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30 September 2020 A characterization of social interactions across age and sex in the amblypygid Paraphrynus laevifrons
Tyler B. Corey, Eileen A. Hebets
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Although our basic knowledge regarding the natural history of amblypygids (commonly called whip spiders; Order: Amblypygi) is expanding, there is much about these mysterious animals that remains unknown and unexplored. In particular, we know relatively little about social interactions and potential communication displays within and across sexes, despite observed variation in species studied to date. To acquire basic knowledge about amblypygid communication, we quantified the behavior of juvenile and adult Paraphrynus laevifrons (Pocock, 1894) across social interaction types. Specifically, we staged the following adult interaction types – male-female, female-female, and male-male - as well as juvenile-juvenile interactions. Adults performed an array of behavior during social interactions. Some of the observed behaviors are similar to those reported in other species, while others we describe here de novo. Across adult social interaction types, we found no significant differences in social interaction duration nor escalation. Adult social interactions were more likely to escalate to pedipalp grappling the larger the size of the interacting pair. Juveniles rarely engaged in social interactions, and those that did occur were shorter than adult social interactions; juvenile social interactions never escalated beyond antenniform leg touching, a behavior associated with examining an individual's surroundings. We discuss the behavioral repertoire of social interactions in P. laevifrons in relation to what is known from other amblypygid species.

Tyler B. Corey and Eileen A. Hebets "A characterization of social interactions across age and sex in the amblypygid Paraphrynus laevifrons," The Journal of Arachnology 48(2), 146-154, (30 September 2020).
Received: 15 August 2019; Published: 30 September 2020
behavioral ecology
social behavior
whip spider
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