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Data for: Intraspecific variation in responses to aposematic prey in a jumping spider (Phidippus regius)

Citation

Powell, Erin; Taylor, Lisa (2020), Data for: Intraspecific variation in responses to aposematic prey in a jumping spider (Phidippus regius), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cjsxksn48

Abstract

Aposematic signals often allow chemically defended prey to avoid attack from generalist predators, including jumping spiders. However, not all individual predators in a population behave in the same way. Here, in laboratory trials, we document that most individual Phidippus regius jumping spiders attack and reject chemically defended milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus), immediately releasing them unharmed. However, a small number of individuals within the population kill and completely consume these presumably toxic prey items. This phenomenon was infrequent with only 14% of our sample (17/122) consuming the milkweed bugs over the course of the study. Individuals that killed and consumed bugs often did so repeatedly; specifically, individuals that consumed a bug in their first test were more likely to kill a bug in their second test and also tended to consume them again. We explored what might drive some (but not all) individuals to consume these bugs and found that neither sex, sexual maturity, body size, laboratory housing type, nor being wild‐caught or being laboratory‐reared, predicted milkweed bug consumption. Consuming bugs had no negative effects on spider mass or body condition; contrary to expectations, individuals that consumed milkweed bugs actually gained more body mass and increased in body condition. We discuss potential behavioural and physiological variation between individuals that may drive these rare behaviours and the implications for the evolution of prey defences.

Usage Notes

Find details about methods and statistical analyses in the manuscript text: Powell, E. & Taylor, L. (2020). Intraspecific variation in responses to aposematic prey in a jumping spider (Phidippus regius). Ethology

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS‐1557867

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS‐1831751