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Anim Behav. 1997 Oct;54(4):993-8.

The predatory response of a stalking spider, Plexippus paykulli, to camouflage and prey type

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


When approaching prey, a stalking predator should consider trade-offs between the probabilities of early detection (by the prey, before the strike), spontaneous departure (of prey, before the strike), prey escape (following the strike) and interference (by rivals or predators). In this study we tested the response of a jumping spider, Plexippus paykullito a background with two different camouflaging properties, and two different prey types (maggots versus adult house flies). Spiders jumped towards adult house flies from greater distances on a non-camouflaging background, but background colour had no effect on jumping distance when the prey were maggots. Spiders stalking both prey types approached more slowly when camouflaged. Our experiments suggest that jumping spiders may be responding to changes in the trade-off relationships between the probabilities of early detection, spontaneous departure, escape and interference.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

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