Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Female Jumping Spiders Find Ultraviolet B Rays 'Sexy'

Date:
May 6, 2008
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Scientists have found the first evidence of an animal using ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to communicate with other members of its species. In a series of mate choice experiments with the Chinese jumping spider (Phintella vittata), the researchers found that female spiders would rather mate with males that reflect UVB than those that do not.

A report publishing online on May 1st in the journal Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press, provides the first evidence of an animal using ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to communicate with other members of its species.

In a series of mate choice experiments with the Chinese jumping spider (Phintella vittata), the researchers found that female spiders would rather mate with males that reflect UVB than those that do not.

" It has long been recognized that solar UVB has direct deleterious effects on a wide range of living organisms; for example, it can cause skin cancer and damage the retinal tissues of the eyes of mammals," said Daiqin Li of National University of Singapore, who is also an Adjunct Professor in Hubei University, China. "Thus, it has generally been assumed that animals are unable to sense the presumably deleterious UVB wavelengths."

Many arthropods and vertebrates were known to have body parts that reflect in UV and photopigments that are sensitive to UV, the researchers said, but previous studies have considered primarily the UVA spectral region. Indeed, UVA vision is known to function in animal communication, particularly in the assessment of potential mates.

Now, the researchers find the same can go for UVB.

Male spiders held the attention of females more successfully when they weren't behind a filter that blocked UVB, they found. Females also more often "chose" males that reflected UVB. They confirmed that the difference in the mating behavior was not influenced by the overall brightness or by UVA.

Jumping spiders are known to have uniquely complex eyes and acute eyesight, as well as UVA-sensitive photoreceptors in their principal eyes, the researchers said. However, it remains unclear how their eyes detect UVB. Indeed, scientists had conventionally thought that the absorbance of proteins within the UVB range would preclude UVB vision, they noted.

Li said he suspects the new findings are just the beginning. The earlier held assumptions about UVB "may have delayed and discouraged research into the adaptive significance of both UVB vision and UVB-reflective markings in animal communication. Our study is just the first to explore this possibility."

The researchers include Jingjing Li, Hubei University, Hubei, China; Zengtao Zhang, Hubei University, Hubei, China; Fengxiang Liu, Hubei University, Hubei, China; Qingqing Liu, Hubei University, Hubei, China; Wenjin Gan, Hubei University, Hubei, China; Jian Chen, Hubei University, Hubei, China; Matthew L.M. Lim, National University of Singapore, Singapore; and Daiqin Li, Hubei University, Hubei, China, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Female Jumping Spiders Find Ultraviolet B Rays 'Sexy'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080501125508.htm>.
Cell Press. (2008, May 6). Female Jumping Spiders Find Ultraviolet B Rays 'Sexy'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080501125508.htm
Cell Press. "Female Jumping Spiders Find Ultraviolet B Rays 'Sexy'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080501125508.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins