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Sample records for orbweaving spider species

  1. Two new species of the orb-weaving spider genus Alpaida (Araneae, Araneidae) from Peru.

    PubMed

    Deza, Mariajosé; Andía, Juan Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Two new species of the orb-weaving spider genus Alpaida O. P.-Cambridge, 1889 are described and illustrated; Alpaida losamigos n. sp. based on females from Madre de Dios, and Alpaida penca n. sp. based on females and males from Cajamarca. PMID:25081147

  2. Discovery of the Largest Orbweaving Spider Species: The Evolution of Gigantism in Nephila

    PubMed Central

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Coddington, Jonathan A.

    2009-01-01

    Background More than 41,000 spider species are known with about 400–500 added each year, but for some well-known groups, such as the giant golden orbweavers, Nephila, the last valid described species dates from the 19th century. Nephila are renowned for being the largest web-spinning spiders, making the largest orb webs, and are model organisms for the study of extreme sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual biology. Here, we report on the discovery of a new, giant Nephila species from Africa and Madagascar, and review size evolution and SSD in Nephilidae. Methodology We formally describe N. komaci sp. nov., the largest web spinning species known, and place the species in phylogenetic context to reconstruct the evolution of mean size (via squared change parsimony). We then test female and male mean size correlation using phylogenetically independent contrasts, and simulate nephilid body size evolution using Monte Carlo statistics. Conclusions Nephila females increased in size almost monotonically to establish a mostly African clade of true giants. In contrast, Nephila male size is effectively decoupled and hovers around values roughly one fifth of female size. Although N. komaci females are the largest Nephila yet discovered, the males are also large and thus their SSD is not exceptional. PMID:19844575

  3. The orb-weaving spider genus Chrysometa in Uruguay: distribution and description of a new species (Araneae, Tetragnathidae).

    PubMed

    Simó, Miguel; Álvarez, Luis; Laborda, Álvaro

    2016-01-01

    The spider genus Chrysometa Simon, 1895 comprises 138 species of small (3-5 mm) Neotropical orb-weavers spiders (Nogueira et al. 2011; World Spider Catalogue 2015) mainly associated with arboreal vegetation from intermediate to low altitude forests (Levi 1986). Males of Chrysometa differ from other tetragnathids by having the palpal tibial length approximately as long as its widest point; paracymbium articulated and with several apophyses located at both ends; male cephalic region narrower than in the female and having cymbial ectobasal and ectomedian processes. Females are diagnosed by having femora without trichobothria; abdomen covered with silver guanine patches; a flat epigynum and also by their fertilization ducts originating anteriorly and crossing over the spermathecae (Levi 1986; Alvarez-Padilla & Hormiga 2011). PMID:27395900

  4. Loss of legs: is it or not a handicap for an orb-weaving spider?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasquet, Alain; Anotaux, Mylène; Leborgne, Raymond

    2011-07-01

    Leg loss is a common phenomenon in spiders, and according to the species 5% to 40% of the adults can present at least one missing leg. There is no possibility of regeneration after adult moult and the animal must manage with its missing appendages until its death. With the loss of one or more legs, female orb-weaving spiders can be penalized twice: firstly, because the legs are necessary for web construction and secondly, the legs are essential for the control of the prey after its interception by the web. During development, spiders may be also penalized because regeneration has energetic costs that take away resources for survival, growth and reproduction. All these consequences should influence negatively the development of the spider and thus its fitness. We investigated the impact of leg loss in the orb-weaving spider, Zygiella x-notata by studying its frequency in a natural population and web building and prey capture behaviours in laboratory. In field populations, 9.5% to 13%, of the adult females presented the loss of one or more legs; the majority of individuals had lost only one leg (in 48% of cases, a first one). Leg loss seems to affect all the adult spiders, as there is no difference of mass between intact spiders and those with missing leg. Data obtained with laboratory-reared spiders, showed that the loss of legs due to the moult is rare (less than 1%). Considering changes in web design, spiders with missing legs decreased their silk investment, increased the distance between spiral turns but did not change the capture surface of the web. Under our laboratory experimental conditions, spiders with one or two lost legs did not present any difference in prey capture efficiency. In laboratory conditions, spiders with lost leg(s) did not show any difference in egg sac production or in longevity (adult lifespan) compared to intact spiders.

  5. An orb-weaver spider exploits an ant–acacia mutualism for enemy-free space

    PubMed Central

    Styrsky, John D

    2014-01-01

    Exploiters of protection mutualisms are assumed to represent an important threat for the stability of those mutualisms, but empirical evidence for the commonness or relevance of exploiters is limited. Here, I describe results from a manipulative study showing that an orb-weaver spider, Eustala oblonga, inhabits an ant-acacia for protection from predators. This spider is unique in the orb-weaver family in that it associates closely with both a specific host plant and ants. I tested the protective effect of acacia ants on E. oblonga by comparing spider abundance over time on acacias with ants and on acacias from which entire ant colonies were experimentally removed. Both juvenile and adult spider abundance significantly decreased over time on acacias without ants. Concomitantly, the combined abundance of potential spider predators increased over time on acacias without ants. These results suggest that ant protection of the ant-acacia Acacia melanocerus also protects the spiders, thus supporting the hypothesis that E. oblonga exploits the ant–acacia mutualism for enemy-free space. Although E. oblonga takes advantage of the protection services of ants, it likely exacts little to no cost and should not threaten the stability of the ant–acacia mutualism. Indeed, the potential threat of exploiter species to protection mutualisms in general may be limited to species that exploit the material rewards traded in such mutualisms rather than the protection services. PMID:24558583

  6. Herbivory in spiders: the importance of pollen for orb-weavers.

    PubMed

    Eggs, Benjamin; Sanders, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Orb-weaving spiders (Araneidae) are commonly regarded as generalist insect predators but resources provided by plants such as pollen may be an important dietary supplementation. Their webs snare insect prey, but can also trap aerial plankton like pollen and fungal spores. When recycling their orb webs, the spiders may therefore also feed on adhering pollen grains or fungal spores via extraoral digestion. In this study we measured stable isotope ratios in the bodies of two araneid species (Aculepeira ceropegia and Araneus diadematus), their potential prey and pollen to determine the relative contribution of pollen to their diet. We found that about 25% of juvenile orb-weaving spiders' diet consisted of pollen, the other 75% of flying insects, mainly small dipterans and hymenopterans. The pollen grains in our study were too large to be taken up accidentally by the spiders and had first to be digested extraorally by enzymes in an active act of consumption. Therefore, pollen can be seen as a substantial component of the spiders' diet. This finding suggests that these spiders need to be classified as omnivores rather than pure carnivores. PMID:24312430

  7. The allometry of CNS size and consequences of miniaturization in orb-weaving and cleptoparasitic spiders.

    PubMed

    Quesada, Rosannette; Triana, Emilia; Vargas, Gloria; Douglass, John K; Seid, Marc A; Niven, Jeremy E; Eberhard, William G; Wcislo, William T

    2011-11-01

    Allometric studies of the gross neuroanatomy of adults from nine species of spiders from six web-weaving families (Orbicularia), and nymphs from six of these species, show that very small spiders resemble other small animals in having disproportionately larger central nervous systems (CNSs) relative to body mass when compared with large-bodied forms. Small spiderlings and minute adult spiders have similar relative CNS volumes. The relatively large CNS of a very small spider occupies up to 78% of the cephalothorax volume. The CNSs of very small spiders extend into their coxae, occupying as much as 26% of the profile area of the coxae of an Anapisona simoni spiderling (body mass < 0.005 mg). Such modifications occur both in species with minute adults, and in tiny spiderlings of species with large-bodied adults. In at least one such species, Leucauge mariana, the CNS of the spiderling extends into a prominent ventral bulge of the sternum. Tiny spiders also have reduced neuronal cell body diameters. The adults of nearly all orbicularian spiders weave prey capture webs, as do the spiderlings, beginning with second instar nymphs. Comparable allometric relations occur in adults of both orb-weaving and cleptoparasitic species, indicating that this behavioral difference is not reflected in differences in gross CNS allometry. PMID:22036838

  8. Herbivory in Spiders: The Importance of Pollen for Orb-Weavers

    PubMed Central

    Eggs, Benjamin; Sanders, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Orb-weaving spiders (Araneidae) are commonly regarded as generalist insect predators but resources provided by plants such as pollen may be an important dietary supplementation. Their webs snare insect prey, but can also trap aerial plankton like pollen and fungal spores. When recycling their orb webs, the spiders may therefore also feed on adhering pollen grains or fungal spores via extraoral digestion. In this study we measured stable isotope ratios in the bodies of two araneid species (Aculepeira ceropegia and Araneus diadematus), their potential prey and pollen to determine the relative contribution of pollen to their diet. We found that about 25% of juvenile orb-weaving spiders’ diet consisted of pollen, the other 75% of flying insects, mainly small dipterans and hymenopterans. The pollen grains in our study were too large to be taken up accidentally by the spiders and had first to be digested extraorally by enzymes in an active act of consumption. Therefore, pollen can be seen as a substantial component of the spiders’ diet. This finding suggests that these spiders need to be classified as omnivores rather than pure carnivores. PMID:24312430

  9. Effects of kaolin particle films on the life span of an orb-weaver spider.

    PubMed

    Benhadi-Marín, Jacinto; Pereira, José Alberto; Santos, Sónia A P

    2016-02-01

    Araniella cucurbitina (Araneae: Araneidae) is a widespread orb-weaver spider commonly found in agroecosystems. Mineral particle films such as kaolin, due to their protective or anti-feeding action, can represent an alternative to pesticides, especially in organic farming systems, but little is known about its effects on A. cucurbitina. Therefore, we tested the effect of kaolin sprays on the life span of A. cucurbitina under laboratory conditions. Four treatments were tested encompassing different exposure routes. Thus, kaolin sprays were applied on (i) the surface, (ii) the prey (fly), (iii) the spider and (iv) both spider & prey. A control group was tested with water in each treatment. Results showed that sprays of kaolin significantly affected the survival of A. curcubitina when applications were done on the surface and on both spider & prey registering a reduction of 48% and 56%, respectively. Spiders in control obtained higher probability of reaching alive at the end of the assay than those treated with kaolin. Differences observed can be explained by the feeding behavior of the species and may depend on the consumption of the web by the spider and the ratio spider/fly for body size. PMID:26432533

  10. Evolution of supercontraction in spider silk: structure-function relationship from tarantulas to orb-weavers.

    PubMed

    Boutry, Cecilia; Blackledge, Todd Alan

    2010-10-15

    Spider silk is a promising biomaterial with impressive performance. However, some spider silks also 'supercontract' when exposed to water, shrinking by up to ∼50% in length. Supercontraction may provide a critical mechanism to tailor silk properties, both for future synthetic silk production and by the spiders themselves. Several hypotheses are proposed for the mechanism and function of supercontraction, but they remain largely untested. In particular, supercontraction may result from a rearrangement of the GPGXX motif within the silk proteins, where G represents glycine, P proline and X is one of a small subset of amino acids. Supercontraction may prevent sagging in wet orb-webs or allow spiders to tailor silk properties for different ecological functions. Because both the molecular structures of silk proteins and how dragline is used in webs differ among species, we can test these hypotheses by comparing supercontraction of silk across diverse spider taxa. In this study we measured supercontraction in 28 spider taxa, ranging from tarantulas to orb-weaving spiders. We found that silk from all species supercontracted, except that of most tarantulas. This suggests that supercontraction evolved at least with the origin of the Araneomorphae, over 200 million years ago. We found differences in the pattern of evolution for two components of supercontraction. Stress generated during supercontraction of a restrained fiber is not associated with changes in silk structure and web architecture. By contrast, the shrink of unrestrained supercontracting fibers is higher for Orbiculariae spiders, whose silk contains high ratios of GPGXX motifs. These results support the hypothesis that supercontraction is caused by a rearrangement of GPGXX motifs in silk, and that it functions to tailor silk material properties. PMID:20889831

  11. Niche partitioning in orbweaving spiders Meta menardi and Metellina merianae (Tetragnathidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novak, Tone; Tkavc, Tina; Kuntner, Matjaž; Arnett, Amy E.; Delakorda, Saška Lipovšek; Perc, Matjaž; Janžekovič, Franc

    2010-11-01

    Hypogean habitats are relatively simple exhibiting low diversity, low production and relative constancy of environmental factors, and are therefore appropriate for studying species coexistence in situ. We investigated the coexistence of two closely related, similarly sized orb-weaving spider species, Meta menardi and Metellina merianae, living syntopically in a Slovenian cave. We studied the annual dynamics of both species within a mixed population, and the impact of the ambient temperature, relative humidity, airflow and illumination, and compared their trophic niches to legacy data on prey of both species from 55 caves in Slovenia. We predicted a large overlap in their spatial niches and substantial differences in their temporal and trophic niches. We found that their spatial niches overlap greatly with few exceptions, mostly on the dates of notable meteorological changes in the cave but that their temporal niches differ significantly with r-strategy resembling epigean annual dynamic in M. merianae and a steady low abundance course in M. menardi within the cave. We also found that different predatory strategies significantly segregate their trophic niches: M. merianae uses a typical orb-weaving hunting strategy, while M. menardi combines web hunting with off-web hunting. Our findings suggest that both the diverse dynamics and trophic niches enable the coexistence of M. menardi and M. merianae despite their similar spatial niches, and that M. menardi, in particular, is optimally adapted to the epigean/hypogean ecotone.

  12. Do parasitoids explain differential abundance of two syntopic orb-weaver spiders (Araneae: Araneidae)?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzaga, Marcelo O.; Cardoso, João C. F.; Vasconcellos-Neto, João

    2015-11-01

    In this study, we examined the relative abundance of two congeneric species of orb-weaver spiders, Cyclosa fililineata and Cyclosa morretes, in an area of Atlantic forest in southeastern Brazil, and the relationship of this variable with fecundity and attacks by parasitoids. We also investigated responses to vibrational stimuli that simulated the approach of a wasp and described architectural changes in webs of parasitized individuals of C. fililineata. C.fililineata was more abundant throughout the year, although this species produced a lower number of egg sacs and a lower number of eggs per egg sac when compared with C. morretes. Both species showed similar types of behavioral responses to vibrational stimuli, but C. fililineata remained motionless more often. The frequency of parasitism by the wasp Polysphincta janzeni on adults and juveniles was low and similar for C. fililineata and C. morretes in both dry and wet seasons. The parasitoid caused alterations in the web design of C. fililineata similar of those observed in other orb-weavers attacked by ichneumonid wasps. Webs constructed by spiders parasitized by larvae in their last instar had a lower number of radii and sticky spirals were completely absent. An egg parasitoid, Baeus cyclosae, attacked C. morretes more often than C. fililineata, possibly as a consequence of its greater clutch size and/or larger eggs. These results indicate that egg mortality caused by B. cyclosae, but not subadult and adult mortality promoted by P. janzeni, may be an important factor determining the relative abundance of these two Cyclosa species.

  13. Physical characterization of the liquid adhesive from orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Torres, Fernando G; Troncoso, Omar P; Cavalie, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Orb-weaving spiders produce bioadhesives that are used to capture their prey. In this paper, the physical properties of these adhesives are characterised. The liquid adhesive from Argiope argentata spiders has been studied and the morphological properties of the droplets, including size, shape and volume were determined. An estimation of viscosity and Young's modulus using atomic force microscopy has also been carried out. Morphological characterization confirmed that the liquid adhesive displayed a typical beads-on-a-string (BOAS) morphology on the silk fibres. The experimental data confirmed that the elastic modulus of the liquid adhesive from A. argentata was in the range 20-100kPa which is in agreement with the Dahlquist criterion for adhesives. PMID:24268267

  14. The complete mitochondrial genome of the orb-weaver spider Cyclosa argenteoalba Boes. et Str. (Araneae: Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Li, Chao; Wang, Zheng-Liang; Fang, Wen-Yuan; Yu, Xiao-Ping

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of an orb-weaver spider Cyclosa argenteoalba is determined in this article. The genome encodes the same 37 genes with a length of 14,575 bp as all other metazoan mitogenomes. The A + T content of the majority strand is 73.1%. Among the protein-coding genes, one gene (COI) begins with TTA, three (COII, COIII and ND6) start with ATT, three (ATP6, ND3 and ND4) begin with ATA and other six genes use ATT as initiation codon. All the protein-coding genes end with the canonical termination codons (TAA or TAG), except for ND3 and ND4L, which use an incomplete stop codon (T). Thirteen transfer RNAs genes lack the potential to form the cloverleaf-shaped secondary structure. The A + T-rich region is 1052 bp in length with an A + T content of 68.9%. In the phylogenetic analyses, C. argenteoalba was nested within Araneidae and the species from the superfamily Araneoidea form a momophyletic group. PMID:26017043

  15. The complete mitochondrial genome of orb-weaving spider Araneus ventricosus (Araneae: Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Zheng-Liang; Li, Chao; Fang, Wen-Yuan; Yu, Xiao-Ping

    2016-05-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of an orb-weaving spider Araneus ventricosus was determined. It is a circular molecule of 14,617 bp in length and contains a standard set of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNAs, 22 transfer RNAs and a control region. The A + T content of the overall base composition of majority strand (J-strand) is 73.4% (T: 38.5%; C: 10.1%; A: 34.9%; G: 16.5%). Among protein-coding genes, one gene (COI) begins with TTA, two (ATP6 and ND4) start with ATA, three (COII, COIII and ND6) begin with ATT and other seven genes use ATT as initiation codon. COIII and ND3 end with an incomplete stop codon (T), and ND1, ND2 and Cytb are terminated with TAG, while all other genes end with TAA as stop codon. Two regions including tandem repeats were found in the control region (D-loop): a 106 bp sequence tandemly repeated twice and a 195 bp sequence tandemly repeated twice with a partial third (120 bp). PMID:25329288

  16. The impact of UVB radiation on the glycoprotein glue of orb-weaving spider capture thread.

    PubMed

    Stellwagen, Sarah D; Opell, Brent D; Clouse, Mary E

    2015-09-01

    Many spider orb-webs are exposed to sunlight and the potentially damaging effects of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. We examined the effect of UVB on the viscoelastic glycoprotein core of glue droplets deposited on the prey capture threads of these webs, hypothesizing that webs built by species that occupy sunny habitats are less susceptible to UVB damage than are webs built by species that prefer shaded forest habitats or by nocturnal species. Threads were tested shortly after being collected in the early morning and after being exposed to UVB energy equivalent to a day of summer sun and three times this amount. Droplets kept in a dark chamber allowed us to evaluate post-production changes. Droplet volume was unaffected by treatments, indicating that UVB did not damage the hygroscopic compounds in the aqueous layer that covers droplets. UVB exposure did not affect energies of droplet extension for species from exposed and partially to mostly shaded habitats (Argiope aurantia, Leucauge venusta and Verrucosa arenata). However, UVB exposure reduced the energy of droplet extension in Micrathena gracilis from shaded forests and Neoscona crucifera, which forages at night. Only in L. venusta did the energy of droplet extension increase after the dark treatment, suggesting endogenous molecular alignment. This study adds UVB irradiation to the list of factors (humidity, temperature and strain rate) known to affect the performance of spider glycoprotein glue, factors that must be more fully understood if adhesives that mimic spider glycoprotein glue are to be produced. PMID:26333924

  17. Revision of the orb-weaving spider genus Verrucosa McCook, 1888 (Araneae, Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Lise, Arno A; Kesster, Cynara C; Da Silva, Estevam L Cruz

    2015-01-01

    The araneid spider genus Verrucosa McCook, 1888 is revised. Five of the seven previously known species, V. arenata (Walckenaer, 1841), V. lampra Soares & Camargo, 1948, V. meridionalis (Keyserling, 1892), V. undecimvariolata (O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1889) and V. zebra (Keyserling, 1892), are redescribed and illustrated. In addition, 37 new species of Verrucosa from the Neotropical region are described and illustrated: V. cachimbo n. sp., V. tarapoa n. sp., V. scapofracta n. sp., V. carara n. sp., V. latigastra n. sp., V. guatopo n. sp., V. cuyuni n. sp., V. benavidesae n. sp., V. rancho n. sp., V. excavata n. sp., V. meta n. sp., V. levii n. sp., V. chanchamayo n. sp., V. manauara n. sp., V. brachiscapa n. sp., V. macarena n. sp., V. pedrera n. sp., V. lata n. sp., V. galianoae n. sp., V. suaita n. sp., V. coroico n. sp., V. florezi n. sp., V. hoferi n. sp., V. caninde n. sp., V. opon n. sp., V. silvae n. sp., V. avilesae n. sp., V. tuberculata n. sp., V. alvarengai n. sp., V. apuela n. sp., V. bartica n. sp., V. cajamarca n. sp., V. canje n. sp., V. cuyabenoensis n. sp., V. sergipana n. sp., V. simla n. sp. and V. rhea n. sp. Mahadiva reticulata O. P.-Cambridge, 1889 is removed from the synonymy of Verrucosa arenata (Walckenaer, 1841) and is recognized as a valid species, Verrucosa reticulata. Araneus cylicophorus Badcock, 1932 is transferred to Verrucosa by Mello-Leitão (1946) removed from the synonymy of Verrucosa meridionalis (Keyserling, 1892) and recognized as a valid species. The male of Verrucosa meridionalis (Keyserling, 1892) is described for the first time. Distributional maps are provided for all species. PMID:25781566

  18. Revision and phylogenetic analysis of the orb-weaving spider genus Glenognatha Simon, 1887 (Araneae, Tetragnathidae).

    PubMed

    Cabra-García, Jimmy; Brescovit, Antonio D

    2016-01-01

    A taxonomic revision and phylogenetic analysis of the spider genus Glenognatha Simon, 1887 is presented. This analysis is based on a data set including 24 Glenognatha species plus eight outgroups representing three related tetragnathine genera and one metaine as the root. These taxa were scored for 78 morphological characters. Parsimony was used as the optimality criterion and a sensitivity analysis was performed using different character weighting concavities. Seven unambiguous synapomorphies support the monophyly of Glenognatha. Some internal clades within the genus are well-supported and its relationships are discussed. Glenognatha as recovered includes 27 species, four of them only known from males. A species identification key and distribution maps are provided for all. New morphological data are also presented for thirteen previously described species. Glenognatha has a broad distribution occupying the Neartic, Afrotropic, Indo-Malaya, Oceania and Paleartic regions, but is more diverse in the Neotropics. The following eleven new species are described: G. vivianae n. sp., G. caaguara n. sp., G. boraceia n. sp. and G. timbira n. sp. from southeast Brazil, G. caparu n. sp., G. januari n. sp. and G. camisea n. sp. from the Amazonian region, G. mendezi n. sp., G. florezi n. sp. and G. patriceae n. sp. from northern Andes and G. gouldi n. sp. from Southern United States and central Mexico. Females of G. minuta Banks, 1898, G. gaujoni Simon, 1895 and G. gloriae (Petrunkevitch, 1930) and males of G. globosa (Petrunkevitch, 1925) and G. hirsutissima (Berland, 1935) are described for the first time. Three new combinations are proposed in congruence with the phylogenetic results: G. argyrostilba (O. P.-Cambridge, 1876) n. comb., G. dentata (Zhu & Wen, 1978) n. comb. and G. tangi (Zhu, Song & Zhang, 2003) n. comb., all previously included in Dyschiriognatha Simon, 1893. The following taxa are newly synonymized: Dyschiriognatha montana Simon, 1897, Glenognatha mira Bryant

  19. Urbanisation at Multiple Scales Is Associated with Larger Size and Higher Fecundity of an Orb-Weaving Spider

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Elizabeth C.; Wilder, Shawn M.; Hochuli, Dieter F.

    2014-01-01

    Urbanisation modifies landscapes at multiple scales, impacting the local climate and changing the extent and quality of natural habitats. These habitat modifications significantly alter species distributions and can result in increased abundance of select species which are able to exploit novel ecosystems. We examined the effect of urbanisation at local and landscape scales on the body size, lipid reserves and ovary weight of Nephila plumipes, an orb weaving spider commonly found in both urban and natural landscapes. Habitat variables at landscape, local and microhabitat scales were integrated to create a series of indexes that quantified the degree of urbanisation at each site. Spider size was negatively associated with vegetation cover at a landscape scale, and positively associated with hard surfaces and anthropogenic disturbance on a local and microhabitat scale. Ovary weight increased in higher socioeconomic areas and was positively associated with hard surfaces and leaf litter at a local scale. The larger size and increased reproductive capacity of N.plumipes in urban areas show that some species benefit from the habitat changes associated with urbanisation. Our results also highlight the importance of incorporating environmental variables from multiple scales when quantifying species responses to landscape modification. PMID:25140809

  20. Evidence from Multiple Species that Spider Silk Glue Component ASG2 is a Spidroin.

    PubMed

    Collin, Matthew A; Clarke, Thomas H; Ayoub, Nadia A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2016-01-01

    Spiders in the superfamily Araneoidea produce viscous glue from aggregate silk glands. Aggregate glue coats prey-capture threads and hampers the escape of prey from webs, thereby increasing the foraging success of spiders. cDNAs for Aggregate Spider Glue 1 (ASG1) and 2 (ASG2) have been previously described from the golden orb-weaver, Nephila clavipes, and Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. To further investigate aggregate glues, we assembled ASG1 and ASG2 from genomic target capture libraries constructed from three species of cob-web weavers and three species of orb-web weavers, all araneoids. We show that ASG1 is unlikely to be a glue, but rather is part of a widespread arthropod gene family, the peritrophic matrix proteins. For ASG2, we demonstrate its remarkable architectural and sequence similarities to spider silk fibroins, indicating that ASG2 is a member of the spidroin gene family. Thus, spidroins have diversified into glues in addition to task-specific, high performance fibers. PMID:26875681

  1. Evidence from Multiple Species that Spider Silk Glue Component ASG2 is a Spidroin

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Matthew A.; Clarke, Thomas H.; Ayoub, Nadia A.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2016-01-01

    Spiders in the superfamily Araneoidea produce viscous glue from aggregate silk glands. Aggregate glue coats prey-capture threads and hampers the escape of prey from webs, thereby increasing the foraging success of spiders. cDNAs for Aggregate Spider Glue 1 (ASG1) and 2 (ASG2) have been previously described from the golden orb-weaver, Nephila clavipes, and Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. To further investigate aggregate glues, we assembled ASG1 and ASG2 from genomic target capture libraries constructed from three species of cob-web weavers and three species of orb-web weavers, all araneoids. We show that ASG1 is unlikely to be a glue, but rather is part of a widespread arthropod gene family, the peritrophic matrix proteins. For ASG2, we demonstrate its remarkable architectural and sequence similarities to spider silk fibroins, indicating that ASG2 is a member of the spidroin gene family. Thus, spidroins have diversified into glues in addition to task-specific, high performance fibers. PMID:26875681

  2. The influence of varied gravito-inertial fields on the cardiac response of orb-weaving spiders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1982-01-01

    The Gz transfer function was described for the orb weaving spider A. sericatus. The functional relationship between the heartrate and the intensity of G is linear in the form of: Y = a Log Gz-1 +k. The heartrate in unrestrained animals was recorded by a laser plethysmograph developed specifically for this purpose. Following a control, sample heartrate were taken postrotation between 1.001 and 1.5 Gz in 6 steps. The underlying distribution of heartrates does not appear significantly different from a Gaussian distribution. A method of varnishing the legs of the spider was developed. This was done in order to compromise the lyriform organs, especially those located on the patellae. The lyriform organ is hypothesized to serve the receptor role in the transduction of gravity related stimuli. In preliminary animals the Gz function, post varnishing of the patellae, appears to be changed in the direction of poorer discrimination. We also observed that the resting heartrate following the varnish procedure is substantially increased.

