A case of blind spider's buff?

Prey-capture by jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae) in the absence of visual cues

P. W. Taylor*, R. R. Jackson, M. W. Robertson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Jumping spiders (Salticidae) are well known for their complex visual hunting behavior, but this is the first comparative study investigating their ability to catch prey in the absence of visual cues. When tested with vision occluded inside tubes, where spiders and prey (house flies, Musca domestica, and fruit flies, Drosophila spp.) could not easily evade each other, each of 42 salticid species tested caught prey in at least one of five different procedures used. Some salticids caught flies less frequently or were less aggressive when tested in petri dishes, where spiders and flies could easily evade each other. For both types of arena and prey, there were significant species differences in both success at prey-capture and tendency to respond aggressively when first contacted by flies. Additionally, there was significant positive correlation between success at catching prey and tendency to act aggressively when first contacted. Salticids resembled short-sighted spiders from other families by only attempting to catch flies when physically contacted, and by rapidly leaning forward ('lunging') to catch prey rather than leaping as they do when visual cues are available. We discuss circumstances in nature when an ability to catch prey in the absence of visual cues might be used by salticids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-381
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Arachnology
Volume26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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