3 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...

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...

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...

Registration Year

  • 2022

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Hubei University
  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Peking University
  • National Institute of Biology
  • Yale-NUS College
  • Hunan Normal University