  3. Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era

    PubMed Central

    Blackledge, Todd A.; Scharff, Nikolaj; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Szüts, Tamas; Wenzel, John W.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2009-01-01

    The evolutionary diversification of spiders is attributed to spectacular innovations in silk. Spiders are unique in synthesizing many different kinds of silk, and using silk for a variety of ecological functions throughout their lives, particularly to make prey-catching webs. Here, we construct a broad higher-level phylogeny of spiders combining molecular data with traditional morphological and behavioral characters. We use this phylogeny to test the hypothesis that the spider orb web evolved only once. We then examine spider diversification in relation to different web architectures and silk use. We find strong support for a single origin of orb webs, implying a major shift in the spinning of capture silk and repeated loss or transformation of orb webs. We show that abandonment of costly cribellate capture silk correlates with the 2 major diversification events in spiders (1). Replacement of cribellate silk by aqueous silk glue may explain the greater diversity of modern orb-weaving spiders (Araneoidea) compared with cribellate orb-weaving spiders (Deinopoidea) (2). Within the “RTA clade,” which is the sister group to orb-weaving spiders and contains half of all spider diversity, >90% of species richness is associated with repeated loss of cribellate silk and abandonment of prey capture webs. Accompanying cribellum loss in both groups is a release from substrate-constrained webs, whether by aerially suspended webs, or by abandoning webs altogether. These behavioral shifts in silk and web production by spiders thus likely played a key role in the dramatic evolutionary success and ecological dominance of spiders as predators of insects. PMID:19289848

  4. Redescription of the Jamaican orb-weaving spider Chrysometa pecki Levi, 1986 (Araneae, Tetragnathidae), including the first description of the male.

    PubMed

    Kallal, Robert J; Hormiga, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    The tetragnathid genus Chrysometa Simon, 1894 includes 138 species found in the Americas, ranging from the Caribbean to Chile (World Spider Catalog 2015). This genus was revised by Levi (1986), with more recent publications adding to the genus (Álvarez-Padilla 2007, Nogueira et al. 2011, Simó et al., in press). Following Álvarez-Padilla & Hormiga (2011), Chrysometa is differentially diagnosed from other American tetragnathids based on the male palp with a cymbial ectobasal process, cymbial ectomedian process, and embolic basal process, and a paracymbium articulated with a membrane. The epigynum is flat, with fertilization ducts present. Both sexes have guanine crystals in their abdomen and femora lacking trichobothria. Three Jamaican Chrysometa are known: C. pecki Levi, 1986, C. fuscolimbata (Archer, 1958) and C. linguiformis (Franganillo, 1930); all of them known from females only (Levi 1986). PMID:27395537

  5. On the males of the orb-weaving spiders Alpaida nigrofrenata (Simon, 1895), A. machala Levi, 1988, and A. cisneros Levi, 1988 (Araneae, Araneidae) and a new synonymy.

    PubMed

    Poeta, Maria Rita Muniz; Lise, Arno Antonio

    2015-01-01

    The araneid spider genus Alpaida O.P.-Cambridge, 1889 has, until now, 148 described species (WSC 2015). The males of A. nigrofrenata (Simon, 1895), A. machala Levi, 1988, and A. cisneros Levi, 1988 are described here for the first time. A. moka Levi, 1988, based on female specimens, is synonymized with A. xavantina Levi, 1988, based on the study of specimens of both sexes. I.L.F. de Magalhães (MACN) is thanked for reviewing an early revision of this manuscript. We also thank to M. Machado (PUCRS) for the pictures of A. moka, and M. Kolmann (University of Toronto) and A. Londoño Burbano (PUCRS) for review the English. We are grateful to G. Hormiga for helping to improve this manuscript. M.R.M. Poeta was financially supported by CAPES at PPG-Zoo, PUCRS. PMID:26623625

  6. Araneae Sloveniae: a national spider species checklist

    PubMed Central

    Kostanjšek, Rok; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The research of the spider fauna of Slovenia dates back to the very beginning of binomial nomenclature, and has gone through more and less prolific phases with authors concentrating on taxonomy, faunistics, ecology and zoogeographic reviews. Although the body of published works is remarkable for a small nation, the faunistic data has remained too scattered for a thorough understanding of regional biotic diversity, for comparative and ecological research, and for informed conservation purposes. A national checklist is long overdue. Here, a critical review of all published records in any language is provided. The species list currently comprises 738 species, is published online at http://www.bioportal.si/katalog/araneae.php under the title Araneae Sloveniae, and will be updated in due course. This tool will fill the void in cataloguing regional spider faunas and will facilitate further araneological research in central and southern Europe. PMID:25632258

  7. Araneae Sloveniae: a national spider species checklist.

    PubMed

    Kostanjšek, Rok; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2015-01-01

    The research of the spider fauna of Slovenia dates back to the very beginning of binomial nomenclature, and has gone through more and less prolific phases with authors concentrating on taxonomy, faunistics, ecology and zoogeographic reviews. Although the body of published works is remarkable for a small nation, the faunistic data has remained too scattered for a thorough understanding of regional biotic diversity, for comparative and ecological research, and for informed conservation purposes. A national checklist is long overdue. Here, a critical review of all published records in any language is provided. The species list currently comprises 738 species, is published online at http://www.bioportal.si/katalog/araneae.php under the title Araneae Sloveniae, and will be updated in due course. This tool will fill the void in cataloguing regional spider faunas and will facilitate further araneological research in central and southern Europe. PMID:25632258

  8. The complete mitochondrial genomes of two orb-weaving spider Cyrtarachne nagasakiensis (Strand, 1918) and Hypsosinga pygmaea (Sundevall, 1831) (Araneae: Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Li, Chao; Wang, Zheng-Liang; Fang, Wen-Yuan; Yu, Xiao-Ping

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenomes of Cyrtarachne nagasakiensis and Hypsosinga pygmaea are determined to be 14,402 and 14,193 bp in length, with the A + T content of 75.7% and 76.1%, respectively. All protein-coding genes in both spiders start with the initiation codons (ATT, ATA, TTA or TTG) that are usually used in Araneae mitogenomes, and terminate with canonical stop codon TAA or TAG except for ND5 in both spiders and ND4L in H. pygmaea, which end with the incomplete codon TA or T instead. Most of the tRNAs lack the potential to form the typically cloverleaf-shaped secondary structures and none of tandem repeats are present in the control regions of both spider mitogenomes. The phylogenetic analysis based on the Bayesian inference dataset shows a good resolution of relationship of C. nagasakiensis and H. pygmaea in Araneidae. PMID:26119123

  9. Bat Predation by Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (∼90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed. PMID:23516436

  10. Reproducing Natural Spider Silks' Copolymer Behavior in Synthetic Silk Mimics

    SciTech Connect

    An, Bo; Jenkins, Janelle E; Sampath, Sujatha; Holland, Gregory P; Hinman, Mike; Yarger, Jeffery L; Lewis, Randolph

    2012-10-30

    Dragline silk from orb-weaving spiders is a copolymer of two large proteins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and 2 (MaSp2). The ratio of these proteins is known to have a large variation across different species of orb-weaving spiders. NMR results from gland material of two different species of spiders, N. clavipes and A. aurantia, indicates that MaSp1 proteins are more easily formed into β-sheet nanostructures, while MaSp2 proteins form random coil and helical structures. To test if this behavior of natural silk proteins could be reproduced by recombinantly produced spider silk mimic protein, recombinant MaSp1/MaSp2 mixed fibers as well as chimeric silk fibers from MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequences in a single protein were produced based on the variable ratio and conserved motifs of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in native silk fiber. Mechanical properties, solid-state NMR, and XRD results of tested synthetic fibers indicate the differing roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in the fiber and verify the importance of postspin stretching treatment in helping the fiber to form the proper spatial structure.

  11. Reproducing Natural Spider Silks’ Copolymer Behavior in Synthetic Silk Mimics

    PubMed Central

    An, Bo; Jenkins, Janelle E.; Sampath, Sujatha; Holland, Gregory P.; Hinman, Mike; Yarger, Jeffery L.; Lewis, Randolph

    2012-01-01

    Dragline silk from orb-weaving spiders is a copolymer of two large proteins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and 2 (MaSp2). The ratio of these proteins is known to have a large variation across different species of orb-weaving spiders. NMR results from gland material of two different species of spiders, N. clavipes and A. aurantia, indicates that MaSp1 proteins are more easily formed into β-sheet nanostructures, while MaSp2 proteins form random coil and helical structures. To test if this behavior of natural silk proteins could be reproduced by recombinantly produced spider silk mimic protein, recombinant MaSp1/MaSp2 mixed fibers as well as chimeric silk fibers from MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequences in a single protein were produced based on the variable ratio and conserved motifs of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in native silk fiber. Mechanical properties, solid-state NMR, and XRD results of tested synthetic fibers indicate the differing roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in the fiber and verify the importance of postspin stretching treatment in helping the fiber to form the proper spatial structure. PMID:23110450

  12. Piriform Spider Silk Sequences Reveal Unique Repetitive Elements

    PubMed Central

    Perry, David J.; Bittencourt, Daniela; Siltberg-Liberles, Jessica; Rech, Elibio L.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2010-01-01

    Orb-weaving spider silk fibers are assembled from very large, highly repetitive proteins. The repeated segments contain, in turn, short, simple repetitive amino acid motifs that account for the physical and mechanical properties of the assembled fiber. Of the six orb-weaver silk fibroins, the piriform silk that makes the attachment discs, which lashes the joints of the web and attaches dragline silk to surfaces has not been previously characterized. Piriform silk protein cDNAs were isolated from phage libraries of three species, A. trifasciata, N. clavipes, and N. cruentata. The deduced amino acid sequences from these genes revealed two new repetitive motifs: an alternating proline motif where every other amino acid is proline, and a glutamine-rich motif of 6 to 8 amino acids. Similar to other spider silk proteins, the repeated segments are large (>200 amino acids) and highly homogenized within a species. There is also substantial sequence similarity across the genes from the three species with particular conservation of the repetitive motifs. Northern blot analysis revealed that the messenger RNA is larger than 11kb and is expressed exclusively in the piriform glands of the spider. Phylogenetic analysis of the C-terminal regions of the new proteins with published spidroins robustly shows that the pirifom sequences form an ortholog group. PMID:20954740

  13. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer N; Emlen, Douglas J; Pearson, Dean E

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  14. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Emlen, Douglas J.; Pearson, Dean E.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders’ web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe’s architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  15. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    PubMed

    Starrett, James; Garb, Jessica E; Kuelbs, Amanda; Azubuike, Ugochi O; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2012-01-01

    Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers), from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'). Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs), is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow). In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders), which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders) and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae). We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid compositions of

  16. Six new species of the spider genus Spiricoelotes species (Araneae, Agelenidae) from caves in Jiangxi, China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lu; Zhao, Zhe; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    Six new species of the spider genus Spiricoelotes Wang, 2002 are described, Spiricoelotes anshiensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes chufengensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes nansheensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes taipingensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes xianheensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀) and Spiricoelotes xiongxinensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♀). All new species were collected from caves in Jiangxi Province, China. PMID:27006612

  17. Six new species of the spider genus Spiricoelotes species (Araneae, Agelenidae) from caves in Jiangxi, China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lu; Zhao, Zhe; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Six new species of the spider genus Spiricoelotes Wang, 2002 are described, Spiricoelotes anshiensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes chufengensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes nansheensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes taipingensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀), Spiricoelotes xianheensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♂♀) and Spiricoelotes xiongxinensis Chen & Li, sp. n. (♀). All new species were collected from caves in Jiangxi Province, China. PMID:27006612

  18. Early Events in the Evolution of Spider Silk Genes

    PubMed Central

    Starrett, James; Garb, Jessica E.; Kuelbs, Amanda; Azubuike, Ugochi O.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2012-01-01

    Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers), from the suborder Araneomorphae (‘true spiders’). Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs), is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow). In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders), which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders) and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae). We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid compositions

  19. Adaptation of the spiders to the environment: the case of some Chilean species

    PubMed Central

    Canals, Mauricio; Veloso, Claudio; Solís, Rigoberto

    2015-01-01

    Spiders are small arthropods that have colonized terrestrial environments. These impose three main problems: (i) terrestrial habitats have large fluctuations in temperature and humidity; (ii) the internal concentration of water is higher than the external environment in spiders, which exposes them continually to water loss; and (iii) their small body size determines a large surface/volume ratio, affecting energy exchange and influencing the life strategy. In this review we focus on body design, energetic, thermal selection, and water balance characteristics of some spider species present in Chile and correlate our results with ecological and behavioral information. Preferred temperatures and critical temperatures of Chilean spiders vary among species and individuals and may be adjusted by phenotypic plasticity. For example in the mygalomorph high-altitude spider Paraphysa parvula the preferred temperature is similar to that of the lowland spider Grammostola rosea; but while P. parvula shows phenotypic plasticity, G. rosea does not. The araneomorph spiders Loxosceles laeta and Scytodes globula have greater daily variations in preferred temperatures at twilight and during the night, which are set to the nocturnal activity rhythms of these species. They also present acclimation of the minimum critical temperatures. Dysdera crocata has a low preferred temperature adjusted to its favorite prey, the woodlouse. Spider metabolic rate is low compared to other arthropods, which may be associated with its sit and wait predatory strategy particularly in primitive hunter and weavers. In mygalomorph spiders the respiratory system is highly optimized with high oxygen conductance, for example G. rosea needs only a difference of 0.12–0.16 kPa in the oxygen partial pressure across the air-hemolymph barrier to satisfy its resting oxygen consumption demands. Water loss is a significant stress for spiders. Paraphysa parvula shows an evaporative water loss 10 times more than usual

  20. Adaptation of the spiders to the environment: the case of some Chilean species.

    PubMed

    Canals, Mauricio; Veloso, Claudio; Solís, Rigoberto

    2015-01-01

    Spiders are small arthropods that have colonized terrestrial environments. These impose three main problems: (i) terrestrial habitats have large fluctuations in temperature and humidity; (ii) the internal concentration of water is higher than the external environment in spiders, which exposes them continually to water loss; and (iii) their small body size determines a large surface/volume ratio, affecting energy exchange and influencing the life strategy. In this review we focus on body design, energetic, thermal selection, and water balance characteristics of some spider species present in Chile and correlate our results with ecological and behavioral information. Preferred temperatures and critical temperatures of Chilean spiders vary among species and individuals and may be adjusted by phenotypic plasticity. For example in the mygalomorph high-altitude spider Paraphysa parvula the preferred temperature is similar to that of the lowland spider Grammostola rosea; but while P. parvula shows phenotypic plasticity, G. rosea does not. The araneomorph spiders Loxosceles laeta and Scytodes globula have greater daily variations in preferred temperatures at twilight and during the night, which are set to the nocturnal activity rhythms of these species. They also present acclimation of the minimum critical temperatures. Dysdera crocata has a low preferred temperature adjusted to its favorite prey, the woodlouse. Spider metabolic rate is low compared to other arthropods, which may be associated with its sit and wait predatory strategy particularly in primitive hunter and weavers. In mygalomorph spiders the respiratory system is highly optimized with high oxygen conductance, for example G. rosea needs only a difference of 0.12-0.16 kPa in the oxygen partial pressure across the air-hemolymph barrier to satisfy its resting oxygen consumption demands. Water loss is a significant stress for spiders. Paraphysa parvula shows an evaporative water loss 10 times more than usual when

  1. Subsocial behaviour and brood adoption in mixed-species colonies of two theridiid spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinsted, Lena; Agnarsson, Ingi; Bilde, Trine

    2012-12-01

    Cooperation and group living often evolves through kin selection. However, associations between unrelated organisms, such as different species, can evolve if both parties benefit from the interaction. Group living is rare in spiders, but occurs in cooperative, permanently social spiders, as well as in territorial, colonial spiders. Mixed species spider colonies, involving closely related species, have rarely been documented. We examined social interactions in newly discovered mixed-species colonies of theridiid spiders on Bali, Indonesia. Our aim was to test the degree of intra- and interspecific tolerance, aggression and cooperation through behavioural experiments and examine the potential for adoption of foreign brood. Morphological and genetic analyses confirmed that colonies consisted of two related species Chikunia nigra (O.P. Cambridge, 1880) new combination (previously Chrysso nigra) and a yet undescribed Chikunia sp. Females defended territories and did not engage in cooperative prey capture, but interestingly, both species seemed to provide extended maternal care of young and indiscriminate care for foreign brood. Future studies may reveal whether these species adopt only intra-specific young, or also inter-specifically. We classify both Chikunia species subsocial and intra- and interspecifically colonial, and discuss the evolutionary significance of a system where one or both species may potentially benefit from mutual tolerance and brood adoption.

  2. Local and Landscape Correlates of Spider Activity Density and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    PubMed

    Otoshi, Michelle D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Urbanization is a major threat to arthropod biodiversity and abundance due to reduction and loss of suitable natural habitat. Green spaces and small-scale agricultural areas may provide habitat and resources for arthropods within densely developed cities. We studied spider activity density (a measure of both abundance and degree of movement) and diversity in urban gardens in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties in central California, USA. We sampled for spiders with pitfall traps and sampled 38 local site characteristics for 5 mo in 19 garden sites to determine the relative importance of individual local factors. We also analyzed 16 landscape variables at 500-m and 1-km buffers surrounding each garden to determine the significance of landscape factors. We identified individuals from the most common families to species and identified individuals from other families to morphospecies. Species from the families Lycosidae and Gnaphosidae composed 81% of total adult spider individuals. Most of the significant factors that correlated with spider activity density and richness were local rather than landscape factors. Spider activity density and richness increased with mulch cover and flowering plant species, and decreased with bare soil. Thus, changes in local garden management have the potential to promote diversity of functionally important spiders in urban environments. PMID:26314049

  3. Diverse formulas for spider dragline fibers demonstrated by molecular and mechanical characterization of spitting spider silk.

    PubMed

    Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-12-01

    Spider silks have outstanding mechanical properties. Most research has focused on dragline silk proteins (major ampullate spidroins, MaSps) from orb-weaving spiders. Using silk gland expression libraries from the haplogyne spider Scytodes thoracica, we discovered two novel spidroins (S. thoracica fibroin 1 and 2). The amino acid composition of S. thoracica silk glands and dragline fibers suggest that fibroin 1 is the major component of S. thoracica dragline silk. Fibroin 1 is dominated by glycine-alanine motifs, and lacks sequence motifs associated with orb-weaver MaSps. We hypothesize fibroin 2 is a piriform or aciniform silk protein, based on amino acid composition, spigot morphology, and phylogenetic analyses. S. thoracica's dragline silk is less tough than previously reported, but is still comparable to other dragline silks. Our analyses suggest that dragline silk proteins evolved multiple times. This demonstrates that spider dragline silk is more diverse than previously understood, providing alternative high performance silk designs. PMID:25340514

  4. Refractive index measurements of double-cylinder structures found in natural spider silks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Douglas J.; Kane, Deb M.

    2014-05-01

    The silks of Orb-Weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are emerging as fascinating optical materials due to their biocompatibility, ecological sustainability and mechanical robustness. Natural spider silks are mainly spun as double cylinders, with diameters ranging from 0.05 to 10 μm, depending on the species and maturity of the spider. This small size makes the silks difficult to characterize optically with traditional techniques. Here, we present a technique that is capable of measuring both the real and imaginary refractive index components of spider silks. This technique is also a new capability for characterizing micro-optics more generally. It is based on the measurement and analysis of refracted light through the spider silk, or micro-optic, while it is immersed in a liquid of known refractive index. It can be applied at any visible wavelength. Results at 540 nm are reported. Real refractive indices in the range of 1.54-1.58 were measured, consistent with previous studies of spider silks. Large silk-to-silk variability of the p-polarized refractive index was observed of around 0.015, while variability in the s-polarized refractive index was negligible. No discernible difference in the refractive indices of the two cylinders making up the double cylinder silk structure were observed. Measured imaginary refractive indices corresponded to an optical loss of around 14 dB/mm at 540 nm.

  5. Investigating the influence of geospatial attributes on spider species richness and diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The maintenance of biodiversity is an important aspect of the long-term sustainability of agricultural production. Maintaining biodiversity, especially in regards to predator species, promotes natural pest control and many other ecosystem services. Spiders (Araneae) often prey upon common pest speci...

  6. On the spider genus Arboricaria with the description of a new species (Araneae, Gnaphosidae).

    PubMed

    Mikhailov, Kirill G

    2016-01-01

    The spider genus Arboricaria Bosmans, 2000 is redefined and an updated diagnosis given. The differences between Arboricaria and Micaria Westring, 1851 are discussed in detail. A key to all five species of the genus is provided. One new species, Arboricaria zonsteini sp. n. (♂♀), is described based on specimens from Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. One new synonym is proposed: Arboricaria koeni Bosmans in Bosmans & Blick, 2000, syn. n. is assigned to Arboricaria sociabilis Kulczyński in Chyzer & Kulczyński, 1897. Data on the distribution of Arboricaria in Russia and adjacent countries are presented with references to the papers on local spider faunas. PMID:27006601

  7. On the spider genus Arboricaria with the description of a new species (Araneae, Gnaphosidae)

    PubMed Central

    Mikhailov, Kirill G.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The spider genus Arboricaria Bosmans, 2000 is redefined and an updated diagnosis given. The differences between Arboricaria and Micaria Westring, 1851 are discussed in detail. A key to all five species of the genus is provided. One new species, Arboricaria zonsteini sp. n. (♂♀), is described based on specimens from Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. One new synonym is proposed: Arboricaria koeni Bosmans in Bosmans & Blick, 2000, syn. n. is assigned to Arboricaria sociabilis Kulczyński in Chyzer & Kulczyński, 1897. Data on the distribution of Arboricaria in Russia and adjacent countries are presented with references to the papers on local spider faunas. PMID:27006601

  8. Inferring Species Trees from Gene Trees in a Radiation of California Trapdoor Spiders (Araneae, Antrodiaetidae, Aliatypus)

    PubMed Central

    Satler, Jordan D.; Starrett, James; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Hedin, Marshal

    2011-01-01

    Background The California Floristic Province is a biodiversity hotspot, reflecting a complex geologic history, strong selective gradients, and a heterogeneous landscape. These factors have led to high endemic diversity across many lifeforms within this region, including the richest diversity of mygalomorph spiders (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders, and kin) in North America. The trapdoor spider genus Aliatypus encompasses twelve described species, eleven of which are endemic to California. Several Aliatypus species show disjunct distributional patterns in California (some are found on both sides of the vast Central Valley), and the genus as a whole occupies an impressive variety of habitats. Methodology/Principal Findings We collected specimens from 89 populations representing all described species. DNA sequence data were collected from seven gene regions, including two newly developed for spider systematics. Bayesian inference (in individual gene tree and species tree approaches) recovered a general “3 clade” structure for the genus (A. gulosus, californicus group, erebus group), with three other phylogenetically isolated species differing slightly in position across different phylogenetic analyses. Because of extremely high intraspecific divergences in mitochondrial COI sequences, the relatively slowly evolving 28S rRNA gene was found to be more useful than mitochondrial data for identification of morphologically indistinguishable immatures. For multiple species spanning the Central Valley, explicit hypothesis testing suggests a lack of monophyly for regional populations (e.g., western Coast Range populations). Phylogenetic evidence clearly shows that syntopy is restricted to distant phylogenetic relatives, consistent with ecological niche conservatism. Conclusions/Significance This study provides fundamental insight into a radiation of trapdoor spiders found in the biodiversity hotspot of California. Species relationships are clarified and undescribed lineages

  9. Three new species of mygalomorph and filistatid spiders from Iran (Araneae, Cyrtaucheniidae, Nemesiidae and Filistatidae)

    PubMed Central

    Marusik, Yuri M.; Zamani, Alireza; Mirshamsi, Omid

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Three new spider species are described from Iran: Anemesia koponeni sp. n. (♂, Cyrtaucheniidae); Raveniola mazandaranica sp. n. (♂, Nemesiidae) and Sahastata sinuspersica sp. n. (♀, Filistatidae). Cyrtaucheniidae and Sahastata Benoit, 1968 are reported from Iran for the fisrt time. PMID:25589859

  10. A new species of the spider genus Plator (Trochanteriidae) from south China.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ye-Jie; Zhu, Guang-Xiang

    2016-01-01

    The spider genus Plator Simon (1880) is a small and little-known group in the spider family Trochanteriidae. Species of Plator are called flat-spiders in Chinese for the extremely flat habitus (Zhu & Wang 1963). Up to now, 11 Plator species have been recorded from India, China, Korea and Japan. Six of them, P. insolens Simon (1880), P. pandeae Tikader (1969), P. pennatus Platnick (1976), P. sinicus Zhu & Wang (1963), P. yunlong Zhu et al. (2006) and P. bowo Zhu et al. (2006) are reported from China (World Spider Catalog 2016). Zhu et al. (2006) suggested two species groups for at least all Chinese Plator species, the P. insolens group and the P. pennatus group. The former can be recognized by the absence of RTA of male pedipalp, and the narrow first windings of the copulatory duct system of female epigyne and the latter, distinguished by the presence of RTA and the broad first windings of the copulatory duct system. PMID:27615967

  11. Spider Diversity on the Oceanic Island of Fernando De Noronha, Brazil, and Implications for Species Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Freitas, Gilson Carlos da Conceição; Brescovit, Antonio Domingos; Vasconceloslc, Simao Dias

    2013-01-01

    Fernando de Noronha is an oceanic archipelago in Brazil that has been subjected to major alterations in its natural habitat, as it is exposed to increasing rates of tourism. This research aimed at performing the first survey of spider species on the main island, focusing on the environmental occupation and conservation status of local species. Spiders were sampled through pitfall traps, beating sheets, and active collection in the dry (October 2005) and rainy (April 2006) seasons in several parts of the island, such as urban and protected areas. A total of 1,532 adult spiders from 44 species distributed in 20 families were collected. Forty-two species are newly recorded on the archipelago, of which 10 appear to be native. Theridiidae and Salticidae were the richest families, with seven and five species respectively. Hogna sp., probably an endemic Lycosidae species, had the highest abundance throughout the study (17%). Several non-native species were found, especially in the surroundings of human habitations. Areas exposed to human settlements had higher diversity indices and evenness values when compared to preserved areas. Most species were classified as being diurnal space web-weavers. The results suggest that non-native species seemed to be established on the island, due mainly to the traffic of people and goods from the continent.

