Insights to the mating strategies of Habronattus americanus jumping spiders from natural behaviour and staged interactions in the wild

In: Behaviour
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  • 1 Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, 4200-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
  • | 2 Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, 3529-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4

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We documented natural behaviour and staged intersexual interactions of Habronattus americanus jumping spiders in the wild in order to clarify three aspects of their mating strategies: (1) Do males invest more than females in locomotory mate search? (2) Do females exert strong mate choice? (3) Do direct contests occur among males? Males apparently invested heavily in mate search, travelling more than females yet eating nothing. Conversely, females frequently hunted and spent 10% of their time feeding. Females encountered one male per hour, likely affording them a high degree of choice among prospective mates. Accordingly, they promoted the termination of each interaction and ultimately rejected nearly all courting males. Male–male interactions were brief and did not feature direct antagonism. Our findings suggest that mate competition in H. americanus is characterized by male scramble competition for dispersed females, and that female mate choice may exert strong selection on male sexual display traits.

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