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23 February 2021 Male chemotactile cues are not attractive advertisements to Pardosa milvina (Araneae: Lycosidae) females in search of mates
Michael T. Stanley, Ann L. Rypstra
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Females use a variety of physical and behavioral features to locate potential mates and assess their quality. These male signals can be transmitted across one or multiple signaling modalities and, recently, the roles of silk-related signaling by males has received more attention. In the wolf spider, Pardosa milvina (Hentz, 1844), males use a visual courtship display to attract female attention and encourage sexual receptivity. We hypothesized that male chemotactile cues, including silk, feces, excretions and secretions, help females find prospective mates. We also suspected that females could use those cues to discriminate between males that differed in body condition. We monitored female reactions to isolated male chemotactile cues and to those same cues combined with visual signals provided by a sequestered male. Females did not change their activity in the presence of isolated male chemotactile cues. When males were included in the design, we verified that the courtship display was key to attracting the females and that males in good condition performed with more intensity. Surprisingly, the presence of male chemotactile cues repelled females; females approached males less often and tended to spend less time near courting males. This research verified that the visually conspicuous male courtship displays are condition-dependent and important in attracting a female. The chemotactile cues that were produced by isolated males caused females to move away from courting males, thus it is likely that any communication through chemical or tactile modalities is a more specific and individualized dialog that occurs during each courtship exchange.

Michael T. Stanley and Ann L. Rypstra "Male chemotactile cues are not attractive advertisements to Pardosa milvina (Araneae: Lycosidae) females in search of mates," The Journal of Arachnology 48(3), 233-241, (23 February 2021).
Received: 12 July 2019; Published: 23 February 2021
body condition
chemical cues
mate choice
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