCB Andrade. Black widows as plastic wallflowers: female choosiness increases with indicators of high mate availability in a natural population. Scientific Reports 10.1 (2020): 1-9.
  • L Baruffaldi, MCB Andrade. 2020 Immature mating as a tactic of polygynous male western widow spiders. The Science of Nature 107 (1), 1-4
  • LB Castilho, RH Macedo, MCB Andrade. 2020. Individual preference functions exist without overall preference in a tropical jumping spider. Animal Behaviour 160, 43-51