David L. Clark, Ph.D.
Clark, D.L. and C. Morjan. "Attracting female attention: the evolution of dimorphic courtship displays in the jumping spider, Maevia inclemens (Araneae: Salticidae)." Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 2001. 268. 2461-2465.
ABSTRACT. Males of the dimorphic jumping (Maevia inclemens) differ in both morphology and courtship display (= phase I). The tufted morph stilts and waves from an average distance of 9 cm, whereas the gray morph crouches and sidles from an average distance of 3 cm from the female. The objective was to determine the significance of the different courtship displays using computer-animated versions of males performing phase I courtship in a Y-maze, where first male movement and the distance of the stimulus was controlled. Females selected the first male that they oriented to at the close distance of 4 cm, and at the far distance of 16 cm. However, there was no preference for the first male at the intermediate distance of 8 cm or the farthest distance of 24 cm. Additionally, males have morph-specific advantages regarding the time it takes to attract female attention. At 4 and 8 cm, gray males attracted female attention in less time than tufted males. However, at 16 cm, tufted males attracted female attention in less time than gray males. These results suggest a mechanism for the evolution of two different courtship displays where each morph has an advantage at different distances from the female.