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Behavioral evidence for a sex pheromone in female wolf spiders Pardosa astrigera

WU Jun1, JIAO Xiao-Guo 1 , CHEN Jian1, PENG Yu1, LIU Feng-Xiang1, WANG Zhen-Hua21. College of Life Sciences, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China2. Hubei Entry & Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Wuhan 430022, China  
We explored whether the draglines collected from spiders Pardosa astrigera of different sexes, ages and reproductive status influenced male courtship behaviors. Our results showed that male P.astrigera were able to discriminate draglines deposited by conspecifics on the basis of a sex pheromone. Male courtship latency and stationary time were shortest on draglines of 3-week-old virgin females, followed by draglines of mated females, subadult females and adult males, and longest on that of the egg-hatched females. Key male courtship behavioral elements, such leg raises and body shakes, were strongly elicited by draglines of the 3-week-old virgin and mated females, but the courtship intensity of the former was greater than that of the latter. Although draglines deposited by egg-hatched females elicited leg raising by male P.astrigera, response frequencies were significantly lower than those elicited by the draglines of 3-week-old virgins and mated females. Our results demonstrate that the key courtship behavioral elements of male P.astrigera are mediated by a female dragline-derived contact sex pheromone.
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