Data from: The role of male coloration and ornamentation in potential alternative mating strategies of the dimorphic jumping spider, Maevia inclemens
Lietzenmayer, Laurel B.; Clark, David L.; Taylor, Lisa A. (2019), Data from: The role of male coloration and ornamentation in potential alternative mating strategies of the dimorphic jumping spider, Maevia inclemens, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bb8kv5f
Polymorphism can arise across taxa due to various selection pressures and potentially lead to alternative mating or antipredator strategies. For male jumping spiders, sexual selection and predation risk are often intertwined when courting cannibalistic females and may be a driving factor in the polymorphism of the jumping spider, Maevia inclemens. The dimorphic males of M. inclemens differ dramatically in their complex courtship behavior and display traits that may function as alternative mating strategies to reduce female aggression and maximize mating success. We hypothesized that males of the “tufted” morph honestly communicate condition or body size to females with three conspicuous tufts of setae on their head and males of the “striped” morph reduce female aggression with coloration commonly found in aposematic animals (here, yellow-orange pedipalps and striped legs). We examined correlations between tuft length and symmetry and metrics of body size and condition in field-collected spiders and conducted prey color choice tests (with live color-manipulated prey) to determine if yellow-orange and striped prey are avoided. Tuft length was variable and correlated with male size (but not condition). All prey color types were attacked at equal rates, but spiders oriented to striped prey more often, suggesting that male stripes may attract female attention without increasing predation. This study provides insight into the potential functions of the different courtship and visual displays of M. inclemens males. Using jumping spiders to study polymorphism can provide new insight into how multiple morphs can evolve, as males use mating strategies not only to impress females but also avoid getting eaten by their potential mates.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1557867