Navigation by Male Crab Spiders Misumenoides formosipes (Araneae: Thomisidae): Floral Cues May Aid in Locating Potential Mates
- 133 Downloads
The crab spider Misumenoides formosipes is an ambush predator whose males search for relatively sedentary females within a heterogeneous habitat. Females are receptive to mating immediately after their adult molt and a male biased adult sex ratio together with precopulatory guarding places a premium on male ability to locate females quickly. It is unknown what cues males use to find females; we report here on male movements in association with floral cues. Males in field trials moved towards inflorescences more frequently when both visual and chemical cues were available, than when chemical cues were eliminated. Males in lab trials chose an inflorescence over leaf substrates even in the absence of visual cues. These findings support the hypothesis that M. formosipes males could utilize floral chemistry as a navigational cue in mate searches.
KeywordsCrab spiders mate searches navigation floral cues olfaction
We wish to acknowledge Ball State University’s Department of Biology for providing access to the Cooper Field Area, Dr. Jim Jones for statistical support, John Taylor for field assistance, Ball State University’s Office of Academic Research and Sponsored Programs for financial support, and Chad Hoefler for providing insights on the research methods and helpful comments on the manuscript.
- Aldrich JR, Barros TM (1995) Chemical attraction of male crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae) and kleptoparasitic flies (Diptera, Milichiidae, and Chloropidae). J Arachnol 23:212–214Google Scholar
- Austad SN (1984) Evolution of sperm priority patterns in spiders. In: Smith RL (ed) Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems. Academic, New York, pp 223–249Google Scholar
- Barth FG (2002) A spider’s world: senses and behavior. Springer-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Chien SA, Morse DH (1998) The role of prey and flower quality in the choice of hunting sites by adult male crab spiders Misumena vatia. J Arachnol 26:238–243Google Scholar
- Coddington JA (2005) Phylogeny and classification of spiders. In Ubick D, Paquin P, Cushing PE, Roth V (eds) Spiders of North America: an identification manual. American Arachnological Society, pp 18–24Google Scholar
- Fernández-Montraveta C, Ruano-Bellido J (2000) Female silk and mate attraction in a burrowing wolf-spider (Araneae: Lycosidae). Bull Br Arachnol Soc 11:361–366Google Scholar
- Heiling AM, Herberstein ME (2004) Floral quality signals lure pollinators and their predators. Annales Zoologici Fennici 41:421–428Google Scholar
- Krell FT, Krämer F (1998) Chemical attraction of crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae) to a flower fragrance component. J Arachnol 26:117–119Google Scholar
- Land MF (1985) The morphology and optics of spider eyes. In: Barth FG (ed) Neurobiology of arachnids. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp 53–78Google Scholar
- Morse DH, Fritz RS (1987) The consequences of foraging for reproductive success. In: Kamil AC, Krebs J, Pulliam HR (eds) Foraging behavior. Plenum, New York, pp 443–456Google Scholar
- Taylor PW (1998) Dragline-mediated mate-searching in Trite planiceps (Araneae: Salticidae). J Arachnol 26:330–334Google Scholar