The Science of Nature

, 106:34 | Cite as

Morphology and sex-specific behavior of a gynandromorphic Myrmarachne formicaria (Araneae: Salticidae) spider

  • Yuya SuzukiEmail author
  • Kazumu Kuramitsu
  • Tomoyuki Yokoi
Original Paper


Behavioral studies of gynandromorphism, also called as sex mosaic, contribute to the understanding of the relationship between morphological gender and sexual identity of an animal. Few studies have focused on the behaviors of gynandromorphic spiders because of a scarcity of gynandromorphic individuals in the field. In this study, we collected a gynandromorphic spider, Myrmarachne formicaria (De Geer 1778) (Araneae: Salticidae), from the field and examined its morphology and sex-specific behavior in the laboratory. The right half of the gynandromorphic spider presented male characteristics and the left half female characteristics. It showed courtship behavior to M. formicaria females and agonistic behavior to the males. These results indicate that the gynandromorphic spider’s sexual identity is male. Our findings suggest that a spider can exhibit behaviors of male sexuality, although the external morphology has the characteristics of both sexes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a gynandromorphic individual and its behavior in the genus Myrmarachne.


Agonistic behavior Ant-mimicking spider Bilateral gynandromorph Courtship behavior Sex mosaic Sexual identity 



We thank Dr. Y. G. Baba (Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO) for his valuable comments on the study, Mr. R. Serita (Kochi University) for collecting the samples, and Mr. H. Nagano (Tokyo University of Agriculture) for offering literature on the behavior of the study species. We would like to thank Editage ( for English language editing.


  1. Bradley RA, Cutler B, Hodge M (2006) The first records of Myrmarachne formicaria (Araneae, Salticidae) in the Americas. J Arachnol 34:483–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Exline H (1938) Gynandromorph spiders. J Morphol 63:441–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Foellmer M, Moya-Laraño J (2007) Sexual size dimorphism in spiders: patterns and processes. In: Fairbairn DJ, Blackenhorn WU, Székely T (eds) Sex, size and gender roles: evolutionary studies of sexual size dimorphism. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 71–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gack C, von Helversen O (1976) Zum Verhalten einer gynandromorphen Wolfspinne (Arachnida:Araneae: Lycosidae). Ent Germanica 3:109–118 Cited in: Yoshikura M (1987) the biology of spiders. Japan Scientific Society Press, Tokyo, Japan. 613 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Kaston B (1961) Spider gynandromorphs and intersexes. J N Y Entomol Soc 69:177–190Google Scholar
  6. Laborda Á, Pérez-Miles F (2017) The first case of gynandry in Mygalomorphae: Pterinochilus murinus, morphology and comment on sexual behavior (Araneae, Theraphosidae). J Arachnol 45:235–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lim MLM, Li D (2006) Extreme ultraviolet sexual dimorphism in jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae). Biol J Linn Soc 89:397–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Maekawa T, Ikeda H (1992) Sexual behavior of a gynandromorphic spider of Carrhotus xanthogramma (Araneae: Salticidae). Acta Arachnol 41:103–108 In Japanese with English summaryCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Maeno K, Tanaka S (2007) Morphological and behavioral characteristics of a gynandromorph of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Physiol Entomol 32:294–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Matsuo K, Kubo R, Sasaki T, Ono M, Ugajin A (2018) Scientific note on interrupted sexual behavior to virgin queens and expression of male courtship-related gene fruitless in a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus. Apidologie 49:411–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Morgan TH (1905) An alternative interpretation of the origin of gynandromorphous insects. Science 21(538):632–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Narita S, Pereira RAS, Kjelleberg F, Kageyama D (2010) Gynandromorphs and intersexes: potential to understand the mechanism of sex determination in arthropods. Terr Arthropod Rev 3:63–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nissani M (1977) Gynandromorph analysis of some aspects of sexual behavior of Drosophila melanogaster. Anim Behav 25:555–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ono H, Ikeda H, Kono R (2009) Salticidae. In: Ono H (ed) The spiders of Japan with keys to the families and genera and illustrations of the species. Tokai University Press, Kanagawa, pp 558–588Google Scholar
  15. Otto JC, Hill DE (2011) An illustrated review of the known peacock spiders of the genus Maratus from Australia, with description of a new species (Araneae: Salticidae: Euophryinae). Peckhamia 96(1):1–27Google Scholar
  16. Peer B, Motz RW (2014) Observations of a bilateral gynandromorph northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Wilson J Ornithol 126(1264):778–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. R Core Team (2018) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
  18. Sakagami SF, Takahashi H (1956) Beobachtungen über die gynandromorphen Honigbienen mit besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer Handlungen innerhalb des Volkes. Insect Soc 3:513–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schneider J, Andrade M (2011) Mating behaviour and sexual selection. In: Herberstein MEA (ed) Spider behaviour flexibility and versatility. Cambridge University press, New York, pp 215–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Surugo T (2017) Handbook of jumping spiders. Bun-ichi Co., Ltd, Tokyo (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  21. Taniyama K, Onodera K, Tanaka K (2018) Sexual identity and sexual attractiveness of a gynandromorph of the lawn ground cricket, Polionemobius mikado (Orthoptera: Trigonidiidae). Entomol Sci 21:423–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ugajin A, Matsuo K, Kubo R, Sasaki T, Ono M (2016) Expression profile of the sex determination gene doublesex in a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignites. Sci Nat 103:1. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. World Spider Catalog (2018) World spider catalog, version 19.5. Natural History Museum Bern. Available online at .

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Biological Sciences, School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations