Spider Communication

Spider Communication: Mechanisms and Ecological Significance

Peter N. Witt
Jerome S. Rovner
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 452
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zv8f5
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  • Book Info
    Spider Communication
    Book Description:

    Concentrating on the complex spider communication system, this book assembles the most recent multidisciplinary advances of leading researchers from many countries to assess the peculiar role spiders play in the animal kingdom.

    Originally published in 1982.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5751-7
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-2)
  3. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION: COMMUNICATION IN SPIDERS
    (pp. 3-14)
    Peter N. Witt

    Most of the authors of this book were invited by me to come together as part of the International Meeting sponsored by the American Arachnological Society in the summer of 1978 in Gainesville, Florida. They agreed to discuss their work as it contributed to our knowledge about communication in spiders. I conceived the plan for the book at the symposium and thus became its senior editor. At a later date I asked Jerome Rovner to join me in the editorial work, and we bear together the responsibility for the present list of contributors and the present shape. The final version...

  4. Chapter 2 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND COMPLEXITY OF COMMUNICATION IN SPIDERS
    (pp. 15-66)
    Bertrand Krafft

    “Biological communication can be defined as actions on the part of one organism that alter the probability pattern of behavior in another organism in an adaptive fashion” (E. O. Wilson, 1971). This very broad definition of communication, which goes beyond the usage of many authors restricting communication to intraspecific interactions, allows the inclusion of signal exchanges between animals of different species such as occur in commensalism.

    Communication is typically an exchange of information in the form of direct interactions. Animal A sends a signal toward animal B. The latter responds by a behavior modification that constitutes a signal acting in...

  5. Chapter 3 SPIDERS AND VIBRATORY SIGNALS: SENSORY RECEPTION AND BEHAVIORAL SIGNIFICANCE
    (pp. 67-122)
    Friedrich G. Barth

    The outstanding importance of vibratory signals in spider behavior has been known for a long time, and much energy has been devoted to observations confirming this again and again. The field is large. All sorts of vibrations are relevant. Most obvious are the ones generated in the spider web and transmitted by it. Since the web is one of the distinctive features of this animal group, it deserves particular attention (Witt, 1975). Vibrations in more solid substrates such as plant leaves and wooden stems have generated much less interest. For some spiders even vibrations of the water surface carry information,...

  6. Chapter 4 ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION AND REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION IN SPIDERS
    (pp. 123-160)
    George W. Uetz and Gail E. Stratton

    Many arthropods communicate with each other using sounds. The chirping of crickets or the buzzing of cicadas readily come to mind as examples of arthropod sound production. Much interesting research has been done on the sounds produced by crickets, locusts, katydids, grasshoppers, and other members of the arthropod class Insecta. Since it is our intent to consider acoustic communication in spiders and not insects, we will refer all those interested to other sources (Busnel, 1963; Sebeok, 1977; Walker, 1964). It would appear that sound production is more or less common in all the major arthropod classes, including the Diplopoda and...

  7. Chapter 5 VISUAL COMMUNICATION IN JUMPING SPIDERS (SALTICIDAE)
    (pp. 161-212)
    Lyn Forster

    One of the most elegant examples of visual communication in invertebrates is the display behavior of the jumping spiders. These sometimes brightly colored and distinctively patterned spiders have been renowned for their spectacular courtship displays ever since the Peckhams (1889, 1890, 1894) first drew attention to them. Indeed, it was the Peckhams who originally proposed a communicatory role for such behavior, arguing that the fine eyesight of these spiders permitted them to observe each other very closely and in particular, enabled the females to appraise the relative attractiveness of male suitors and so select a suitable mate.

    Although successive workers...

  8. Chapter 6 THE BEHAVIOR OF COMMUNICATING IN JUMPING SPIDERS (SALTICIDAE)
    (pp. 213-248)
    Robert R. Jackson

    If it is proper to judge animals on a scale of beauty and elegance, the Salticidae must surely be rivaled by few other groups of animals. Often they are ornamented with colors ranging from brilliant red, yellow, and orange to metallic green and iridescent blue. Their faces may be decorated with pigmented scales, their palps clothed with snow-white setae, and their heads fringed with multicolored hairs, to name but a few variations.

    Male salticids tend to be more extravagantly marked than the females, and mating is usually preceded by a courtship in which the male postures and prances in front...

  9. Chapter 7 CHEMICAL COMMUNICATION IN LYCOSIDS AND OTHER SPIDERS
    (pp. 249-280)
    William J. Tietjen and Jerome S. Rovner

    Most animals communicate with other members of their species at some time during their life-cycle. Among the social animals, communication may be more or less continuous, while solitary animals may communicate only during sexual and agonistic encounters. E. O. Wilson (1975) defined communication as “. . . action on the part of one organism (or cell) that alters the probability pattern in another organism (or cell) in a fashion adaptive to either or both participants.” Implicit in this definition is the requirement that at least two animals communicate (the sender and receiver) and that a message having meaning is emitted...

  10. Chapter 8 SPIDER INTERACTION STRATEGIES: COMMUNICATION VS. COERCION
    (pp. 281-316)
    Susan E. Riechert

    Communication can be defined as the conveyance of information from one organism to others. The recipients may utilize this information in determining the behavioral state of the communicator and in choosing an appropriate behavior for themselves. General discussions of the mechanics of communication and its properties are available from Burghardt (1970), Smith (1977), and Marler (1977).

    Here I am most interested, however, in the use of communication by animals involved in conflict situations—specifically in competition for limited resources. In such cases the inverse of communication is coercion, wherein “force” replaces “encouragement.” By virtue of its indirect operation, communication in...

  11. Chapter 9 SOCIAL SPACING STRATEGIES IN SPIDERS
    (pp. 317-352)
    J. Wesley Burgess and George W. Uetz

    Spatial patterns can be contagious. That is, after one becomes aware of interindividual distances, orientation, and movement as group processes, many new faces of group behavior come into view. Not only spiders, in their daily struggles to eat and reproduce, but also a new litter of puppies, a monkey colony at the zoo, or school children in their playground become the source of exciting new examples of group spacing responses all around us. Spiders, puppies, monkeys, and children all have in common the need to secure space to live in; it is the overall species patterns of dividing available space...

  12. Chapter 10 SPIDER FORAGING: BEHAVIORAL RESPONSES TO PREY
    (pp. 353-386)
    Susan E. Riechert and Jadwiga Łuczak

    “Communication in the fullest sense implies evolutionary specialization of a mutualistic, cooperative nature . . .” (Marler, 1977). And yet animals are constantly gathering and exchanging information from and with their competitors, predators, and prey. In doing so, they utilize the same vibratory, visual, and chemical cues that are used in social interactions. This chapter deals in part with the degree to which spiders exploit visual, vibratory, and chemical stimuli produced by potential prey either as intended or illegitimate receivers. The information utilized by spiders at different levels of the predator-prey interaction will also be discussed with emphasis placed on...

  13. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 387-392)
    Jerome S. Rovner

    In the spider, evolution has produced a predator no less interesting than any of the large, carnivorous mammals which attract much attention from laymen and biologists alike. But due to problems of scale, we do not as easily explore the spider’s world nor, due to differences in sensory systems, do we readily enter its Umwelt. However, as the various authors in this book show us, it is well worth the extra effort needed to make the transition in perspective that permits analyses of the systems associated with behavior in the spider, particularly those involved in communication.

    We find that various...

  14. LITERATURE CITED
    (pp. 393-432)
  15. TAXONOMIC INDEX
    (pp. 433-436)
  16. SUBJECT INDEX
    (pp. 437-440)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 441-441)