Multi-Modal Courtship in the Peacock Spider, Maratus volans (O.P.-Cambridge, 1874)
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0025390
The peacock spider, Maratus volans, has one of the most elaborate courtship displays in arthropods. Using regular and high-speed video segments captured in the lab, we provide detailed descriptions of complete male courtship dances. As research on jumping spiders has demonstrated that males of some species produce vibrations concurrently with visual displays, we also used laser vibrometry to uncover such elements for this species. Our recordings reveal and describe for the first time, that M. volans males use vibratory signals in addition to complex body ornaments and motion displays. The peacock spider and other closely related species are outstanding study organisms for testing hypotheses about the evolution and functional significance of complex displays, thus, this descriptive study establishes a new model system for behavioral ecology, one that certainly stands to make important contributions to the field.