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Sci Rep:雄蜘蛛冒死求偶

来源:中国科学报 2013-12-24 19:22

小伙子,在下一次搭讪女士前,请首先为自己不会因没有打招呼就被对方吃掉而庆幸。

雄性织网蛛就没有这么幸运了:为了展开求偶行为,它必须冒着极大的风险走到雌性蜘蛛的网上,因为雌性蜘蛛很可能会错把它当作陷入网中的猎物,然后将它吞掉。科学家将这种鲁莽的行为称作“生殖性同类相食”。

为了避免被吃掉的命运,雄性蜘蛛在踏上蛛网后要做的第一件事就是来来回回快速地振动蛛网,发出鲜明的“求爱振动”。目前,一项研究确认这种振动往往决定着雄性蜘蛛的生死。

当研究者播放雄性蜘蛛的求爱振动时,雌性凯氏金蛛吃掉猎物前的等待时间明显比研究者播放白噪音和完全安静的状态要长很多,研究小组将这一发现发表于12月19日的《科学报告》上。

这一结果表明,振动能够向雌性蜘蛛传递信息,使它不要急于作出反应,这给了雄性蜘蛛一个机会去接近雌性蜘蛛,表明自己并非它的猎物。

但是,这段时间极为宝贵不容浪费——最后即使是发抖的蟋蟀,雌蜘蛛也会将它们吃掉,所以留给雄性蜘蛛交配的时间是非常有限的。(生物谷Bioon.com)

生物谷推荐的英文摘要

Scientific Reports              doi:10.1038/srep03557

Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders

Anne E. Wignall  & Marie E. Herberstein

During courtship, individuals transfer information about identity, mating status and quality. However, male web-building spiders face a significant problem: how to begin courting female spiders without being mistaken for prey? Male Argiope spiders generate distinctive courtship vibrations (shudders) when entering a female's web. We tested whether courtship shudders delay female predatory behaviour, even when live prey is present in the web. We presented a live cricket to females during playbacks of shudder vibrations, or white noise, and compared female responses to a control in which we presented a live cricket with no playback vibrations. Females were much slower to respond to crickets during playback of shudder vibrations. Shudder vibrations also delayed female predatory behaviour in a related spider species, showing that these vibrations do not simply function for species identity. These results suggest that male web-building spiders employ a phylogenetically conserved vibratory signal to ameliorate the risk of pre-copulatory cannibalism.

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