The function of colour patches in sexual selection of a jumping spider siler semiglaucus
Date of Issue2017-05-11
School of Biological Sciences
Many animals have conspicuous colour and patterns, which are usually considered as sexually and/or naturally selected traits. Animal colouration has been extensively studied, but the colour patterns remain largely understudied. In this study, I investigated the role of colour patches in sexual selection of Siler semiglaucus, a small jumping spider holding acute vision and showing bright red and blue patches on its body. I first quantified the sexual dimorphism in spider dorsal abdomen colour patterns, and then manipulated male dorsal abdomen colour patterns by painting to test the effects of these colour patterns in female mate-choice and male-male competition of both Singapore and Yunnan (China) S.semiglaucus populations. Male dorsal abdomen colour patterns did not significantly affect female mate choice in both Singapore and Yunnan (China) S. semiglaucus populations, although males with larger red patch and lower red/blue contrast were more likely to attract female attention in the start of interaction. Certain male colour patterns but not body size determined male contest outcomes in Yunnan population: males with larger red patch and lower red/blue contrast won more often than males with smaller red patch and higher red/blue contrasts. However neither colour patterns nor body size affected male contest outcomes in Singapore population. My results suggest that male dorsal abdomen colour patterns may play an important role in intraspecific interaction, and this effect may vary with populations.
DRNTU::Science::Biological sciences::Zoology::Animal behavior
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University