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Chemical data of Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders

Citation

Adams, Seira (2022), Chemical data of Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6078/D1CB04

Abstract

The mechanisms by which rapid reproductive isolation is attained and the relative role sexual signals play in the process has received much discussion. Yet it is still unclear how reproductive isolation can be attained so rapidly especially in systems with no obvious visual nor auditory signals at play. In this study we explore the use of chemical signals in the species recognition and adaptive radiation of Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders by conducting behavioral assays and analyzing the chemicals found on their silks using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. We found that male spiders significantly preferred the chemical of conspecific mates, and these chemicals were remarkably species-specific in the combination of various methyl ethers. The differences were greatest between co-occurring species and between closely related sister species. These findings provide key insights into the role chemical cues play in the rapid divergence of species and the maintenance of reproductive barriers between recently diverged species.

Funding

National Science Foundation