Evidence that olfaction-based affinity for particular plant species is a special characteristic of Evarcha culicivora, a mosquito-specialist jumping spider
Evarcha culicivora, an East African jumping spider (family Salticidae), was shown in an earlier study to have an affinity for the odor from two particular plant species, Lantana camara and Ricinus communis. The olfactometer used in the earlier study was designed for choice testing. Here we focus on L. camara and, by using a second olfactometer method (retention testing), add to the evidence that the odor of this plant is salient to E. culicivora. Another 17 East African salticid species, all from different genera, were investigated using the same two olfactometer designs as used when investigating E. culicivora. The number of individuals of each of these 17 species that chose L. camara odor was not significantly different from the number that chose a no-odor control and, for each species, the latency to leave a holding chamber (retention time) in the presence of L. camara odor was not significantly different from retention time in the presence of a no-odor control. Based on these findings, we conclude that, rather than being a widespread salticid characteristic, an affinity for the odor of L. camara is a special characteristic of E. culicivora. © 2011 The American Arachnological Society.