Looking for 'cryptic' species: Male response to female silk in ant-mimicking jumping spiders in India

Veena Prabhu, R M Borges

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    Animal species commonly share their habitats with close relatives. Because hybrids are often disadvantaged, reproductive isolation of species is the rule. Females of many spiders communicate information of species and reproductive state using chemical pheromones in their silk, both as the trail of dragline silk is left behind by individual spiders moving about and as retreats. Species-specific communication through chemical and tactile cues that are associated with female silk is important to male spiders in locating and recognizing conspecific females. To determine whether five different tropical sympatric and syntopic ant-mimicking jumping spiders were different species or different morphs of a single species, responses of males to the retreat silks of females were examined. Three distinctly different jumping spider forms - Myrmarachne plataleiodes, a mimic of Camponotus compressus and a mimic with Intermediate morphology seem to belong to same species as males of each will court on retreats of each of the other forms. Additionally, females will accept each male form as a mate. Two other forms, which mimic two different ants, Camponotus serecius and Myrmicaria brunnea, each appears to be a distinct species.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    EventASSAB/AES 2004 - Adelaide Zoo, South Australia
    Duration: 15 Apr 200419 Apr 2004


    ConferenceASSAB/AES 2004
    CityAdelaide Zoo, South Australia


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