Cross-Modality Effects of Prey Odour During the Intraspecific Interactions of a Mosquito-Specialist Predator

Authors

  • Fiona R. Cross,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
    2. International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Mbita Point, Kenya
    • Correspondence

      Fiona R. Cross, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.

      E-mail: fiona.r.cross@gmail.com

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  • Robert R. Jackson

    1. School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
    2. International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Mbita Point, Kenya
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Abstract

One of the predictions from evolutionary game theory is that individuals will increase their willingness (i.e. become primed) to escalate aggression when they detect the presence of a limiting resource. Here, we test this prediction in the context of prey odour priming escalation decisions during vision-based encounters by Evarcha culicivora. This East African jumping spider (Salticidae) feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by actively choosing blood-carrying female mosquitoes as preferred prey. Unlike many salticid species, it also expresses pronounced mutual mate choice. As predicted, we show here that, in the presence of odour from their preferred prey, both sexes of Eculicivora escalate during vision-based same-sex encounters. This is further evidence that the odour of blood-carrying mosquitoes is salient to this salticid. For both sexes of Eculicivora, this particular prey may be a resource that matters in the context of intrasexual selection.

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