  12. Five new species of the Afrotropical dark sac spider genus Messapus Simon, 1898 (Araneae: Corinnidae).

    PubMed

    Haddad, Charles R; Mbo, Zingisile

    2015-01-01

    The Afrotropical dark sac spider genus Messapus Simon, 1898 (Corinnidae: Corinninae) currently only comprises two described species, the type species M. martini Simon, 1898 and M. natalis (Pocock, 1898), which have both recently been redescribed. The leg and setal morphology of Messapus is studied using scanning electron microscopy for the first time, for M. martini and M. tigris sp. n., and additional characters are provided to supplement a recent generic description. Five new species are described in the current paper: M. megae sp. n. (♂ ♀, from Zimbabwe), M. meridionalis sp. n. (♀, from South Africa), M. seiugatus sp. n. (♀, from Guinea), M. tigris sp. n. (♀, from Botswana and Namibia), and M. tropicus sp. n. (♂ ♀, from Democratic Republic of the Congo). All five species are arboreal spiders occurring on bark, lower foliage strata and the canopies of forest and savannah trees. An identification key to the seven species of the genus is provided. PMID:26701488

  13. Turnover of Species and Guilds in Shrub Spider Communities in a 100-Year Postlogging Forest Chronosequence.

    PubMed

    Haraguchi, Takashi F; Tayasu, Ichiro

    2016-02-01

    Disturbance of forests by logging and subsequent forest succession causes marked changes in arthropod communities. Although vegetation cover provides important habitat for arthropods, studies of the changes in their community structure associated with forest succession have been conducted mostly at ground level. To evaluate how forests of different ages contribute to arthropod biodiversity in shrub habitat, spiders were collected from shrubs in 12 forests ranging in age from 1 to 107 yr after logging. We found marked changes in spider community structure about 10 yr after logging: the number of species and individuals declined rapidly after this time. These changes were likely caused by a decrease in shrub cover in association with forest succession. Changes in spider species composition associated with stand age were small in forests at least 11 yr old and were not clustered by forest age. After the exclusion of species of which we sampled only one or two individuals incidentally, just 0.9 ± 0.5 (mean ± SD) species were unique to these older forests. The other 41.2 ± 4.3 species found in these forests were common to both older and young forests, although some of these species in common were found mainly in forests at least 11 yr old. These results suggest that preservation of old-growth forests contributes to the abundance of these common species, although old-growth forests contribute little to species diversity. PMID:26374757

  14. A verified spider bite and a review of the literature confirm Indian ornamental tree spiders (Poecilotheria species) as underestimated theraphosids of medical importance.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Joan; von Dechend, Margot; Mordasini, Raffaella; Ceschi, Alessandro; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Literature on bird spider or tarantula bites (Theraphosidae) is rare. This is astonishing as they are coveted pets and interaction with their keepers (feeding, cleaning the terrarium or taking them out to hold) might increase the possibility for bites. Yet, this seems to be a rare event and might be why most theraphosids are considered to be harmless, even though the urticating hairs of many American species can cause disagreeable allergic reactions. We are describing a case of a verified bite by an Indian ornamental tree spider (Poecilotheria regalis), where the patient developed severe, long lasting muscle cramps several hours after the bite. We present a comprehensive review of the literature on bites of these beautiful spiders and conclude that a delayed onset of severe muscle cramps, lasting for days, is characteristic for Poecilotheria bites. We discuss Poecilotheria species as an exception from the general assumption that theraphosid bites are harmless to humans. PMID:24215987

  15. Phylogenomics resolves a spider backbone phylogeny and rejects a prevailing paradigm for orb web evolution.

    PubMed

    Bond, Jason E; Garrison, Nicole L; Hamilton, Chris A; Godwin, Rebecca L; Hedin, Marshal; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2014-08-01

    Spiders represent an ancient predatory lineage known for their extraordinary biomaterials, including venoms and silks. These adaptations make spiders key arthropod predators in most terrestrial ecosystems. Despite ecological, biomedical, and biomaterial importance, relationships among major spider lineages remain unresolved or poorly supported. Current working hypotheses for a spider "backbone" phylogeny are largely based on morphological evidence, as most molecular markers currently employed are generally inadequate for resolving deeper-level relationships. We present here a phylogenomic analysis of spiders including taxa representing all major spider lineages. Our robust phylogenetic hypothesis recovers some fundamental and uncontroversial spider clades, but rejects the prevailing paradigm of a monophyletic Orbiculariae, the most diverse lineage, containing orb-weaving spiders. Based on our results, the orb web either evolved much earlier than previously hypothesized and is ancestral for a majority of spiders or else it has multiple independent origins, as hypothesized by precladistic authors. Cribellate deinopoid orb weavers that use mechanically adhesive silk are more closely related to a diverse clade of mostly webless spiders than to the araneoid orb-weaving spiders that use adhesive droplet silks. The fundamental shift in our understanding of spider phylogeny proposed here has broad implications for interpreting the evolution of spiders, their remarkable biomaterials, and a key extended phenotype--the spider web. PMID:25042592

  16. Spider bite.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; Fan, Hui Wen

    2011-12-10

    Spiders are a source of intrigue and fear, and several myths exist about their medical effects. Many people believe that bites from various spider species cause necrotic ulceration, despite evidence that most suspected cases of necrotic arachnidism are caused by something other than a spider bite. Latrodectism and loxoscelism are the most important clinical syndromes resulting from spider bite. Latrodectism results from bites by widow spiders (Latrodectus spp) and causes local, regional, or generalised pain associated with non-specific symptoms and autonomic effects. Loxoscelism is caused by Loxosceles spp, and the cutaneous form manifests as pain and erythema that can develop into a necrotic ulcer. Systemic loxoscelism is characterised by intravascular haemolysis and renal failure on occasion. Other important spiders include the Australian funnel-web spider (Atrax spp and Hadronyche spp) and the armed spider (Phoneutria spp) from Brazil. Antivenoms are an important treatment for spider envenomation but have been less successful than have those for snake envenomation, with concerns about their effectiveness for both latrodectism and loxoscelism. PMID:21762981

  17. Loxosceles niedeguidonae (Araneae, Sicariidae) a new species of brown spider from Brazilian semi-arid region

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Bertani, Rogério; Nagahama, Roberto Hiroaki; Barbosa, Maria Fatima Ribeiro

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A new species of recluse spider, Loxosceles niedeguidonae sp. n., is described from the Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara, State of Piauí, Brazil. This is the first endemic species described from Brazilian semi-arid environment. The species is included in gaucho group of Gertsch (1967) due to its spermathecal shape and is considered close to Loxosceles chapadensis Bertani, Fukushima & Nagahama, 2010 by the unusual long male palpal tibia, a character not common for species of this group. An updated key for Loxosceles species of gaucho group is presented. PMID:22451789

  18. Loxosceles niedeguidonae (Araneae, Sicariidae) a new species of brown spider from Brazilian semi-arid region.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Bertani, Rogério; Nagahama, Roberto Hiroaki; Barbosa, Maria Fatima Ribeiro

    2012-01-01

    A new species of recluse spider, Loxosceles niedeguidonaesp. n., is described from the Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara, State of Piauí, Brazil. This is the first endemic species described from Brazilian semi-arid environment. The species is included in gaucho group of Gertsch (1967) due to its spermathecal shape and is considered close to Loxosceles chapadensis Bertani, Fukushima & Nagahama, 2010 by the unusual long male palpal tibia, a character not common for species of this group. An updated key for Loxosceles species of gaucho group is presented. PMID:22451789

  19. Four new spider species of the family Theridiosomatidae (Arachnida, Araneae) from caves in Laos

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yucheng; Li, Shuqiang; Jäger, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Four new species of the spider family Theridiosomatidae are described from caves in Laos: Alaria cavernicola sp. n. (♂♀), A. navicularis sp. n., (♂♀) A. bicornis sp. n. (♂♀), Chthonopes thakekensis sp. n. (♀). Diagnoses and illustrations for all new taxa are given. All holotypes are deposited in the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (SMF). PMID:24715781

  20. Eleven new species of theridiosomatid spiders from southern China (Araneae, Theridiosomatidae)

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Qingyuan; Li, Shuqiang

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Two new genera of the spider family Theridiosomatidae, Alaria gen.n. with the type species Alaria chengguanensis sp. n., Menglunia gen.n. with the type species Menglunia inaffecta sp. n., are described from Guizhou and Yunnan, China. Nine more new species from Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan and Yunnan Provinces of southern China are described: Baalzebub rastrarius sp. n.,Baalzebub youyiensis sp. n., Karstia nitidasp. n., Karstia prolata sp. n.,Ogulnius hapalus sp. n., Theridiosoma plumaria sp. n., Theridiosoma triumphalis sp. n., Theridiosoma vimineum sp. n., Zoma fascia sp. n. The type specimens are deposited in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. PMID:23459445

  1. Two new species of the Polysphincta genus-group (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae) reared from their spider (Araneae) hosts in Europe.

    PubMed

    Fritzén, Niclas R

    2014-01-01

    Flacopimpla barathrica sp. n. and Zatypota flamma sp. n., belonging to the Polysphincta genus-group, are described, the former from Fennoscandia and the latter from Hungary. Like other species of this group for which the natural history is known, the new species are koinobiont ectoparasitoids of spiders. They have been reared from the theridiid spiders Thymoites bellissimus (L. Koch) and Parasteatoda sp. Archer respectively. The host records support the hypothesis of Flacopimpla being parasitoids of the spider family Theridiidae. The results also indicate that F. barathrica sp. n. has a very narrow host range consisting of a single species in Fennoscandia. The genus Flacopimpla was previously only known from the New World, and F. barathrica sp. n. is thus the first species of its genus in the Palaearctic. It is also the first troglophilic species of the Polysphincta genus-group. Zatypota albicoxa (Walker) is reported as new to Hungary.  PMID:25544624

  2. Chronic exposure to soil salinity in terrestrial species: Does plasticity and underlying physiology differ among specialized ground-dwelling spiders?

    PubMed

    Renault, D; Puzin, C; Foucreau, N; Bouchereau, A; Pétillon, J

    2016-07-01

    In salt marshes, the alternation of low and high tides entails rapid shifts of submersion and aerial exposure for terrestrial communities. In these intertidal environments, terrestrial species have to deal with an osmotic loss in body water content and an increase in sodium chloride concentration when salt load increases. In salt marshes, spiders represent an abundant arthropod group, whose physiological ecology in response to variations of soil salinity must be further investigated. In this study, we compared the effect of salinity on the survival and physiology of three species of Lycosidae; two salt marsh species (Arctosa fulvolineata and Pardosa purbeckensis) and one forest species (P. saltans). Spiders were individually exposed at three salinity conditions (0‰, 35‰ and 70‰) and survival, changes in body water content, hemolymph ions (Na(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), K(+); ICP-MS technique) and metabolites (mainly amino acids, polyols, sugars; LC and GC techniques) were assessed. The survival of the forest species P. saltans was very quickly hampered at moderate and high salinities. In this spider, variations of hemolymph ions and metabolites revealed a quick loss of physiological homeostasis and a rapid salt-induced dehydration of the specimens. Conversely, high survival durations were measured in the two salt-marsh spiders, and more particularly in A. fulvolineata. In both P. purbeckensis and A. fulvolineata, the proportion of Na(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), K(+) remained constant at the three experimental conditions. Accumulation of hemolymph Na(+) and amino acids (mainly glutamine and proline) demonstrated stronger osmoregulatory capacities in these salt-marsh resident spiders. To conclude, even if phylogenetically close (belonging to the same, monophyletic, family), we found different physiological capacities to cope with salt load among the three tested spider species. Nevertheless, physiological responses to salinity were highly consistent with the realized

  3. Animal personality meets community ecology: founder species aggression and the dynamics of spider communities.

    PubMed

    Quinn, John L

    2015-11-01

    Silken web-reef created by the spider Anelosimus studiosus (main picture) and close-up (insert picture) of multi-female, adult colony of the same species. (photographs: T. Jones, J. Pruitt and A. Wild) In Focus: Pruitt, J.N. & Modlmeier, A.P. (2015) Animal personality in a foundation species drives community divergence and collapse in the wild. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84 Interspecific interactions form the cornerstone of niche theory in community ecology. The 7-year study In Focus here supports the view that variation within species could also be crucially important. Spider communities created experimentally in the wild, with either aggressive or docile individuals of the same founder species, were highly divergent in patterns of community succession for several years. Eventually, they converged on the same community composition only to collapse entirely shortly after, apparently because of the specific mix of aggression phenotypes within and between species just before collapse. These results suggest numerous avenues of research for behavioural ecology and evolutionary community ecology in metapopulations, and could help to resolve differences between competing theories. PMID:26449191

  4. Multilocus species delimitation in a complex of morphologically conserved trapdoor spiders (mygalomorphae, antrodiaetidae, aliatypus).

    PubMed

    Satler, Jordan D; Carstens, Bryan C; Hedin, Marshal

    2013-11-01

    Species are a fundamental unit for biological studies, yet no uniform guidelines exist for determining species limits in an objective manner. Given the large number of species concepts available, defining species can be both highly subjective and biased. Although morphology has been commonly used to determine species boundaries, the availability and prevalence of genetic data has allowed researchers to use such data to make inferences regarding species limits. Genetic data also have been used in the detection of cryptic species, where other lines of evidence (morphology in particular) may underestimate species diversity. In this study, we investigate species limits in a complex of morphologically conserved trapdoor spiders (Mygalomorphae, Antrodiaetidae, Aliatypus) from California. Multiple approaches were used to determine species boundaries in this highly genetically fragmented group, including both multilocus discovery and validation approaches (plus a chimeric approach). Additionally, we introduce a novel tree-based discovery approach using species trees. Results suggest that this complex includes multiple cryptic species, with two groupings consistently recovered across analyses. Due to incongruence across analyses for the remaining samples, we take a conservative approach and recognize a three species complex, and formally describe two new species (Aliatypus roxxiae, sp. nov. and Aliatypus starretti, sp. nov.). This study helps to clarify species limits in a genetically fragmented group and provides a framework for identifying and defining the cryptic lineage diversity that prevails in many organismal groups. PMID:23771888

  5. Spider orb webs rely on radial threads to absorb prey kinetic energy.

    PubMed

    Sensenig, Andrew T; Lorentz, Kimberly A; Kelly, Sean P; Blackledge, Todd A

    2012-08-01

    The kinetic energy of flying insect prey is a formidable challenge for orb-weaving spiders. These spiders construct two-dimensional, round webs from a combination of stiff, strong radial silk and highly elastic, glue-coated capture spirals. Orb webs must first stop the flight of insect prey and then retain those insects long enough to be subdued by the spiders. Consequently, spider silks rank among the toughest known biomaterials. The large number of silk threads composing a web suggests that aerodynamic dissipation may also play an important role in stopping prey. Here, we quantify energy dissipation in orb webs spun by diverse species of spiders using data derived from high-speed videos of web deformation under prey impact. By integrating video data with material testing of silks, we compare the relative contributions of radial silk, the capture spiral and aerodynamic dissipation. Radial silk dominated energy absorption in all webs, with the potential to account for approximately 100 per cent of the work of stopping prey in larger webs. The most generous estimates for the roles of capture spirals and aerodynamic dissipation show that they rarely contribute more than 30 per cent and 10 per cent of the total work of stopping prey, respectively, and then only for smaller orb webs. The reliance of spider orb webs upon internal energy absorption by radial threads for prey capture suggests that the material properties of the capture spirals are largely unconstrained by the selective pressures of stopping prey and can instead evolve freely in response to alternative functional constraints such as adhering to prey. PMID:22431738

  6. Alpine endemic spiders shed light on the origin and evolution of subterranean species.

    PubMed

    Mammola, Stefano; Isaia, Marco; Arnedo, Miquel A

    2015-01-01

    We designed a comparative study to unravel the phylogeography of two Alpine endemic spiders characterized by a different degree of adaptation to subterranean life: Troglohyphantes vignai (Araneae, Linyphiidae) and Pimoa rupicola (Araneae, Pimoidae), the latter showing minor adaptation to hypogean life. We sampled populations of the model species in caves and other subterranean habitats across their known geographical range in the Western Alps. By combining phylogeographic inferences and Ecological Niche Modeling techniques, we inferred the biogeographic scenario that led to the present day population structure of the two species. According to our divergent time estimates and relative uncertainties, the isolation of T. vignai and P. rupicola from their northern sister groups was tracked back to Middle-Late Miocene. Furthermore, the fingerprint left by Pleistocene glaciations on the population structure revealed by the genetic data, led to the hypothesis that a progressive adaptation to subterranean habitats occurred in T. vignai, followed by strong population isolation. On the other hand, P. rupicola underwent a remarkable genetic bottleneck during the Pleistocene glaciations, that shaped its present population structure. It seems likely that such shallow population structure is both the result of the minor degree of specialization to hypogean life and the higher dispersal ability characterizing this species. The simultaneous study of overlapping spider species showing different levels of adaptation to hypogean life, disclosed a new way to clarify patterns of biological diversification and to understand the effects of past climatic shift on the subterranean biodiversity. PMID:26734503

  7. Alpine endemic spiders shed light on the origin and evolution of subterranean species

    PubMed Central

    Mammola, Stefano; Arnedo, Miquel A.

    2015-01-01

    We designed a comparative study to unravel the phylogeography of two Alpine endemic spiders characterized by a different degree of adaptation to subterranean life: Troglohyphantes vignai (Araneae, Linyphiidae) and Pimoa rupicola (Araneae, Pimoidae), the latter showing minor adaptation to hypogean life. We sampled populations of the model species in caves and other subterranean habitats across their known geographical range in the Western Alps. By combining phylogeographic inferences and Ecological Niche Modeling techniques, we inferred the biogeographic scenario that led to the present day population structure of the two species. According to our divergent time estimates and relative uncertainties, the isolation of T. vignai and P. rupicola from their northern sister groups was tracked back to Middle–Late Miocene. Furthermore, the fingerprint left by Pleistocene glaciations on the population structure revealed by the genetic data, led to the hypothesis that a progressive adaptation to subterranean habitats occurred in T. vignai, followed by strong population isolation. On the other hand, P. rupicola underwent a remarkable genetic bottleneck during the Pleistocene glaciations, that shaped its present population structure. It seems likely that such shallow population structure is both the result of the minor degree of specialization to hypogean life and the higher dispersal ability characterizing this species. The simultaneous study of overlapping spider species showing different levels of adaptation to hypogean life, disclosed a new way to clarify patterns of biological diversification and to understand the effects of past climatic shift on the subterranean biodiversity. PMID:26734503

  8. Spiders that decorate their webs at higher frequency intercept more prey and grow faster

    PubMed Central

    Li, Daiqin

    2005-01-01

    Many orb-weaving spiders decorate their webs with extra, bright white, ultraviolet light reflecting silk. Previous studies suggest that these decorations increase a spider's foraging efficiency by improving web attractiveness, which is known as the prey-attraction hypothesis. One assumption of this hypothesis is that individuals which decorate their webs at a higher frequency are expected to have a higher growth rate. Using a decoration-building orb-weaving spider, Argiope versicolor, I show a strong positive relationship between the growth rate in terms of weight gain and the frequency of decoration-building, as well as the rate of insect interception. This is the first study to reveal a fitness consequence of decorating behaviour in spiders. PMID:16096085

  9. Four new Mouse Spider species (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Actinopodidae, Missulena) from Western Australia

    PubMed Central

    Miglio, Laura Tavares; Harms, Danilo; Framenau, Volker Wilhelm; Harvey, Mark Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Four new species of the Mouse Spider genus Missulena Walckenaer, 1805 (family Actinopodidae) are described from Western Australia based on morphological features of adult males. Missulena leniae sp. n.(from the Carnarvon and Yalgoo biogeographic regions), Missulena mainae sp. n. (Carnarvon), Missulena melissae sp. n. (Pilbara) and Missulena pinguipes sp. n. (Mallee) represent a broad spectrum of morphological diversity found in this genus and differ from other congeners by details of the male copulatory bulb, colour patterns, eye sizes, leg morphology and leg spination. Two of the species, M. pinguipes sp. n. and M. mainae sp. n., are characterised by swollen metatarsi of the fourth legs in males, a feature not previously recorded in the family. A key to males of all named Missulena species from Australia is presented and allows their identification based on external morphology. PMID:24899853

  10. Four new Mouse Spider species (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Actinopodidae, Missulena) from Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Miglio, Laura Tavares; Harms, Danilo; Framenau, Volker Wilhelm; Harvey, Mark Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Four new species of the Mouse Spider genus Missulena Walckenaer, 1805 (family Actinopodidae) are described from Western Australia based on morphological features of adult males. Missulena leniae sp. n.(from the Carnarvon and Yalgoo biogeographic regions), Missulena mainae sp. n. (Carnarvon), Missulena melissae sp. n. (Pilbara) and Missulena pinguipes sp. n. (Mallee) represent a broad spectrum of morphological diversity found in this genus and differ from other congeners by details of the male copulatory bulb, colour patterns, eye sizes, leg morphology and leg spination. Two of the species, M. pinguipes sp. n. and M. mainae sp. n., are characterised by swollen metatarsi of the fourth legs in males, a feature not previously recorded in the family. A key to males of all named Missulena species from Australia is presented and allows their identification based on external morphology. PMID:24899853

  11. NMR-spectroscopic screening of spider venom reveals sulfated nucleosides as major components for the brown recluse and related species.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Frank C; Taggi, Andrew E; Gronquist, Matthew; Malik, Rabia U; Grant, Jacqualine B; Eisner, Thomas; Meinwald, Jerrold

    2008-09-23

    Extensive chemical analyses of spider venoms from many species have revealed complex mixtures of biologically active compounds, of which several have provided important leads for drug development. We have recently shown that NMR spectroscopy can be used advantageously for a direct structural characterization of the small-molecule content of such complex mixtures. Here, we report the application of this strategy to a larger-scale analysis of a collection of spider venoms representing >70 species, which, in combination with mass spectrometric analyses, allowed the identification of a wide range of known, and several previously undescribed, small molecules. These include polyamines, common neurotransmitters, and amino acid derivatives as well as two additional members of a recently discovered family of natural products, the sulfated nucleosides. In the case of the well studied brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, sulfated guanosine derivatives were found to comprise the major small-molecule components of the venom. PMID:18794518

  12. NMR-spectroscopic screening of spider venom reveals sulfated nucleosides as major components for the brown recluse and related species

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Frank C.; Taggi, Andrew E.; Gronquist, Matthew; Malik, Rabia U.; Grant, Jacqualine B.; Eisner, Thomas; Meinwald, Jerrold

    2008-01-01

    Extensive chemical analyses of spider venoms from many species have revealed complex mixtures of biologically active compounds, of which several have provided important leads for drug development. We have recently shown that NMR spectroscopy can be used advantageously for a direct structural characterization of the small-molecule content of such complex mixtures. Here, we report the application of this strategy to a larger-scale analysis of a collection of spider venoms representing >70 species, which, in combination with mass spectrometric analyses, allowed the identification of a wide range of known, and several previously undescribed, small molecules. These include polyamines, common neurotransmitters, and amino acid derivatives as well as two additional members of a recently discovered family of natural products, the sulfated nucleosides. In the case of the well studied brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, sulfated guanosine derivatives were found to comprise the major small-molecule components of the venom. PMID:18794518

  13. High-stakes species delimitation in eyeless cave spiders (Cicurina, Dictynidae, Araneae) from central Texas.

    PubMed

    Hedin, Marshal

    2015-01-01

    A remarkable radiation of completely eyeless, cave-obligate spider species (Cicurina) has been described from limestone caves of Texas. This radiation includes over 50 described species, with a large number of hypothesized single-cave endemics, and four species listed as US Federally Endangered. Because of this conservation importance, species delimitation in the group is 'high-stakes'- it is imperative that species hypotheses are data rich, objective, and robust. This study focuses on a complex of four cave-dwelling Cicurina distributed on the northwestern edge of Austin, Texas. Several of the existing species hypotheses in this complex are weak, based on morphological comparisons of small samples of adult female specimens; one species description (for C. wartoni) is based on a single adult specimen. Species limits in this group were newly assessed using morphological, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data evidence, analysed using a variety of approaches. All data support a clear lineage separation between C. buwata versus the C. travisae complex (including C. travisae, C. wartoni and C. reddelli). Observed congruence across multiple analyses indicate that the C. travisae complex represents a single species, and the formal species synonymy presented here has important conservation implications. The integrative framework utilized in this study serves as a potential model for other Texas cave Cicurina, including US Federally Endangered species. More generally, this study illustrates how and why taxon-focused conservation efforts must prioritize modern species delimitation research (if the existing taxonomy is weak), before devoting precious downstream resources to conservation efforts. The study also highlights the issue of taxonomic type II error that diversity biologists increasingly face as species delimitation moves into the genomics era. PMID:25492722

  14. Cellular stress reactions assessed by gender and species in spiders from areas variously polluted with heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Wilczek, Grazyna; Babczyńska, Agnieszka; Wilczek, Piotr; Dolezych, Bogdan; Migula, Paweł; Młyńska, Hanna

    2008-05-01

    In the funnel web spider Agelena labyrinthica (Agelenidae; A. l.), sheet web spider Linyphia triangularis (Linyphiidae; L. t.) and wolf spider Xerolycosa nemoralis (Lycosidae; X. n.) from two differently polluted meadow sites in southern Poland, we studied the relations between antioxidant parameters (glutathione, GSH; glutathione peroxidases, GPOX, GSTPx; catalase, CAT; stress proteins-Hsp70, metallothioneins Mts), the intensity of apoptosis and necrosis, and heavy metal burdens of the midgut gland. Cellular reactions against stress caused by pollutants seemed to be sex-dependent. The concentrations of Zn and Cu in the midgut glands of male A. l. and X. n. were more than double that of the females, from both study sites. In male spiders from the heavily polluted site, both negative correlations (activity of caspase-3-like proteins vs Cu, Zn concentration; number of depolarized mitochondria vs Cu concentration) and positive correlations (number of necrotic cells vs Cu concentrations; activity of CAT vs Zn ) were noted. The defense of males against high metal content and its prooxidative effects is based mainly on GSH and CAT. In females the antioxidative reactions are species-specific and depend mainly on high peroxidase activity and on stress protein level. The increase in the number of apoptotic cells in the midgut gland of female spiders from the heavily polluted site suggests the defensive role of this process in maintaining the proper functioning of this organ. PMID:17467054

  15. A Unique Nest-Protection Strategy in a New Species of Spider Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Chao-Dong; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2014-01-01

    Hymenoptera show a great variation in reproductive potential and nesting behavior, from thousands of eggs in sawflies to just a dozen in nest-provisioning wasps. Reduction in reproductive potential in evolutionary derived Hymenoptera is often facilitated by advanced behavioral mechanisms and nesting strategies. Here we describe a surprising nesting behavior that was previously unknown in the entire animal kingdom: the use of a vestibular cell filled with dead ants in a new spider wasp (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) species collected with trap nests in South-East China. We scientifically describe the ‘Bone-house Wasp’ as Deuteragenia ossarium sp. nov., named after graveyard bone-houses or ossuaries. We show that D. ossarium nests are less vulnerable to natural enemies than nests of other sympatric trap-nesting wasps, suggesting an effective nest protection strategy, most likely by utilizing chemical cues emanating from the dead ants. PMID:24987876

  16. Similar patterns of frequency-dependent selection on animal personalities emerge in three species of social spiders.

    PubMed

    Lichtenstein, J L L; Pruitt, J N

    2015-06-01

    Frequency-dependent selection is thought to be a major contributor to the maintenance of phenotypic variation. We tested for frequency-dependent selection on contrasting behavioural strategies, termed here 'personalities', in three species of social spiders, each thought to represent an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. The evolution of sociality in the spider genus Anelosimus is consistently met with the emergence of two temporally stable discrete personality types: an 'aggressive' or 'docile' form. We assessed how the foraging success of each phenotype changes as a function of its representation within a colony. We did this by creating experimental colonies of various compositions (six aggressives, three aggressives and three dociles, one aggressive and five dociles, six dociles), maintaining them in a common garden for 3 weeks, and tracking the mass gained by individuals of either phenotype. We found that both the docile and aggressive phenotypes experienced their greatest mass gain in mixed colonies of mostly docile individuals. However, the performance of both phenotypes decreased as the frequency of the aggressive phenotype increased. Nearly identical patterns of phenotype-specific frequency dependence were recovered in all three species. Naturally occurring colonies of these spiders exhibit mixtures dominated by the docile phenotype, suggesting that these spiders may have evolved mechanisms to maintain the compositions that maximize the success of the colony without compromising the expected reproductive output of either phenotype. PMID:25940218

  17. Gravito-inertial sensitivity of the spider - Araneus sericatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1982-01-01

    The gravito-inertial transfer function of the orb-weaving spider was evaluated by changes in the cardiac reflex. A non-intrusive method, using a laser system recorded the cardiac pulse. Between 1.001 and 1.5 Gz the data are 'best-fit' by a log function (r-squared 0.92). The response of the neurogenic heart is seen to be a good dependent variable for invetebrate research. The arachnid lyriform organ has those qualities which complement the obtained gravity function. It is hypothesized that the cardiac pump maintains the spiders equilibrium in the gravito-inertial field.

