Thursday, February 01, 2007

Weird Fluorescent Spider !!

Extracted from …
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2007 American Chemical Society
January 29, 2007 Volume 85, Number 05 p. 8
Critter Chemistry
Spider Seduction Requires UV Light
Sex-specific use of UV light to seek out a mate is a first
Sarah Everts

Science © 2007

The female jumping spider attracts mates by using organs called palps, which are located just below her eyes and fluoresce when excited by UV light Without UV wavelengths, these spiders get no love.

Males reflect UV light off scales on their faces and bodies during the mating game, whereas females have sensory organs called palps, typically used to capture prey, that fluoresce bright green when excited by UV light.

In the absence of UV light, the success rate for consummating courtships decreases, explains senior author Daiqin Li of the National University of Singapore. "The fluorescence really seems absolutely essential for the males to recognize the females," comments Thomas Cronin, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "In most other creatures, fluorescence is a supplementary signal to add contrast. In these spiders, it seems necessary for the male spider to find a female."

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