Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 111-119

First online:

Aggressive mimicry, prey-specific predatory behaviour and predator-recognition in the predator-prey interactions of Portia fimbriata and Euryattus sp., jumping spiders from Queensland

  • Robert R. JacksonAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Canterbury
  • , R. Stimson WilcoxAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Binghamton

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Adults and large juveniles of Queensland Portia fimbriata, a salticid spider known to prey on other spiders (including other salticids), are shown to use prey-specific predatory behaviour against Euryattus sp., one of the salticids on which it feeds. Euryattus females are unusual because they nest inside suspended rolled-up leaves. P. fimbriata used vibratory displays to lure Euryattus females from their nests. These displays seem to mimic the courtship displays of Euryattus males. Other species of Portia and other populations of P. fimbriata, in habitats in which Euryattus is not known to occur, did not practise this prey-specific behaviour. In the laboratory, Euryattus — but not Jacksonoides queenslandica, another salticid on which P. fimbriata is known to feed — readily recognized approaching Portia as a potential predator. A possible ‘evolutionary arms race’ between Portia and Euryattus is discussed.