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Spiders use presents to woo mates

Most men opt for the safe choice: a box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers. But male nursery spiders, it seems, haven’t quite got the knack when it comes to using gifts to woo potential mates.

Scientists at Denmark’s Aarhus University have discovered that the spiders sometimes “pay” for mating with gifts. The presents – bits of flower or ant husks wrapped in silk – work as decoys while the males have their way with the females.

“Males with gifts increase their chances of being accepted by females and also prolong copulation duration,” says researcher Maria Jose Albo. “Males without gifts are normally rejected or obtain short copulations.”

The study revealed that spiders with impressive gifts – such as a dead fly – had more chance of mating than others. Yum.

Picture credits: Rex Features