Poster: The Influence of Intraspecific Density on Male Courtship and Copulatory Behavior in the Fishing Spider Dolometes triton
Mojirayo Sarumi, Towson University; Dr. Nanct Kreiter, College of Notre Dame of Maryland

Male-male interactions in fishing spiders can be important to the mating system of Dolomedes triton but there is little information documented concerning this type of interaction. However, field researchers have observed multiple males encircling a newly molted female for the purpose of mating with her. The purpose for this experiment was to observe interactions between males in the presence and absence of female spiders. Specifically, this experiment compared male behavior between the following conditions: 1) in the presence of males and absence of females, 2) in the presence of females and absence of males, and 3) the absence of both males and females. The intensity, frequency and duration of courtship behavior, including, jerks, taps and silk following, were measured. Males were significantly more likely to exhibit these courtship behaviors in the presence of females. The presence of other males appeared to interfere with effective courtship of the female, and males were less likely to approach females when other males are present. Females however, may benefit from the presence of multiple males.


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