Data from: Correlated evolution between colouration and ambush site in predators with visual prey lures
Gawryszewski, Felipe Malheiros et al. (2017), Data from: Correlated evolution between colouration and ambush site in predators with visual prey lures, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8567b
The evolution of a visual signal will be affected by signaller and receiver behaviour, and by the physical properties of the environment where the signal is displayed. Crab spiders are typical sit-and-wait predators found in diverse ambush sites, such as tree bark, foliage and flowers. Some of the flower-dweller species present a UV+-white visual lure that makes them conspicuous and attractive to their prey. We hypothesised that UV+-white colouration was associated with the evolution of a flower-dwelling habit. In addition, following up on results from a previous study we tested whether the UV+-white colouration evolved predominantly in flower-dwelling species occurring in Australia. We measured the reflectance of 1149 specimens from 66 species collected in Australia and Europe, reconstructed a crab spider phylogeny, and applied phylogenetic comparative methods to test our hypotheses. We found that the flower-dwelling habit evolved independently multiple times, and that this trait was correlated with the evolution of the UV+-white colouration. However, outside Australia non-flower-dwelling crab spiders also express a UV+-white colouration. Therefore, UV+-white reflectance is probably a recurring adaptation of some flower-dwellers for attracting pollinators, although it may have other functions in non-flower-dwellers, such as camouflage.
National Science Foundation, Award: No