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Whole-organism performance in a jumping spider, Servaea incana (Araneae: Salticidae): links with morphology and between performance traits



Studies of whole-organism performance are central to understanding the links between animal behaviour, morphology, and fitness. Invertebrates have been popular models for studies of behaviour, although there have been few detailed studies of their whole-organism performance, links between performance and morphology, or trade-offs amongst different performance dimensions. In the present study, we investigate four facets of whole-organism performance (running speed, climbing speed, endurance, and pulling force) in males of a jumping spider (Servaea incana). We consider links between these performance traits and their association with three morphological measures expected to influence maximum performance capacity: body size, relative leg length, and relative body mass (condition). Running speed, climbing speed, and pulling force were all positively related, suggesting that selection for one may positively effect all. By contrast, endurance capacity decreased with running and climbing speed, suggesting an evolutionary trade-off. Associations amongst performance measures cannot be explained solely as correlates of morphology: large size was associated with greater running speed, climbing speed, and pulling force but not with endurance; relative leg length was associated with pulling force but not other performance traits; relative mass was associated with climbing speed and endurance but not running speed or pulling force. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2013, 110, 644–657.