Jumping Spider Melodies — Dr. Wayne Maddison

Well, it is finally here.

In November of  2012, the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of Alberta kicked off with a great plenary symposium on Arthropod Biodiversity. The speakers were uniformly excellent, featuring Dr. Daniel Rubinoff on The evolution of extraordinary biodiversity in Hawaii’s endemic insects, followed by Dr. Jeremy Kerr on Detecting and predicting global impacts on butterflies in Canada and then closing with a most delightful talk by Dr. Wayne Maddison on “Jumping Spider Melodies“.  Even before I had finished packing up the equipment, I was approached by the fly-guy, Morgan Jackson, saying that his tweets had resulted in requests for some way to access a recording of the talk on Jumping Spiders. With Dr. Maddison’s permission, and with his Power Point slides, I stitched together the following video. Final permissions from Dr.Damian Elias came in last week, so the video is now ready for viewing. Although the video quality is not great, the content is fascinating!

From the printed introduction to the lecture:

The beautiful diversity of jumping spiders holds patterns that are replicated across phylogeny. In the genus Habronattus, multiple evolutionary origins of Y sex chromosomes are associated with distal chiasmata, supporting a proposed constraint hypothesis. In the family as a whole, large-scale evolutionary radiations have occurred in different continental regions independently, yielding similar spectra of body forms and ecologies in each region.

(Any errors in the following reconstruction are my own: please notify me of any problems in the comments)

Please see the supplementary videos and charts….

 The spider song and dance routine: Habronattus brunneus video at 4:36 — 

 This first tree shows the evolution of chromosomes, neo-Y vs. not., and the music for this tree begins at 29:38. The second tree shows chiasma localization, and the music for this tree begins at 30:00. Click through to enlarge to full size.

 The collecting video at about 33:38 —

(Edited for brevity: 7 February, 2012)

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This entry was posted in Alberta, Arachnid, Araneae, Behaviour, Biodiversity, Canada, Entomological Society of Alberta, Entomological Society of Canada, evolution, Joint Annual Meeting, Mating, Salticidae, Science, Video and tagged , , , .


  1. Ted C. MacRae 21 January, 2013 at 9:20 AM #

    A fascinating talk. Thanks for your efforts to put this all together!

    • Adrian 21 January, 2013 at 11:04 AM #

      Glad you like it, Ted, that makes it all worth while!

  2. Morgan Jackson 21 January, 2013 at 1:02 PM #

    Thanks so much for putting this all together Adrian! You did an awesome job tying everything together!

    I wish that everyone who is even marginally interested in biology, evolution or nature would take the time to watch Wayne’s talk and become as inspired as I was (and continue to be). Definitely bookmarked for anytime I need to recharge my academic batteries and need to remember why I love what I do!

    • Adrian 21 January, 2013 at 2:02 PM #

      Great! It is inspirational for me too, even if the genetic details go over my head.

  3. Sean McCann 21 January, 2013 at 3:51 PM #

    Good work! Why are conference venues always so gloomy? It makes photography and videography so difficult!

    • Adrian 21 January, 2013 at 4:00 PM #

      Thank you! Are you back from French Guiana?

      • Sean McCann 22 January, 2013 at 4:56 PM #

        Yes! I seem to be having trouble commenting though!

  4. Sean McCann 22 January, 2013 at 4:58 PM #

    ah, it is because i tried to include my new blog address. It is ibycter dot com
    I have been posting some of my images there.

  5. AlexB 25 January, 2013 at 12:48 PM #

    Grand stuff – thanks for sharing

  6. AlexB 25 January, 2013 at 1:14 PM #

    Grand stuff! Is there a correlation between habitat and dance/music courtship signalling routines among the different radiations?

    Nice mix of topics crammed into one lecture without it feeling crowded or disjunct – from pure science to personal motivation for what you do.

    • Adrian 26 January, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

      Alex – If there was a correlation it wasn’t mentioned. I would be surprised if they had dance data on all the different species at this point.

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  1. […] Thysse recently posted a video of a talk by Wayne Maddison titled “Jumping Spider Melodies,” given November 2012 at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and […]

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