The scientists think their results suggest the white coloring of the silk is the main draw for female spiders. Because this species is most active during sunset and at night, white silk is easier to see over long distances. What's more, males in better physical shape produced whiter gifts because they used more silk in their wrapping, while the poor wrapping job of less healthy males resulted in a duller package. This means the color of the gifts could be a reflection of the male's body condition, which could help the females judge their suitors, the scientists say in the journal Naturwissenschaften.
For other kinds of spiders, silk wrapping can serve as a disguise for a worthless gift. A study from 2011 in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology showed that some males of the species Pisaura mirabilis, will wrap an ant husk or cotton in silk. Often, by the time the female had examined the decoy gift, the male has already had his way with her.
Original article on LiveScience.
In Photos: Spiders Hatched from Web Towers Underwater Gallery: Diving Spiders Incredible Photos of Peacock Spiders Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.