The effect of feeding history on prey capture behaviour in the orb-web spider Argiope keyserlingi Karsch (Araneae: Araneidae)

Marie E. Herberstein*, Kirsten E. Abernethy, Kelly Backhouse, Heidi Bradford, Fleur E. De Crespigny, Peter R. Luckock, Mark A. Elgar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The prey capture behaviour of the orb-web spider Argiope keyserlingi Karsch was examined experimentally by subjecting spiders to two different feeding regimes (food deprived and food satiated) and three types of prey: Drosophila, blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) and bees (Apis mellifera). The attack behaviour of the spiders was influenced by both their foraging history and the type of prey. Food deprived spiders attacked Drosophila and bees more frequently than food satiated spiders, and food satiated spiders travelled more slowly to any of the prey types than food deprived spiders. Furthermore, Drosophila were never wrapped in silk but only grasped with the chelicerae, whereas both blowflies and bees were always wrapped. This provides experimental confirmation that feeding history affects the decision of orb-web spiders to accept or reject any given prey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-571
Number of pages7
JournalEthology
Volume104
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

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