Complex display behaviour during the intraspecific interactions of myrmecomorphic jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae)

Ximena J. Nelson*, Robert R. Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Jumping spiders (Salticidae) are known for their elaborate vision-based display behaviour, and a sizeable minority of the species in this large family resemble ants. The display repertoire of two ant-like salticid species from the Philippines is investigated. Myrmarachne assimilis is a specialist ant mimic, closely matching the appearance of the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina. Myrmarachne bakeri is a generalist mimic, which, although ant-like, is not a close match to any sympatric ant species. Myrmarachne are sexually dimorphic, with males having enlarged chelicerae. The copulatory posture of Myrmarachne is unique among salticids, apparently as an adjustment for the male's elongated chelicerae. Details concerning the intraspecific behaviour of Myrmarachne appear to be adjustments to living in environments populated by numerous other animals with similar appearance (ants). However, the specialist and the generalist that were investigated have display repertoires that are broadly similar to each other and to those of more typical salticids. Generally, the display behaviour of Myrmarachne appears not to have necessitated dramatic deviation from typical salticid display and mating strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1678
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Natural History
Issue number25-28
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Arachnida
  • Batesian mimicry
  • Communication
  • Conditional mating strategy
  • Jumping spider
  • Mating behaviour
  • Salticidae
  • Signals


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