A mate to die for? A model of conditional monogyny in cannibalistic spiders
Fromhage, L. (2012). A mate to die for? A model of conditional monogyny in cannibalistic spiders. Ecology and Evolution, 2(10), 2577-2588. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.372
Published inEcology and Evolution
© 2012 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
Monogynous males in various species actively limit themselves to mating with a single female in their lifetime. Whereas previous models have considered monogyny as an obligate mating strategy, here we explore the potential of monogyny to evolve as a context-specific (conditional) behavior. Using a state-dependent dynamic game model based on the biology of the cannibalistic spider Argiope bruennichi, we confirm that conditional monogyny can evolve under broad conditions, including an even sex ratio. We predict that males should make a terminal investment when mating with large, virgin females, especially if population density is low and the encounter occurs late in the season. We encourage empirical tests for the existence of conditional monogyny in all species where monogyny occurs in the absence of strict morphological constraints that would make it obligatory.