Dim-light vision in jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae): identification of prey and rivals.


School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand [Email]


Jumping spiders (family Salticidae) are known for their intricate vision-based behavior during encounters with prey and conspecific individuals. This is achieved using eyes specialized for discerning fine detail, but there has been minimal research on the capacity that salticids might have for visual performance under low ambient light levels. Here, we investigated the capacity of two salticid species, Cyrba algerina from Portugal and Cyrbaocellata from Kenya, to perform two specific visual tasks under low ambient light levels. We used lures made from spiders and midges in prey-identification experiments and mirror images (virtual conspecifics) in rival-identification experiments. These experiments were implemented under a range of ambient light levels (234, 1.35, 0.54, 0.24 cd m-2). In most instances, Calgerina and Cocellata were proficient at performing both of these visual tasks when ambient light was 234 and 1.35 cd m-2, and a minority performed these tasks at 0.54 cd m-2, but none succeeded when the light level was 0.24 cd m-2Cyrbaalgerina and C. ocellata showed vision-based discrimination under low ambient light levels previously associated with nocturnal species.


Camera eyes,Intraspecific-display behavior,Prey-choice behavior,Spartaeinae,Spatial acuity,Visual sensitivity,

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