  18. Two new species of whip spider (Amblypygi): an epigean and a cave dwelling Charinus Simon, 1892 from Belize.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Gustavo Silva De; Giupponi, Alessandro Ponce De Leão; Wizen, Gil

    2016-01-01

    Central America is rich in whip spider species, mainly of the genera Phrynus and Paraphrynus (Phrynidae), but also includes few registers of Charinus (Charinidae) with no description of taxa. In this paper two new species of Charinus from Belize are described and illustrated (Charinus belizensis sp. nov. and Charinus reddelli sp. nov.) being the first species named from Central America. New records of Charinus victori Armas, 2010 from Puerto Rico, a comparative table listing the differential characters of the Caribbean and Central American species, and a distributional map of those species are also provided. PMID:27394600

  19. Dispatch from the field: ecology of ground-web-building spiders with description of a new species (Araneae, Symphytognathidae)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Crassignatha danaugirangensis sp. n. (Araneae: Symphytognathidae) was discovered during a tropical ecology field course held at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Sabah, Malaysia. A taxonomic description and accompanying ecological study were completed as course activities. To assess the ecology of this species, which belongs to the ground-web-building spider community, three habitat types were surveyed: riparian forest, recently inundated riverine forest, and oil palm plantation. Crassignatha danaugirangensis sp. n. is the most abundant ground-web-building spider species in riparian forest; it is rare or absent from the recently inundated forest and was not found in a nearby oil palm plantation. The availability of this taxonomic description may help facilitate the accumulation of data about this species and the role of inundated riverine forest in shaping invertebrate communities. PMID:24891829

  20. Web-building time in a spider: preliminary applications of ultrasonic detection.

    PubMed

    Ramousse, R; Davis, F

    1976-12-01

    Data collection on time and length of building in orb-weaving spiders has suffered from absence of light during construction and inconvenient hours. A simple apparatus is described which permits recording of the spiders' movements as they disturb an ultrasonic field. By varying onset and length of dark periods for two animals at even temperature and by registering the building periods for 127 webs, a definite influence of the light-dark cycle can be identified: there is a strong preference for building webs in the dark; this is superimposed on the circadian rhythm of orb-web construction. One of the spiders always built earlier than the other. PMID:14677594

  1. Intragenic homogenization and multiple copies of prey-wrapping silk genes in Argiope garden spiders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Spider silks are spectacular examples of phenotypic diversity arising from adaptive molecular evolution. An individual spider can produce an array of specialized silks, with the majority of constituent silk proteins encoded by members of the spidroin gene family. Spidroins are dominated by tandem repeats flanked by short, non-repetitive N- and C-terminal coding regions. The remarkable mechanical properties of spider silks have been largely attributed to the repeat sequences. However, the molecular evolutionary processes acting on spidroin terminal and repetitive regions remain unclear due to a paucity of complete gene sequences and sampling of genetic variation among individuals. To better understand spider silk evolution, we characterize a complete aciniform spidroin gene from an Argiope orb-weaving spider and survey aciniform gene fragments from congeneric individuals. Results We present the complete aciniform spidroin (AcSp1) gene from the silver garden spider Argiope argentata (Aar_AcSp1), and document multiple AcSp1 loci in individual genomes of A. argentata and the congeneric A. trifasciata and A. aurantia. We find that Aar_AcSp1 repeats have >98% pairwise nucleotide identity. By comparing AcSp1 repeat amino acid sequences between Argiope species and with other genera, we identify regions of conservation over vast amounts of evolutionary time. Through a PCR survey of individual A. argentata, A. trifasciata, and A. aurantia genomes, we ascertain that AcSp1 repeats show limited variation between species whereas terminal regions are more divergent. We also find that average dN/dS across codons in the N-terminal, repetitive, and C-terminal encoding regions indicate purifying selection that is strongest in the N-terminal region. Conclusions Using the complete A. argentata AcSp1 gene and spidroin genetic variation between individuals, this study clarifies some of the molecular evolutionary processes underlying the spectacular mechanical attributes of

  2. Discovery of a new Wolbachia supergroup in cave spider species and the lateral transfer of phage WO among distant hosts.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guan-Hong; Jia, Ling-Yi; Xiao, Jin-Hua; Huang, Da-Wei

    2016-07-01

    Wolbachia are widespread intracellular bacteria infecting the major classes of arthropods and some filarial nematodes. In arthropods, Wolbachia have evolved various intriguing reproductive manipulations, including cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, feminization, and male killing. Sixteen supergroups of Wolbachia have been identified, named A-Q (except G). Though Wolbachia present great diversity in arthropods, spiders, especially cave spiders, are still a poorly surveyed group of Wolbachia hosts. Here, we report a novel Wolbachia supergroup from nine Telema cave spiders (Araneae: Telemidae) based on five molecular markers (16S rRNA, ftsZ, gltA, groEL, and coxA). In addition, phage WO, which was previously reported only in Wolbachia supergroups A, B, and F, infects this new Wolbachia supergroup. We detected a 100% infection rate for phage WO and Wolbachia in Telema species. The phylogenetic trees of phage WO and Wolbachia are not congruent, which suggests that horizontal transfer of phage WO has occurred in these secluded species. Additionally, these data indicate Telema-Wolbachia-phage WO may be a good model for exploring the horizontal transfer history of WO among different host species. PMID:26997548

  3. Species replacement by a nonnative salmonid alters ecosystem function by reducing prey subsidies that support riparian spiders.

    PubMed

    Benjamin, Joseph R; Fausch, Kurt D; Baxter, Colden V

    2011-10-01

    Replacement of a native species by a nonnative can have strong effects on ecosystem function, such as altering nutrient cycling or disturbance frequency. Replacements may cause shifts in ecosystem function because nonnatives establish at different biomass, or because they differ from native species in traits like foraging behavior. However, no studies have compared effects of wholesale replacement of a native by a nonnative species on subsidies that support consumers in adjacent habitats, nor quantified the magnitude of these effects. We examined whether streams invaded by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in two regions of the Rocky Mountains, USA, produced fewer emerging adult aquatic insects compared to paired streams with native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii), and whether riparian spiders that depend on these prey were less abundant along streams with lower total insect emergence. As predicted, emergence density was 36% lower from streams with the nonnative fish. Biomass of brook trout was higher than the cutthroat trout they replaced, but even after accounting for this difference, emergence was 24% lower from brook trout streams. More riparian spiders were counted along streams with greater total emergence across the water surface. Based on these results, we predicted that brook trout replacement would result in 6-20% fewer spiders in the two regions. When brook trout replace cutthroat trout, they reduce cross-habitat resource subsidies and alter ecosystem function in stream-riparian food webs, not only owing to increased biomass but also because traits apparently differ from native cutthroat trout. PMID:21688160

  4. Species replacement by a nonnative salmonid alters ecosystem function by reducing prey subsidies that support riparian spiders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benjamin, J.R.; Fausch, K.D.; Baxter, C.V.

    2011-01-01

    Replacement of a native species by a nonnative can have strong effects on ecosystem function, such as altering nutrient cycling or disturbance frequency. Replacements may cause shifts in ecosystem function because nonnatives establish at different biomass, or because they differ from native species in traits like foraging behavior. However, no studies have compared effects of wholesale replacement of a native by a nonnative species on subsidies that support consumers in adjacent habitats, nor quantified the magnitude of these effects. We examined whether streams invaded by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in two regions of the Rocky Mountains, USA, produced fewer emerging adult aquatic insects compared to paired streams with native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii), and whether riparian spiders that depend on these prey were less abundant along streams with lower total insect emergence. As predicted, emergence density was 36% lower from streams with the nonnative fish. Biomass of brook trout was higher than the cutthroat trout they replaced, but even after accounting for this difference, emergence was 24% lower from brook trout streams. More riparian spiders were counted along streams with greater total emergence across the water surface. Based on these results, we predicted that brook trout replacement would result in 6-20% fewer spiders in the two regions. When brook trout replace cutthroat trout, they reduce cross-habitat resource subsidies and alter ecosystem function in stream-riparian food webs, not only owing to increased biomass but also because traits apparently differ from native cutthroat trout. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  5. A novel property of spider silk: chemical defence against ants

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shichang; Koh, Teck Hui; Seah, Wee Khee; Lai, Yee Hing; Elgar, Mark A.; Li, Daiqin

    2012-01-01

    Spider webs are made of silk, the properties of which ensure remarkable efficiency at capturing prey. However, remaining on, or near, the web exposes the resident spiders to many potential predators, such as ants. Surprisingly, ants are rarely reported foraging on the webs of orb-weaving spiders, despite the formidable capacity of ants to subdue prey and repel enemies, the diversity and abundance of orb-web spiders, and the nutritional value of the web and resident spider. We explain this paradox by reporting a novel property of the silk produced by the orb-web spider Nephila antipodiana (Walckenaer). These spiders deposit on the silk a pyrrolidine alkaloid (2-pyrrolidinone) that provides protection from ant invasion. Furthermore, the ontogenetic change in the production of 2-pyrrolidinone suggests that this compound represents an adaptive response to the threat of natural enemies, rather than a simple by-product of silk synthesis: while 2-pyrrolidinone occurs on the silk threads produced by adult and large juvenile spiders, it is absent on threads produced by small juvenile spiders, whose threads are sufficiently thin to be inaccessible to ants. PMID:22113027

  6. Sexual dimorphism in venom chemistry in Tetragnatha spiders is not easily explained by adult niche differences.

    PubMed

    Binford, Greta J; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Maddison, Wayne P

    2016-05-01

    Spider venom composition typically differs between sexes. This pattern is anecdotally thought to reflect differences in adult feeding biology. We used a phylogenetic approach to compare intersexual venom dimorphism between species that differ in adult niche dimorphism. Male and female venoms were compared within and between related species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha, a mainland congener, and outgroups. In some species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha adult females spin orb-webs and adult males capture prey while wandering, while in other species both males and females capture prey by wandering. We predicted that, if venom sexual dimorphism is primarily explained by differences in adult feeding biology, species in which both sexes forage by wandering would have monomorphic venoms or venoms with reduced dimorphism relative to species with different adult feeding biology. However, we found striking sexual dimorphism in venoms of both wandering and orb-weaving Tetragnatha species with males having high molecular weight components in their venoms that were absent in females, and a reduced concentration of low molecular weight components relative to females. Intersexual differences in venom composition within Tetragnatha were significantly larger than in non-Tetragnatha species. Diet composition was not different between sexes. This striking venom dimorphism is not easily explained by differences in feeding ecology or behavior. Rather, we hypothesize that the dimorphism reflects male-specific components that play a role in mating biology possibly in sexual stimulation, nuptial gifts and/or mate recognition. PMID:26908290

  7. A new species of spider belonging to the Pardosa lugubris-group (Araneae: Lycosidae) from Far East Asia.

    PubMed

    Nadolny, Anton A; Omelko, Mikhail M; Marusik, Yuri M; Blagoev, Gergin

    2016-01-01

    A new species, Pardosa koponeni sp. n., is described. The new species is widely distributed in Far East Asia. It was previously confused with P. lugubris (Walckenaer, 1802). The two species have very similar copulatory organs but differ in the colouration of legs II-IV in males and the carapace/femur I ratio in both sexes. The distribution of the new species is mapped using material examined and literature data. To provide a more complete understanding of the boundaries between such closely related species, morphological and DNA barcoding approaches for species discrimination were integrated. Two species of the Pardosa lugubris-group (P. lugubris and P. alacris) were found to share haplotypes, suggesting evidence of hybridization or incomplete lineage sorting, or they are perhaps separate morphotypes of the same species. This is another example of complexity and the value of comparing morphology and DNA barcode data among spiders. PMID:27395923

  8. Multilocus sequence data reveal dozens of putative cryptic species in a radiation of endemic Californian mygalomorph spiders (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Nemesiidae).

    PubMed

    Leavitt, Dean H; Starrett, James; Westphal, Michael F; Hedin, Marshal

    2015-10-01

    We use mitochondrial and multi-locus nuclear DNA sequence data to infer both species boundaries and species relationships within California nemesiid spiders. Higher-level phylogenetic data show that the California radiation is monophyletic and distantly related to European members of the genus Brachythele. As such, we consider all California nemesiid taxa to belong to the genus Calisoga Chamberlin, 1937. Rather than find support for one or two taxa as previously hypothesized, genetic data reveal Calisoga to be a species-rich radiation of spiders, including perhaps dozens of species. This conclusion is supported by multiple mitochondrial barcoding analyses, and also independent analyses of nuclear data that reveal general genealogical congruence. We discovered three instances of sympatry, and genetic data indicate reproductive isolation when in sympatry. An examination of female reproductive morphology does not reveal species-specific characters, and observed male morphological differences for a subset of putative species are subtle. Our coalescent species tree analysis of putative species lays the groundwork for future research on the taxonomy and biogeographic history of this remarkable endemic radiation. PMID:26025426

  9. Securing Paternity by Mutilating Female Genitalia in Spiders.

    PubMed

    Mouginot, Pierick; Prügel, Josepha; Thom, Ulrike; Steinhoff, Philip O M; Kupryjanowicz, Janusz; Uhl, Gabriele

    2015-11-16

    Competition between males and their sperm over access to females and their eggs has resulted in manifold ways by which males try to secure paternity, ranging from physically guarding the female after mating to reducing her receptivity or her attractiveness to subsequent males by transferring manipulative substances or by mechanically sealing the female reproductive tract with a copulatory plug. Copulations may also result in internal damage of the female genitalia; however, this is not considered as a direct adaptation against sperm competition but as a collateral effect. Here, we present a drastic and direct mechanism for securing paternity: the removal of coupling structures on female genitalia by males. In the orb-weaving spider Larinia jeskovi males remove the scapus, a crucial coupling device on the female external genital region. Reconstruction of the coupling mechanism using micro-CT-scanned mating pairs revealed that several sclerites of the male genitalia interact to break off the scapus. Once it is removed, remating cannot occur due to mechanical coupling difficulties. In the field, male-inflicted genital damage is very prevalent since all female L. jeskovi were found to be mutilated at the end of the mating season. External genital mutilation is an overlooked but widely spread phenomenon since 80 additional spider species were found for which male genital manipulation can be suspected. Interlocking genitalia provide an evolutionary platform for the rapid evolution of this highly effective mechanism to secure paternity, and we suspect that other animal groups with interlocking genital structures might reveal similarly drastic male adaptations. PMID:26549254

  10. Respiration in spiders (Araneae).

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Anke

    2016-05-01

    Spiders (Araneae) are unique regarding their respiratory system: they are the only animal group that breathe simultaneously with lungs and tracheae. Looking at the physiology of respiration the existence of tracheae plays an important role in spiders with a well-developed tracheal system. Other factors as sex, life time, type of prey capture and the high ability to gain energy anaerobically influence the resting and the active metabolic rate intensely. Most spiders have metabolic rates that are much lower than expected from body mass; but especially those with two pairs of lungs. Males normally have higher resting rates than females; spiders that are less evolved and possess a cribellum have lower metabolic rates than higher evolved species. Freely hunting spiders show a higher energy turnover than spiders hunting with a web. Spiders that live longer than 1 year will have lower metabolic rates than those species that die after 1 year in which development and reproduction must be completed. Lower temperatures and starvation, which most spiders can cope with, will decrease the metabolic rate as well. PMID:26820263

  11. A new species of jumping spider Neonella Gertsch, with notes on the genus and male identification key (Araneae, Salticidae)

    PubMed Central

    Rubio, Gonzalo D.; Argañaraz, Carina I.; Gleiser, Raquel M.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The American genus Neonella Gertsch, 1936 consists of very small jumping spiders whose biology is not well known. The genus currently includes eleven valid species, of which eight are known from both sexes and two are only known from one sex. This paper describes and illustrates a new species Neonella acostae sp. n., demonstrates male palpal variation in Neonella montana Galiano, 1988, and provides some information on the ecology of three sympatric species. New records of Neonella montana and Neonella minuta Galiano, 1965 are reported. Because the previously described species of Neonella were well illustrated and diagnosed, a dichotomous key to males is given along with genital illustrations of both sexes for all known species. PMID:26692804

  12. New species of the spider genera Aysenia and Aysenoides from Chile and Argentina: description and phylogenetic relationships (Araneae: Anyphaenidae, Amaurobioidinae).

    PubMed

    Laborda, Alvaro; Ramírez, Martín J; Pizarro-Araya, Jaime

    2013-01-01

    New spider species of the genera Aysenia Tullgren and Aysenoides Ramírez are described and their phylogenetic relationships discussed. The new species Aysenia paposo, from the coastal desert in northern Chile is sister to Aysenia araucana Ramírez. The diagnosis of Aysenia araucana is updated and new somatic variability is reported for the species. We present new records for other species of Aysenia and Aysenoides. The new species Aysenoides simoi, from temperate forests in Chile and adjacent Argentina is sister to Aysenoides nahuel. The phylogenetic analysis confirmed the monophyly of both genera. The support values of the genera are relatively high, but some internal branches show low support values. The genus Aysenia is supported by three synapomorphies, two of these from leg spination and one from the male genitalia. Aysenoides is supported by three synapomorphies from male and female genitalia. PMID:25277558

  13. Altitudinal patterns of spider sociality and the biology of a new midelevation social Anelosimus species in Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Avilés, Leticia; Agnarsson, Ingi; Salazar, Patricio A; Purcell, Jessica; Iturralde, Gabriel; Yip, Eric C; Powers, Kimberly S; Bukowski, Todd C

    2007-11-01

    To the extent that geography correlates with particular environmental parameters, the geographical distribution of phylogenetically related social and nonsocial organisms should shed light on the conditions that lead to sociality versus nonsociality. Social spiders are notorious for being concentrated in tropical regions of the world, occupying a set of habitats more restricted than those available to the phylogenetic lineages in which they occur. Here we document a parallel pattern involving elevation in the spider genus Anelosimus in America and describe the biology of a newly discovered social species found at what appears to be the altitudinal edge of sociality in the genus. We show that this is a cooperative permanent-social species with highly female-biased sex ratios but colonies that are one to two orders of magnitude smaller than those of a low-elevation congener of similar body size. We suggest that the absence of subsocial Anelosimus species in the lowland rain forest may be due to an increased probability of maternal death in this habitat due to greater predation and/or precipitation, while absence of a sufficient supply of large insects at high elevations or latitudes may restrict social species to low- to midelevation tropical moist forests. We refer to these as the "maternal survival" and "prey size" hypotheses, respectively, and suggest that both in combination may explain the geographical distribution of sociality in the genus. PMID:17926299

  14. Adjustment of web-building initiation to high humidity: a constraint by humidity-dependent thread stickiness in the spider Cyrtarachne

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baba, Yuki G.; Kusahara, Miki; Maezono, Yasunori; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-07-01

    Cyrtarachne is an orb-weaving spider belonging to the subfamily Cyrtarachninae (Araneidae) which includes triangular-web-building Pasilobus and bolas spiders. The Cyrtarachninae is a group of spiders specialized in catching moths, which is thought to have evolved from ordinary orb-weaving araneids. Although the web-building time of nocturnal spiders is in general related to the time of sunset, anecdotal evidence has suggested variability of web-building time in Cyrtarachne and its closely related genera. This study has examined the effects of temperature, humidity, moonlight intensity, and prey (moths) availability on web-building time of Cyrtarachne bufo, Cyrtarachne akirai, and Cyrtarachne nagasakiensis. Generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) have revealed that humidity, and not prey availability, was the essential variable that explained the daily variability of web-building time. Experiments measuring thread stickiness under different humidities showed that, although the thread of Cyrtarachne was found to have strong stickiness under high humidity, low humidity caused a marked decrease of thread stickiness. By contrast, no obvious change in stickiness was seen in an ordinary orb-weaving spider, Larinia argiopiformis. These findings suggest that Cyrtarachne adjusts its web-building time to favorable conditions of high humidity maintaining strong stickiness, which enables the threads to work efficiently for capturing prey.

  15. An integrative method for delimiting cohesion species: finding the population-species interface in a group of Californian trapdoor spiders with extreme genetic divergence and geographic structuring.

    PubMed

    Bond, Jason E; Stockman, Amy K

    2008-08-01

    Here we present an objective, repeatable approach to delineating species when populations are divergent and highly structured geographically using the Californian trapdoor spider species complex Aptostichus atomarius Simon as a model system. This system is particularly difficult because under strict criteria of geographical concordance coupled with estimates of genetic divergence, an unrealistic number of population lineages would qualify as species (20 to 60). Our novel phylogeographic approach, which is generally applicable but particularly relevant to highly structured systems, uses genealogical exclusivity to establish a topological framework to examine lineages for genetic and ecological exchangeability in an effort to delimit cohesion species. Both qualitative assessments of habitat and niche-based distribution modeling are employed to evaluate selective regime and ecological interchangeability among genetic lineages; adaptive divergence among populations is weighted more heavily than simple geographical concordance. Based on these analyses we conclude that five cohesion species should be recognized, three of which are new to science. PMID:18686196

  16. Tarantula spider

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002855.htm Tarantula spider bite To use the sharing features on this ... This article describes the effects of a tarantula spider bite. This article is for information only. DO ...

  17. Spiders avoid sticking to their webs: clever leg movements, branched drip-tip setae, and anti-adhesive surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briceño, R. D.; Eberhard, W. G.

    2012-04-01

    Orb-weaving spiders construct webs with adhesive silk but are not trapped by it. Previous studies have attributed this defense to an oily coating on their legs that protects against adhesion or, more recently, to behavioral avoidance of sticky lines. The old evidence is very weak, however, and the behavioral avoidance explanation is inadequate because orb-weavers push with their hind legs against sticky lines hundreds or thousands of times during construction of each orb and are not trapped. Video analyses of behavior and experimental observations of isolated legs pulling away from contact with sticky lines showed that the spider uses three anti-adhesion traits: dense arrays of branched setae on the legs that reduce the area of contact with adhesive material; careful engagement and withdrawal movements of its legs that minimize contact with the adhesive and that avoid pulling against the line itself; and a chemical coating or surface layer that reduces adhesion.

  18. Spiders avoid sticking to their webs: clever leg movements, branched drip-tip setae, and anti-adhesive surfaces.

    PubMed

    Briceño, R D; Eberhard, W G

    2012-04-01

    Orb-weaving spiders construct webs with adhesive silk but are not trapped by it. Previous studies have attributed this defense to an oily coating on their legs that protects against adhesion or, more recently, to behavioral avoidance of sticky lines. The old evidence is very weak, however, and the behavioral avoidance explanation is inadequate because orb-weavers push with their hind legs against sticky lines hundreds or thousands of times during construction of each orb and are not trapped. Video analyses of behavior and experimental observations of isolated legs pulling away from contact with sticky lines showed that the spider uses three anti-adhesion traits: dense arrays of branched setae on the legs that reduce the area of contact with adhesive material; careful engagement and withdrawal movements of its legs that minimize contact with the adhesive and that avoid pulling against the line itself; and a chemical coating or surface layer that reduces adhesion. PMID:22382404

  19. Molecular basis of the remarkable species selectivity of an insecticidal sodium channel toxin from the African spider Augacephalus ezendami

    PubMed Central

    Herzig, Volker; Ikonomopoulou, Maria; Smith, Jennifer J.; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir; Gilchrist, John; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Rezende, Fernanda Oliveira; Moreira, Luciano Andrade; Nicholson, Graham M.; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F.

    2016-01-01

    The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an insecticidal peptide (Ae1a) from venom of the African spider Augacephalus ezendami (family Theraphosidae). Injection of Ae1a into sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) induced rapid but reversible paralysis. In striking contrast, Ae1a was lethal to closely related fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) but induced no adverse effects in the recalcitrant lepidopteran pest Helicoverpa armigera. Electrophysiological experiments revealed that Ae1a potently inhibits the voltage-gated sodium channel BgNaV1 from the German cockroach Blattella germanica by shifting the threshold for channel activation to more depolarized potentials. In contrast, Ae1a failed to significantly affect sodium currents in dorsal unpaired median neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We show that Ae1a interacts with the domain II voltage sensor and that sensitivity to the toxin is conferred by natural sequence variations in the S1–S2 loop of domain II. The phyletic specificity of Ae1a provides crucial information for development of sodium channel insecticides that target key insect pests without harming beneficial species. PMID:27383378

  20. Molecular basis of the remarkable species selectivity of an insecticidal sodium channel toxin from the African spider Augacephalus ezendami.

