Multisensory Cues and Multimodal Communication in Spiders: Insights from Video/Audio Playback StudiesUetz G.W. · Roberts J.A.
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Spiders perceive the world using multiple sensory modes, including vibration, vision, and chemical senses, for prey detection and communication. These sensory modes are used in many communication contexts, either individually or in multimodal signaling. Selection for effective signaler-receiver communication and species discrimination is especially strong for these predatory and potentially cannibalistic arthropods, resulting in the evolution of considerable diversity in signaling behaviors. In this paper, we review sensory mechanisms involved in spider signaling and present an overview of recent work done on wolf spiders (Lycosidae) that use multimodal communication (simultaneous visual and vibratory signals) in sexual signals during courtship. The relative importance of visual and vibratory signaling modes, and the use of multiple modes varies among closely related species in the genus Schizocosa, providing a model system for investigating multisensory guidance of complex behavior. Here we examine previous and current research on responses of female spiders to components of male courtship behavior, using several experimental techniques including cue isolation (single sensory modes), video/audio digitization and playback, and cue-conflict (mixed conspecific/heterospecific components) to tease apart elements of multimodal signaling.
George W. Uetz
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati
P.O. Box 210006
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006 (USA)
Tel. +1 513 556 9752, Fax +1 513 556 5299, E-Mail George.Uetz@uc.edu
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 4, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 71
Brain, Behavior and Evolution
Founded 1968 and continued 1968–1986 by W. Riss, New York, N.Y.
Official Organ of the J.B. Johnston Club
Vol. 59, No. 4, Year 2002 (Cover Date: 2002)
Journal Editor: Walter Wilczynski, Austin, Tex.
ISSN: 0006–8977 (print), 1421–9743 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/bbe