Brevia

Sex-Specific UV and Fluorescence Signals in Jumping Spiders

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Science  26 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5811, pp. 481
DOI: 10.1126/science.1134254

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Abstract

No animals are known to possess both ultraviolet (UV) reflectance and fluorescence that are sex-specific. We provide evidence for this separation in the jumping spider Cosmophasis umbratica, which has UV reflectance and UV-induced green fluorescence restricted to males and females, respectively. During courtship, many of the studied pairs failed to show typical display posturing when UV light was blocked. Occluding the UV component of sunlight to only one of each pair also caused atypical behavior: Females showed no interest in non‐UV-reflective courting males, and males either ignored or were lackluster in courting nonfluorescing females. These results demonstrate the importance of both sex-specific hues as sexual signals for effective intraspecific communication.

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