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Data from: Transformational mimicry in a myrmecomorphic spider

Citation

Pekar, Stano; Tsai, Yunyun; Radek, Michalko (2020), Data from: Transformational mimicry in a myrmecomorphic spider, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sqv9s4n10

Abstract

Species which are Batesian mimics during post-embryonic development shift between mimetic models as they grow in size. However, it has not yet been tested whether these successive mimetic phenotypes are similarly protected from predators. Early instar phenotypes could represent an inaccurate phenotype or an accurate phenotype because of selection from different predators. Here, we tested the hypotheses of transformational Batesian mimicry in the ant-mimicking jumping spider Leptochestes berolinensis . We quantified the mimetic accuracy of different ontogenetic stages to potential ant models by using an multi-trait approach. We measured movement, body profile, body size, and colouration. Analysis revealed adults to be more accurate mimics than juveniles. Adults were similar to smaller morphs of Camponotus or Lasius ants, whereas juveniles were more similar to Lasius and Colobopsis ants. We tested whether predators, mantises and Pisaura spiders, were deceived by mimics after having experience with ant models. These predators never captured any ant or a mimic, but always captured the non-myrmecomorphic spider. We conclude that Leptorchestes berolinensis is a Batesian mimic of ants undergoing transformational mimicry with all stages being accurate mimics.

Methods

Measurements from images and of body reflectance by spectrofotometer.