Picking the right spot: crab spiders position themselves on flowers to maximize prey attraction Astrid M. Heiling 1,2) , Ken Cheng 3) & Marie E. Herberstein 1) ( 1 Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, 2109 NSW Australia; 3 Centre for the Integrative Study of Animal Behaviour, Macquarie University, North Ryde, 2109 NSW Australia) (Accepted: 12 June 2006) Summary In plant-pollinator interactions, pollinating insects provide reproductive service to plants and receive food rewards. Flowers advertise the presence of nectar or pollen through various characteristics, including visual displays. In daisies ( Chrysanthemum frutescens ), the center of the inflorescence appears as a UV-absorbing bull’s-eye that attracts pollinators, for example honeybees. Thomisus spectabilis crab spiders occupy daisies and prey on honeybees. They typically position themselves on the lingulate florets of daisies and create a color contrast that deceives honeybees. Honeybees prefer daisies with a T. spectabilis on the lingulate florets to vacant daisies. In contrast, when offered the choice between a vacant daisy and a daisy whose center was covered by a T. spectabilis , honeybees preferred the vacant daisy. Similarly, honeybees were deterred by daisies whose center was covered by lingulate daisy florets making a rectangle about
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: THOMISUS SPECTABILIS; FLOWER SIGNAL; SIGNAL EXPLOITATION; APIS MELLIFERA; COMMUNICATION
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