Jumping spiders (Salticidae) are known for having good eyesight, but the extent to which they also rely on olfaction is poorly understood. We report here new information on the olfactory abilities of the salticid genus Portia. We investigated for the first time the ability of adult males and females of four Portia species (P. africana, P. schultzi, P. fimbriata and P. labiata) to discriminate between mate and non-mate odor. In a Y-shape olfactometer, males of all four species chose the odor from an opposite-sex conspecific significantly more often than they chose a no-odor control, but the number of males that chose the odor from an opposite-sex heterospecific or the odor from a same-sex conspecific was not significantly different from the number of males that chose the control. The number of female test spiders that chose the odor from an opposite-sex conspecific or the odor from a same-sex conspecific was not significantly different from the number of females that chose the control. The implications of these findings for understanding Portia's mating system are discussed.
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