Adult females of the wolf spider Pardosa milvina (Hentz 1844) are known to show adaptive antipredator responses in the presence of chemical cues (silk and excreta) from the larger co-occurring wolf spider Hogna helluo (Walckenaer 1837). We tested if the presence of H. helluo cues affected P. milvina spiderling dismounts from their mothers. Immediately after females opened their egg sacs, we counted offspring and placed spiderling-carrying females on one of three experimental substrates: 1) container previously occupied for 24 h by an adult conspecific female, 2) container previously occupied for 24 h by a juvenile H. helluo equal in mass to an adult P. milvina, or 3) a control container devoid of either cue. We then measured the proportion of spiderlings that dismounted from their mothers over a six-day period. Spiderling dismounts peaked by day three, after which spiderlings tended to return to their mother. During day one, significantly fewer spiderlings were dismounted from the mother in containers previously occupied by a juvenile H. helluo compared to other treatments. There was no significant difference in dismounts among treatments during days 2–6. Since spiderlings were maximally dismounted by day three, we suggest that spiderlings may tend to disperse into areas with fewer H. helluo.
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