Vibration reception is widespread in arthropods. Many animals use vibrations to detect approaching predators or for communication to each other. Some of my recent work also suggests that web spiders can use the intrinsic vibration properties of silk to identify if and where prey may be located on their web (Mortimer, Gordon, Holland, Siviour, Vollrath, Windmill 2014). NPR covered this publication in morning edition, creating an animation to help describe the principles.
However even ground spiders use vibrations. In fact, in some case vibration reception may be used to identify airborne sounds, such as if the animal is standing on a substrate that conducts vibration, like leaves. For example, in one study, wolf spiders on granite did not respond to sound while on paper they were responsive (Lohrey, Clark, Gordon, Uetz 2009). Wolf spiders will actively choose to be on leaves, which vibrate to rocks (Gordon and Uetz 2011). In the same study we also found that when on hard, attenuating substrates, spiders use more visual signaling during courtship.
To sense vibrations, spiders have slit sensilla. Below shows many slit sensilla arranged together in a lyriform organ on its leg.
When animals use vibrations as their main method of communication, it is not surprising to think that vibrations may interfere with their communication. Indeed our research found while the glassy-winged sharpshooter uses an array of vibration frequencies narrow frequencies may be enough to disrupt their signaling (Mazzoni, Gordon, Nieri, Krugner 2017)