Ren-Chung Cheng

Ren-Chung Cheng
National Chung Hsing University | NCHU · Department of Life Sciences

PhD

About

94
Publications
19,091
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526
Citations

Publications

Publications (94)
Article
Full-text available
Mass media plays an important role in the construction and circulation of risk perception associated with animals. Widely feared groups such as spiders frequently end up in the spotlight of traditional and social media. We compiled an expert-curated global database on the online newspaper coverage of human-spider encounters over the past ten years...
Article
Full-text available
Reduced-representation sequencing (RRS) has made it possible to identify hundreds to thousands of genetic markers for phylogenomic analysis for the testing of phylogenetic hypotheses in non-model taxa. The use of customized probes to capture genetic markers (i.e., ultraconserved element (UCE) approach) has further boosted the efficiency of collecti...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the Internet era, the digital architecture that keeps us connected and informed may collaterally amplify the spread of misinformation and falsehood1,2. The magnitude of this problem is gaining global relevance3, as evidence accumulates that misinformation interferes with democratic processes and undermines collective responses to environmental a...
Article
Full-text available
Cyphalonotus is a poorly studied Old World araneid spider genus of which the phylogenetic proximity remains unknown due to the paucity of morphological and molecular data. We test the phylogenetic placement and the taxonomic composition of Cyphalonotus and place the male and female size variation of Cyphalonotus and related genera in an evolutionar...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructing biogeographic history is challenging when dispersal biology of studied species is poorly understood, and they have undergone a complex geological past. Here, we reconstruct the origin and subsequent dispersal of coin spiders (Nephilidae: Herennia Thorell), a clade of 14 species inhabiting tropical Asia and Australasia. Specifically,...
Article
Full-text available
Phaeopholus Roelofs, 1873 is a small genus composed of four species, known to be widely distributed in East Asia, but there is no formal record in Taiwan. This paper provides the first record of genus Phaeopholus in Taiwan, with two new distribution records for P. ornatus Roelofs, 1873 and P. major Roelofs, 1879. The partial COI sequences of both s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cyphalonotus is a poorly studied, Old World araneid spider genus whose phylogenetic proximity remains unknown due to the paucity of morphological and molecular data. We here report on a taxonomic and evolutionary research on these spiders with three main objectives: i) to test the taxonomic composition of Cyphalonotus; ii) to test its phylogenetic...
Article
Full-text available
This study revised the spider genus Oxyopes Latreille, 1804 in Taiwan and delineated the species boundaries based on morphological and molecular characters. A total of seven Oxyopes spiders were recognized, including two newly described species, O. hasta sp. nov. and O. taiwanensis sp. nov. Oxyopes fujianicus Song & Zhu 1993 from Yilan County, Nant...
Article
Full-text available
Instances of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) provide the context for rigorous tests of biological rules of size evolution, such as Cope's rule (phyletic size increase), Rensch's rule (allometric patterns of male and female size), as well as male and female body size optima. In certain spider groups, such as the golden orbweavers (Nephilidae), extreme...
Preprint
Full-text available
Instances of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) provide the context for rigorous tests of biological rules of size evolution, such as Copes Rule (phyletic size increase), Renschs Rule (allometric patterns of male and female size), as well as male and female body size optima. In certain spider groups, such as the golden orbweavers (Nephilidae), extreme fe...
Article
Full-text available
While molting occurs in the development of many animals especially in arthropods, post-maturity molting (PMM, organisms continue to molt after sexual maturity) has received little attention. Mechanism of molting has been studied intensively, however, the mechanism of PMM remains unknown although it is suggested to be crucial for the development of...
Article
Full-text available
Background In most animal groups, it is unclear how body size variation relates to genital size differences between the sexes. While most morphological features tend to scale with total somatic size, this does not necessarily hold for genitalia because divergent evolution in somatic size between the sexes would cause genital size mismatches. Theory...
Article
Full-text available
Background Genital diversity may arise through sexual conflict over polyandry, where male genital features function to manipulate female mating frequency against her interest. Correlated genital evolution across animal groups is consistent with this view, but a link between genital complexity and mating rates remains to be established. In sexually...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf masquerade-an animal resembling leaves that are inedible for predators or innocuous for prey-is well known in insects but less so in arachnids. We report a case of a striking morphological and behavioral adaptation that can be labeled as leaf masquerade in an undescribed spider species (Poltys C.L. Koch, 1843, Araneidae) from southwest China....
Article
Full-text available
The Caribbean islands harbor rich biodiversity with high levels of single island endemism. Stretches of ocean between islands represent significant barriers to gene-flow. Yet some native species are widespread, indicating dispersal across oceans, even in wingless organisms like spiders. Argiopeargentata (Fabricius, 1775) is a large, charismatic, an...
Chapter
Several animal and plant lineages exhibit pronounced sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Here, we review the evolution of female-biased, extreme SSD (hereafter eSSD; females at least twice male size) in two model spider clades, Nephilidae and Argiopinae. Although these two clades exhibit comparable levels of eSSD, we show that the phenomenon takes differ...
