Predator-prey coevolution

Australian native bees avoid their spider predators

A. M. Heiling*, M. E. Herberstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)


Australian crab spiders Thomisus spectabilis manipulate visual flower signals to lure introduced Apis mellifera. We gave Australian native bees, Austroplebia australis, the choice between two white daisies, Chrysanthemum frutescens, one of them occupied by a crab spider. The colour contrast between flowers and spiders affected the behaviour of native bees. Native bees approached spider-occupied flowers more frequently. However, native bees avoided flowers occupied by spiders and landed on vacant flowers more frequently. In contrast to honeybees that did not coevolve with T. spectabilis, Australian native bees show an anti-predatory response to avoid flowers occupied by this predator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S196-S198
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue numberSuppl 4
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2004

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