Joined: Nov. 2006
|Quote (improvius @ Oct. 12 2007,16:05)|
|Quote (VMartin @ Oct. 12 2007,15:53)|
|So according the article spiders are mimicking ants only when there are no predators present. It is very weird, isn't it?|
Ants, when disturbed, tend to respond aggressively to the threat, whereas spiders tend to dodge the threat, hiding beneath a leaf or in a crevice, or dropping on a drag line. It has been noted that spider myrmecomorphs, which are also behavioral mimics, abandon their ant-like gait when disturbed (Emerton 1911, Marson 1947, Fowler 1984, Brignoli 1984). This sudden, unexpected change in the behavior of the spider would most likely facilitate its escape from an ant predator.
I would say if they didn't use an ant-like gait at all it would give them even more protection, he?
You are misunderstanding the article. The spiders mimic ants when there are no ant predators present. When a predator is present that specifically feeds on ants, the spiders change their signals to indicate that they are not ants.
I pointed this out days ago, but apparently you never bothered to read my post.
I have read your post. The point is this one: spiders are according the article mimicking ants because:
1) they want to eat ants (selectionists speciality: wolf in sheep's clothing among insects hehe)
2) they want deceive predators pretending to be ants.
In this case it is ridiculous to assume that spiders are mimicking ants only when their predators do not observe them.
Anyway the mess by telling apart myrmecomorphs and myrmecophiles is great. But English division is more simple than German - Wassmann defined three groups.
I was also wrong that author didn't present models in figure 1. The models are listed in tables. Anyway she prudently used terms "putative models".
Some reason of mimcry is very curious - see the column
"Notes on the Natural History of the Mimics".
We can often read this explanation:"mimic running with model". Are they having some running competitions or what?
I could not answer, but should maintain my ground.-