Behavioral mimicry in Myrmarachne species (Araneae, Salticidae) from North Queensland, Australia

Ceccarelli, Fadia Sara (2008) Behavioral mimicry in Myrmarachne species (Araneae, Salticidae) from North Queensland, Australia. Journal of Arachnology, 36 (2). pp. 344-351.

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Abstract

Batesian ant mimies-such as saltieids belonging to the genus Myrmarachne-resemble their models to devceive potential predators, sometimes including the ants themselves. Myrmarachne species in addition to being striking visual mimies of ants also wave their first pair of legs in the air, much like the antennal movement of ants. Whether this leg movement is part of Myrmarachne species' mimiery is debated. In this study the leg 1 movement of four Myrmarachne species was investigated, with particular auention given to the frequency and amplitude of the leg waving. Correlations between the leg waving and other behaviors of Myrmarachne species were also looked at. There were interspecific differences in leg 1 movements, and the leg 1 waving also depended on other behaviors such as "bobbing" the opisthosoma. Thus the leg 1 movement of Myrmarachne species is behavioral mimicry of the antennal movement of ants, in other words increasing the spiders' resemblance to the ants to avoid predation. This "antennal illusion" displays characteristics of a plastic trait which has evolved under selection pressure.

Item ID: 19398
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1937-2396
Keywords: behavior; antennal illusion; mimic; myrmecomorphy
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2012 04:24
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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