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Selection for signal efficacy in variable environments may favor color polymorphism, but little is known about this possibility outside of sexual systems. Here we used the color polymorphic orb-web spider Gasteracantha fornicata, whose yellow- or white-banded dorsal signal attracts dipteran prey, to test the hypothesis that morphs may be tuned to optimize… (More)
Sensory drive theory contends that signaling systems should evolve to optimize transmission between senders and intended receivers, while minimizing visibility to eavesdroppers where possible. In visual communication systems, the high directionality afforded by iridescent coloration presents underappreciated avenues for mediating this trade-off. This… (More)
Receiver biases offer opportunities for the evolution of deception in signalling systems. Many spiders use conspicuous body colouration to lure prey, yet the perceptual basis of such deception remains largely unknown. Here we use knowledge of visual perception in key pollinator groups (bees and flies) to test whether colour-based lures resemble floral… (More)
Deimatic or 'startle' displays cause a receiver to recoil reflexively in response to a sudden change in sensory input. Deimatism is sometimes implicitly treated as a form of aposematism (unprofitability associated with a signal). However, the fundamental difference is, in order to provide protection, deimatism does not require a predator to have any learned… (More)
White and Kemp introduce colour polymorphism in animals.
Selection is expected to favour the evolution of efficacy in visual communication. This extends to deceptive systems, and predicts functional links between the structure of visual signals and their behavioural presentation. Work to date has primarily focused on colour, however, thereby understating the multicomponent nature of visual signals. Here I… (More)