About This Project
Performance-enhancing substances: How do male black widows use chemical cues to gain a competitive advantage?
For a male black widow spider, life is a series of deadly challenges. He must first make a dangerous journey to find a female, then convince her to mate with him rather than cannibalize him before he can pass on his genetic material. At every stage, he will face fierce competition from rival males with the same agenda. In this project, we seek to understand how male black widows use chemicals produced by females and rivals to gain a competitive edge in the race to find and secure a mate.