Journal of Ethology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 301–307 | Cite as

Reliance on trial and error signal derivation by Portia africana, an araneophagic jumping spider from East Africa

Article

Abstract

All species from the jumping spider (Salticidae) genus Portia appear to be predators that specialize at preying on other spiders by invading webs and, through aggressive mimicry, gaining dynamic fine control over the resident spider’s behavior. From previous research, there is evidence that P. fimbriata, P. labiata and P. schultzi derive signals by trial and error. Here, we demonstrate that P. africana is another species that uses a trial and error, or generate and test, algorithm when deriving the aggressive-mimicry signals that will be appropriate in different predator–prey encounters. We discuss the implications of these new findings and the findings from previous work in order to understand the selection factors that drive the evolution of flexibility in aggressive-mimicry strategies.

Keywords

Salticidae Aggressive mimicry Predation Cognition Sensory exploitation 

References

  1. Barth FG (2002) A spider’s world: senses and behavior. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  2. Bitterman ME (1965) Phyletic differences in learning. Am Psychol 20:396–410PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brodie EDI, Brodie EDJ (1999) Predator–prey arms races. Bioscience 49:557–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bullock T, Horridge GA (1965) Structure and function in the nervous systems of invertebrates. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  5. Chittka L, Niven J (2009) Are bigger brains better? Curr Biol 19:R995–R1008PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Edmunds M (1974) Defence in animals: a survey of anti-predator defences. Longman, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Foelix RF (1996) Biology of spiders, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Harland DP, Jackson RR (2004) Portia Perceptions: the umwelt of an araneophagic jumping spider. In: Prete FR (ed) Complex worlds from simpler nervous systems. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 5–40Google Scholar
  9. Heiling AM, Herberstein ME (2004) Predator–prey coevolution: Australian native bees avoid their spider predators. Proc R Soc Lond B 271:S196–S198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Homann H (1971) Die augen der araneen. Z Morphol Okol Tiere 69:201–272Google Scholar
  11. Huntingford FA, Wright PJ (1992) Inherited population differences in avoidance-conditioning in three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Behaviour 122:264–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huntingford FA, Wright PJ, Tierney JF (1994) Adaptive variation in antipredator behaviour in threespine stickleback. In: Bell MA, Foster SA (eds) The evolutionary biology of the threespine stickleback. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 277–296Google Scholar
  13. Jackson RR (1988) The biology of Jacksonoides queenslandicus, a jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae) from Queensland: intraspecific interactions, web-invasion, predators, and prey. N Z J Zool 15:1–37Google Scholar
  14. Jackson RR (1992) Eight-legged tricksters: spiders that specialize at catching other spiders. Bioscience 42:590–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jackson RR, Blest AD (1982) The biology of Portia fimbriata, a web-building jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae) from Queensland: utilization of webs and predatory versatility. J Zool Lond 196:255–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jackson RR, Carter CM (2001) Interpopulation variation in use of trial-and-error derivation of aggressive-mimicry signals by Portia labiata from the Philippines. J Insect Behav 14:799–827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jackson RR, Hallas SEA (1986a) Capture efficiencies of web-building jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae): is the jack-of-all-trades the master of none? J Zool Lond 209:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jackson RR, Hallas SEA (1986b) Comparative biology of Portia africana, Portia albimana, Portia fimbriata, Portia labiata, and Portia schultzi, araneophagic, web-building jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae): utilisation of webs, predatory versatility and intraspecific interactions. N Z J Zool 13:423–489Google Scholar
  19. Jackson RR, Pollard SD (1996) Predatory behavior of jumping spiders. Annu Rev Entomol 41:287–308PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jackson RR, Wilcox RS (1993) Spider flexibly chooses aggressive mimicry signals for different prey by trial and error. Behaviour 127:21–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jakob EM, Christa D, Skow CD, Long S (2011) Plasticity, learning and cognition. In: Herberstein ME (ed) Spider behaviour: flexibility and versatility. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 307–347Google Scholar
