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30 September 2020 Empty nuptial gifts: a further step in the evolution of deception in spiders?
Mauro Martínez-Villar, Mariana Germil, Camila Pavón-Peláez, Luiz Ernesto Costa-Schmidt, Maria J Albo
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Abstract

In the spider families Trechaleidae and Pisauridae, males offer nuptial gifts to females during courtship. Nutritive gifts contain recently caught prey wrapped in silk, while worthless gifts contain prey leftovers or plant parts. The presence of wrapped gifts is known in three out of 16 genera (Paratrechalea Carico, 2005, Trechalea Thorell, 1869 and Trechaleoides Carico, 2005) in Trechaleidae, suggesting that this sexual trait is of widespread occurrence in the family. Here, we report the presence of wrapped nuptial gifts in the genus Paradossenus F.O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1903. Males of P. longipes (Taczanowski, 1874) produce prey-gifts following the same sequence of behavioral units as described for other species of the family. More surprisingly, these males may also produce empty gifts consisting of a silken structure lacking contents. This is the first record of empty nuptial gifts in spiders. This novel male tactic may have evolved from worthless gifts as a further step in the evolution of deception in gift-giving spiders.

Mauro Martínez-Villar, Mariana Germil, Camila Pavón-Peláez, Luiz Ernesto Costa-Schmidt, and Maria J Albo "Empty nuptial gifts: a further step in the evolution of deception in spiders?," The Journal of Arachnology 48(2), 214-217, (30 September 2020). https://doi.org/10.1636/0161-8202-48.2.214
Received: 17 April 2019; Published: 30 September 2020
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KEYWORDS
alternative reproductive tactics
gift-giving behavior
Paradossenus longipes
sexual selection
Trechaleidae
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