    PubMed

    Herzig, Volker; Ikonomopoulou, Maria; Smith, Jennifer J; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir; Gilchrist, John; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Rezende, Fernanda Oliveira; Moreira, Luciano Andrade; Nicholson, Graham M; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F

    2016-01-01

    The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an insecticidal peptide (Ae1a) from venom of the African spider Augacephalus ezendami (family Theraphosidae). Injection of Ae1a into sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) induced rapid but reversible paralysis. In striking contrast, Ae1a was lethal to closely related fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) but induced no adverse effects in the recalcitrant lepidopteran pest Helicoverpa armigera. Electrophysiological experiments revealed that Ae1a potently inhibits the voltage-gated sodium channel BgNaV1 from the German cockroach Blattella germanica by shifting the threshold for channel activation to more depolarized potentials. In contrast, Ae1a failed to significantly affect sodium currents in dorsal unpaired median neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We show that Ae1a interacts with the domain II voltage sensor and that sensitivity to the toxin is conferred by natural sequence variations in the S1-S2 loop of domain II. The phyletic specificity of Ae1a provides crucial information for development of sodium channel insecticides that target key insect pests without harming beneficial species. PMID:27383378

  1. Spiders in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lucas, S

    1988-01-01

    Descriptions of the principal venomous spiders in Brazil, of the genera Phoneutria, Loxosceles, Latrodectus and Scaptocosa, are given, together with a list of species and their geographical distribution. Detailed information on their habitat, behaviour and venom quantity, symptomatology of human accidents and epidemiology is given and recommendations are made for the prevention of accidents. General observations are made on the most common mygalomorph spiders. PMID:3059583

  2. Fossil spiders.

    PubMed

    Selden, Paul A; Penney, David

    2010-02-01

    Over the last three decades, the fossil record of spiders has increased from being previously biased towards Tertiary ambers and a few dubious earlier records, to one which reveals a much greater diversity in the Mesozoic, with many of the modern families present in that era, and with clearer evidence of the evolutionary history of the group. We here record the history of palaeoarachnology and the major breakthroughs which form the basis of studies on fossil spiders. Understanding the preservation and taphonomic history of spider fossils is crucial to interpretation of fossil spider morphology. We also review the more recent descriptions of fossil spiders and the effect these discoveries have had on the phylogenetic tree of spiders. We discuss some features of the evolutionary history of spiders and present ideas for future work. PMID:19961468

  3. Description of a novel mating plug mechanism in spiders and the description of the new species Maeota setastrobilaris (Araneae, Salticidae)

    PubMed Central

    Garcilazo-Cruz, Uriel; Alvarez-Padilla, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Reproduction in arthropods is an interesting area of research where intrasexual and intersexual mechanisms have evolved structures with several functions. The mating plugs usually produced by males are good examples of these structures where the main function is to obstruct the female genitalia against new sperm depositions. In spiders several types of mating plugs have been documented, the most common ones include solidified secretions, parts of the bulb or in some extraordinary cases the mutilation of the entire palpal bulb. Here, we describe the first case of modified setae, which are located on the cymbial dorsal base, used directly as a mating plug for the Order Araneae in the species Maeota setastrobilaris sp. n. In addition the taxonomic description of Maeota setastrobilaris sp. n. is provided and based on our findings the geographic distribution of this genus is extended to the Northern hemisphere. PMID:26175601

  4. Catalogue of Texas spiders.

    PubMed

    Dean, David Allen

    2016-01-01

    This catalogue lists 1,084 species of spiders (three identified to genus only) in 311 genera from 53 families currently recorded from Texas and is based on the "Bibliography of Texas Spiders" published by Bea Vogel in 1970. The online list of species can be found at http://pecanspiders.tamu.edu/spidersoftexas.htm. Many taxonomic revisions have since been published, particularly in the families Araneidae, Gnaphosidae and Leptonetidae. Many genera in other families have been revised. The Anyphaenidae, Ctenidae, Hahniidae, Nesticidae, Sicariidae and Tetragnathidae were also revised. Several families have been added and others split up. Several genera of Corinnidae were transferred to Phrurolithidae and Trachelidae. Two genera from Miturgidae were transferred to Eutichuridae. Zoridae was synonymized under Miturgidae. A single species formerly in Amaurobiidae is now in the Family Amphinectidae. Some trapdoor spiders in the family Ctenizidae have been transferred to Euctenizidae. Gertsch and Mulaik started a list of Texas spiders in 1940. In a letter from Willis J. Gertsch dated October 20, 1982, he stated "Years ago a first listing of the Texas fauna was published by me based largely on Stanley Mulaik material, but it had to be abandoned because of other tasks." This paper is a compendium of the spiders of Texas with distribution, habitat, collecting method and other data available from revisions and collections. This includes many records and unpublished data (including data from three unpublished studies). One of these studies included 16,000 adult spiders belonging to 177 species in 29 families. All specimens in that study were measured and results are in the appendix. Hidalgo County has 340 species recorded with Brazos County at 323 and Travis County at 314 species. These reflect the amount of collecting in the area. PMID:27103878

  5. Species diversification patterns in the Polynesian jumping spider genus Havaika Prószyński, 2001 (Araneae, Salticidae).

    PubMed

    Arnedo, Miquel A; Gillespie, Rosemary G

    2006-11-01

    Hotspot archipelagoes provide exceptional models for the study of the evolutionary process, due to the effects of isolation and topographical diversity in inducing the formation of unique biotic assemblages. In this paper, we examine the evolutionary patterns exhibited by the jumping spider genus Havaika Prószyński, 2001 in the Polynesian islands of the Hawaiian and Marquesas chains. To date, systematic research on Havaika has been seriously limited by the poor taxonomic knowledge on the group, which was based on a handful of specimens that showed continuous variability and lacked clear-cut diagnostic characters. Here, we circumvent this problem by inferring a phylogeny based on DNA sequences of several fragments including both mitochondrial (protein coding cytochrome oxidase I, NAD1 dehydrogenase, ribosomal 16S, and tRNA leu) and nuclear (internal transcribed spacer 2) genes, and a statistical morphological analyses of a large sample of specimens. Results suggest that the Marquesan and Hawaiian Havaika may be the result of independent colonizations. Furthermore, data provide little support for the standard "progression rule" (evolution in the direction of older to younger islands) in Hawaiian Islands. This may be explained by a recent arrival of the group: age estimates of the different lineages suggest that Havaika colonized the Hawaiian Islands after most of the extant islands were already formed. The lack of clear-cut diagnostic characters among species may also be explained by the recent origin of the group since molecular data do not provide any evidence of hybridization among lineages. Quantitative morphological data coupled with the phylogenetic information allow us to reevaluate the current limitation of Havaika taxonomy. Molecular data support the existence of at least four different evolutionary lineages that are further morphologically diagnosable. However, genealogical relationships are better predicted by geographical affinity (i.e. island) than by

  6. A new Agraecina spider species from the Balkan Peninsula (FYR Macedonia) (Araneae: Liocranidae).

    PubMed

    Deltshev, Christo; Wang, Chunxia

    2016-01-01

            Specimens were collected using pitfall traps. Coloration is described from alcohol-preserved specimens. Specimens were examined and measured using a Wild M5A stereomicroscope. Further details were studied and measured under an Olympus BX41 compound microscope. All drawings were made using a drawing apparatus attached to a Leica stereomicroscope. Male palps and female genitalia were examined and illustrated after they were dissected from the spiders' bodies. Photos were taken with an Olympus C7070 wide zoom digital camera mounted on an Olympus SZX12 stereomicroscope. The images were montaged using Helicon Focus image stacking software. Measurements of the legs are taken from the dorsal side. Total length of the body includes the chelicerae. All measurements were taken in mm. Abbreviations used in text include: AME, anterior median eyes; ALE, anterior lateral eyes; EM, embolus; MA, median apophysis; CD, copulatory duct; ST, spermatheca; fe, femur; pa, patella; ti, tibia; mt, metatarsus; p, prolateral; d, dorsal; r, retrolateral; v, ventral. Type specimens are deposited in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNHS), Sofia, Bulgaria. PMID:27395163

  7. Enoplognatha bryjai new species, a bizzare cobweb spider of the Pannonian swamps (Araneae, Theridiidae).

    PubMed

    Řezáč, Milan; Řezáčová, Veronika; Heneberg, Petr

    2016-01-01

    During faunistic research of reed beds associated with lakes in the Pannonian region of Czechia we found an Enoplognatha species with spectacular morphology of the male chelicerae. Despite this species being found in an arachnologically well researched area, and that the European species of the genus Enoplognatha have been recently revised (Bosmans & Van Keer 1999), it appears to be a new species. PMID:27515608

  8. A review of the Nearctic linyphiid spider Arcuphantes fragilis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) and closely related species.

    PubMed

    Ma, Shuangchun; Marusik, Yuri M; Tu, Lihong

    2016-01-01

    The Western Nearctic species Arcuphantes fragilis Chamberlin & Ivie, 1943 and several closely related species are reviewed. Seven species are recognized, including two new species: A. cavaticus Chamberlin & Ivie, 1943, A. decoratus Chamberlin & Ivie, 1943, A. fragilis Chamberlin & Ivie, 1943, A. dentatus n. sp., A. curvomarginatus n. sp., A. potteri Chamberlin & Ivie, 1943, and A. sylvaticus Chamberlin & Ivie, 1943. The female of A. decoratus is described for the first time. These seven species share a same genital type, distinguishing them from other congeners, with small differences among them. Illustrations for A. dentatus n. sp., SEM images and digital photographs for all seven species are presented. Descriptions of new species, redescriptions of known species and a key for the seven species are provided. PMID:27470863

  9. Spider leg autotomy induced by prey venom injection: An adaptive response to “pain”?*

    PubMed Central

    Eisner, Thomas; Camazine, Scott

    1983-01-01

    Field observations showed orb-weaving spiders (Argiope spp.) to undergo leg autotomy if they are stung in a leg by venomous insect prey (Phymata fasciata). The response occurs within seconds, before the venom can take lethal action by spread to the body of the spiders. Autotomy is induced also by honeybee venom and wasp venom, as well as by several venom components (serotonin, histamine, phospholipase A2, melittin) known to be responsible for the pain characteristically elicited by venom injection in humans. The sensing mechanism by which spiders detect injected harmful chemicals such as venoms therefore may be fundamentally similar to the one in humans that is coupled with the perception of pain. Images PMID:16593325

  10. Phylogenetic reconsideration of Myrmekiaphila systematics with a description of the new trapdoor spider species Myrmekiaphila tigris (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Cyrtaucheniidae, Euctenizinae) from Auburn, Alabama

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Jason E.; Hamilton, Chris A.; Garrison, Nicole L.; Ray, Charles H.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The trapdoor spider genus Myrmekiaphila currently comprises 11 nominal species. A recent molecular phylogenetic evaluation of the group identified a number of problems with respect to how species and species groups were delineated by Bond and Platnick in their 2007 taxonomic revision of the genus. We report herein the discovery of a new species, Myrmekiaphila tigris sp. n. The phylogenetic position of the species is evaluated using a molecular phylogenetic approach based on a set of mtDNA markers. Our preferred phylogenetic hypothesis supports the recognition of a new species and further highlights the need to more carefully investigate species boundaries within the genus. These results further indicate that palpal bulb morphology is rapidly evolving and has likely been a contributing factor in rendering a number of species paraphyletic with respect to the molecular data. PMID:22639533

  11. Phylogenetic reconsideration of Myrmekiaphila systematics with a description of the new trapdoor spider species Myrmekiaphila tigris (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Cyrtaucheniidae, Euctenizinae) from Auburn, Alabama.

    PubMed

    Bond, Jason E; Hamilton, Chris A; Garrison, Nicole L; Ray, Charles H

    2012-01-01

    The trapdoor spider genus Myrmekiaphila currently comprises 11 nominal species. A recent molecular phylogenetic evaluation of the group identified a number of problems with respect to how species and species groups were delineated by Bond and Platnick in their 2007 taxonomic revision of the genus. We report herein the discovery of a new species, Myrmekiaphila tigrissp. n. The phylogenetic position of the species is evaluated using a molecular phylogenetic approach based on a set of mtDNA markers. Our preferred phylogenetic hypothesis supports the recognition of a new species and further highlights the need to more carefully investigate species boundaries within the genus. These results further indicate that palpal bulb morphology is rapidly evolving and has likely been a contributing factor in rendering a number of species paraphyletic with respect to the molecular data. PMID:22639533

  12. Description of eleven new species of the goblin spider genus Neoxyphinus Birabén, 1953 (Araneae, Oonopidae).

    PubMed

    Moss, Daniella F; Feitosa, Níthomas M; Bonaldo, Alexandre B; Ruiz, Gustavo R S

    2016-01-01

    The spiders of the genus Neoxyphinus Birabén differ from those of other oonopid genera by the male endites with an api-cal, retrolateral excavation bearing a subapical tooth-like apophysis and, in females, by the ellipsoid genital atrium, with angular lateral margins. In this paper, eleven new species of the genus are described, mainly from northern South America: N. amazonicus Moss & Feitosa, sp. nov. (♂♀) from Colombia and Brazil; N. macuna Moss & Ruiz, sp. nov. (♂♀), N. tuparro Moss & Ruiz, sp. nov. (♂) and N. pure Moss & Bonaldo, sp. nov. (♂♀) from Colombia; N. yekuana Moss & Feitosa, sp. nov. (♂♀), N. trujillo Moss & Bonaldo, sp. nov. (♂♀), N. yacambu Moss & Feitosa, sp. nov. (♂) and N. saarineni Moss & Bonaldo, sp. nov. (♂) from Venezuela; N. inca Moss & Ruiz, sp. nov. (♂♀) from Peru; N. beni Moss & Feitosa, sp. nov. (♂♀) from Bolivia; and N. coca Moss & Feitosa, sp. nov. (♂♀) from Ecuador. PMID:27394576

  13. Catalogue of Texas spiders

    PubMed Central

    Dean, David Allen

    2016-01-01

    Abstract This catalogue lists 1,084 species of spiders (three identified to genus only) in 311 genera from 53 families currently recorded from Texas and is based on the “Bibliography of Texas Spiders” published by Bea Vogel in 1970. The online list of species can be found at http://pecanspiders.tamu.edu/spidersoftexas.htm. Many taxonomic revisions have since been published, particularly in the families Araneidae, Gnaphosidae and Leptonetidae. Many genera in other families have been revised. The Anyphaenidae, Ctenidae, Hahniidae, Nesticidae, Sicariidae and Tetragnathidae were also revised. Several families have been added and others split up. Several genera of Corinnidae were transferred to Phrurolithidae and Trachelidae. Two genera from Miturgidae were transferred to Eutichuridae. Zoridae was synonymized under Miturgidae. A single species formerly in Amaurobiidae is now in the Family Amphinectidae. Some trapdoor spiders in the family Ctenizidae have been transferred to Euctenizidae. Gertsch and Mulaik started a list of Texas spiders in 1940. In a letter from Willis J. Gertsch dated October 20, 1982, he stated “Years ago a first listing of the Texas fauna was published by me based largely on Stanley Mulaik material, but it had to be abandoned because of other tasks.” This paper is a compendium of the spiders of Texas with distribution, habitat, collecting method and other data available from revisions and collections. This includes many records and unpublished data (including data from three unpublished studies). One of these studies included 16,000 adult spiders belonging to 177 species in 29 families. All specimens in that study were measured and results are in the appendix. Hidalgo County has 340 species recorded with Brazos County at 323 and Travis County at 314 species. These reflect the amount of collecting in the area. PMID:27103878

  14. A spider species complex revealed high cryptic diversity in South China caves.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuanyuan; Li, Shuqiang

    2014-10-01

    Cryptic species, which are an important component of biodiversity, have rarely been studied in South China karst. We investigated cryptic diversity in the cave species complex Telema cucurbitina, which has a narrow niche but widespread distribution among multiple caves. We sampled another 15 populations (caves) in addition to the population from the type locality. Phylogenetic results indicated that individuals from the same cave constituted well-supported clades. Species diversity within this species complex was assessed in a coalescent framework, first with a Bayesian extension of the general mixed Yule coalescent (bGMYC) model and a Bayesian species delimitation method (BPP). Both species delimitation methods identified each cave population as a separate species. We propose that each cave population within this species complex was a separate evolving lineage and therefore 16 OTUs were recovered based on our molecular data despite their high morphological similarities. We also propose that the unrecognized organism's diversity within South China caves might be extremely large considering our case. Furthermore, our work reveals that species discovery of cave organisms by morphological data has a high probability of underestimating hidden diversity. Our work also highlights the need for conservation strategies to protect this largely neglected diversity of cave organisms. PMID:24994029

  15. Characterization of the complete mitogenomes of two Neoscona spiders (Araneae: Araneidae) and its phylogenetic implications.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zheng-Liang; Li, Chao; Fang, Wen-Yuan; Yu, Xiao-Ping

    2016-09-30

    The complete mitogenomes of two orb-weaving spiders Neoscona doenitzi and Neoscona nautica were determined and a comparative mitogenomic analysis was performed to depict evolutionary trends of spider mitogenomes. The circular mitogenomes are 14,161bp with A+T content of 74.6% in N. doenitzi and 14,049bp with A+T content of 78.8% in N. nautica, respectively. Both mitogenomes contain a standard set of 37 genes typically presented in metazoans. Gene content and orientation are identical to all previously sequenced spider mitogenomes, while gene order is rearranged by tRNAs translocation when compared with the putative ancestral gene arrangement pattern presented by Limulus polyphemus. A comparative mitogenomic analysis reveals that the nucleotide composition bias is obviously divergent between spiders in suborder Opisthothelae and Mesothelae. The loss of D-arm in the trnS(UCN) among all of Opisthothelae spiders highly suggested that this common feature is a synapomorphy for entire suborder Opisthothelae. Moreover, the trnS(AGN) in araneoids preferred to use TCT as an anticodon rather than the typical anticodon GCT. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 13 protein-coding gene sequences consistently yields trees that nest the two Neoscona spiders within Araneidae and recover superfamily Araneoidea as a monophyletic group. The molecular information acquired from the results of this study should be very useful for future research on mitogenomic evolution and genetic diversities in spiders. PMID:27259661

  16. Fifteen new species of the spider genus Pholcus (Araneae: Pholcidae) from Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Dong, Tingting; Zheng, Guo; Yao, Zhiyuan; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    Fifteen new species from six species groups of the genus Pholcus Walckenaer, 1805 are described from Southeast Asia: Pholcus hinsonensis sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand) and P. tharnlodensis sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand) from the P. bidentatus species group; P. kottawagamaensis sp. nov. (male & female, Sri Lanka) from the P. ethagala species group; P. cenranaensis sp. nov. (male & female, Indonesia) and P. krachensis sp. nov. (male, Thailand) from the P. gracillimus species group; P. anaiensis sp. nov. (male, Indonesia), P. ballarini sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand), P. gou sp. nov. (male & female, Myanmar), P. wan sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand) and P. zhuchuandiani sp. nov. (male & female, Indonesia) from the P. halabala species group; P. chiangmaiensis sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand) and P. taptaoensis sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand) from the P. quinquenotatus species group; P. kaebyaiensis sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand), P. musensis sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand) and P. songkhonensis sp. nov. (male & female, Thailand) from the P. yichengicus species group. PMID:27395715

  17. Venomous Spiders

    MedlinePlus

    ... Monthly Review - Insects bites, stings cause thousands of workplace injuries ). Spiders are usually not aggressive and most bites ... Exposures and Effects NIOSH Homepage NIOSH A-Z Workplace Safety & Health Topics Publications and Products Programs Contact NIOSH ...

  18. From Nano to Micro: Importance of Structure and Architecture in Spider Silk Adhesives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2012-02-01

    Spiders have developed outstanding adhesives over millions of years of evolution for prey capture and locomotion. We show that the structure and architecture of these adhesives play an important role in the adhesion. The adhesive produced by orb-weaving spiders to capture prey (viscid glue) is laid on a pair of silk fibers as micron-size glue drops composed of salts and glycoproteins. By stretching single drops, we show that viscid glue behaves like a viscoelastic solid and that elasticity is critical in enhancing adhesion caused by specific adhesive ligands by over 100 times. Comparing viscid glue with gumfoot glue, the glue produced by cob-weavers, the evolutionary descendants of orb-weavers, showed that, in spite of being produced in homologous aggregate glands, gumfoot glue behaves like a viscoelastic liquid. Moreover, gumfoot glue is humidity-resistant and viscid glue is humidity-sensitive. We use a synthetic strategy to spin beads-on-a-string (BOAS) architecture to mimic the adhesive properties of spider silk. Using these mimic threads, we show that the BOAS structure adheres more than a cylindrical structure during contact (collision of prey) and during separation (escape attempt of prey). These results inspire design of novel tunable adhesives.

  19. The Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Six Species of Tetranychus Provide Insights into the Phylogeny and Evolution of Spider Mites

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Da-Song; Jin, Peng-Yu; Zhang, Kai-Jun; Ding, Xiu-Lei; Yang, Si-Xia; Ju, Jia-Fei; Zhao, Jing-Yu; Hong, Xiao-Yue

    2014-01-01

    Many spider mites belonging to the genus Tetranychus are of agronomical importance. With limited morphological characters, Tetranychus mites are usually identified by a combination of morphological characteristics and molecular diagnostics. To clarify their molecular evolution and phylogeny, the mitochondrial genomes of the green and red forms of Tetranychus urticae as well as T. kanzawai, T. ludeni, T. malaysiensis, T. phaselus, T. pueraricola were sequenced and compared. The seven mitochondrial genomes are typical circular molecules of about 13,000 bp encoding and they are composed of the complete set of 37 genes that are usually found in metazoans. The order of the mitochondrial (mt) genes is the same as that in the mt genomes of Panonychus citri and P. ulmi, but very different from that in other Acari. The J-strands of the mitochondrial genomes have high (∼84%) A+T contents, negative GC-skews and positive AT-skews. The nucleotide sequence of the cox1 gene, which is commonly used as a taxon barcode and molecular marker, is more highly conserved than the nucleotide sequences of other mitochondrial genes in these seven species. Most tRNA genes in the seven genomes lose the D-arm and/or the T-arm. The functions of these tRNAs need to be evaluated. The mitochondrial genome of T. malaysiensis differs from the other six genomes in having a slightly smaller genome size, a slight difference in codon usage, and a variable loop in place of the T-arm of some tRNAs by a variable loop. A phylogenic analysis shows that T. malaysiensis first split from other Tetranychus species and that the clade of the family Tetranychoidea occupies a basal position in the Trombidiformes. The mt genomes of the green and red forms of T. urticae have limited divergence and short evolutionary distance. PMID:25329165

  20. Pleistocene niche stability and lineage diversification in the subtropical spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Peres, Elen A; Sobral-Souza, Thadeu; Perez, Manolo F; Bonatelli, Isabel A S; Silva, Daniel P; Silva, Márcio J; Solferini, Vera N

    2015-01-01

    The influence of Quaternary climate oscillations on the diversification of the South American fauna is being increasingly explored. However, most of these studies have focused on taxa that are endemic to tropical environments, and relatively few have treated organisms restricted to subtropical biomes. Here we used an integrative phylogeographical framework to investigate the effects of these climate events on the ecological niche and genetic patterns of the subtropical orb-weaver spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae). We analyzed the mitochondrial (Cytochrome Oxidase I, COI) and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Subunit II, ITS2) DNA of 130 individuals throughout the species' range, and generated distribution models in three different climate scenarios [present, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG)]. Additionally, we used an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approach to compare possible demographic scenarios and select the hypothesis that better explains the genetic patterns of A. omnicolor. We obtained high haplotype diversity but low nucleotide variation among sequences. The population structure and demographic analyses showed discrepancies between markers, suggesting male-biased dispersal in the species. The time-calibrated COI phylogenetic inference showed a recent diversification of lineages (Middle/Late Pleistocene), while the paleoclimate modeling indicated niche stability since ~120 Kya. The ABC results agreed with the niche models, supporting a panmictic population as the most likely historical scenario for the species. These results indicate that A. omnicolor experienced no niche or population reductions during the Late Pleistocene, despite the intense landscape modifications that occurred in the subtropical region, and that other factors beside LGM and LIG climate oscillations might have contributed to the demographic history of this species. This pattern may be related to the high dispersal ability and wide environmental

  1. Bites by Australian mygalomorph spiders (Araneae, Mygalomorphae), including funnel-web spiders (Atracinae) and mouse spiders (Actinopodidae: Missulena spp).

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; Gray, Mike R

    2004-02-01

    A number of mygalomorph spiders cause bites in Australia, including the funnel-web spiders (Hexathelidae, Atracinae: Hadronyche and Atrax) and mouse spiders (Actinopodidae: Missulena). There is ongoing debate about the significance of bites by mouse spiders and the frequency of severe envenoming by funnel-web spiders. We conducted a prospective cohort study of definite spider bites with expert spider identification and include the analysis of mygalomorph spiders here. Subjects were recruited prospectively from February 1999 to April 2003 from patients presenting to participating hospitals or contacting a state poison information centre. Forty-nine cases of bites by mygalomorph spiders were included: 16 were by funnel-web spiders, 13 by mouse spiders and 20 by other trapdoor spiders (Families Idiopidae and Nemesiidae). Of the 49 bites, 45 (92%) occurred on distal limbs (hands and feet). Local effects included severe pain (53%), puncture marks (61%) and bleeding (27%), local redness (33%). Itchiness did not occur. The following were highly statistically associated with mygalomorph spider bites compared to all other spiders (p<0.0001) circumstances (gardening at the time (likelihood ratio (LR) 7.9) and distal limb bites (LR 2.0)) and early clinical features (presence of puncture marks OR bleeding (2.3), or severe pain (2.0)). Of 16 funnel-web spider bites, there were 10 cases with minor local effects, four with moderate envenoming (non-specific systemic or local neurotoxicity) and two with severe envenoming requiring antivenom. In addition to local effects, mouse spider bites caused local paraesthesia in three cases, local diaphoresis in one case and non-specific systemic effects in five cases, but not severe envenoming. True trapdoor spider bites caused only minor effects. The data from a mixed species sample of funnel-web spiders confirms previous observations suggesting that only a small proportion of funnel-web bites cause severe effects. Mouse spider bites are

  2. Phylogeography of a successful aerial disperser: the golden orb spider Nephila on Indian Ocean islands

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The origin and diversification patterns of lineages across the Indian Ocean islands are varied due to the interplay of the complex geographic and geologic island histories, the varying dispersal abilities of biotas, and the proximity to major continental landmasses. Our aim was to reconstruct phylogeographic history of the giant orbweaving spider (Nephila) on western Indian Ocean islands (Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues), to test its origin and route of dispersal, and to examine the consequences of good dispersal abilities for colonization and diversification, in comparison with related spiders (Nephilengys) inhabiting the same islands, and with other organisms known for over water dispersal. We used mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (ITS2) markers to examine phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in Nephila populations and species. We employed Bayesian and parsimony methods to reconstruct phylogenies and haplotype networks, respectively, and calculated genetic distances, fixation indices, and estimated clade ages under a relaxed clock model. Results Our results suggest an African origin of Madagascar Nephila inaurata populations via Cenozoic dispersal, and the colonization of the Mascarene islands from Madagascar. We find evidence of gene flow across Madagascar and Comoros. The Mascarene islands share a common 'ancestral' COI haplotype closely related to those found on Madagascar, but itself absent, or as yet unsampled, from Madagascar. Each island has one or more unique haplotypes related to the ancestral Mascarene haplotype. The Indian Ocean N. inaurata are genetically distinct from the African populations. Conclusions Nephila spiders colonized Madagascar from Africa about 2.5 (0.6-5.3) Ma. Our results are consistent with subsequent, recent and rapid, colonization of all three Mascarene islands. On each island, however, we detected unique haplotypes, consistent with a limited gene flow among the islands subsequent to

  3. New genera, new species and redescriptions of Australian jumping spiders
    (Araneae: Salticidae).

    PubMed

    Richardson, Barry J

    2016-01-01

    A number of Australian species have been placed in the wrong, often non-Australian, genera. Some of these problems have been corrected here, by transfer or establishment of new genera. Several new species discovered during the course of the work are also described. Marptusa jovialis L. Koch, 1879 and Marptusa bracteata L. Koch, 1879 are transferred to Apricia gen. nov. Apricia longipalpis sp. nov. is also described from Australia. The study of the Australian species presently included in Trite Simon 1885 showed that this genus does not occur in mainland Australia. Hence, Marptusa vulpecula Thorell, 1881 is transferred to Capeyorkia gen. nov., while Marptusa longula Thorell, 1881 is transferred to Evarcha Simon, 1902. The only previously described 'Australian' species to remain in Trite is Trite concinna Rainbow, 1920, from Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Pacific, while Trite grayi sp. nov., also from Lord Howe Island, is described here. Trite concinna Rainbow 1920 is redescribed. Most specimens previous listed as this species from Lord Howe Island (including most of the syntype series) belong in Ancepitilobus howensis gen. nov. et sp. nov. Clynotis severus (L. Koch, 1879) is the solitary species that remains in Clynotis Simon, 1901, with the remainder of the mainland species being transferred to Pungalina Richardson, 2013: P. albobarbata (L. Koch, 1879) comb. nov., P. semiatra (L. Koch, 1879) comb. nov. and P. semiferruginea (L. Koch, 1879) comb. nov. Pungalina plurilineata sp. nov. and Pungalina waldockae sp. nov. are also described from Australia. Clynotis gratiosa from Lord Howe Island is formally transferred to Tara Peckham & Peckham, 1886, as suggested previously. Tara gratiosa (Rainbow, 1920) is redescribed. Finally, three names, Gangus longulus Simon, 1902, Trite ornata Rainbow, 1915 and Plexippus albopilosus Keyserling, 1883, are considered species inquirendae, due to the state or loss of type material. PMID:27395145

  4. Nine new species of the spider genus Pireneitega Kishida, 1955 (Agelenidae, Coelotinae) from Xinjiang, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoqing; Zhao, Zhe; Zheng, Guo; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    Nine new Pireneitega species collected from Xinjiang, China are described as new to science: Pireneitega burqinensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega fuyunensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega gongliuensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega huochengensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega lini sp. n. (♀), Pireneitega liui sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega wensuensis sp. n. (♂), Pireneitega wui sp. n. (♂) and Pireneitega yaoi sp. n. (♀). DNA barcodes were obtained for all these species for future use. PMID:27551187

  5. Red List of spiders (araneae) of the Wadden Sea Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vangsgård, C.; Reinke, H.-D.; Schultz, W.; van Helsdingen, P. J.

