Male work and sex ratio in social crab spiders

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Abstract

Biased sex ratios may alter the contribution that individuals of either sex make to group living. Such a possibility has not been examined in social spiders, in part as adult male spider anatomy and behaviour are focussed on mating. Subadult male behaviour was examined in two congener social crab spiders that have similar ecological niches, Diaea ergandros with an equal sex ratio and D. socialis with a. female-biased sex ratio. A laboratory experiment that varied sex ratios of groups of subadults of the two species found that nest construction in D. ergandros did not vary with sex ratio, but that of D. socialis did as males did not contribute to nest construction. This may suggest that among social species, biased sex ratios might influence the appearance of drone-like behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-288
Number of pages4
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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