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Data from: Risk assessment and the use of novel shortcuts in spatial detouring tasks in jumping spiders

Citation

Aguilar-Argüello, Samuel; Gerhard, Daniel; Nelson, Ximena (2019), Data from: Risk assessment and the use of novel shortcuts in spatial detouring tasks in jumping spiders, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5f7f6pb

Abstract

Selection on individuals that incorporate risk to quickly and accurately make a priori navigational assessments may lead to increased spatial ability. Jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) are characterized by their highly acute vision, which mediates many behaviors, including prey capture and navigation. When moving to a specific goal (prey, nest, a potential mate, etc.), salticids rely on visual cues and spatial memory to orient in three-dimensional space. Salticid spatial ability has been studied in homing and detour tasks, with Portia being considered one of the most skillful genera in terms of spatial ability in the family. Commonly living in complex environments, salticids are likely to encounter a wide variety of routes that could lead to a goal, and, as selection favors individuals that can accurately make assessments, they may be able to assess alternative route distances to select the most efficient route. Here, we tested whether two salticid species (Portia fimbriata and Trite planiceps) can discriminate and assess between different available routes by their length, and riskiness to escape from a stressful scenario. Results suggest that while Portia is more likely to choose the easiest and shortest escape routes, Trite is faster in both decision-making about which route to take, and to escape. However, some individuals were able to use novel shortcuts instead of the routes expected, with Portia containing a higher proportion of shortcut-takers than Trite. These differences in spatial ability seem to correspond with the environmental complexity inhabited by each species.

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