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Data from: Female preference for multi-modal courtship: multiple signals are important for male mating success in peacock spiders

Citation

Girard, Madeline B.; Elias, Damian O.; Kasumovic, Michael M. (2015), Data from: Female preference for multi-modal courtship: multiple signals are important for male mating success in peacock spiders, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9gr00

Abstract

A long-standing goal for biologists has been to understand how female preferences operate in systems where males have evolved numerous sexually-selected traits. Jumping spiders of the Maratus genus are exceptionally sexually dimorphic in appearance and signaling behavior. Presumably, strong sexual selection by females has played an important role in the evolution of complex signals displayed by males of this group, however, this has not yet been demonstrated. In fact, despite apparent widespread examples of sexual selection in nature, empirical evidence is relatively lacking, especially for species employing multiple modalities for intersexual communication. In order to elucidate whether female preference can explain the evolution of multi-modal signaling traits, we ran a series of mating trials using Maratus volans. We used video recordings and laser vibrometry to characterize, quantify and examine which male courtship traits predict various metrics of mating success. We found evidence for strong sexual selection on males in this system, with success contingent upon a combination of visual and vibratory displays. Additionally, independently produced, yet correlated suites of multi-modal male signals are linked to other aspects of female peacock spider behavior. Lastly, our data provide some support for both the redundant signal and multiple messages hypotheses for the evolution of multi-modal signaling.

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