20 Works

A novel catapult mechanism for male spiders to avoid sexual cannibalism

Shichang Zhang, Yangjié Liu, Yubing Ma, Hao Wang, Yao Zhao, Matjaž Kuntner & Daiqin Li
The animal world provides numerous examples of mechanisms that allow for extremely fast actions or reactions via slowly storing energy, typically into elastic structures, that is then nearly instantly released 1-4, similar to the operation of a catapult. While these mechanisms are usually employed for prey capture1, 2 or for predator avoidance3,4, such superfast actions have not been reported as a mechanism to dodge sexual cannibalism. Here, we unveil a novel mechanism in a communal...

Data from: Equivalent effect of UV coloration and vibratory signal on mating success in a jumping spider

Hua Zeng, Samantha S.E. Wee, Christina J. Painting, Shichang Zhang, Daiqin Li & Samantha S E Wee
Ultraviolet (UV; wavelengths: 280–400 nm) colouration has been shown to be an important visual signal but has not been studied in conjunction with other signals such as vibratory signals previously. Here we investigated multimodal signal function in the visual and substrate-borne vibratory modalities of the UV-ornamented jumping spider Cosmophasis umbratica, in which the importance of UV colouration in courtship displays has been demonstrated. We first described vibratory signals produced by courting males. We found that...

Data from: Golden orbweavers ignore biological rules: phylogenomic and comparative analyses unravel a complex evolution of sexual size dimorphism

Matjaz Kuntner, Chris Hamilton, Ren-Chung Cheng, Matjaz Gregoric, Nik Lupse, Tjasa Lokovsek, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Alan R. Lemmon, Ingi Agnarsson, Jonathan A. Coddington, Jason Bond, Chris A Hamilton & Jason E Bond
Instances of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) provide the context for rigorous tests of biological rules of size evolution, such as Cope’s Rule (phyletic size increase), Rensch’s Rule (allometric patterns of male and female size), as well as male and female body size optima. In certain spider groups, such as the golden orbweavers (Nephilidae), extreme female-biased SSD (eSSD, female:male body length ≥ 2) is the norm. Nephilid genera construct webs of exaggerated proportions, which can be...

Data from: Hotspots of soil N2O emission enhanced through water absorption by plant residue

Alexandra N. Kravchenko, Ehsan R. Toosi, Andrey K. Guber, Nathaniel E. Ostrom, J. Yu, K. Azeem, Mark L. Rivers & G. Philip Robertson
N2O is a highly potent greenhouse gas and arable soils represent its major anthropogenic source. Field-scale assessments and predictions of soil N2O emission remain uncertain and imprecise due to the episodic and microscale nature of microbial N2O production, most of which occurs within very small discrete soil volumes. Such hotspots of N2O production are often associated with decomposing plant residue. Here we quantify physical and hydrological soil characteristics that lead to strikingly accelerated N2O emissions...

Data from: Extant primitively segmented spiders have recently diversified from an ancient lineage

Xin Xu, Fengxiang Liu, Ren-Chung Cheng, Jian Chen, Xiang Xu, Zhisheng Zhang, Hirotsugu Ono, Dinh Sac Pham, Y. Norma-Rashid, Miquel A. Arnedo, Matjaž Kuntner, Daiqin Li & R.-C. Cheng
Living fossils are lineages that have retained plesiomorphic traits through long time periods. It is expected that such lineages have both originated and diversified long ago. Such expectations have recently been challenged in some textbook examples of living fossils, notably in extant cycads and coelacanths. Using a phylogenetic approach, we tested the patterns of the origin and diversification of liphistiid spiders, a clade of spiders considered to be living fossils due to their retention of...

Phylogenomic analysis of ultraconserved elements resolves the evolutionary and biogeographic history of Segmented Trapdoor Spiders

Xin Xu, Yong-Chao Su, Simon Y. W. Ho, Matjaž Kuntner, Hirotsugu Ono, Fengxiang Liu, Chia-Chen Chang, Natapot Warrit, Varat Sivayyapram, Khin Pyae Pyae Aung, Dinh Sac Pham, Y. Norma-Rashid & Daiqin Li
The segmented trapdoor spiders (Liphistiidae) are the sole surviving family of the suborder Mesothelae, which forms the sister lineage to all other living spiders. Liphistiids have retained a number of plesiomorphic traits and their present-day distribution is limited to East and Southeast Asia. Studying this group has the potential to shed light on the deep evolutionary history of spiders, but the phylogeny and divergence times of the family have not been resolved with confidence. We...

