Some male spiders end up dead after their first and only experience of procreation. Now researchers have evidence that spiders might get more out of the experience of sex than had been thought.
Scientists studying the Tasmanian cave spider found that their penises, called pedipalps, have neurons and nerves where none were expected to be found.
This body part, the palpal organ, has always been assumed to be numb and without nerve tissue.
“The male copulatory organ of this species is not just numb structure but likely able to directly perceive sensory input during sperm transfer,” the researchers say.
Elisabeth Lipke of University of Greifswald, Germany, and colleagues publish their finding in the Royal Society’s journal Biology Letters.
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