Behaviour 2019
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Sexual Selection on Jumping Spider Color Pattern: Investigation With a New Quantitative Approach
Wei Zhou1, Long Yu1,2, Bernetta Z.W. Kwek1, Ge Jin3, Hua Zeng1,4, Daiqin Li1. 1National University of Singapore, Singapore, , Singapore; 2Hubei University, Wuhan, Hubei, China; 3University of Auckland, Auckland, , New Zealand; 4Peking University, Beijing, , China

How animals assess individual color patches have been extensively studied, yet the role of gross color pattern remains understudied. We tested the functioning of both individual color patches and gross color pattern in sexual selection of the jumping spider Siler semiglaucus. We first quantified sexual dimorphism in S. semiglaucus in both individual patches and gross color pattern using the newly developed quantitative color pattern analysis (QCPA) framework. We then manipulated males' abdomen color pattern and engaged them in female mate choice and male contest trials. Females spent more time watching males with lower pattern contrast and greater red coverage during mate assessment, suggesting that they evaluate information from both individual patches and gross color pattern of males. However, male color pattern did not affect the outcomes of male contests. Thus, we suggest that the observed sexual color pattern dimorphism evolved primarily through female mate choice in S. semiglaucus. This is the first study to use QCPA framework to quantify sexual dimorphism. Our study also highlights the importance of both individual color patches and gross color pattern in sexual selection.