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Perception of ultraviolet light by crab spiders and its role in selection of hunting sites

Bhaskara, Ramachandra M and Brijesh, CM and Ahmed, Saveer and Borges, Renee M (2009) Perception of ultraviolet light by crab spiders and its role in selection of hunting sites. In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 195 (4). pp. 409-417.

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The perception of ultraviolet (UV) light by spiders has so far been only demonstrated in salticids. Crab spiders (Thomisidae) hunt mostly on flowers and need to find appropriate hunting sites. Previous studies have shown that some crab spiders that reflect UV light use UV contrast to enhance prey capture. The high UV contrast can be obtained either by modulation of body colouration or active selection of appropriate backgrounds for foraging. We show that crab spiders (Thomisus sp.)hunting on Spathiphyllum plants use chromatic contrast, especially UV contrast, to make themselves attractive to hymenopteran prey. Apart from that, they are able to achieve high UV contrast by active selection of non-UV reflecting surfaces when given a choice of UV-reflecting and non-UV reflecting surfaces in the absence of odour cues. Honeybees (Apis cerana) approached Spathiphyllum plants bearing crab spiders on which the spiders were high UV-contrast targets with greater frequency than those plants on which the UV-contrast of the spiders was low. Thus, crab spiders can perceive UV and may use it to choose appropriate backgrounds to enhance prey capture, by exploiting the attraction of prey such as honeybees to UV.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer Publisher.
Keywords: Chromatic contrast; Sensory ecology; Sensory exploitation; Sensory trap; Visual ecology
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2009 06:28
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:30
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/19879

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