    1996-10-01

    In the Wadden Sea, in total, 55 species of spiders are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 50 species are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. According to the present knowledge, no species of the listed spiders are extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 3 species of spiders is (probably) critical; 12 species are endangered; the status of 30 species is (probably) vulnerable and of 6 species susceptible.

  6. Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. (Araneae, Eutichuridae), a novel spider species associated with Holm Oaks (Quercus ilex).

    PubMed

    Morano, Eduardo; Bonal, Raul

    2016-01-01

    We describe a novel species Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. (Araneae, Eutichuridae) collected in the province of Toledo (Central Spain). It was found during a systematic sampling campaign carried out in an agricultural landscape with isolated Holm oaks Quercus ilex and small forest patches. Its morphology and affinities with other species of the genus are discussed. Furthermore, one mitochondrial gene was sequenced to confirm species membership and its differentiation from other Cheiracanthium species. The molecular phylogenies based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes showed a close relationship of Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. with Cheiracanthium inclusum and Cheiracanthium mildei, with which it also shares morphological similarities. Nonetheless, the sparse sampling of the phylogeny, due to the low number of sequences available, impedes drawing any definitive conclusion about these relationships; it is first necessary to perform an extensive review of the genus worldwide and more thorough phylogenies. Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. also shares certain ecological and phenological characteristics with Cheiracanthium inclusum and Cheiracanthium mildei. Like them, Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. is an obligate tree dweller that prefers a tree canopy habitat and reproduces primarily in late spring and summer. From a conservation perspective, the present study suggests the need to preserve isolated trees in agricultural landscapes. They are not only the refuge of common forest organisms but also of novel species yet to be discovered. PMID:27551185

  7. Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. (Araneae, Eutichuridae), a novel spider species associated with Holm Oaks (Quercus ilex)

    PubMed Central

    Morano, Eduardo; Bonal, Raul

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We describe a novel species Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. (Araneae, Eutichuridae) collected in the province of Toledo (Central Spain). It was found during a systematic sampling campaign carried out in an agricultural landscape with isolated Holm oaks Quercus ilex and small forest patches. Its morphology and affinities with other species of the genus are discussed. Furthermore, one mitochondrial gene was sequenced to confirm species membership and its differentiation from other Cheiracanthium species. The molecular phylogenies based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes showed a close relationship of Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. with Cheiracanthium inclusum and Cheiracanthium mildei, with which it also shares morphological similarities. Nonetheless, the sparse sampling of the phylogeny, due to the low number of sequences available, impedes drawing any definitive conclusion about these relationships; it is first necessary to perform an extensive review of the genus worldwide and more thorough phylogenies. Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. also shares certain ecological and phenological characteristics with Cheiracanthium inclusum and Cheiracanthium mildei. Like them, Cheiracanthium ilicis sp. n. is an obligate tree dweller that prefers a tree canopy habitat and reproduces primarily in late spring and summer. From a conservation perspective, the present study suggests the need to preserve isolated trees in agricultural landscapes. They are not only the refuge of common forest organisms but also of novel species yet to be discovered. PMID:27551185

  8. New species, new records and re-description of spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) from India.

    PubMed

    Zeity, Mahran; Srinivasa, N; Gowda, C Chinnamade

    2016-01-01

    Two species of Tetranychidae (Acari), Oligonychus neotylus sp. nov. from Zea mays and Pennisetum purpureum (Poaceae) and Tetranychus hirsutus sp. nov. from Gymnema sylvestre R. Br. (Apocynaceae) are described from Karnataka state, south India. Tetranychus bambusae Wang and Ma is recorded for the first time from India and re-described. Four other species are reported for the first time from India viz., Oligonychus coniferarum (McGregor), Oligonychus duncombei Meyer, Tetranychus marianae McGregor and Tetranychus okinawanus Ehara from Cupressus sp., an undetermined grass, Centrosema pubescens and Adenium obesum, respectively. PMID:27394311

  9. Nine new species of the spider genus Pireneitega Kishida, 1955 (Agelenidae, Coelotinae) from Xinjiang, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoqing; Zhao, Zhe; Zheng, Guo; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Nine new Pireneitega species collected from Xinjiang, China are described as new to science: Pireneitega burqinensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega fuyunensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega gongliuensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega huochengensis sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega lini sp. n. (♀), Pireneitega liui sp. n. (♂♀), Pireneitega wensuensis sp. n. (♂), Pireneitega wui sp. n. (♂) and Pireneitega yaoi sp. n. (♀). DNA barcodes were obtained for all these species for future use. PMID:27551187

  10. Eight new species of the spider genera Raveniola and Sinopesa from China and Vietnam (Araneae, Nemesiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shuqiang; Zonstein, Sergei

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Eight new species, seven Raveniola Zonstein, 1987 and one Sinopesa Raven & Schwendinger, 1995 from China and Vietnam are described: Raveniola alpina sp. n., Raveniola bellula sp. n., Raveniola chayi sp. n., Raveniola gracilis sp. n., Raveniola rugosa sp. n., Raveniola spirula sp. n. and Raveniola yajiangensis sp. n. and Sinopesa ninhbinhensis sp. n. Keys to all East-Asian congeners, diagnoses of the new species, and new distribution data of Raveniola montana Zonstein & Marusik, 2012, with a first record for Sichuan, China, are provided. PMID:26448705

  11. Three new spider species of the genus Pholcus from the Taihang Mountains of China (Araneae, Pholcidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bao-Shi; Zhang, Feng; Liu, Jing-Ze

    2016-01-01

    In this study, three new species belonging to the genus Pholcus, collected from a forest of the Taihang Mountains, P. R. China, are described under the names of Pholcus papillatus sp. n. (male, female), Pholcus curvus sp. n. (male, female) and Pholcus auricularis sp. n. (male, female). PMID:27408600

  12. Three new spider species of the genus Pholcus from the Taihang Mountains of China (Araneae, Pholcidae)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bao-Shi; Zhang, Feng; Liu, Jing-Ze

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In this study, three new species belonging to the genus Pholcus, collected from a forest of the Taihang Mountains, P. R. China, are described under the names of Pholcus papillatus sp. n. (male, female), Pholcus curvus sp. n. (male, female) and Pholcus auricularis sp. n. (male, female). PMID:27408600

  13. Pleistocene Niche Stability and Lineage Diversification in the Subtropical Spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae)

    PubMed Central

    Peres, Elen A.; Sobral-Souza, Thadeu; Perez, Manolo F.; Bonatelli, Isabel A. S.; Silva, Daniel P.; Silva, Márcio J.; Solferini, Vera N.

    2015-01-01

    The influence of Quaternary climate oscillations on the diversification of the South American fauna is being increasingly explored. However, most of these studies have focused on taxa that are endemic to tropical environments, and relatively few have treated organisms restricted to subtropical biomes. Here we used an integrative phylogeographical framework to investigate the effects of these climate events on the ecological niche and genetic patterns of the subtropical orb-weaver spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae). We analyzed the mitochondrial (Cytochrome Oxidase I, COI) and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Subunit II, ITS2) DNA of 130 individuals throughout the species’ range, and generated distribution models in three different climate scenarios [present, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG)]. Additionally, we used an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approach to compare possible demographic scenarios and select the hypothesis that better explains the genetic patterns of A. omnicolor. We obtained high haplotype diversity but low nucleotide variation among sequences. The population structure and demographic analyses showed discrepancies between markers, suggesting male-biased dispersal in the species. The time-calibrated COI phylogenetic inference showed a recent diversification of lineages (Middle/Late Pleistocene), while the paleoclimate modeling indicated niche stability since ~120 Kya. The ABC results agreed with the niche models, supporting a panmictic population as the most likely historical scenario for the species. These results indicate that A. omnicolor experienced no niche or population reductions during the Late Pleistocene, despite the intense landscape modifications that occurred in the subtropical region, and that other factors beside LGM and LIG climate oscillations might have contributed to the demographic history of this species. This pattern may be related to the high dispersal ability and wide environmental

  14. Composition and Function of Spider Glues Maintained During the Evolution of Cobwebs.

    PubMed

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Zhang, Ci; Cool, Lydia Rose; Blackledge, Todd A; Wesdemiotis, Chrys; Miyoshi, Toshikazu; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-10-12

    Capture silks are an interesting class of biological glues that help spiders subdue their prey. Viscid capture silk produced by the orb web spiders is a combination of hygroscopic salts that aid in water uptake and interact with adhesive glycoproteins to make them soft and sticky. The orb was a stepping stone to the evolution of new web types, but little is known about the adhesives in these webs. For instance, cobweb spiders evolved from orb-weaving ancestors and utilize glue in specialized sticky gumfoot threads rather than an elastic spiral. Early investigation suggests that gumfoot adhesives are quite different viscid glues because they lack a visible glycoprotein core, act as viscoelastic fluids rather than solids, and are largely invariant to humidity. Here, we use spectroscopic and staining methods to show that the gumfoot silk produced by Latrodectus hesperus (western black widow) is composed of hygroscopic organic salts and water insoluble glycoproteins, similar to viscid silk, in addition to a low concentration of spider coating peptides reported before. Our adhesion studies reveal that the organic salts play an important role in adhesion, similar to that seen in orb web spiders, but modulating function at much lower humidity. Our work shows more similarities in the viscid silk produced by orb web and cobweb spiders than previously anticipated and provide guidelines for developing synthetic adhesives that can work in dry to humid environments. PMID:26322742

  15. More on the spider genus Xeropigo O.P.-Cambridge (Araneae, Corinnidae, Corinninae): seven new species and new records from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Leonardo S; Shimano, Yulie; Candiani, David F; Bonaldo, Alexandre B

    2016-01-01

    Seven new species of the spider genus Xeropigo O. P.-Cambridge are described from Brazil, increasing the genus member list up to 16 species. X. piripiri n. sp., X. aitatu n. sp., and X. cajuina n. sp. are described from the state of Piauí. X. crispim n. sp. is described from the states of Ceará, Piauí, and Maranhão. X. oxente n. sp. is described from the state of Rio Grande do Norte. X. canga n. sp. is described from the state of Minas Gerais. X. ufo n. sp. is described from the state of Mato Grosso. The geographical distribution of X. tridentiger, X. camilae, X. pachitea, and X. perene is updated. A key to all species of Xeropigo is presented and possible relationships among all species of the genus are discussed. PMID:27395095

  16. Coy Males and Seductive Females in the Sexually Cannibalistic Colonial Spider, Cyrtophora citricola

    PubMed Central

    Yip, Eric C.; Berner-Aharon, Na’ama; Smith, Deborah R.; Lubin, Yael

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of sperm relative to eggs selects for males that maximize their number of mates and for females that choose high quality males. However, in many species, males exercise mate choice, even when they invest little in their offspring. Sexual cannibalism may promote male choosiness by limiting the number of females a male can inseminate and by biasing the sex ratio toward females because, while females can reenter the mating pool, cannibalized males cannot. These effects may be insufficient for male choosiness to evolve, however, if males face low sequential encounter rates with females. We hypothesized that sexual cannibalism should facilitate the evolution of male choosiness in group living species because a male is likely to encounter multiple receptive females simultaneously. We tested this hypothesis in a colonial orb-weaving spider, Cyrtophora citricola, with a high rate of sexual cannibalism. We tested whether mated females would mate with multiple males, and thereby shift the operational sex ratio toward females. We also investigated whether either sex chooses mates based on nutritional state and age, and whether males choose females based on reproductive state. We found that females are readily polyandrous and exhibit no mate choice related to male feeding or age. Males courted more often when the male was older and the female was younger, and males copulated more often with well-fed females. The data show that males are choosier than females for the traits we measured, supporting our hypothesis that group living and sexual cannibalism may together promote the evolution of male mate choice. PMID:27249787

  17. Coy Males and Seductive Females in the Sexually Cannibalistic Colonial Spider, Cyrtophora citricola.

    PubMed

    Yip, Eric C; Berner-Aharon, Na'ama; Smith, Deborah R; Lubin, Yael

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of sperm relative to eggs selects for males that maximize their number of mates and for females that choose high quality males. However, in many species, males exercise mate choice, even when they invest little in their offspring. Sexual cannibalism may promote male choosiness by limiting the number of females a male can inseminate and by biasing the sex ratio toward females because, while females can reenter the mating pool, cannibalized males cannot. These effects may be insufficient for male choosiness to evolve, however, if males face low sequential encounter rates with females. We hypothesized that sexual cannibalism should facilitate the evolution of male choosiness in group living species because a male is likely to encounter multiple receptive females simultaneously. We tested this hypothesis in a colonial orb-weaving spider, Cyrtophora citricola, with a high rate of sexual cannibalism. We tested whether mated females would mate with multiple males, and thereby shift the operational sex ratio toward females. We also investigated whether either sex chooses mates based on nutritional state and age, and whether males choose females based on reproductive state. We found that females are readily polyandrous and exhibit no mate choice related to male feeding or age. Males courted more often when the male was older and the female was younger, and males copulated more often with well-fed females. The data show that males are choosier than females for the traits we measured, supporting our hypothesis that group living and sexual cannibalism may together promote the evolution of male mate choice. PMID:27249787

  18. Descriptions of four kleptoparasitic spiders of the genus Mysmenopsis (Araneae, Mysmenidae) and their potential host spider species in the genus Linothele (Araneae, Dipluridae) from Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Dupérré, Nadine; Tapia, Elicio

    2015-01-01

    Four new species of the genus Mysmenopsis are described: M. onorei n. sp., M. otonga n. sp., M. fernandoi n. sp. and M. chiquita n. sp. All species were collected in diplurid webs and are therefore assumed to be kleptoparasitic. Five potential host species of the genus Linothele (Dipluridae) that were collected with the symbionts are also described: Linothele yanachanka n. sp., L. pukachumpi n. sp., L. zaia n. sp., L. tsachilas n. sp. and L. quori n. sp. PMID:26249497

  19. Spider Bites (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy First Aid: Spider Bites KidsHealth > For Parents > First Aid: Spider Bites ... rare. Signs and Symptoms Of a brown recluse spider bite: red blister in the center with surrounding ...

  20. Visual expertise does not predict the composite effect across species: A comparison between spider (Ateles geoffroyi) and rhesus (Macaca mulatta) monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Taubert, Jessica; Parr, Lisa A.

    2009-01-01

    Humans are subject to the composite illusion: two identical top halves of a face are perceived as “different” when they are presented with different bottom halves. This observation suggests that when building a mental representation of a face, the underlying system perceives the whole face, and has difficulty decomposing facial features. We adapted a behavioural task that measures the composite illusion to examine the perception of faces in two nonhuman species. Specifically we had spider (Ateles geoffroyi) and rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) perform a two-forced choice, match-to-sample task where only the top half of sample was relevant to the task. The results of Experiment 1 show that spider monkeys (N = 2) process the faces of familiar species (conspecifics and humans, but not chimpanzees, sheep, or sticks), holistically. The second experiment tested rhesus monkeys (N = 7) with the faces of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, sheep and sticks. Contrary to prediction, there was no evidence of a composite effect in the human (or familiar primate) condition. Instead, we present evidence of a composite illusion in the chimpanzee condition (an unfamiliar primate). Together, these experiments show that visual expertise does not predict the composite effect across the primate order. PMID:19815323

  1. From repulsion to attraction: species- and spatial context-dependent threat sensitive response of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae to predatory mite cues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández Ferrari, M. Celeste; Schausberger, Peter

    2013-06-01

    Prey perceiving predation risk commonly change their behavior to avoid predation. However, antipredator strategies are costly. Therefore, according to the threat-sensitive predator avoidance hypothesis, prey should match the intensity of their antipredator behaviors to the degree of threat, which may depend on the predator species and the spatial context. We assessed threat sensitivity of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, to the cues of three predatory mites, Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus, and Amblyseius andersoni, posing different degrees of risk in two spatial contexts. We first conducted a no-choice test measuring oviposition and activity of T. urticae exposed to chemical traces of predators or traces plus predator eggs. Then, we tested the site preference of T. urticae in choice tests, using artificial cages and leaves. In the no-choice test, T. urticae deposited their first egg later in the presence of cues of P. persimilis than of the other two predators and cue absence, indicating interspecific threat-sensitivity. T. urticae laid also fewer eggs in the presence of cues of P. persimilis and A. andersoni than of N. californicus and cue absence. In the artificial cage test, the spider mites preferred the site with predator traces, whereas in the leaf test, they preferentially resided on leaves without traces. We argue that in a nonplant environment, chemical predator traces do not indicate a risk for T. urticae, and instead, these traces function as indirect habitat cues. The spider mites were attracted to these cues because they associated them with the existence of a nearby host plant.

  2. Taxonomic revision of the Neotropical pirate spiders of the genus Gelanor Thorell, 1869 (Araneae, Mimetidae) with the description of five new species.

    PubMed

    Benavides, Ligia R; Hormiga, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    We revise the Neotropical spider genus Gelanor Thorell, 1869 (Mimetidae). Gelanor is distributed from northeast Mexico to southern Uruguay , from sea level to 1,600 m. We describe five new species of Gelanor and report eleven new synonymies. Gelanor is here circumscribed to include ten species: Gelanor fortuna new species, Gelanor juruti new species, Gelanor moyobamba new species, Gelanor siquirres new species, Gelanor waorani new species, Gelanor altithorax Keyserling, 1893 (= Gelanor lanei Soares, 1941 new synonymy), Gelanor consequus O. P.-Cambridge, 1902 (= Gelanor depressus Chickering, 1956 new synonymy, Gelanor gertschi Chickering, 1947 new synonymy and Gelanor heraldicus Petrunkevitch, 1925 new synonymy), Gelanor innominatus Chamberlin, 1916, Gelanor latus (Keyserling, 1881) (= Gelanor mixtus O. P.-Cambridge, 1899 new synonymy, Gelanor mabelae Chickering, 1947 new synonymy, Gelanor ornatus Schenkel, 1953 new synonymy and Gelanor proximus Mello-Leitão, 1929 new synonymy) and Gelanor zonatus (C.L. Koch, 1845) (= Gelanor distinctus O-P. Cambridge, 1899 new synonymy, Gelanor insularis Mello-Leitão, 1929 new synonymy and Gelanor obscurus Mello-Leitão, 1929 new synonymy). In addition, we describe for the first time the males of G. altithorax and G. consequus. Species descriptions are provided for all ten species in the genus, together with a compilation of available data, including type specimens, type localities and morphological diagnoses. Light and electron microscope images and updated data on known geographical distributions, are also provided. We also discuss the phylogenetic placement of Gelanor in Mimetidae. PMID:27395525

  3. Ancient Properties of Spider Silks Revealed by the Complete Gene Sequence of the Prey-Wrapping Silk Protein (AcSp1)

    PubMed Central

    Ayoub, Nadia A.; Garb, Jessica E.; Kuelbs, Amanda; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2013-01-01

    Spider silk fibers have impressive mechanical properties and are primarily composed of highly repetitive structural proteins (termed spidroins) encoded by a single gene family. Most characterized spidroin genes are incompletely known because of their extreme size (typically >9 kb) and repetitiveness, limiting understanding of the evolutionary processes that gave rise to their unusual gene architectures. The only complete spidroin genes characterized thus far form the dragline in the Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. Here, we describe the first complete gene sequence encoding the aciniform spidroin AcSp1, the primary component of spider prey-wrapping fibers. L. hesperus AcSp1 contains a single enormous (∼19 kb) exon. The AcSp1 repeat sequence is exceptionally conserved between two widow species (∼94% identity) and between widows and distantly related orb-weavers (∼30% identity), consistent with a history of strong purifying selection on its amino acid sequence. Furthermore, the 16 repeats (each 371–375 amino acids long) found in black widow AcSp1 are, on average, >99% identical at the nucleotide level. A combination of stabilizing selection on amino acid sequence, selection on silent sites, and intragenic recombination likely explains the extreme homogenization of AcSp1 repeats. In addition, phylogenetic analyses of spidroin paralogs support a gene duplication event occurring concomitantly with specialization of the aciniform glands and the tubuliform glands, which synthesize egg-case silk. With repeats that are dramatically different in length and amino acid composition from dragline spidroins, our L. hesperus AcSp1 expands the knowledge base for developing silk-based biomimetic technologies. PMID:23155003

  4. [Venomous spiders and their venoms].

    PubMed

    Schmidt, G

    1985-01-01

    The history of araneidism is long and confusing. The superstition seems to be inexterminatable that tropical mygalomorphs and mediterranean tarantulas are dangerous for humans. It can be looked up even in the most recent edition of the widespread clinical dictionary of Pschyrembel. In contrast to this certain ctenids, the most dangerous spiders up to now known, are mentioned not at all in medical publications. Exaggerated spider-fear is out of place because about 0.1% of all species are dangerous for man only and many of the venomous species live as hidden as they scarcely come in contact with humans. PMID:3895572

  5. Spider Webs and Silks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vollrath, Fritz

    1992-01-01

    Compares the attributes of the silk from spiders with those of the commercially harvested silk from silkworms. Discusses the evolution, design, and effectiveness of spider webs; the functional mechanics of the varieties of silk that can be produced by the same spider; and the composite, as well as molecular, structure of spider silk thread. (JJK)

  6. Fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders: a global pattern.

    PubMed

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders--observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens--are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2-6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the 'swimming' huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders' body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance. PMID:24940885

  7. Changes in species diversity of arboreal spiders in Mexican coffee agroecosystems: untangling the web of local and landscape influences driving diversity.

    PubMed

    Hajian-Forooshani, Zachary; Gonthier, David J; Marín, Linda; Iverson, Aaron L; Perfecto, Ivette

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is implicated as a major driver of global biodiversity loss. Local management and landscape scale factors both influence biodiversity in agricultural systems, but there are relatively few studies to date looking at how local and landscape scales influence biodiversity in tropical agroecosystems. Understanding what drives the diversity of groups of organisms such as spiders is important from a pragmatic point of view because of the important biocontrol services they offer to agriculture. Spiders in coffee are somewhat enigmatic because of their positive or lack of response to agricultural intensification. In this study, we provide the first analysis, to our knowledge, of the arboreal spiders in the shade trees of coffee plantations. In the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico we sampled across 38 sites on 9 coffee plantations. Tree and canopy connectedness were found to positively influence overall arboreal spider richness and abundance. We found that different functional groups of spiders are responding to different local and landscape factors, but overall elevation was most important variable influencing arboreal spider diversity. Our study has practical management applications that suggest having shade grown coffee offers more suitable habitat for arboreal spiders due to a variety of the characteristics of the shade trees. Our results which show consistently more diverse arboreal spider communities in lower elevations are important in light of looming global climate change. As the range of suitable elevations for coffee cultivation shrinks promoting arboreal spider diversity will be important in sustaining the viability of coffee. PMID:25392751

  8. Changes in species diversity of arboreal spiders in Mexican coffee agroecosystems: untangling the web of local and landscape influences driving diversity

    PubMed Central

    Gonthier, David J.; Marín, Linda; Iverson, Aaron L.; Perfecto, Ivette

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is implicated as a major driver of global biodiversity loss. Local management and landscape scale factors both influence biodiversity in agricultural systems, but there are relatively few studies to date looking at how local and landscape scales influence biodiversity in tropical agroecosystems. Understanding what drives the diversity of groups of organisms such as spiders is important from a pragmatic point of view because of the important biocontrol services they offer to agriculture. Spiders in coffee are somewhat enigmatic because of their positive or lack of response to agricultural intensification. In this study, we provide the first analysis, to our knowledge, of the arboreal spiders in the shade trees of coffee plantations. In the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico we sampled across 38 sites on 9 coffee plantations. Tree and canopy connectedness were found to positively influence overall arboreal spider richness and abundance. We found that different functional groups of spiders are responding to different local and landscape factors, but overall elevation was most important variable influencing arboreal spider diversity. Our study has practical management applications that suggest having shade grown coffee offers more suitable habitat for arboreal spiders due to a variety of the characteristics of the shade trees. Our results which show consistently more diverse arboreal spider communities in lower elevations are important in light of looming global climate change. As the range of suitable elevations for coffee cultivation shrinks promoting arboreal spider diversity will be important in sustaining the viability of coffee. PMID:25392751

  9. Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J.

