Flexibility in the multi-modal courtship of a wolf spider, Schizocosa ocreata

Phillip W. Taylor*, J. Andrew Roberts, George W. Uetz

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    46 Citations (Scopus)


    Male Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders court females with synchronous visual and seismic displays. We tested whether male S. ocreata modify their courtship in relation to light environment, and associated utility of the visual components. Males were generally more active and more likely to perform the major courtship element ("jerky tapping") when in the light. One courtship element ("arching") was only observed in the light while another ("vertical leg-extend") was only observed in the dark. Courtship in the dark retained "visual" components, suggesting spiders cannot disengage these components of multi-modal display even when superfluous. Once initiated, there was no evidence that performance rate or time spent in each courtship element differed in the light and in the dark.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-75
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Ethology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


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