Natural history and display behaviour of Servaea incana, a common and widespread Australian jumping spider (Araneae:Salticidae)

Rowan H. McGinley*, Vivian Mendez, Phillip W. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The natural history and intraspecific interactions of Servaea incana, a common jumping spider of temperate Australia, are described. S. incana inhabits the trunks of eucalypt trees, where it builds silken retreats and nests under loose bark. Like other jumping spiders, S. incana males use elaborate visual displays (Type I courtship) when they encounter females in the open. Male jumping spiders usually rely on silk-borne vibrations to communicate with females residing within retreats and nests (Type II courtship). S. incana often uses visual displays in this context, because the thin silken walls allow conspecifics to see each other. Adult males that encounter subadult females at retreats sometimes build their own retreat nearby and cohabit until the subadult female moults to maturity, copulating shortly afterwards. Adult females and immature stages of both sexes possess similar display repertoires that contain fewer display elements than the repertoire of males. We found no evidence that visual displays of S. incana contain seismic elements, in contrast to some of its closest relatives. S. incana preys upon a variety of small arthropods and, unusually amongst salticids, ants make up a large portion of the diet. Identified enemies of S. incana include spiders, a pompilid wasp and a mantispid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-319
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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