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Pheromones exert top-down effects on visual recognition in the jumping spider Lyssomanes viridis

Tedore, Cynthia LU and Johnsen, Sönke (2013) In Journal of Experimental Biology 216(9). p.1744-1756
Abstract
In diverse and productive habitats, predaceous arthropods are expected to frequently encounter dangerous conspecifics and heterospecifics. This should make quick and accurate discriminations between species and sexes adaptive. By simultaneously sampling both visual cues and pheromones, and by utilizing stringent species- and sex-specific visual recognition templates, an individual should be able to increase both its speed and accuracy in making such discriminations. We tested for the use and stringency of visual recognition templates in the jumping spider Lyssomanes viridis by presenting males with animated images of conspecifics, heterospecifics and composite images that combined the facial coloration and morphology of one sex or species... (More)
In diverse and productive habitats, predaceous arthropods are expected to frequently encounter dangerous conspecifics and heterospecifics. This should make quick and accurate discriminations between species and sexes adaptive. By simultaneously sampling both visual cues and pheromones, and by utilizing stringent species- and sex-specific visual recognition templates, an individual should be able to increase both its speed and accuracy in making such discriminations. We tested for the use and stringency of visual recognition templates in the jumping spider Lyssomanes viridis by presenting males with animated images of conspecifics, heterospecifics and composite images that combined the facial coloration and morphology of one sex or species with the leg coloration of another. Males' courtship versus threat displays indicated whether a stimulus was perceived as a potential mate or a threat. By comparing males' visual inspection times of, and display types towards, the various images in the presence versus absence of female pheromones, we were able to deduce whether males tend to inspect a subset of the color pattern and morphological features that make up their conspecific recognition templates (i.e. those on just the face or just the legs), or all features, and whether this changes in the presence of pheromones. We found that the male recognition template for conspecific female was surprisingly coarse, whereas the recognition template for conspecific male, and especially the male face, was more specific. Pheromones hastened the recognition of images with coloration and morphology closely matching those of conspecifics, presumably by activating conspecific visual recognition templates. When males were presented with an image that was, overall, a poor match to a conspecific female, but that contained a subset of female or female-like features, female pheromones usually did not hasten recognition, but did increase the likelihood that the image would be identified as a female. Taken together, our data suggest that males examined features on both the face and the legs in both the presence and absence of pheromones, and that female pheromones tipped the balance in favor of a female identification when a male was unsure how to categorize an incongruous set of visual features. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Pheromones/*pharmacology, Motor Activity/*drug effects, Male, Female, Cues, Courtship, Color, Agonistic Behavior/drug effects, Animals, Sexual Behavior, Animal/drug effects, Spiders/drug effects/*physiology, Time Factors, Visual Perception/drug effects/*physiology
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
216
issue
9
pages
1744 - 1756
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:84876845053
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.071118
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
e205cb67-f1c2-4aee-86ae-583fae8ac15b (old id 4739419)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23348952
date added to LUP
2014-11-07 14:11:05
date last changed
2019-02-20 03:06:33
@article{e205cb67-f1c2-4aee-86ae-583fae8ac15b,
  abstract     = {In diverse and productive habitats, predaceous arthropods are expected to frequently encounter dangerous conspecifics and heterospecifics. This should make quick and accurate discriminations between species and sexes adaptive. By simultaneously sampling both visual cues and pheromones, and by utilizing stringent species- and sex-specific visual recognition templates, an individual should be able to increase both its speed and accuracy in making such discriminations. We tested for the use and stringency of visual recognition templates in the jumping spider Lyssomanes viridis by presenting males with animated images of conspecifics, heterospecifics and composite images that combined the facial coloration and morphology of one sex or species with the leg coloration of another. Males' courtship versus threat displays indicated whether a stimulus was perceived as a potential mate or a threat. By comparing males' visual inspection times of, and display types towards, the various images in the presence versus absence of female pheromones, we were able to deduce whether males tend to inspect a subset of the color pattern and morphological features that make up their conspecific recognition templates (i.e. those on just the face or just the legs), or all features, and whether this changes in the presence of pheromones. We found that the male recognition template for conspecific female was surprisingly coarse, whereas the recognition template for conspecific male, and especially the male face, was more specific. Pheromones hastened the recognition of images with coloration and morphology closely matching those of conspecifics, presumably by activating conspecific visual recognition templates. When males were presented with an image that was, overall, a poor match to a conspecific female, but that contained a subset of female or female-like features, female pheromones usually did not hasten recognition, but did increase the likelihood that the image would be identified as a female. Taken together, our data suggest that males examined features on both the face and the legs in both the presence and absence of pheromones, and that female pheromones tipped the balance in favor of a female identification when a male was unsure how to categorize an incongruous set of visual features.},
  author       = {Tedore, Cynthia and Johnsen, Sönke},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {Pheromones/*pharmacology,Motor Activity/*drug effects,Male,Female,Cues,Courtship,Color,Agonistic Behavior/drug effects,Animals,Sexual Behavior,Animal/drug effects,Spiders/drug effects/*physiology,Time Factors,Visual Perception/drug effects/*physiology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1744--1756},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Pheromones exert top-down effects on visual recognition in the jumping spider Lyssomanes viridis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.071118},
  volume       = {216},
  year         = {2013},
}