Prey preferences of specialized jumping spiders (Araneae : Salticidae) [article]

Li Daiquin, University Of Canterbury
2011
I studied prey preferences of two groups of specialized jumping spiders (Salticidae), ant-eating ('myrmicophagic') species and spider-eating ('araneophagic') species, in the laboratory. Spiders and ants have in common being unusual and dangerous prey for a salticid. Ten salticid species, four species of Portia (P. africana, P. fimbriata, P. labiata and P. schultzi) which specialize at catching other species of spiders (araneophagic species) and six myrmicophagic species (Chalcotropis sp.,
more » ... cotropis sp., Habrocestum pulex, Siler sp., Telamonia masinloc, and two new species of euophryines in a new genus) were studied. Each of these specialized salticid species, whether araneophagic or myrmicophagic, uses prey-specific capture behaviour against its unusual prey and also shows pronounced preferences for these prey (ants or spiders, depending on the species). The capture behaviour of the four species of Portia was known prior to the present study, but the description of capture behaviour of the six ant-eating salticids and the data on preferences of all species are new in this study. Although all myrmicophagic and all araneophagic salticid species tested resemble each other by having prey-specific capture behaviour against ants and spiders, respectively, details of the predatory behaviour used against ants vary among the species, and the same is true for behaviour used against spiders. All Portia species studied are known to have different prey-specific capture behaviour for use against spiders and insects. Also, they are all shown in the present study to have distinctive preferences for web-building spiders over insects as prey. However, the capture behaviour of P. fimbriata from Queensland is also known to differ depending on whether the prey is a web-building spider or a cursorial salticid spider: a specialized behaviour ('cryptic stalking') is used by Queensland P. fimbriata, but not by other Portia, for catching other salticids. In the present study, Queensland P. fimbriata is known also to prefer salticid spiders not only to i [...]
doi:10.26021/6627 fatcat:lj5tu5f5orcatj7fft5zqx2b4y