The Victorian Naturalist
ANZSRC / FoR Code
3104 Evolutionary biology
Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)
Scientists have carried out research on the sensory biology of spiders for well over a century with some interesting results. Spiders in general are known now to have a good variety and number of sensory receptors. Most spiders have eight eyes, which in some species give nearly 360 degrees vision, although other species have poor vision (e.g. Barth 2002; Framenau et al. 2014); cave-dwelling spiders may have little or no vision (Doran et al. 2001; Egan 2013; Framenau, et al. 2014). Certain spiders once were thought to be deaf (e.g. Pritchett 1904); but, some salticid spiders have a good sense of hearing, demonstrating an acoustic-triggered startle response (Shamble et al. 2016). The fact that some male salticids, e.g. Maratus species (Otto and Hill 2015), give remarkably colourful courtship displays suggests they have at least some degree of colour vision. This has been confirmed by several recent studies (e.g. Taylor 2016; Zurek et al. 2015). Salticid spiders are well-known to have elaborate vision-based predatory strategies (Cross et al. 2009; Zurek et al. 2015; Whyte and Anderson 2017). The giant-eyed Deinopidae species are also heavily dependent on vision for their net-casting behaviour (Whyte and Anderson, 2017). Spiders can discriminate between arthropod prey species, refusing to attack certain toxic species such as some cockroaches, butterflies and millipedes (pers. obs.; Vasconcellos-Neto and Lewinsohn 1984) suggesting they may have a sense of taste, although experiments by Toft (1999) suggest aversion memory is short-lived.
Link to publisher version (DOI)
Annable, T. J. (2017). Association of a white-banded jumping spider 'Hypoblemum albovittatum' (Salticidae: Araneomorphae: Aranaea) with an Anemone Stinkhorn Fungus 'Aseroe rubra' (Phallaceae: Basidiomycota). The Victorian Naturalist, 134(5), 150-152.