Male Dolomedes scriptus are able to determine female maturity status by silk alone, as demonstrated by increased courtship in the presence of silk from mature females (Roach and Benson, unpublished). However, the mechanism by which the males determine female maturity status is unknown. It is possible that there are pheromonal signals indicating reproductive status. Specifically, I test whether mature female D. scriptus produce a different amount of silk than penultimate females, particularly if mature females produce more than immatures. If mature D. scriptus females produce more silk than penultimate females, male D. scriptus may determine maturity status of females via the amount of silk or amount of silk chemical. However, I fail to detect a significant difference in silk output between these two female maturity statuses. Therefore, there is further support that other factors, such as pheromones in the silk, may be responsible for male’s ability to determine maturation status of female D. scriptus.
Haley, Dylan J., "Silk Production in Mature and Penultimate Female Dolomedes scriptus" (2023). Undergraduate Theses and Capstone Projects. 285.