Theridion grallator is a highly polymorphic spider endemic to the wet and mesic forests of the Hawaiian Islands. The frequencies of the two major morph classes, patterned and unpatterned abdomen, did not show significant spatial or temporal variation within undisturbed or disturbed areas on Maui. Similarly, morph frequencies did not vary significantly between undisturbed areas on three different islands. Estimates of spider migration suggest that gene flow is sufficient to account for the similarity in frequency within and between areas on Maui, but it is probably not sufficient to explain the similarity among islands. Fecundity did not differ between morphs. A significant inverse relationship between morph frequency and residence time in certain cases suggests that frequency-dependent selection, perhaps mediated by bird predation, may play a role in maintaining the polymorphism.
Allen, J A. 1974. Further evidence for apostatic selection by wild passerine birds: training experiments. Heredity, 33, 361–372.
Allen, J A. 1976. Further evidence for apostatic selection by wild passerine birds: 9–1 experiments. Heredity, 36, 173–180.
Atkinson, W D, and Warwick, T. 1983. The role of selection in the colour polymorphism of Littorina rudis Maton and Littorina arcana Hannaford-Ellis (Prosobranchia: Littorinidae). Biol J Linn Soc, 20, 137–151.
Bishop, J A, and Cook, L M. 1980. Industrial melanism and the urban environment. Adv Ecol Res, 11, 373–404.
Clarke, B. 1962. Balanced polymorphism and the diversity of sympatric species. In Nichols, D. (ed.) Taxonomy and Geography, Systematics Association, Oxford, pp. 47–70.
Clarke, B, Arthur, W, Horsley, D T, and Parkin, D T. 1978. Genetic variation and natural selection in pulmonate molluscs. In Fretter, J. and Peake, J. (eds) Pulmonates, 2A, Systematics, Evolution and Ecology, Academic Press, London.
Ford, E B. 1975. Ecological Genetics, 4th edn. Chapman and Hall, London.
Gillespie, R G, and Tabashnik, B E. 1989. What makes a happy face? Determinants of colour pattern in the Hawaiian happy face spider Theridion grallator. Heredity, 62, 355–363.
Gon III, S M. 1985. Comparative Behavioral Ecology of the Spider, Theridion grallator Simon, (Araneae: Theridiidae) in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Ph.D. Dissertation, U.C. Davis.
Greenwood, J J D. 1984. The functional basis of frequency dependent food selection. Biol J Linn Soc, 23, 177–199.
Guilford, T, and Dawkins, M S. 1987. Search images not proven: a reappraisal of recent evidence. Anim Behav, 35, 1838–1845.
Gunnarsson, B. 1985. Melanism in the spider Pityohyphantes phrygianus C. L. Koch: The genetics and the occurrence of different color phenotypes in a natural population. Heredity, 59(1), 55–62.
Gunnarsson, B. 1987. Phenotypic variation in dark coloration in Pityohyphantes phrygianus (C. L. Koch) (Araneae: Linyphiidae). Bull Brit Arachnol Soc, 6(9), 369–374.
Hartl, D L. 1988. A Primer of Population Genetics, 2nd edn. Sinauer Assoc, Inc., Sunderland, Mass.
Hippa, H, and Oksala, I. 1979. Colour polymorphism of Enoplognatha ovata (Clerck) (Araneae: Theridiidae) in western Europe. Hereditas, 90(2), 203–212.
Kimura, M. 1983. The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Locket, G H, and Millidge, A F. 1953. British Spiders, 1. Ray Soc. London.
Murdoch, W W, and Oaten, W. 1975. Predation and population stability. Adv Ecol Res, 9, 1–131.
Oaten, A. 1977. Optimal foraging in patches: a case for stochasticity. Theor Pop Biol, 12, 263–285.
Oxford, G S. 1976. The colour polymorphism in Enoplognatha ovatum (Clerck) (Araneae: Theridiidae). Heredity, 36, 369–381.
Oxford, G S. 1983. Genetics of colour and its regulation during development in the spider Enoplognatha ovata (Clerck) (Araneae: Theridiidae). Heredity, 51, 621–634.
Oxford, G S, and Shaw, M W. 1986. Long-term variation in colour-morph frequencies in the spider Enoplognatha ovata (Clerck) (Araneae: Theridiidae): natural selection, migration and intermittent drift. Biol J Linn Soc, 27, 225–249.
Perkins, R C L. 1913. Introduction (to Fauna Hawaiiensis). In Sharp, D. (ed.) Fauna Hawaiiensis 1: xv-cxxviii, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.
Pimm, S L, and Pimm, J W. 1982. Resource use, competition and resource availability in Hawaiian honeycreepers. Ecology, 63, 1468–1480.
Reillo, P R, and Wise, D H. 1988a. An experimental evaluation of selection on color morphs of the polymorphic Enoplognatha ovata (Araneae: Theridiidae). Evolution, 42, 1172–1189.
Reillo, P R, and Wise, D H. 1988b. Temporal and spatial patterns of morph frequency variation among coastal Maine populations of the polymorphic spider Enoplognatha ovata (Araneae: Theridiidae). Am Mid Nat, 119, 337–354.
Reillo, P R, and Wise, D H. 1988c. Genetics of color expression in the spider Enoplognatha ovata (Araneae: Theridiidae) from coastal Maine. Am Mid Nat, 120, 318–326.
Scott, J M, Mountainspring, S, Ramsey, F L, and Kepler, C B. 1986. Forest bird communities of the Hawaiian islands: Their Dynamics, Ecology and Conservation. Studies in Avian Biology, 9. Cooper Ornithological Society, Los Angeles.
Sokal, R R, and Rohlf, F J. 1981. Biometry: The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research. Freeman and Co., San Francisco.
Turner, J R G. 1977. Butterfly mimicry: the genetical evolution of an adaptation. In: Hecht, k., Steere, W. C. and Wallace, B. (eds) Evolutionary Biology, 10, Plenum Press, New York.
About this article
Cite this article
Gillespie, R., Tabashnik, B. Maintaining a happy face: stable colour polymorphism in the spider Theiridion grallator (Araneae, Theridiidae). Heredity 65, 67–74 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/hdy.1990.71
This article is cited by
Evolutionary Ecology (2005)
Genetics of a colour polymorphism in Theridion grallator (Araneae: Theridiidae), the Hawaiian happy-face spider, from Greater Maui
Quantum shifts in the genetic control of a colour polymorphism in Theridion grallator (Araneae: Theridiidae), the Hawaiian happy-face spider
The effects of genetic background on the island-specific control of a colour polymorphism in Theridion grallator (Araneae: Theridiidae), the Hawaiian happy-face spider
Maintenance of melanism in the spider Pityohyphantes phrygianus: is bird predation a selective agent?