Date of this Version
Adams, RM. OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING IN THE JUMPING SPIDER PHIDIPPUS AUDAX. Masters Thesis. 2015. University of Nebraska.
Observational learning is a complex form of learning most frequently studied in social vertebrates. However, evidence for social learning exists in several invertebrate species Evidence of invertebrate observational learning also exists, though to a lesser extent. This study addresses observational learning in a jumping spider (Phidippus audax) through video playback. My results suggest that while observational learning is occurring, the exact mechanism in use remains unclear. Spiders that saw a conspecific satiate itself on a prey item readily attacked a similar prey item when exposed to a live prey item. However, spiders exposed to a conspecific rejecting or in the absence of a prey item were much more cautious when exposed to a live prey item. While virtually all spiders did eventually attack, a significant increase was found in the latency to the attack. No other groups demonstrated deviated from the behavior of the control group. My data suggest that observational learning may be present in a more diverse array of taxa than is held in traditional views of social learning, including highly asocial invertebrates such as spiders.
Advisor: Rick A. Bevins