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Ant-mimicking spider, Myrmarachne species (Araneae : Salticidae), distinguishes its model, the green ant, Oecophylla smaragdina , from a sympatric Batesian O. smaragdina mimic, Riptortus serripes (Hemiptera : Alydidae)

Ant-mimicking spider, Myrmarachne species (Araneae : Salticidae), distinguishes its model, the... In north Queensland, Australia, the alydid bug Riptortus serripes and the undescribed salticid spider Myrmarachne sp. F are co-occurring visual Batesian mimics of the green tree ant Oecophylla smaragdina. Myrmarachne sp. F lives near ant nests and avoids contact with aggressive worker ants, suggesting that, like other salticids, it can distinguish visually between prey, mates and rivals. An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that Myrmarachne sp. F can distinguish O. smaragdina from its visual mimic, R. serripes . Individual spiders were exposed to individuals of O. smaragdina , R. serripes or a control hemipteran and their interactions video-recorded. For each encounter, the animals’ initial motion and distance apart were recorded, and the spider’s response was categorised. These experiments revealed that Myrmarachne sp. F responded differently to the various species, ‘avoiding’ the ant more frequently than the bug. Further tests are needed to determine whether the spider’s differing reactions to the two species are due to visual or other cues. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian Journal of Zoology CSIRO Publishing

Ant-mimicking spider, Myrmarachne species (Araneae : Salticidae), distinguishes its model, the green ant, Oecophylla smaragdina , from a sympatric Batesian O. smaragdina mimic, Riptortus serripes (Hemiptera : Alydidae)

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Publisher
CSIRO Publishing
Copyright
CSIRO
ISSN
0004-959X
eISSN
1446-5698
DOI
10.1071/ZO08014
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In north Queensland, Australia, the alydid bug Riptortus serripes and the undescribed salticid spider Myrmarachne sp. F are co-occurring visual Batesian mimics of the green tree ant Oecophylla smaragdina. Myrmarachne sp. F lives near ant nests and avoids contact with aggressive worker ants, suggesting that, like other salticids, it can distinguish visually between prey, mates and rivals. An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that Myrmarachne sp. F can distinguish O. smaragdina from its visual mimic, R. serripes . Individual spiders were exposed to individuals of O. smaragdina , R. serripes or a control hemipteran and their interactions video-recorded. For each encounter, the animals’ initial motion and distance apart were recorded, and the spider’s response was categorised. These experiments revealed that Myrmarachne sp. F responded differently to the various species, ‘avoiding’ the ant more frequently than the bug. Further tests are needed to determine whether the spider’s differing reactions to the two species are due to visual or other cues.

Journal

Australian Journal of ZoologyCSIRO Publishing

Published: Nov 12, 2009

Keywords: Batesian mimicry, behaviour, Hemiptera, Salticidae.

References