Discoid decorations function to shield juvenile Argiope spiders from avian predator attacks

Bingjun Wang, Long Yu, Nina Ma, Zengtao Zhang, Qian Liu, Wenrui Fan, Yu Rong, Shichang Zhang & Daiqin Li
Decorating behavior is common in various animal taxa and serves a variety of functions from camouflage to communication. One predominant function cited for decoration is to avoid predators. Conspicuous, disc-like (discoid) silk decorations spun by orb-web Argiope juvenile spiders are hypothesized, among others, to defend spiders against visual predators by concealing spider outlines on the web, deflecting attacks, shielding them from view or masquerading as bird-droppings. However, the direct evidence is limited for a specific...

Sexual selection on jumping spider colour pattern: investigation with a new quantitative approach

Wei Zhou, Long Yu, Bernetta Z.W. Kwek, Jin Ge, Hua Zeng & Daiqin Li
How animals assess information encoded in individual colour patches have been extensively studied, yet the role of both individual colour patches and gross colour pattern (i.e. the combination of colour patches) remains understudied. We tested the functioning of both individual colour patches and gross colour pattern in sexual selection using the jumping spider Siler semiglaucus as a study system. We first quantified sexual dimorphism in S. semiglaucus in both individual patches and gross colour pattern...

Data from: DNA barcoding gap: reliable species identification over morphological and geographical scales

Klemen Čandek & Matjaž Kuntner
The philosophical basis, and utility of DNA barcoding has been a subject of numerous debates. While most literature embraces it, some studies continue to question its use in dipterans, butterflies, and marine gastropods. Here, we explore the utility of DNA barcoding in identifying spider species that vary in taxonomic affiliation, morphological diagnosibility and geographic distribution. Our first test searched for a “barcoding gap” by comparing intra- and interspecific means, medians and overlap in more than...

Data from: Compared with conventional PCR assay, qPCR assay greatly improves the detection efficiency of predation

Ting-Bang Yang, Jie Liu & Jian Chen
Studies of predation can contribute greatly to understanding predator-prey relationships and can also provide integral knowledge concerning food webs and multi-trophic level interactions. Both conventional polymerase chain reaction (cPCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) have been employed to detect predation in the field because of their sensitivity and reproducibility. However, to date, few studies have been used to comprehensively demonstrate which method is more sensitive and reproducible in studies of predation. We used a Drosophila melanogaster-specific...

From crypsis to masquerade: ontogeny changes the colour defences of a crab spider hiding as bird droppings

Long Yu, Xin Xu, Fan Li, Wei Zhou, Hua Zeng, Eunice Tan, Shichang Zhang & Daiqin Li
Selection imposed by visually-hunting predators has driven the evolution of colour-based antipredator defence strategies such as crypsis, masquerade, mimicry and aposematism. Individuals of many animals are generally considered to rely on a single type of defence strategy, but individuals of some species use multiple colour-based defences. Many animals switch between colour-based defences against visually-hunting predators during ontogeny. However, why this occurs remains poorly understood. The crab spider Phrynarachne ceylonica is an often-cited example of a...

Data from: The deep phylogeny of jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae)

Wayne P. Maddison, Daiqin Li, Melissa Bodner, Junxia Zhang, Xu Xin, Qinqing Liu, Fengxiang Liu & Wayne Maddison
In order to resolve better the deep relationships among salticid spiders, we compiled and analyzed a molecular dataset of 169 salticid taxa (and 7 outgroups) and 8 gene regions. This dataset adds many new taxa to previous analyses, especially among the non-salticoid salticids, as well as two new genes – wingless and myosin heavy chain. Both of these genes, and especially the better sampled wingless, confirm many of the relationships indicated by other genes. The...

Data from: Limited role of character displacement in the coexistence of congeneric Anelosimus spiders in a Madagascan montane forest

Ingi Agnarsson, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Diego Agostini & Matjaž Kuntner
Evolutionary and ecological theory predicts that closely related and similar species should coexist infrequently because speciation is more likely to occur allopatrically than sympatrically, and because co-occurring species with similar traits may compete for limited resources, leading to competitive exclusion or character displacement. Here we study the unusual coexistence of 10 similar congeneric species of Anelosimus spiders within a small forest fragment in Madagascar. We asked if these species radiated in sympatry or allopatry, and...

Traumatic mating in a wolf spider

Shichang Zhang
Strict monandry is rare in animals in nature. Though traumatic mating has been reported to postpone female re-mating, it rarely leads to strict monandry. We demonstrate that traumatic mating causes strict monandry in a wandering wolf spider, Pardosa pseudoannulata. We show direct evidence that males damaged the inner walls of female genital tracts with the sharp embolus on their palps during insemination. To confirm that the trauma reduced female willingness to re-mate, we mimicked male...

