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Data from: Complex male mate choice in the brush-legged wolf spider Schizocosa ocreata (Hentz)

Cite this dataset

Meyer, Timothy B.; Uetz, George W. (2018). Data from: Complex male mate choice in the brush-legged wolf spider Schizocosa ocreata (Hentz) [Dataset]. Dryad.


Recent interest in male mate choice has prompted a re-examination of widely held beliefs regarding sex roles in animal mating systems. It is now known that males can be choosy based on female quality, but studies which directly compare aspects of female quality and their influence on male mate choice are relatively rare. The brush-legged wolf spider Schizocosa ocreata (Hentz) has a well-studied male courtship display, which shows evidence of male mate choice based on female mating history and foraging history, as well as possible effects of experience and rearing environment. This makes it an excellent system to compare the importance of these two female states and examine how the choice patterns they give rise to may be influenced by the environment. By examining male courtship and female behavior under different circumstances and across environmental experience conditions, the relative effects of these factors can be inferred. Evidence collected in this study suggests that female mating status is the dominant predictor of mate choice, with males generally courting virgin females more vigorously regardless of context, as well as females showing higher levels of receptivity when unmated. An important exception to this trend is seen in field-reared males and their female partners, who show less behavioral differences based on female state, suggesting that this preference is not static and may be influenced by experience.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1026995