These male spiders catapult away to avoid being cannibalized after sex

These male spiders catapult away to avoid being cannibalized after sex

Male Philoponella prominens use hydraulic pressure to extend leg joints and launch to safety

image of male and female orb spiders mating

After mating, a male Philoponella prominens orb weaver spider (reddish brown) will use its front legs to catapult backward and escape becoming lunch for the female (dark brown). S. ZHANG

A male Philoponella prominens orb weaver spider (redish brown) will use its front legs to catapult backwards and avoid being eaten by the female (dark brown).

An act of acrobatics keeps males of one orb-weaving spider species from becoming their mates’ post-sex snack.

Philoponella prominens males launch away from females at speeds of up to 90 centimeters per second, according to researchers. Other spiders jump to capture food or avoid predators (SN: 3/16/19). But P. Prominens is one-of-a-kind among spiders in that males fly through the air to avoid sexual cannibalism, according on the researchers.