Male Schizocosa ocreata (Hentz 1844) wolf spiders court females with multi-modal displays that include both seismic and visual components. The seismic components are thought to be ancestral whereas the visual components are thought to have been more recently derived. We here present evidence that, despite the evolution of elaborate visual display components in males, female S. ocreata remain able to derive sufficient information about males through the seismic display components alone. We compared the mating tendency of females courted by males in the light (seismic and visual components present) and in the dark (only seismic components present). With a sample of 79 pairs in each condition, pairs were not significantly less likely to mate when in the dark (62%) than when in the light (73%). While all males performed courtship, and latency from the release of males until the onset of courtship was similar in the light and in the dark, latency until mounting tended to be much longer in the dark. This may mean that it takes longer for females to gather the information required to accept a male in the absence of visual cues or may instead simply reflect the challenge of locating mates and orienting for mounting. Lighting conditions did not influence how long the male remained mounted, indicating that these wolf spiders lack the condition-dependent flexibility in copula duration that is found in some jumping spiders.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Arachnology|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|