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Analyzing jumping spider responses to static visual predator objects

Nielsen, Ryen Parker
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Detection of a present predator is critical for prey survival, but prey cannot remain constantly vigilant without suffering fitness costs. To reduce the costs of vigilance, prey species use different cues to determine if another animal is a predator.  We wished to determine whether or not Pelegrina helenae would respond to digital images of Phidippus audax as predators and whether the size of an image played a role in predator recognition response. P. helenae were placed in a plastic enclosure facing an iPhone X and shown an image of either P. audax or a ladybug and trials were recorded using a GoPro Hero 7. A second experiment was then performed where spiders were shown the same stimuli, but all ladybug stimuli had been increased to match the size of the P. audax stimuli. The presence of a Phidippus audax stimulus on screen significantly increased the vigilance duration of Pelegrina helenae which indicates that there is some specific visual predator cue that P. helenae is using to identify P. audax as a predator. Size on an image was not significant in the global model, but in the artificial size model, the vigilance duration between P. audax and the ladybug stimulus was not significantly different, indicating that size does play some role in predation risk, but not a large enough role to override specific predator cues.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Keywords
Jumping spiders , predation , lab study , Predator cues , Pelegrina helenae , vigilance , Phidippus audax , predator detection
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