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Male black widow spiders hijack silk strands of their rivals to find a mate

Male black widow spiders hijack silk strands of their rivals to find a mate

Science
Aug. 2 (UPI) -- To find mates, male black widow spiders follow the silk trails left by their rivals, according to a new study. The revelation, detailed this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, surprised scientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Scientists assumed males followed the scents, or pheromones, released by females and avoided those emitted by males. It is the pattern followed by most mate-seeking insects. "We expect males to use female cues to find a potential mate, and use those left by their rivals to avoid them," Catherine Scott, a doctoral candidate at UTSC, said in a news release. "We found male black widows follow rather than avoid rival males, using their silk trails as highways that rapidly lead them to a female's web, even if they can't s...
Bolivia's lonely frog: Scientists race to find mate for Romeo

Bolivia's lonely frog: Scientists race to find mate for Romeo

Science
Conservationists in Bolivia are scouring the country to find a mate for a childless frog who they fear may be the last of his species.Romeo, a 10-year-old Sehuencas water frog, has been calling in vain for a mate for the past nine years.A dating website donated to the search, and even gave him a profile that says he is "looking for my Juliet".Scientists are now searching streams and rivers for a female with whom a breeding programme can be started."We don't want him to lose hope," Arturo Munoz, a conservation scientist, told AFP news agency."We continue to remain hopeful that others are out there so we can establish a conservation breeding programme to save this species," he said.You might also be interested in:But conservationists will have to be quick, as Sehuencas water frogs don't ofte...