Article
Full-text available
The use of unique DNA sequences as a method for taxonomic identification is no longer fundamentally controversial, even though debate continues on the best markers, methods, and technology to use. Although both existing databanks such as GenBank and BOLD, as well as reference taxonomies, are imperfect, in best case scenarios ''barcodes'' (whether s...
Data
The results of the barcode matching test.
Data
Original sequences this project submitted to BOLD and GenBank (only those on GenBank are also publically available on BOLD, for all others, see http://ezlab.zrc-sazu.si/dna/). Legend: MNH, SI = National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; EZ LAB = Evolutionary Zoology Lab, ZRC SAZU; NMBE = Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde...
Data
The downloaded sequences used in the species comparison.
Article
Full-text available
Several clades of spiders whose females evolved giant sizes are known for extreme sexual behaviors such as sexual cannibalism, opportunistic mating, mate-binding, genital mutilation, plugging, and emasculation. However, these behaviors have only been tested in a handful of size dimorphic spiders. Here, we bring another lineage into the picture by r...
Article
Full-text available
Keywords: aggressive spillover mate size difference mating personality sexual cannibalism voracity Intersexual agonistic encounters prior to mating are thought to result from the 'spillover' of the advantages of a voracious personality within a foraging context that is maladaptive in a mating context. We tested this idea by examining the repeatabil...
Preprint
Full-text available
The use of unique DNA sequences as a method for taxonomic identification is no longer fundamentally controversial, even though debate continues on the best markers, methods, and technology to use. Although both existing databanks such as GenBank and BOLD, as well as reference taxonomies, are imperfect, in best case scenarios “barcodes” (whether sin...
Preprint
Full-text available
The use of unique DNA sequences as a method for taxonomic identification is no longer fundamentally controversial, even though debate continues on the best markers, methods, and technology to use. Although both existing databanks such as GenBank and BOLD, as well as reference taxonomies, are imperfect, in best case scenarios “barcodes” (whether sin...
Article
Full-text available
Living fossils are lineages that have retained plesiomorphic traits through long time periods. It is expected that such lineages have both originated and diversified long ago. Such expectations have recently been challenged in some textbook examples of living fossils, notably in extant cycads and coelacanths. Using a phylogenetic approach, we teste...
Article
Full-text available
Many organisms are sexually dimorphic, reflecting sex-specific selection pressures. But although sexual dimorphism may consist of different variables from size to shape and physiology, most research emphasizes a single aspect of sexual dimorphism, notably size, without specifying its components and their relationship. Among terrestrial animals, spi...
Article
Full-text available
Emasculation—males becoming effectively sterile by self-removing their genitals—has long been considered a peculiar evolutionary phenomenon with unknown function, taxonomically restricted to few spiders and flies. In spiders, emasculation results in half or full eunuchs when males sever one or both sperm transferring organs, palps. Three types of e...
Article
Sexual dimorphism describes substantial differences between male and female phenotypes. In spiders, sexual dimorphism research almost exclusively focuses on size, and recent studies have recovered steady evolutionary size increases in females, and independent evolutionary size changes in males. Their discordance is due to negative allometric size p...
Article
Full-text available
Biogeography models typically focus on explaining patterns through island properties, such as size, complexity, age, and isolation. Such models explain variation in the richness of island biotas. Properties of the organisms themselves, such as their size, age, and dispersal abilities, in turn may explain which organisms come to occupy, and diversif...
Article
Full-text available
Many nocturnal spiders have paired conspicuous yellow ventral spots that contrast against their black and brown abdomens. A previous experiment, manipulating the coloration of the spots of the spider Neoscona punctigera, suggested that the spots lure prey. We conducted a field experiment in which we placed spider dummies that either mimicked an adu...
Article
Full-text available
Animals may build multiple structures to provide benefits to counter the costs of building. Many orb web spiders add multiple structures, e.g., barricading barrier webs and silk decorations, to their webs and these structures have been hypothesized to function to deter predators or attract prey. The heavily armored spiny spiders construct barrier w...
Data
Prey interception rates in (a) 2009 and (b) 2010. Comparing treatments using Wald’s test following negative binomial regression. Estimate of β ± SE are reported. Statistics Z = β/SE; * indicates significance.
Data
(a) The results of a binomial regression comparing the wasp approaching rates experienced by Thelacantha brevispina in webs with tuft decoration concealed (BW+/D−), barrier web removed (BW−/D−) or both structures intact (BW+/D+)*, and (b) Wasp approaching rates between treatments by using Wald’s test after a logistic regression. Estimate of β ± SE...
Article
Full-text available
Many spiders possess myrmecomorphy, and species of the jumping spider genus Myrmarachne exhibit nearly perfect ant mimicry. Most salticids are diurnal predators with unusually high visual acuity that prey on various arthropods, including conspecifics. In this study, we tested whether predation pressure from large jumping spiders is one possible dri...
Article
Full-text available
Properties of prey sensory systems are important factors shaping the design of signals generated by organisms exploiting them. In this study we assessed how prey sensory preference affected the exploiter signal design by investigating the evolutionary relationship and relative attractiveness of linear and cruciate form web decorations built by Argi...