Jumping spiders can see UVB! – Paper in Current Biology


Photo by Li Daiqin.

Li, J., Z. Zhang, F. Liu, Q. Liu, W. Gan, J. Chen, Matthew L.M. Lim, Daiqin Li, 2008. UVB-Based Mate-Choice Cues Used by Females of the Jumping Spider Phintella vittata. Current Biology, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.04.020

‘While several insects, crustaceans, birds, fish and mammals can see ultraviolet A light, no animal was thought to be able to perceive UVB because their eyes do not appear capable of detecting this wavelength. Curious about patches on the abdomens of male jumping spiders (Phintella vittata) in China that reflect Ultraviolet B, Li Daiqin, Matthew Lim and colleagues in China put this notion to the test. Most of the females that had responded to male courtship displays in normal light ignored males under a UVB-blocking filter.’

– Science NOW Daily News

The story has been written up Ed Yong in ScienceBlogs [“Sexy jumping spiders court females with ultraviolet patches,” by Ed Yong. Not Exactly Rocket Science, 01 May 2008]:

[Update] Locally it has been covered by biology blogger Lim Leng Hiong at Freshbrainz.com: “Spiders With Sexy Ultraviolet Bling” (02 May 2008).

News reports:

It is also featured in The Straits Times, Singapore [“Spiders court the girls with UV rays,” by Lim Heng Liang. The Straits Times, 02 May 2008.]:

Thanks to Tom Palmerley for the BBC link.

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