  22. Japyassú HF, Caires RA (2008) Hunting tactics in a cobweb spider (Araneae-Theridiidae) and the evolution of behavioral plasticity. J Insect Behav 21:258–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kamil AC (1988) A synthetic approach to the study of animal intelligence. In: Leger DW (ed) Comparative perspectives in modern psychology, Nebraska symposium on motivation, vol 35. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, pp 230–257Google Scholar
  24. Kamil AC (1998) On the proper definition of cognitive ethology. In: Pepperberg I, Kamil AC, Balda R (eds) Animal cognition in nature. Academic, New York, pp 1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Land MF, Nilsson DE (2002) Animal eyes. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  26. Li D, Jackson RR (1996) Prey preferences of Portia fimbriata, an araneophagic, web-building jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae) from Queensland. J Insect Behav 9:613–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li D, Jackson RR (1997) Influence of diet on survivorship and growth in Portia fimbriata, an araneophagic jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae). Can J Zool 75:1652–1658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li D, Jackson RR, Barrion A (1997) Prey preferences of Portia labiata, P. africana, and P. schultzi, araneophagic jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Uganda. N Z J Zool 24:333–349Google Scholar
  29. Li D, Jackson RR, Barrion A (1999) Parental and predatory behaviour of Scytodes sp., an araneophagic spitting spider (Araneae: Scytodidae) from the Philippines. J Zool 247:293–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McPhail EM (1985) Vertebrate intelligence: the null hypothesis. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 308:37–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moore AJ, Wolf JB, Brodie ED III (1998) The influence of direct and indirect genetic effects on the evolution of behavior: social and sexual selection meet maternal effects. In: Mousseau TA, Fox CW (eds) Maternal effects as adaptations. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 22–41Google Scholar
  32. Nelson XJ, Jackson RR (2011) Flexibility in the foraging strategies of spiders. In: Herberstein ME (ed) Spider behaviour: flexibility and versatility. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 31–56Google Scholar
  33. Nelson DA, Whaling C, Marler P (1996) The capacity for song memorization varies in populations of the same species. Anim Behav 52:379–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Platnick NI (2010) World spider catalogue, version 11.0 American Museum of Natural History. http://research.amnh.org/iz/spiders/catalog/COUNTS.html
  35. Richman D, Jackson RR (1992) A review of the ethology of jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae). Bull Br Arachnol Soc 9:33–37Google Scholar
  36. Roff DA (1998) The detection and measurement of maternal effects. In: Mousseau TA, Fox CW (eds) Maternal effects as adaptations. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 83–96Google Scholar
  37. Skinner BF (1938) The behavior of organisms. Appleton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Srinivasan M (2010) Honey bees as a model for vision, perception and cognition. Annu Rev Entomol 55:267–284PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Staddon JER (1983) Adaptive behavior and learning. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  40. Tarsitano MS, Jackson RR, Kirchner W (2000) Signals and signal choices made by araneophagic jumping spiders while hunting the orb-weaving spiders Zygiella x-notata and Zosis geniculatus. Ethology 106:595–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Thompson DB (1990) Different spatial scales of adaptation in the climbing behavior of Peromyscus maniculatus: geographic variation, natural selection, and gene flow. Evolution 44:952–965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Thompson DB (1999) Different spatial scales of natural selection and gene flow: the evolution of behavioral geographic variation and phenotypic plasticity. In: Foster SA, Endler JA (eds) Geographic variation in behavior: perspectives on evolutionary mechanisms. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 33–51Google Scholar
  43. Toates F (1996) Cognition and evolution—an organization of action perspective. Behav Process 35:239–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wade MJ (1998) The evolutionary genetics of maternal effects. In: Mousseau TA, Fox CW (eds) Maternal effects as adaptations. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 5–21Google Scholar
  45. Wickler W (1968) Mimicry in plants and animals. Weidenfeld and Nicholson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  46. Wignall AE, Taylor PW (2010) Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey. Proc R Soc Lond B (in press)Google Scholar
  47. Witt PN (1975) The web as a means of communication. Biosci Commun 1:7–23Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)Thomas Odhiambo CampusMbita PointKenya

Personalised recommendations