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders – observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens – are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2–6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the ‘swimming’ huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders’ body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance. PMID:24940885

  10. The execution of planned detours by spider-eating predators.

    PubMed

    Cross, Fiona R; Jackson, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    Many spiders from the salticid subfamily Spartaeinae specialize at preying on other spiders and they adopt complex strategies when targeting these dangerous prey. We tested 15 of these spider-eating spartaeine species for the capacity to plan detours ahead of time. Each trial began with the test subject on top of a tower from which it could view two boxes: one containing prey and the other not containing prey. The distance between the tower and the boxes was too far to reach by leaping and the tower sat on a platform surrounded by water. As the species studied are known to avoid water, the only way they could reach the prey without getting wet was by taking one of two circuitous walkways from the platform: one leading to the prey ('correct') and one not leading to the prey ('incorrect'). After leaving the tower, the test subject could not see the prey and sometimes it had to walk past the incorrect walkway before reaching the correct walkway. Yet all 15 species chose the correct walkway significantly more often than the incorrect walkway. We propose that these findings exemplify genuine cognition based on representation. PMID:26781057

  11. Poisonous Spiders: Bites, Symptoms, and Treatment; an Educational Review

    PubMed Central

    Rahmani, Farzad; Banan Khojasteh, Seyed Mahdi; Ebrahimi Bakhtavar, Hanieh; Rahmani, Farnaz; Shahsavari Nia, Kavous; Faridaalaee, Gholamreza

    2014-01-01

    More than 40,000 species of spiders have been identified in the world. Spider bites is a common problem among people, however few of them are harmful but delay in treatment can cause death. Since the spider bites are risk full to human, they should be taken seriously, especially in endemic areas. Our objective in this review was to study about poisonous spiders and find out treatments of them. Therefore, we collected related articles from PubMed database and Google Scholar. Three important syndromes caused by spider bites are loxoscelism, latrodectism and funnel web spider syndrome. Many treatments are used but much more studies should have done to decrease the mortality. In this review, we describes different venomous spiders according to their appearance, symptoms after their bites and available treatments. PMID:26495347

  12. Tangled in a sparse spider web: single origin of orb weavers and their spinning work unravelled by denser taxonomic sampling.

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, Dimitar; Lopardo, Lara; Giribet, Gonzalo; Arnedo, Miquel A; Alvarez-Padilla, Fernando; Hormiga, Gustavo

    2012-04-01

    In order to study the tempo and the mode of spider orb web evolution and diversification, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis using six genetic markers along with a comprehensive taxon sample. The present analyses are the first to recover the monophyly of orb-weaving spiders based solely on DNA sequence data and an extensive taxon sample. We present the first dated orb weaver phylogeny. Our results suggest that orb weavers appeared by the Middle Triassic and underwent a rapid diversification during the end of the Triassic and Early Jurassic. By the second half of the Jurassic, most of the extant orb-weaving families and web designs were already present. The processes that may have given origin to this diversification of lineages and web architectures are discussed. A combination of biotic factors, such as key innovations in web design and silk composition, as well as abiotic environmental changes, may have played important roles in the diversification of orb weavers. Our analyses also show that increased taxon sampling density in both ingroups and outgroups greatly improves phylogenetic accuracy even when extensive data are missing. This effect is particularly important when addition of character data improves gene overlap. PMID:22048955

  13. Ubiquitous distribution of salts and proteins in spider glue enhances spider silk adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chaurasia, Vishal; Jain, Dharamdeep; Blackledge, Todd A.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-03-01

    Modern orb-weaving spiders use micron-sized glue droplets on their viscid silk to retain prey in webs. A combination of low molecular weight salts and proteins makes the glue viscoelastic and humidity responsive in a way not easily achieved by synthetic adhesives. Optically, the glue droplet shows a heterogeneous structure, but the spatial arrangement of its chemical components is poorly understood. Here, we use optical and confocal Raman microscopy to show that salts and proteins are present ubiquitously throughout the droplet. The distribution of adhesive proteins in the peripheral region explains the superior prey capture performance of orb webs as it enables the entire surface area of the glue droplet to act as a site for prey capture. The presence of salts throughout the droplet explains the recent Solid-State NMR results that show salts directly facilitate protein mobility. Understanding the function of individual glue components and the role of the droplet's macro-structure can help in designing better synthetic adhesives for humid environments.

  14. Ubiquitous distribution of salts and proteins in spider glue enhances spider silk adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chaurasia, Vishal; Jain, Dharamdeep; Blackledge, Todd A.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Modern orb-weaving spiders use micron-sized glue droplets on their viscid silk to retain prey in webs. A combination of low molecular weight salts and proteins makes the glue viscoelastic and humidity responsive in a way not easily achieved by synthetic adhesives. Optically, the glue droplet shows a heterogeneous structure, but the spatial arrangement of its chemical components is poorly understood. Here, we use optical and confocal Raman microscopy to show that salts and proteins are present ubiquitously throughout the droplet. The distribution of adhesive proteins in the peripheral region explains the superior prey capture performance of orb webs as it enables the entire surface area of the glue droplet to act as a site for prey capture. The presence of salts throughout the droplet explains the recent Solid-State NMR results that show salts directly facilitate protein mobility. Understanding the function of individual glue components and the role of the droplet's macro-structure can help in designing better synthetic adhesives for humid environments. PMID:25761668

  15. Brown Recluse Spider

    MedlinePlus

    ... to a group of spiders commonly known as violin spiders or fiddlebacks. The characteristic fiddle-shaped pattern ... 4-19.1mm) • Color: Golden brown • A dark violin/fiddle shape (see top photo) is located on ...

  16. Nature Study Tips. Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulaik, Stanley B.

    1990-01-01

    Different types of spiders, their ranges and habits are discussed. Activities associated with the study of spiders are suggested. Four references are listed which may be of interest to beginners. (CW)

  17. The spider genus Cyrioctea Simon on Chañaral Island (Pingüino de Humboldt National Reserve, Atacama, Chile): description of a new species, and the male of Cyrioctea cruz Platnick (Araneae, Zodariidae).

    PubMed

    Grismado, Cristian J; Pizarro-Araya, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    A faunistic survey on Chañaral Island, Atacama, near the northern Pacific coast of Chile, allowed the discovery and description of a new species of the spider genus Cyrioctea: C. islachanaral sp. nov., based on females collected by pitfall traps. Strikingly, this new species shares morphological characters with some Southern African representatives of this genus rather than with the species of continental South America. The male of the species C. cruz Platnick, previously known from continental Chile (northern Coquimbo), is described for the first time based on specimens collected in the same locality. PMID:27394818

  18. Did You Say Spiders?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Alene

    This spider unit focuses on students' development of cooperative learning and inquiry-based skills. Students read "The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle, and then work in cooperative groups using the Internet to research and synthesize important information about spiders. Technology is used for vocabulary instruction and to create a multimedia…

  19. Spiders in dermatology.

    PubMed

    Kang, Jun K; Bhate, Chinmoy; Schwartz, Robert A

    2014-09-01

    Spider bites represent an unusual and potentially over-represented clinical diagnosis. Despite a common fear of spiders, known as arachnophobia, current knowledge suggests that only a small number of families within the order Araneae are medically relevant. Moreover, most cutaneous spider reactions, including both evenomations and physical trauma, produce mild, local symptoms which may be managed with supportive care alone. The differential diagnosis for spider bites may be broad, especially if the offending arachnid is not seen or found. We describe a series of spiders relevant to the dermatologist in the United States. PMID:25577851

  20. High-performance spider webs: integrating biomechanics, ecology and behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Harmer, Aaron M. T.; Blackledge, Todd A.; Madin, Joshua S.; Herberstein, Marie E.

    2011-01-01

    Spider silks exhibit remarkable properties, surpassing most natural and synthetic materials in both strength and toughness. Orb-web spider dragline silk is the focus of intense research by material scientists attempting to mimic these naturally produced fibres. However, biomechanical research on spider silks is often removed from the context of web ecology and spider foraging behaviour. Similarly, evolutionary and ecological research on spiders rarely considers the significance of silk properties. Here, we highlight the critical need to integrate biomechanical and ecological perspectives on spider silks to generate a better understanding of (i) how silk biomechanics and web architectures interacted to influence spider web evolution along different structural pathways, and (ii) how silks function in an ecological context, which may identify novel silk applications. An integrative, mechanistic approach to understanding silk and web function, as well as the selective pressures driving their evolution, will help uncover the potential impacts of environmental change and species invasions (of both spiders and prey) on spider success. Integrating these fields will also allow us to take advantage of the remarkable properties of spider silks, expanding the range of possible silk applications from single threads to two- and three-dimensional thread networks. PMID:21036911

  1. Fecundity increase supports adaptive radiation hypothesis in spider web evolution

    PubMed Central

    Coddington, Jonathan A; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2009-01-01

    Identifying the mechanisms driving adaptive radiations is key to explaining the diversity of life. The extreme reliance of spiders upon silk for survival provides an exceptional system in which to link patterns of diversification to adaptive changes in silk use. Most of the world’s 41,000 species of spiders belong to two apical lineages of spiders that exhibit quite different silk ecologies, distinct from their ancestors. Orb spiders spin highly stereotyped webs that are suspended in air and utilize a chemical glue to make them adhesive. RTA clade spiders mostly abandoned silk capture webs altogether. We recently proposed that these two clades present very different evolutionary routes of achieving the same key innovation—escape from the constraints imposed by spinning webs that contain a relatively costly type of physically adhesive cribellate silk. Here, we test the prediction that orb and RTA clade spiders are not only more diverse, but also have higher fecundity than other spiders. We show that RTA clade spiders average 23% higher fecundity and orb spiders average 123% higher fecundity than their ancestors. This supports a functional link between the adaptive escape from cribellate silk and increased resource allocation to reproduction in spiders. PMID:20195450

  2. Spiders (Araneae) Found in Bananas and Other International Cargo Submitted to North American Arachnologists for Identification.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S; Crawford, Rodney L; Buckle, Donald J

    2014-11-01

    Spiders found in international cargo brought into North America are sometimes submitted to arachnologists for identification. Often, these spiders are presumed to be of medical importance because of size or a submitter's familiarity with a toxic spider genus from the continent of origin. Starting in 2006, requests were made for spiders found in international cargo brought into North America, in addition to the specimens from similar cargo shipments already in our museum collections. This was an ad hoc study that allowed us to focus on spiders of concern to the discoverer. We identified 135 spiders found in international cargo. A key for the most common species is provided. The most frequently submitted spiders were the pantropical huntsman spider, Heteropoda venatoria (L.) (Sparassidae), and the redfaced banana spider, Cupiennius chiapanensis Medina Soriano (Ctenidae). Spiders of medical importance were rare. The most common cargo from which spiders were submitted was bananas with most specimens coming from Central America, Ecuador, or Colombia. Lack of experience with nonnative fauna caused several experienced American arachnologists to misidentify harmless ctenid spiders (C. chiapanensis, spotlegged banana spider, Cupiennius getazi Simon) as highly toxic Phoneutria spiders. These misidentifications could have led to costly, unwarranted prophylactic eradication measures, unnecessary employee health education, heightened employee anxiety and spoilage when perishable goods are left unloaded due to safety concerns. PMID:26309299

  3. The eunuch phenomenon: adaptive evolution of genital emasculation in sexually dimorphic spiders.

    PubMed

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Agnarsson, Ingi; Li, Daiqin

    2015-02-01

    Under natural and sexual selection traits often evolve that secure paternity or maternity through self-sacrifice to predators, rivals, offspring, or partners. Emasculation-males removing their genitals-is an unusual example of such behaviours. Known only in insects and spiders, the phenomenon's adaptiveness is difficult to explain, yet its repeated origins and association with sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual cannibalism suggest an adaptive significance. In spiders, emasculation of paired male sperm-transferring organs - secondary genitals - (hereafter, palps), results in 'eunuchs'. This behaviour has been hypothesized to be adaptive because (i) males plug female genitals with their severed palps (plugging hypothesis), (ii) males remove their palps to become better fighters in male-male contests (better-fighter hypothesis), perhaps reaching higher agility due to reduced total body mass (gloves-off hypothesis), and (iii) males achieve prolonged sperm transfer through severed genitals (remote-copulation hypothesis). Prior research has provided evidence in support of these hypotheses in some orb-weaving spiders but these explanations are far from general. Seeking broad macroevolutionary patterns of spider emasculation, we review the known occurrences, weigh the evidence in support of the hypotheses in each known case, and redefine more precisely the particular cases of emasculation depending on its timing in relation to maturation and mating: 'pre-maturation', 'mating', and 'post-mating'. We use a genus-level spider phylogeny to explore emasculation evolution and to investigate potential evolutionary linkage between emasculation, SSD, lesser genital damage (embolic breakage), and sexual cannibalism (females consuming their mates). We find a complex pattern of spider emasculation evolution, all cases confined to Araneoidea: emasculation evolved at least five and up to 11 times, was lost at least four times, and became further modified at least once. We also find

  4. [Diagnostic use of Internet: google the spider].

    PubMed

    Soonawala, Darius; Brienen, Eric A T; Visser, Leo G

    2009-01-01

    A 23-year-old woman was working in a factory unpacking jars of Spanish olives when a spider bit her finger. She presented to the emergency outpatient department carrying the spider in a box. She was worried and wanted to know whether the spider, which may have originated from Spain, was poisonous. After a ten minute Internet search the spider was identified as Segestria florentina. It can inject neurotoxins causing temporary local numbness and pain. The patient was reassured and discharged without further treatment. Later, experts confirmed the species. Internet-based search engines can draw attention to unusual diagnoses which otherwise may easily be overlooked. A general search engine can also provide access to subjects that fall outside the scope of the more usual medical sources. PMID:19785819

  5. Spider behaviors include oral sexual encounters.

    PubMed

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Šuen, Klavdija; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-01-01

    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 reporting on sexual behavior of Darwin's bark spider, Caerostris darwini. This sexually size dimorphic Madagascan species is known for extreme web gigantism and for producing the world's toughest biomaterial. Our field and laboratory study uncovers a rich sexual repertoire that predictably involves cannibalism, genital mutilation, male preference for teneral females, and emasculation. Surprisingly, C. darwini males engage in oral sexual encounters, rarely reported outside mammals. Irrespective of female's age or mating status males salivate onto female genitalia pre-, during, and post-copulation. While its adaptive significance is elusive, oral sexual contact in spiders may signal male quality or reduce sperm competition. PMID:27126507

  6. Spider behaviors include oral sexual encounters

    PubMed Central

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Šuen, Klavdija; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-01-01

    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 reporting on sexual behavior of Darwin’s bark spider, Caerostris darwini. This sexually size dimorphic Madagascan species is known for extreme web gigantism and for producing the world’s toughest biomaterial. Our field and laboratory study uncovers a rich sexual repertoire that predictably involves cannibalism, genital mutilation, male preference for teneral females, and emasculation. Surprisingly, C. darwini males engage in oral sexual encounters, rarely reported outside mammals. Irrespective of female’s age or mating status males salivate onto female genitalia pre-, during, and post-copulation. While its adaptive significance is elusive, oral sexual contact in spiders may signal male quality or reduce sperm competition. PMID:27126507

  7. Funnel-web spider bite

    MedlinePlus

    ... effects of a bite from the funnel-web spider. Male funnel-web spiders are more poisonous than females. This article is ... or manage a bite from this type of spider. If you or someone you are with has ...

  8. Funnel-web spider bite

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002844.htm Funnel-web spider bite To use the sharing features on ... the effects of a bite from the funnel-web spider. Male funnel-web spiders are more poisonous ...

  9. A two year study of verified spider bites in Switzerland and a review of the European spider bite literature.

    PubMed

    Nentwig, Wolfgang; Gnädinger, Markus; Fuchs, Joan; Ceschi, Alessandro

    2013-10-01

    During a two-year study, all spider bites recorded by Swiss primary care physicians were reported to the Swiss Toxicological Information Centre and all collected spiders were identified. A total of 14 verified spider bites were recorded, involving five species from four families: Zoropsis spinimana (five cases), Cheiracanthium punctorium (four cases), Tegenaria atrica (three cases) and one case of Malthonica ferruginea (= Tegenaria ferruginea) (both Agelenidae), and one case of Amaurobius ferox (Amaurobiidae). The bites of all spider species produced relatively mild symptoms. Local symptoms such as moderate to severe pain, circumscribed swelling and redness were the only effects in most cases. Systemic symptoms were rare. There was complete recovery in all cases and all lesions healed completely without further damage or secondary disorders. Following a review of the European spider bite literature, the number of spider species capable of biting humans in Europe is considered to be much larger than could be concluded from this study. Most spider bites are restricted to species living synanthropically, thus promoted by climate and habitat change. The annual frequency of spider bites in Switzerland is estimated at 10-100 bites per million inhabitants, but this is predicted to increase due to the continuous arrival of new alien species, many of which have a high potential to establish in urban areas. PMID:23872119

  10. Uncovering changes in spider orb-web topology owing to aerodynamic effects

    PubMed Central

    Zaera, Ramón; Soler, Alejandro; Teus, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    An orb-weaving spider's likelihood of survival is influenced by its ability to retain prey with minimum damage to its web and at the lowest manufacturing cost. This set of requirements has forced the spider silk to evolve towards extreme strength and ductility to a degree that is rare among materials. Previous studies reveal that the performance of the web upon impact may not be based on the mechanical properties of silk alone, aerodynamic drag could play a role in the dissipation of the prey's energy. Here, we present a thorough analysis of the effect of the aerodynamic drag on wind load and prey impact. The hypothesis considered by previous authors for the evaluation of the drag force per unit length of thread has been revisited according to well-established principles of fluid mechanics, highlighting the functional dependence on thread diameter that was formerly ignored. Theoretical analysis and finite-element simulations permitted us to identify air drag as a relevant factor in reducing deterioration of the orb web, and to reveal how the spider can take greater—and not negligible—advantage of drag dissipation. The study shows the beneficial air drag effects of building smaller and less dense webs under wind load, and larger and denser webs under prey impact loads. In essence, it points out why the aerodynamics need to be considered as an additional driving force in the evolution of silk threads and orb webs. PMID:24966235

  11. Brown recluse spider envenomation.

    PubMed

    Furbee, R Brent; Kao, Louise W; Ibrahim, Danyal

    2006-03-01

    Brown recluse spider bite is a common diagnosis in almost every state in America. In fact, cases have been reported in areas where the spider has never been seen. A review of medical literature reveals that most current concepts regarding brown recluse spider envenomation are based on supposition. In this article, we attempt to review critically our present understanding of brown recluse bites with a focus on the published evidence. PMID:16567232

  12. 'Spider' in Earth Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    View of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module 'Spider' in a lunar landing configuration photographed by Command Module pilot David Scott inside the Command/Service Module 'Gumdrop' on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 earth-orbital mission. The landing gear on 'Spider' has been deployed. lunar surface probes (sensors) extend out from the landing gear foot pads. Inside the 'Spider' were astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 Commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, Lunar Module pilot.

  13. Spider Web DNA: A New Spin on Noninvasive Genetics of Predator and Prey

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Charles C. Y.; Yen, Ivy J.; Bowman, Dean; Turner, Cameron R.

    2015-01-01

    Noninvasive genetic sampling enables biomonitoring without the need to directly observe or disturb target organisms. This paper describes a novel and promising source of noninvasive spider and insect DNA from spider webs. Using black widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.) fed with house crickets (Acheta domesticus), we successfully extracted, amplified, and sequenced mitochondrial DNA from spider web samples that identified both spider and prey to species. Detectability of spider DNA did not differ between assays with amplicon sizes from 135 to 497 base pairs. Spider and prey DNA remained detectable at least 88 days after living organisms were no longer present on the web. Spider web DNA as a proof-of-concept may open doors to other practical applications in conservation research, pest management, biogeography studies, and biodiversity assessments. PMID:26606730

  14. The global epidemiology, syndromic classification, management, and prevention of spider bites.

    PubMed

    Diaz, James H

    2004-08-01

    Spiders are carnivorous arthropods that coexist with humans and ambush or ensnare prey. Unlike other arthropods, spiders rarely transmit communicable diseases, and play a critical role in the ecosystem by consuming other arthropods that frequently transmit human diseases, such as mosquitoes and flies. There are more than 30,000 species of spiders, most of which are venomous, but they cannot inflict serious bites due to delicate mouthparts and short fangs. The differential diagnosis of spider bites is extensive and includes other arthropod bites, skin infections, and exposure to chemical or physical agents. However, approximately 200 species from 20 genera of spiders worldwide can cause severe human envenomings, with dermonecrosis, systemic toxicity, and death. Spider bites can usually be prevented by simple personal and domestic measures. Early species identification and specific management may help prevent serious sequelae of spider bites. PMID:15306718

  15. Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders

    PubMed Central

    Wignall, Anne E.; Herberstein, Marie E.

    2013-01-01

    During courtship, individuals transfer information about identity, mating status and quality. However, male web-building spiders face a significant problem: how to begin courting female spiders without being mistaken for prey? Male Argiope spiders generate distinctive courtship vibrations (shudders) when entering a female's web. We tested whether courtship shudders delay female predatory behaviour, even when live prey is present in the web. We presented a live cricket to females during playbacks of shudder vibrations, or white noise, and compared female responses to a control in which we presented a live cricket with no playback vibrations. Females were much slower to respond to crickets during playback of shudder vibrations. Shudder vibrations also delayed female predatory behaviour in a related spider species, showing that these vibrations do not simply function for species identity. These results suggest that male web-building spiders employ a phylogenetically conserved vibratory signal to ameliorate the risk of pre-copulatory cannibalism. PMID:24356181

  16. Disentangling the Phylogenetic and Ecological Components of Spider Phenotypic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure. PMID:24651264

  17. Disentangling the phylogenetic and ecological components of spider phenotypic variation.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure. PMID:24651264

  18. Becoming a Spider Scientist

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patrick, Patricia; Getz, Angela

    2008-01-01

    In this integrated unit, third grade students become spider scientists as they observe spiders in their classroom to debunk some common misconceptions about these intimidating creatures. "Charlotte's Web" is used to capture students' interest. In addition to addressing philosophical topics such as growing-up, death, and friendship; E.B. White's…

  19. Insects and Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on insects and spiders. The bulletins have these titles: What Good Are Insects, How Insects Benefit Man, Life of the Honey Bee, Ants and Their Fascinating Ways, Mosquitoes and Other Flies, Caterpillars, Spiders and Silk,…

  20. Scavenging by spiders (Araneae) and its relationship to pest management of the brown recluse spider.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S

    2011-06-01

    Experiments reported in Sandidge (2003; Nature 426: 30) indicated that the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch & Mulaik, preferred to scavenge dead prey over live prey and that the spiders were not detrimentally affected when fed insecticide-killed crickets. Extrapolations made in subsequent media coverage disseminating the results of this research made counter-intuitive statements that pesticide treatment in houses would increase brown recluse populations in homes. This information was presented as if the scavenging behavior was specialized in the brown recluse; however, it was more likely that this behavior has not been well studied in other species. To provide a comparison, the current laboratory study examined the likelihood of non-Loxosceles spiders to scavenge dead prey. Of 100 non-Loxosceles spiders that were tested (from 11 families, 24 genera, and at least 29 species from a variety of spider hunting guilds), 99 scavenged dead crickets when offered in petri dishes. Some of the spiders were webspinners in which real-world scavenging of dead prey is virtually impossible, yet they scavenge when given the opportunity. Therefore, scavenging is a flexible opportunistic predatory behavior that is spread across a variety of taxa and is not a unique behavior in brown recluses. These findings are discussed in relation to pest management practices. PMID:21735920

  1. Low temperature–scanning electron microscopy to evaluate morphology and predation of Scolothrips sexmaculatus Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) against spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae: Tetranychus species)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper evaluates the potential usefulness of low temperature-scanning electron microscopy (LT-SEM) to evaluate morphology and predation behavior of the six-spotted thrips (Scolothrips sexmaculatus Pergande) against the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae (Koch)). Morphological features...

  2. Spiders Tune Glue Viscosity to Maximize Adhesion.

    PubMed

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Zhang, Ci; Diaz, Candido; Opell, Brent D; Blackledge, Todd A; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-11-24

    Adhesion in humid conditions is a fundamental challenge to both natural and synthetic adhesives. Yet, glue from most spider species becomes stickier as humidity increases. We find the adhesion of spider glue, from five diverse spider species, maximizes at very different humidities that matches their foraging habitats. By using high-speed imaging and spreading power law, we find that the glue viscosity varies over 5 orders of magnitude with humidity for each species, yet the viscosity at maximal adhesion for each species is nearly identical, 10(5)-10(6) cP. Many natural systems take advantage of viscosity to improve functional response, but spider glue's humidity responsiveness is a novel adaptation that makes the glue stickiest in each species' preferred habitat. This tuning is achieved by a combination of proteins and hygroscopic organic salts that determines water uptake in the glue. We therefore anticipate that manipulation of polymer-salts interaction to control viscosity can provide a simple mechanism to design humidity responsive smart adhesives. PMID:26513350

  3. A new species-complex within the trapdoor spider genus Nemesia Audouin 1826 distributed in northern and central Italy, with descriptions of three new species (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Nemesiidae).

    PubMed

    Decae, Arthur; Pantini, Paolo; Isaia, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Three new Nemesia Audouin 1826 species from northern and central Italy are named. They share a combination of sexual characters, not found in other described species. A new species-complex within Nemesia is here referred to as the apenninica group. Within the apenninica group, N. apenninica n. sp., N. hastensis n. sp., and N. pedemontana n. sp. differ in the morphology of the male palpal organ and the female spermathecae. The three species have different kinds of geographical distributions. While N. apenninica and N. hastensis have locally restricted and geographically separated distributions, the distribution of N. pedemontana overlaps with that of both of these species and extends widely in northern and central Italy. In its periphery, the distribution of N. pedemontana overlaps with that of species other than the apenninica group, e.g., N. meridionalis (Costa, 1835) in southern Italy and N. manderstjernae (L. Koch, 1871) and N. carminans (Latreille, 1818) in Liguria. Information on burrow structure, phenology and habitat are provided for all three new species. Some aspects of the behavior and feeding are discussed for N. pedemontana and N. hastensis. PMID:26701576

  4. Assessing and managing spider and scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    McGhee, Stephen; Weiner, Aaron; Finnegan, Alan; Visovsky, Constance; Clochesy, John M; Graves, Brian

    2015-11-01

    Envenomation by spiders or scorpions is a public health problem in many parts of the world and is not isolated to the tropics and subtropics. Spiders and scorpions can be unintentionally transported globally, and keeping them as pets is becoming more popular, so envenomation can occur anywhere. Emergency nurses should be prepared to assess and treat patients who present with a bite or sting. This article gives an overview of the signs, symptoms and treatment of envenomation by species of arachnids that are clinically significant to humans. PMID:26542925

  5. Secondary eyes mediate the response to looming objects in jumping spiders (Phidippus audax, Salticidae)

    PubMed Central

    Spano, Lauren; Long, Skye M.; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2012-01-01

    Some species have sensory systems divided into subsystems with morphologically different sense organs that acquire different types of information within the same modality. Jumping spiders (family Salticidae) have eight eyes. Four eyes are directed anteriorly to view objects in front of the spider: a pair of principal eyes track targets with their movable retinae, while the immobile anterior lateral (AL) eyes have a larger field of view and lower resolution. To test whether the principal eyes, the AL eyes, or both together mediate the response to looming stimuli, we presented spiders with a video of a solid black circle that rapidly expanded (loomed) or contracted (receded). Control spiders and spiders with their principal eyes masked were significantly more likely to back away from the looming stimulus than were spiders with their AL eyes masked. Almost no individuals backed away from the receding stimulus. Our results show that the AL eyes alone mediate the loom response to objects anterior to the spider. PMID:23075526

  6. Spider webs: Damage control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-04-01

    A study reveals that spider orb webs fail in a nonlinear fashion, owing to the hierarchical organization of the silk proteins. The discovery may serve as inspiration for engineers for the design of aerial, light-weight, robust architectures.

