Everything I know about sex I learned from my tarantula
Karen mated her Avicularia metallica pair today, her first breeding effort thus far (not counting Jake), and I am happy to report success. This was a quiet male, not a Mr. Tappy-Toes like Karen's P. metallica. However, judging from the impressive menschlichkeit* of today's performance, he must have been tap-tapping away and setting up his sperm web. If tarantulas were humans, sex would go something like this. The man goes off into the bathroom, does the deed, and comes back into the bedroom with a loaded turkey baster. You're thinking: yup, not very romantic. Or perhaps you're thinking: eeeww. But you'd be wrong. Yes, the male ejaculates long before having sex. He does it into a sperm web, and then he charges up his pedipalps (anterior appendages, quite near the fangs) with a nice hot (cool, actually) load of spunk. Intercourse requires that the male insert his pedipalps into the female's epigynum. Without, mind you, getting eaten first. Karen placed our studly A. metallica into the female's cage and that bad boy crawled right on up to her. He signaled his interest by thrumming her web. She ran to the other side of the cage. He gave her a bit of space but never let up on the thrumming. Soon enough, he had her in the mood. He got beneath her and was so confident he didn't even bother to hook her fangs. (Males have hooks on their forelegs just for this purpose.) Then he started to work his pedipalps closer, closer, making small circular motions over her twitching epigynum. Okay, it wasn't twitching. I made that part up -- but only that part. One pedipalp found its way home, probing deeper. Deeper still. Then, no slouch he, he came at her with the other pedipalp! "Faster," she moaned -- Sorry. Bottom line, he did the deed and Karen got him out in one piece. She'll let him charge up another sperm web, and maybe bring them together again next week. For today, he's back in his cage, toweling off. I dropped a cigarette in his cage -- a reward for a job well done. D. *Manliness, for everyone out there who is neither Jewish nor Gabriele.