Multimodal communication of wolf spiders on different substrates: evidence for behavioural plasticit


Jan 6, 2011
I thought people here might be interested in this.

Multimodal communication of wolf spiders on different substrates: evidence for behavioural plasticity

Shira D. GordonCorresponding Author Contact Information, a, E-mail The Corresponding Author and George W. Uetz1, a
a Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Animal Behaviour
Volume 81, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 367-375

Communication in complex environments poses challenges of potential loss of intended messages, but some animals may compensate by using multimodal signalling. Courtship displays of male Schizocosa ocreata (Hentz) wolf spiders are multimodal, consisting of visual and seismic signals. The microhabitat of S. ocreata is complex, including leaf litter, wood/bark, soil and rocks. Results from laser vibrometer measurements in the present study indicated that leaf litter transmitted male courtship signals with greater efficacy. Mating success was significantly greater on leaf litter (not, vert, similar85%) compared to other substrates (not, vert, similar30%), even though latency to male courtship did not vary among substrates. Given these results, selection should favour spiders that increase their mating potential on nonconducting substrates. We tested whether spiders detect substrate differences in a choice test, and found that when males and females visited all substrates, they spent significantly more time on leaf litter. We isolated courting male spiders on each substrate and scored courtship behaviours to see whether signals varied with substrate. Males used significantly more visual signals (waves and arches) on substrates that attenuated seismic signals (soil and rocks), but other behaviours showed no differences. Taken together, these results suggest that combined visual/seismic components of multimodal displays may serve as ‘backup signals’, ensuring reception under different environmental conditions. Results also suggest that male S. ocreata have the flexibility to compensate for environmental constraints by seeking microhabitats with more effective vibration conduction properties, and/or by increasing visual signals on substrates where seismic communication is less effective.

It's not an open access article, so if you want the whole article, you'll want to get it through the library.


Feb 2, 2010

thanks for sharing. most not open access articles have a price around 30,- $
(some more, some less). with google schoolar it's poosible to find free articles with similar content. there are a few free works spending attention on communication (patterns) of wolfspiders.
so for me it's not neccessary to buy this article - but i appreciate your intention :)
thanks !

bye, oli