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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Is the hairy groove in the gibbosus male morph of Oedothorax gibbosus (Blackwall 1841) a nuptial feeding device?

D. Vanacker, L. Maes, S. Pardo, F. Hendrickx and J. P. Maelfait (2003)

Is the hairy groove in the gibbosus male morph of Oedothorax gibbosus (Blackwall 1841) a nuptial feeding device?

Journal of Arachnology, 31(2):309-315.

Oedothorax gibbosus (Blackwall 1841) (Erigoninae, Linyphiidae, Araneae) is a dwarf spider characterized by dimorphic males. There is a "gibbosus" male morph characterized by a hunch on the posterior third of the carapace, anterior to which is a hairy groove, and a "tuberosus" morph without these features. We observed several gustatorial courtship interactions by a gibbosus male morph and a conspecific female as well as a by a gibbosus male and a male of the closely related species, Oedothorax fuscus (Blackwall 1834). These interactions suggest that the hairy groove in the gibbosus male morph is a nuptial feeding device possibly under the influence of sexual selection. The interspecific interactions can possibly be interpreted as 'robbings' of the nuptial feeding. The interspecific interactions indicate that the cephalic structure of gibbosus probably does not function as a "lock and key" mechanism.

Peer Review, Impact Factor
Vanacker, D Maes, L Pardo, S Hendrickx, F Maelfait, JP
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