Differences in sexual behavior of two distant populations of the funnel-web wolf spider Aglaoctenus lagotis
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- González, M., Peretti, A.V., Viera, C. et al. J Ethol (2013) 31: 175. doi:10.1007/s10164-013-0365-1
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Generally, sexual repertoire within a species is conserved, but frequencies of occurrence of sexual behavioral acts often vary, and wide geographic distributions may favor these variations. Aglaoctenus lagotis is distributed along South America and belongs to Sosippinae, a subfamily of wolf spiders that builds funnel webs. Previous reports, based on different populations, suggested variations in sexual behavior and life cycle. Our objective was to describe and compare the sexual behavior of two populations of A. lagotis: ‘Southern Uruguay’ (SU) and ‘Central Argentina’ (CA). We carried out intrapopulation trials, in the laboratory, with 15 female–male pair matings. The most representative courtship acts in SU were web-stretching, striding-forward and forelegs-elevating, whereas in CA they were alternate-waving, web-stretching and leg-tapping. Juddering, forelegs-elevating and striding-forward were exclusive for SU, while alternate-waving and simultaneous-waving were exclusive for CA. We also found differences in copulatory characteristics such as frequencies of insertions and ejaculations. We documented body-shaking during copulation for the first time. Some sexual acts were exclusive of each population, while the shared ones differed in pattern and frequencies of occurrence. In addition to variations in sexual periods, these differences may favor divergence processes or an exceptional high level of flexibility in the sexual behavior of A. lagotis.