Defensive wing displays of tephritid flies against jumping spiders (#322)
Many species of tephritid flies (Diptera) perform a wing waving display ('supination') to deter attacks from jumping spiders. This display, along with the dark bands on the wings, has been thought to deter spiders through a form of mimicry termed 'predator mimicry'. In a series of studies with jumping spiders and the Mexican fruit fly, we explored this interaction from a visual ecology perspective. We show that spiders are deterred more by the display rather than the appearance of the fly. Fly displays are proximately triggered by the motion of the opponent, rather than the identity of the opponent. Spiders with repeated encounters with display may learn to overcome the display. The quantification of the fly- spider interaction can be used to monitor the quality of flies in applied contexts. The tephritid-jumping spider system is a remarkable model system with implications in various fields of research in visual ecology.