Navigation Links
Feast or fancy? Black widows shake for love
Date:1/17/2014

A team of Simon Fraser University biologists has found that courting male black widow spiders shake their abdomens to produce carefully pitched vibrations and avoid potential attacks by females who otherwise may misinterpret the advances as the vibrations of prey.

The team's research has just been published in the open access journal Frontiers in Zoology.

The team of SFU graduate students Samantha Vibert and Catherine Scott, working with SFU biology professor Gerhard Gries, recorded the vibrations made by male black widow spiders (Latrodectus hesperus), hobo spiders (Tegenaria agrestis) and prey insects.

Scott explains: "The web functions as an extension of the spider's exquisitely tuned sensory system, allowing her to very quickly detect and respond to prey coming into contact with her silk.

"This presents prospective mates with a real challenge when they first arrive at a female's web: they need to signal their presence and desirability, without triggering the female's predatory response."

The researchers found that the courtship vibrations of both species differed from those of prey, but that the very low-amplitude vibratory signals produced when male black widows shake their abdomens were particularly distinctive. "These 'whispers' may help to avoid potential attacks from the females they are wooing," explains Scott.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marianne Meadahl
Marianne_Meadahl@sfu.ca
778-782-9017
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Lignin-feasting microbe holds promise for biofuels
2. Feast and famine on the abyssal plain
3. Bizarre bone worms emit acid to feast on whale skeletons
4. From feast to famine: A metabolic switch that may help diabetes treatment
5. Researcher finds way to identify aggressive cancers in black women
6. Scientists unearth secrets of Périgord truffles, the culinary black diamond
7. Black bears return to Missouri indicates healthy forests
8. Reversal of the black widow myth
9. Black carbon flowing from soil to oceans
10. Autism in black and white: NIH grant helps scientist study disorder in African Americans
11. Astronomer gets grant to better measure mysterious black holes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has ... Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on ... . In addition, CHS previously earned a place ... an electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS ... of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Kapstone Medical is proud to announce that it ... companies and inventors develop and safeguard their latest innovations. The company has grown ... portfolio of clients in the United States and around the world. , Company ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Kenall, a leader in sealed solid-state lighting, ... sealed and perform efficiently for years. The downlights are ideal for a variety ... such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; containment areas; food and pharmaceutical processing ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... Every year, millions of ... the antibody community have recently come together to address this antibody crisis and ... , The team at Thermo Fisher Scientific has arranged ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... August 11, 2017 , ... A staple in the community for more ... incorporate important key elements including a new digital marketing strategy and updated logo. , ... Bill Miller has partnered with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center for the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: