Zoological Institute and Museum
General and Systematic Zoology
Communication between and within species is based on signals, e. g. for species recognition, locating mating partners or for predator-alerts. Transferring these signals can happen on many levels (e. g. chemically, visually or acoustically), but most of the time underrated is communication via substrate- and airborne vibration. In my bachelor thesis I will work on vibratory communication in nuptial gift spiders (Pisaura mirabilis). This spider is common in Europe and is inhabited in semi-shrubs and herbaceous plants up to 50 cm. In specific I will focus on vibratory signaling during courtship of the adult males towards different stages of development of female spider.
There is hardly known something about vibratory communication in P. mirabilis; it is known that e.g. males vibrate with their opisthosoma if confronted with female web-silk. In my project I will analyze how variable this substrate borne vibrations are and to what extinct the male can distinguish between the different stages of development of the female (subadult, adult – virgin, adult – mated).