Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 799–827 | Cite as

Geographic Variation in Reliance on Trial-and-Error Signal Derivation by Portia labiata, an Araneophagic Jumping Spider from the Philippines

  • Robert R. Jackson
  • Chris M. Carter


Signal-generation behavior of Portia labiata, a web-invading araneophagic jumping spider (Salticidae), was investigated in the laboratory. Individuals derived from two habitats in the Philippines were compared: Los Baños, a low-elevation tropical rainforest site where prey (spider) diversity is especially high, and Sagada, a high-elevation pine-forest site where prey (spider) diversity is less. Maternal effects and variation in experience were minimized because all individuals tested were from laboratory rearing to second and third generation under standardized conditions. Individuals from both populations used a trial-and-error (generate-and-test) algorithm to derive appropriate aggressive-mimicry signals. However, in laboratory experiments, the Los Baños P. labiata relied on trial and error significantly more often than did the Sagada P. labiata. Selection pressures that may have been responsible for evolution of different levels of flexibility are considered, including the different arrays of prey to which the Los Baños and the Sagada P. labiata are exposed.

spiders Salticidae aggressive mimicry predation cognition ecotypes 


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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert R. Jackson
    • 1
  • Chris M. Carter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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