Morphology and sex-specific behavior of a gynandromorphic Myrmarachne formicaria (Araneae: Salticidae) spider
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.
KeywordsAgonistic 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 (www.editage.jp) for English language editing.
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