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The adaptive bases of ant-mimicry in a neotropical aphantochilid spider (Araneae: Aphantochilidae)

The adaptive bases of ant-mimicry in a neotropical aphantochilid spider (Araneae: Aphantochilidae),10.1111/j.1095-8312.1984.tb01675.x,Biological Journ

The adaptive bases of ant-mimicry in a neotropical aphantochilid spider (Araneae: Aphantochilidae)   (Citations: 16)
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The aphantochilid spider Aphanlochilus rogersi accurately mimics black ants of tribe Cephalotini, and is commonly found in the neighbourhood of its models' nests. The mimic seems to be a specialized predator of this type of ant, rejecting any insect offered as prey other than cephalotines. In the field, A. rogersi was observed preying on the model species Zac7yptocerus pusillus. In captivity, the spider preyed on the models Z. pusillus and Z. depressus, as well as on the yellow non-model z, cbpealus. Recognition of correct prey by A. rogersi appears to he based primarily on visual and tactile stimuli. Capturing ant prey from behind was the most common attack tactic observed in A. rogersi, and is probably safer than frontal attacks, as in this case the spider can be bitten on the legs before the ant is immobilized. Aphanlochilus rogersi, when feeding on the hard-bodied ant models, uses the ant corpses as a 'protective shield' against patrolling ants of the victim's colony and resembles an ant carrying a dead companion. Certain types of mimetic traits in A. rogersi (close similarity to ant models in integument texture and pilosity of body and legs), together with 'shielding behaviour', are thought to function as ant-deceivers, facilitating the obligatory intimate contact the mimic must make with cephalotines in order to capture a prey among other ants. The close similarity in the arrangement of dorsal spines, body shape, integument brightness and locomotion, together with antenna1 illusion, is regarded as a strategy of A. rogersz for deceiving visually-hunting predators that avoid its sharp spined ant models. It is proposed that ant-mimicry in A. rogersi has both an aggressive and a Batesian adaptive component, and evolved as a result of combined selective pressures exerted both by Cephalotini ant models (through defensive behaviour towards the mimics which attack them) and predators that avoid cephalotines (through predatory hehaviour toward imperfect mimics). This suggestion is schematized and discussed in terms of two tripartite mimicry
Journal: Biological Journal of The Linnean Society - BIOL J LINN SOC , vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 145-155, 1984
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    • ... spiders prey more or less exclusively on ants: The salticids Stoides aurata (Edwards et al. 1974), Habrocestum pulex (Cutler 1980), the genus Cosmophasis (Wanless 1978); probably all zodariid spiders (Schneider 1971; Harkness 1976); the gnaphosid Callilepis nocturna (Heller 1976); the thomisids Amyciaea (Mathew 1954); Strophius nigricans (Oliveira and Sazima 1985), Tmarus stolzmanni (Lubin 1983); and probably all aphantochilids (Oliveira and ...

    Wolfgang Nentwig. Non-webbuilding spiders: prey specialists or generalists?

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