Data from: Nitrogen and chlorine co-doped carbon dots as probe for sensing and imaging in biological samples

Jin Li, Kai Tang, Jianxin Yu, Hanqin Wang, Mingli Tu & Xiaobo Wang
A facile one step hydrothermal synthesis approach was proposed to prepare nitrogen and chlorine co-doped carbon dots using l-ornithine hydrochloride as the sole precursor. The configuration and component of carbon dots were characterized by TEM, XPS, and FTIR. The obtained CDs (Orn-CDs) with a mean diameter of 2.1 nm were well monodispersed in aqueous solutions. The as-prepared CDs exhibited a bright blue fluorescence with a high yield of 60%, good photostability and low cytotoxicity. The...

Data from: Incorporation of Mn2+ into CdSe quantum dots by chemical bath co-deposition method for photovoltaic enhancement of quantum dot-sensitized solar cells

Chenguang Zhang, Shaowen Liu, Xingwei Liu, Fei Deng, Yan Xiong & Fang-Chang Tsai
A photoelectric conversion efficiency (PCE) of 4.9% was obtained under 100 mWcm−2 illumination by using quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) using a CdS/Mn:CdSe sensitizer. CdS quantum dots (QDs) were deposited on the TiO2 mesoporous oxide film by successive ionic layer absorption and reaction. Mn2+ doping into CdSe QDs is an innovative and simple method—chemical bath co-deposition, that is, mixing the Mn ion source with CdSe precursor solution for Mn:CdSe QD deposition. Compared with the CdS/CdSe sensitizer...

Data from: Phylogeny suggests non-directional and isometric evolution of sexual size dimorphism in argiopine spiders

Ren-Chung Cheng & Matjaž Kuntner
Sexual dimorphism describes substantial differences between male and female phenotypes. In spiders, sexual dimorphism research almost exclusively focuses on size, and recent studies have recovered steady evolutionary size increases in females, and independent evolutionary size changes in males. Their discordance is due to negative allometric size patterns caused by different selection pressures on male and female size (converse Rensch's rule). Here, we investigated macroevolutionary patterns of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in Argiopinae, a global lineage...

Detritus decorations as the extended phenotype deflect avian predator attack increasing fitness in an orb‐web spider

Nina Ma, Long Yu, Deyong Gong, Zeyuan Hua, Hua Zeng, Luyao Chen, Aijia Mao, Zhizhao Chen, Ruxing Cai, Yubing Ma, Zengtao Zhang, DQ Li, Jing Luo & Shichang Zhang
A number of strategies that divert attacks of visually guided predators, such as birds, have evolved multiple times in animals. Detritus web decorations built by certain orb-web spider species are thought to deflect avian predator attacks away from spiders and towards their web decorations. Still, empirical evidence for this function and its adaptive significance is lacking. The orb-web spider, Cyclosa monticola, adorns its web using a linear detritus decoration consisting of moults, egg sacs, prey...

Data for: Traumatic mating causes strict monandry in a wolf spider

Shichang Zhang, Nina Ma, Deyong Gong, Xuemin Liu, Zeyuan Hua, Yao Zhao, Jie Liu, Xiaoguo Jiao & Yu Peng
In nature, most animal species are polygamous, and strict female monandry is rare. Though traumatic mating has been reported to postpone female re-mating, it rarely leads to strict female monandry. We demonstrate that traumatic mating causes strict female monandry in a wandering wolf spider Pardosa pseudoannulata. We showed direct evidence that male damaged the inner walls of the female genital tracts with the sharp embolus on its pedipalps during insemination. To confirm that the trauma...

Leaf δ13C and δ15N of aquatic macrophytes in the arid zone of northwestern China

Xusheng Gong, Zhongqiang Li, Zhiyan Xu, Qiutong Peng, Yuqing Tian, Yang Hu, Zhongqiang Li & Tao Hao
Raw data of species list, life form, carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) and nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) for all observations examined across the arid zone of northwestern China. Multi-annual mean precipitation (MAP, mm), multi-annual mean temperature (MAT, oC), potential evapotranspiration (PET, mm), sediment total carbon (STC), sediment total nitrogen (STN), longitude (Long.), latitude (Lat.) and altitude (Alt.) across the arid zone of northwestern China were also provided. We examined the spatial pattern of the leaf δ13C...

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