Short and fast vs long and slow: age changes courtship in male orb-web spiders (Argiope keyserlingi)

James C. O’Hanlon, Anne E. Wignall, Marie E. Herberstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Male reproductive performance can vary with condition, age and future reproductive opportunities. Web-building spiders are ideal models to examine the effects of senescence on fitness-related behaviours due to strong selection on male courtship to reduce pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism. Argiope keyserlingi spiders generate courtship vibrations, or ‘shudders’, that reduce female aggression. We found that male A. keyserlingi courtship slowed with chronological age. Older males took longer to travel across the courtship thread, and overall number of shudders increased. Males retained some ability to modulate courtship quality (shudder duration and number of rocks within each shudder) in response to female quality. A change in courtship performance over time, despite strong selection for repeatability, indicates that ageing in male A. keyserlingi may have direct impacts on reproductive performance.

LanguageEnglish
Article number3
Pages1-5
Number of pages5
JournalScience of Nature
Volume105
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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Argiope
spider web
courtship
spider
Araneae
reproductive performance
cannibalism
senescence
aggression
vibration
travel
repeatability
fitness
rocks
duration
rock

Keywords

  • senescence
  • silk
  • Vibratory stimuli
  • ageing

Cite this

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Short and fast vs long and slow : age changes courtship in male orb-web spiders (Argiope keyserlingi). / O’Hanlon, James C.; Wignall, Anne E.; Herberstein, Marie E.

In: Science of Nature, Vol. 105, No. 1-2, 3, 02.2018, p. 1-5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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