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Title: Pheromone-based female mate choice and its effect on reproductive investment in a spitting spider
Authors: Koh, T.H.
Seah, W.K.
Yap, L.-M.Y.L.
Li, D. 
Keywords: Chemical signal
Mate choice
Reproductive allocation
Spitting spider
Issue Date: Apr-2009
Citation: Koh, T.H., Seah, W.K., Yap, L.-M.Y.L., Li, D. (2009-04). Pheromone-based female mate choice and its effect on reproductive investment in a spitting spider. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63 (6) : 923-930. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Numerous studies have focused on whether organisms can signal or perceive pheromones and use chemical signals in species and mate recognition. Recently, there have been an increasing number of studies investigating whether pheromones are used in mate choice. Yet, little attention has been paid in exploring the effects of pheromone-based mate choice on reproductive investment. We first tested this hypothesis by providing virgin Scytodes sp. females with a choice between two virgin males in the presence of chemical signals alone and found strong evidence of an odor-based mate preference. We then examined the consequences of the odor-based mate choice by allowing female Scytodes sp. that had previously made an odor-only mate choice to mate with preferred and non-preferred males, respectively. We measured the success of copulation, mortality of male, pre-oviposition interval, egg-sac weight, egg weight, fecundity, fertility, embryonic period, and size of offspring at hatching. Females that mated with the preferred males produced significantly heavier egg sacs that contained more and larger eggs with a greater fertility. Significantly more non-preferred males than preferred males were killed by spitting. However, pre-oviposition interval, embryonic period, and hatchling size were not affected by female mate choice. This study is the first to demonstrate that female spiders are able to regulate their highly valuable reproductive investment based solely on chemical signals. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
Source Title: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
ISSN: 03405443
DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0735-4
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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