Consequences of sexual selection on feeding in male jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae)


  • Simon D. Pollard

    1. Department of Entomology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E3
    Search for more papers by this author
    • *Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 1, New Zealand


The chelicerae of male Myrmarachne plataleoides, a salticid spider from Sri Lanka, are about five times the length of those of conspecific females. Intrasexual selection is thought to account for this structural dimorphism. The elongation of the male's chelicerae has resulted in morphological and behavioural differences in the feeding process of males and females. Males, unlike females, lack a fang duct and cannot envenom prey. During feeding, males use their fangs to skewer prey. The prey's contents are extracted from the holes in its cuticle where the spider's fangs protrude through the prey near the spider's mouth.