  7. Brown recluse spider (image)

    MedlinePlus

    The brown recluse is a venomous spider most commonly found in midwestern and southern states of the United States. It ... inch overall and has long skinny legs. The brown recluse is brown with a characteristic dark violin-shaped ...

  8. Space spider crane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macconochie, Ian O. (Inventor); Mikulas, Martin M., Jr. (Inventor); Pennington, Jack E. (Inventor); Kinkead, Rebecca L. (Inventor); Bryan, Charles F., Jr. (Inventor)

    1988-01-01

    A space spider crane for the movement, placement, and or assembly of various components on or in the vicinity of a space structure is described. As permanent space structures are utilized by the space program, a means will be required to transport cargo and perform various repair tasks. A space spider crane comprising a small central body with attached manipulators and legs fulfills this requirement. The manipulators may be equipped with constant pressure gripping end effectors or tools to accomplish various repair tasks. The legs are also equipped with constant pressure gripping end effectors to grip the space structure. Control of the space spider crane may be achieved either by computer software or a remotely situated human operator, who maintains visual contact via television cameras mounted on the space spider crane. One possible walking program consists of a parallel motion walking program whereby the small central body alternatively leans forward and backward relative to end effectors.

  9. Black widow spider

    MedlinePlus

    ... et al. Spider bites. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine . 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011: ... KR, Collier BR, Riordan WP, Jr., et al. Wilderness Trauma and Surgical Emergencies . In: Auerbach PS, ed. ...

  10. Brown recluse spider

    MedlinePlus

    ... spider bites you, you may feel a sharp sting or nothing at all. Pain usually develops within ... urine tests Breathing support, including oxygen Chest x-ray EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing) Intravenous fluids (through ...

  11. Mermithid parasitism of Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders in a fragmented landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vandergast, Amy; Roderick, George K.

    2003-01-01

    Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders inhabiting small forest fragments on the Big Island of Hawaii are parasitized by mermithid nematodes. This is the first report of mermithid nematodes infecting spiders in Hawaii, and an initial attempt to characterize this host–parasite interaction. Because immature mermithids were not morphologically identifiable, a molecular identification was performed. A phylogenetic analysis based on 18S small ribosomal subunit nuclear gene sequences suggested that Hawaiian spider mermithids are more closely related to a mainland presumptive Aranimemis species that infects spiders, than to an insect-infecting mermithid collected on Oahu, HI, or to Mermis nigrescens, also a parasite of insects. Measured infection prevalence was low (ranging from 0 to 4%) but differed significantly among forest fragments. Infection prevalence was associated significantly with fragment area, but not with spider density nor spider species richness. Results suggest that mermithid populations are sensitive to habitat fragmentation, but that changes in infection prevalence do not appear to affect spider community structure.

  12. Bird predation affects diurnal and nocturnal web-building spiders in a Mediterranean citrus grove

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mestre, L.; Garcia, N.; Barrientos, J. A.; Espadaler, X.; Piñol, J.

    2013-02-01

    Spiders and birds can greatly decrease insect populations, but birds also limit spider densities in some habitats. Bird predation is thought to be one of the causes behind nocturnal activity in spiders, so night-active spiders that hide in retreats during the day should be less affected by bird foraging than day-active spiders. However, this hypothesis has not yet been tested. We investigated the importance of bird predation on the spider community of a Mediterranean organic citrus grove. We excluded birds by placing net cages over the trees and we conducted visual searches in the canopies to sample web-building spiders. As there are many nocturnal species in the family Araneidae, we conducted searches both by day and by night to compare the abundance of active araneids in these two time periods. We sampled the tree trunks with cardboard bands to collect hunting spiders. In bird-excluded canopies there were more spiders of the families Araneidae and Theridiidae. There were higher numbers of active Araneidae at night, but these were just as negatively affected by bird predation as day-active Araneidae, so there was no evidence of nocturnal activity serving as an anti-predator strategy. We did not find any negative impact of birds on hunting spiders. Our results contrast with other studies reporting a negative effect of birds on hunting but not on web-building spiders.

  13. Endosymbiont Dominated Bacterial Communities in a Dwarf Spider

    PubMed Central

    Vanthournout, Bram; Hendrickx, Frederik

    2015-01-01

    The microbial community of spiders is little known, with previous studies focussing primarily on the medical importance of spiders as vectors of pathogenic bacteria and on the screening of known cytoplasmic endosymbiont bacteria. These screening studies have been performed by means of specific primers that only amplify a selective set of endosymbionts, hampering the detection of unreported species in spiders. In order to have a more complete overview of the bacterial species that can be present in spiders, we applied a combination of a cloning assay, DGGE profiling and high-throughput sequencing on multiple individuals of the dwarf spider Oedothorax gibbosus. This revealed a co-infection of at least three known (Wolbachia, Rickettsia and Cardinium) and the detection of a previously unreported endosymbiont bacterium (Rhabdochlamydia) in spiders. 16S rRNA gene sequences of Rhabdochlamydia matched closely with those of Candidatus R. porcellionis, which is currently only reported as a pathogen from a woodlouse and with Candidatus R. crassificans reported from a cockroach. Remarkably, this bacterium appears to present in very high proportions in one of the two populations only, with all investigated females being infected. We also recovered Acinetobacter in high abundance in one individual. In total, more than 99% of approximately 4.5M high-throughput sequencing reads were restricted to these five bacterial species. In contrast to previously reported screening studies of terrestrial arthropods, our results suggest that the bacterial communities in this spider species are dominated by, or even restricted to endosymbiont bacteria. Given the high prevalence of endosymbiont species in spiders, this bacterial community pattern could be widespread in the Araneae order. PMID:25706947

  14. Spider-mediated flux of PCBs from contaminated sediments to terrestrial ecosystems and potential risks to arachnivorous birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walters, D.M.; Mills, M.A.; Fritz, K.M.; Raikow, D.F.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated aquatic insect utilization and PCB exposure in riparian spiders at the Lake Hartwell Superfund site (Clemson, SC). We sampled sediments, adult chironomids, terrestrial insects, riparian spiders (Tetragnathidae, Araneidae, and Mecynogea lemniscata), and upland spiders (Araneidae) along a sediment contamination gradient. Stable isotopes (?13C, ? 15N) indicated that riparian spiders primarily consumed aquatic insects whereas upland spiders consumed terrestrial insects. PCBs in chironomids (mean 1240 ng/g among sites) were 2 orders of magnitude higher than terrestrial insects (15.2 ng/g), similar to differences between riparian (820?2012 ng/g) and upland spiders (30 ng/g). Riparian spider PCBs were positively correlated with sediment concentrations for all taxa (r2 = 0.44?0.87). We calculated spider-based wildlife values (WVs, the minimum spider PCB concentrations causing physiologically significant doses in consumers) to assess exposure risks for arachnivorous birds. Spider concentrations exceeded WVs for most birds at heavily contaminated sites and were ?14-fold higher for the most sensitive species (chickadee nestlings, Poecile spp.). Spiders are abundant and ubiquitous in riparian habitats, where they depend on aquatic insect prey. These traits, along with the high degree of spatial correlation between spider and sediment concentrations we observed, suggest that they are model indicator species for monitoring contaminated sediment sites and assessing risks associated with contaminant flux into terrestrial ecosystems. ?? This article not subject to U.S. Copyright. Published 2009 by the American Chemical Society.

  15. Evolutionary morphology of the hemolymph vascular system of basal araneomorph spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae).

    PubMed

    Huckstorf, Katarina; Michalik, Peter; Ramírez, Martín; Wirkner, Christian S

    2015-11-01

    The superfamily Austrochiloidea (Austrochilidae and Gradungulidae) take a pivotal position in araneomorph spider phylogeny. In this discussion crevice weaver spiders (Filistatidae) are of equal interest. Especially data from these phylogenetically uncertain yet basal off branching groups can enlighten our understanding on the evolution of organ systems. In the course of a survey on the evolutionary morphology of the circulatory system in spiders we therefore investigated the hemolymph vascular system in two austrochiloid and one filistatid species. Additionally some data on a hypochilid and a gradungulid species are included. Using up-to-date morphological methods, the vascular systems in these spiders are visualized three dimensionally. Ground pattern features of the circulatory systems in austrochiloid spiders are presented and the data discussed along recent lines of phylogenetic hypotheses. Special topics highlighted are the intraspecific variability of the origins of some prosomal arteries and the evolutionary correlation of respiratory and circulatory systems in spiders. PMID:26143524

  16. Widow spider envenomation (latrodectism): a worldwide problem.

    PubMed

    Jelinek, G A

    1997-11-01

    The objective of this study was to review widow spider envenomation on a worldwide basis, with an emphasis on regional variability in management, particularly between the United States and Australia. Data sources were the Medline database (1966-1997) for English language references using as key words widow spider, latrodectism, and red back spider, and Mesh headings. Textbooks of toxinology were also used. Studies involving clinical reports and series were selected. The data indicated that envenomation by widow spiders (latrodectism) is common worldwide. Local pain and sweating predominate, in about 25% of cases becoming generalized or developing in remote sites. The mortality in published series varies from 5% to 10%, although these may be overestimates. Australia may have the highest rate of latrodectism in the world. The literature reveals regional disparities in the treatment and outcome of latrodectism. In Australia, intramuscular antivenin has been used liberally for more than 40 years with a very low rate (0.5% to 0.8%) of allergic reactions and no deaths recorded since its introduction. Antivenin is routinely successful in relieving the effects of latrodectism. In the United States, the antivenin is given intravenously, is usually reserved for very severe cases, and the rate of allergic reaction is high (from 9% up to 80% in those skin testing positive). Deaths have been recorded after antivenin. The literature suggests that antivenin to one species of Latrodectus is likely to be effective against other species. The conclusion drawn was that latrodectism is a common envenomation worldwide. There is a strong case for a comparative trial of Australian vs US antivenin in treating latrodectism due to the black widow spider in the United States. PMID:11990169

  17. Structural and optical studies on selected web spinning spider silks.

    PubMed

    Karthikeyani, R; Divya, A; Mathavan, T; Asath, R Mohamed; Benial, A Milton Franklin; Muthuchelian, K

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the structural and optical properties in the cribellate silk of the sheet web spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) and the combined dragline, viscid silk of the orb-web spiders Argiope pulchella Thorell (Araneidae) and Nephila pilipes Fabricius (Nephilidae). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to study these three spider silk species. X-ray diffraction data are consistent with the amorphous polymer network which is arising from the interaction of larger side chain amino acid contributions due to the poly-glycine rich sequences known to be present in the proteins of cribellate silk. The same amorphous polymer networks have been determined from the combined dragline and viscid silk of orb-web spiders. From FTIR spectra the results demonstrate that, cribellate silk of Stegodyphus sarasinorum, combined dragline viscid silk of Argiope pulchella and Nephila pilipes spider silks are showing protein peaks in the amide I, II and III regions. Further they proved that the functional groups present in the protein moieties are attributed to α-helical and side chain amino acid contributions. The optical properties of the obtained spider silks such as extinction coefficients, refractive index, real and imaginary dielectric constants and optical conductance were studied extensively from UV-Vis analysis. The important fluorescent amino acid tyrosine is present in the protein folding was investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. This research would explore the protein moieties present in the spider silks which were found to be associated with α-helix and side chain amino acid contributions than with β-sheet secondary structure and also the optical relationship between the three different spider silks are investigated. Successful spectroscopic knowledge of the internal protein structure and optical properties of the spider silks could

  18. Effects of natural forest fragmentation on a Hawaiian spider community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vandergast, A.G.; Gillespie, R.G.

    2004-01-01

    The kipuka system, a network of forest fragments surrounded by lava flows on the island of Hawaii, offers an opportunity to study the natural, long-term fragmentation of a native ecosystem. We examined the impacts of habitat edges upon the community structure of nocturnally active native spiders, primarily in the genus Tetragnatha. We measured plant and spider species distributions across the edges of four small fragments and one large continuously forested area that were surrounded by a lava flow in 1855. Results indicated that an ???20 m edge ecotone surrounds core forest habitat. Spider community structure changed across the edge, with a decrease in total species richness and diversity at the forest/lava boundary, and a change in the dominant taxon from native Tetragnatha (Tetragnathidae) to native Cyclosa (Araneidae). Severe habitat restrictions were found for some spider species. In addition, nearly all of the spiders captured were endemic species, and the few introduced species were limited to the younger and more open lava flows. Our results suggest that species responses to edges can vary, and that core habitat specialists may decline in fragmented conditions.

  19. Bromeliad-living spiders improve host plant nutrition and growth.

    PubMed

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Mazzafera, Paulo; Vasconcellos-Neto, Joao; Trivelin, Paulo C O

    2006-04-01

    Although bromeliads are believed to obtain nutrients from debris deposited by animals in their rosettes, there is little evidence to support this assumption. Using stable isotope methods, we found that the Neotropical jumping spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae), which lives strictly associated with the terrestrial bromeliad Bromelia balansae, contributed 18% of the total nitrogen of its host plant in a greenhouse experiment. In a one-year field experiment, plants with spiders produced leaves 15% longer than plants from which the spiders were excluded. This is the first study to show nutrient provisioning in a spider-plant system. Because several animal species live strictly associated with bromeliad rosettes, this type of facultative mutualism involving the Bromeliaceae may be more common than previously thought. PMID:16676522

  20. Offspring recognition by mother crab spiders with extreme maternal care

    PubMed Central

    Evans, T. A.

    1998-01-01

    Maternal care is provided by several spider species, but there are no reports of mother spiders recognizing their young, which suggests that maternal care can be exploited by unrelated individuals. Diaea ergandros, a crab spider with extreme, sacrificial maternal care, does accept unrelated spiderlings (ca. 43.9% of spiderlings) into its nest in areas of high nest density. However, a field and a laboratory experiment with mother spiders and natural and adoptive spiderlings demonstrated that mothers did recognize their own offspring. Recognition was not expressed in survival as adopted (unrelated) spiderlings had similar survival rate to that of natural offspring. Instead it was displayed in growth; mother D. ergandros caught large prey items for their own offspring, but not for adopted spiderlings, and so natural offspring grew more than adopted spiderlings. Also, mothers produced trophic oocytes, which are important for the sacrificial care that influences spiderling survival, only when they lived with their own offspring.

  1. Bites by spiders of the family Theraphosidae in humans and canines.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; Seymour, Jamie E; Gray, Michael R; Raven, Robert J

    2003-03-01

    Spiders of the family Theraphosidae occur throughout most tropical regions of the world. There have only been three case reports of bites by these spiders in Australia. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical effects of bites by Australian theraphosid spiders in both humans and canines. Cases of spider bite were collected by the authors over the period January 1978-April 2002, either prospectively in a large study of Australian spider bites, or retrospectively from cases reported to the authors. Subjects were included if they had a definite bite and had collected the spider. The spiders were identified by an expert arachnologist to genus and species level where possible. There were nine confirmed bites by spiders of the family Theraphosidae in humans and seven in canines. These included bites by two Selenocosmia spp. and by two Phlogiellus spp. The nine spider bites in humans did not cause major effects. Local pain was the commonest effect, with severe pain in four of seven cases where severity of pain was recorded. Puncture marks or bleeding were the next most common effect. In one case the spider had bitten through the patient's fingernail. Mild systemic effects occurred in one of nine cases. There were seven bites in dogs (Phlogellius spp. and Selenocosmia spp.), and in two of these the owner was bitten after the dog. In all seven cases the dog died, and as rapidly as 0.5-2h after the bite. This small series of bites by Australian theraphosid spiders gives an indication of the spectrum of toxicity of these spiders in humans. Bites by these spiders are unlikely to cause major problems in humans. The study also demonstrates that the venom is far more toxic to canines. PMID:12657322

  2. Contrasting responses of web-building spiders to deer browsing among habitats and feeding guilds.

    PubMed

    Takada, Mayura; Baba, Yuki G; Yanagi, Yosuke; Terada, Saeko; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2008-08-01

    We examined web-building spider species richness and abundance in forests across a deer density gradient to determine the effects of sika deer browsing on spiders among habitats and feeding guilds. Deer decreased the abundance of web-building spiders in understory vegetation but increased their abundance in the litter layer. Deer seemed to affect web-building spiders in the understory vegetation by reducing the number of sites for webs because vegetation complexity was positively correlated with spider density and negatively correlated with deer density. In contrast, the presence of vegetation just above the litter layer decreased the spider density, and deer exerted a negative effect on this vegetation, possibly resulting in an indirect positive effect on spider density. The vegetation just above the litter layer may be unsuitable as a scaffold for building webs if it is too flexible to serve as a reliable web support, and may even hinder spiders from building webs on litter. Alternatively, the negative effect of this vegetation on spiders in the litter may be as a result of reduced local prey availability under the leaves because of the reduced accessibility of aerial insects. The response to deer browsing on web-building spiders that inhabit the understory vegetation varied with feeding guild. Deer tended to affect web-invading spiders, which inhabit the webs of other spiders and steal prey, more heavily than other web-building spiders, probably because of the accumulated effects of habitat fragmentation through the trophic levels. Thus, the treatment of a particular higher-order taxon as a homogeneous group could result in misleading conclusions about the effects of mammalian herbivores. PMID:18801259

  3. How informative are case studies of spider bites in the medical literature?

    PubMed

    Stuber, Marielle; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2016-05-01

    We analyzed the reliability and information content of 134 medical case studies on spider bites, published in 91 journal articles. Overall, we found that only 22% of these studies fulfilled the criteria for a verified spider bite. This means that the majority of such case studies cannot be attributed to a given spider species and usually not even to a spider. Their scientific value is negligible, moreover, such publications are even dangerous because they suggest incorrect conclusions. Secondly, we found that such case studies usually do not follow an obvious structure and many details on the development of symptoms, therapy and healing process are widely lacking. So even for verified spider bites, the comparability of case studies is limited. We discuss the obvious failure of a reviewing process for case studies and give recommendations how to increase the currently low information content of medical case studies on spider bites. PMID:26923161

  4. The Spider Files

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, James; Dominguez, Lynn

    2012-01-01

    As children develop misconceptions about animals they believe are dangerous, they also adopt attitudes that are difficult to change. Changing these attitudes is challenging for teachers. One animal that is easy to find but difficult for children to understand is a spider. As with most wild animals, they are difficult to teach about because…

  5. Spider Web Pattern

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    A delicate pattern, like that of a spider web, appears on top of the Mars residual polar cap, after the seasonal carbon-dioxide ice slab has disappeared. Next spring, these will likely mark the sites of vents when the carbon-dioxide ice cap returns. This Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Orbiter Camera image is about 3-kilometers wide (2-miles).

  6. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2015-07-01

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). PMID:26058392

  7. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Thomas H.; Garb, Jessica E.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A.

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). PMID:26058392

  8. Brown spider envenomation.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Michael E

    2006-11-01

    The venom from spiders of the genus Loxosceles, the most famous being Loxosceles recluse (the most brown recluse spider) can cause serious poisoning. These spiders inhabit the south and south central states from Georgia through Texas and north to southern Wisconsin. They are commonly called violin spiders because of the violin-shaped marking on the dorsum of the cephalothorax. Many dermonecrotic lesions are incorrectly diagnosed as Brown recluse bites, as up to 50% of the diagnoses are in geographic regions of the country which do not have Loxosceles spiders. Sphingomyelinase D is the primary venom dermonecrotic factor. The toxin depletes serum hemolytic complement, prolongs the activated partial thromboplastin time and depletes clotting factors VIII, IX, XI, and XII. The venom induces rapid coagulation and occlusion of small capillaries, causing subsequent tissue necrosis. A classic "bulls eye" lesion develops, an erythematous area inside of which is a pale ischemic region that develops a dark necrotic center as the lesion matures. Healing is slow, and these ulcers may persist for months leaving a deep scar. Systemic signs occur less commonly but can be life threatening. The most prevalent sign is a hemolytic anemia with significant hemoglobinuria. There is no specific antidote. Dapsone a leukocyte inhibitor has been shown to be effective in treating dermal lesions in animal models. Conservative therapy includes several cleanings daily with Burrow's solution and hydrogen peroxide. Systemic signs of Loxosceles envenomation are potentially fatal and should be aggressively addressed. Hospitalization and intravenous fluid therapy may be needed to maintain adequate hydration and to protect renal function. PMID:17265904

  9. The molecular structures of major ampullate silk proteins of the wasp spider, Argiope bruennichi: a second blueprint for synthesizing de novo silk.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yang; Zhao, Ai-Chun; Sima, Yang-Hu; Lu, Cheng; Xiang, Zhong-Huai; Nakagaki, Masao

    2013-03-01

    The dragline silk of orb-weaving spiders possesses extremely high tensile strength and elasticity. To date, full-length sequences of only two genes encoding major ampullate silk protein (MaSp) in Latrodectus hesperus have been determined. In order to further understand this gene family, we utilized in this study a variety of strategies to isolate full-length MaSp1 and MaSp2 cDNAs in the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi. A. bruennichi MaSp1 and MaSp2 are primarily composed of remarkably homogeneous ensemble repeats containing several complex motifs, and both have highly conserved C-termini and N-termini. Two novel amino acid motifs, GGF and SGR, were found in MaSp1 and MaSp2, respectively. Amino acid composition analysis of silk, luminal contents and predicted sequences indicates that MaSp1 and MaSp2 are two major components of major ampullate glands and that the ratio of MaSp1 to MaSp2 is approximately 3:2 in dragline silk. Furthermore, both the MaSp1:MaSp2 ratio and the conserved termini are closely linked with the production of high quality synthetic fibers. Our results make an important contribution to our understanding of major ampullate silk protein structure and provide a second blueprint for creating new composite silk which mimics natural spider dragline silk. PMID:23262065

  10. Transmission X-ray microscopy of spider dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Glisović, Anja; Thieme, Jürgen; Guttmann, Peter; Salditt, Tim

    2007-01-30

    We have investigated the structure of spider silk fibers from two different Nephila species and three different Araneus species by transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM). Single fibers and double fibers have been imaged. All images are in agreement with a homogenous density on length scales between the fiber diameter and the resolution of the instrument, which is about 25 nm. PMID:16889826

  11. Mysmenidae, a spider family newly recorded from Tibet (Arachnida, Araneae).

    PubMed

    Lin, Yucheng; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    The spider family Mysmenidae is reported from Tibet for the first time. Two new species, Chanea voluta sp. n. (male and female) and Mysmena lulanga sp. n. (male and female) are found in eastern Tibet in high altitude. Morphological descriptions, diagnoses and comparative photos are provided for the two new species. PMID:26843831

  12. Untangling the web...spiders in Arizona fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many kinds of arthropod natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) inhabit crop fields in Arizona and can have a large negative impact on several pest insect species that also infest these crops. Many different species of spiders are common in cotton, alfalfa and other crops in Arizona. Among the ...

  13. Spiders associated with papaya, Carica papaya L., in Puerto Rico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The main objective of this work was to study the species composition and population dynamics of spiders associated with papaya plantings in three papaya production areas: Corozal, Isabela, and Lajas, Puerto Rico. Nineteen species representing seven families and 15 genera were identified. Members of ...

  14. Host selection by a kleptobiotic spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hénaut, Yann; Delme, Juliette; Legal, Luc; Williams, Trevor

    2005-02-01

    Why do kleptobiotic spiders of the genus Argyrodes seem to be associated with spiders of the genus Nephila worldwide? Observations following introduction of experimental insect prey of different sizes and weights on to host webs revealed that: (1) small prey are more effectively retained on the web of Nephila clavipes than on the web of another common host, Leucauge venusta. (2) N. clavipes did not consume small prey that accumulated on the web whereas larger, heavier prey were enveloped and stored. (3) We observed clear partitioning of prey items between N. clavipes and Argyrodes spp.; diet selection by Argyrodes did not overlap with that of N. clavipes but closely overlapped with that of L. venusta. (4) L. venusta responds very quickly to prey impact whereas N. clavipes is slower, offering a temporal window of opportunity for Argyrodes foraging. (5) The ability of L. venusta to detect and respond to small items also means that it acts aggressively to Argyrodes spp., whereas N. clavipes does not. Consequently, food-acquisition behaviours of Argyrodes were clearly less risky with N. clavipes compared with L. venusta. We conclude that when a kleptobiotic organism has a choice of various host species, it will opt for the least risky host that presents the highest rate of availability of food items. The fact that Nephila species present such characteristics explains the worldwide association with Argyrodes kleptobiotic spiders.

  15. Spider-Venom Peptides as Bioinsecticides

    PubMed Central

    Windley, Monique J.; Herzig, Volker; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir A.; Hardy, Margaret C.; King, Glenn F.; Nicholson, Graham M.

    2012-01-01

    Over 10,000 arthropod species are currently considered to be pest organisms. They are estimated to contribute to the destruction of ~14% of the world’s annual crop production and transmit many pathogens. Presently, arthropod pests of agricultural and health significance are controlled predominantly through the use of chemical insecticides. Unfortunately, the widespread use of these agrochemicals has resulted in genetic selection pressure that has led to the development of insecticide-resistant arthropods, as well as concerns over human health and the environment. Bioinsecticides represent a new generation of insecticides that utilise organisms or their derivatives (e.g., transgenic plants, recombinant baculoviruses, toxin-fusion proteins and peptidomimetics) and show promise as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional agrochemicals. Spider-venom peptides are now being investigated as potential sources of bioinsecticides. With an estimated 100,000 species, spiders are one of the most successful arthropod predators. Their venom has proven to be a rich source of hyperstable insecticidal mini-proteins that cause insect paralysis or lethality through the modulation of ion channels, receptors and enzymes. Many newly characterized insecticidal spider toxins target novel sites in insects. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of these toxins and discuss the potential of this vast peptide library for the discovery of novel bioinsecticides. PMID:22741062

  16. Detection and phylogenetic analysis of bacteriophage WO in spiders (Araneae).

    PubMed

    Yan, Qian; Qiao, Huping; Gao, Jin; Yun, Yueli; Liu, Fengxiang; Peng, Yu

    2015-11-01

    Phage WO is a bacteriophage found in Wolbachia. Herein, we represent the first phylogenetic study of WOs that infect spiders (Araneae). Seven species of spiders (Araneus alternidens, Nephila clavata, Hylyphantes graminicola, Prosoponoides sinensis, Pholcus crypticolens, Coleosoma octomaculatum, and Nurscia albofasciata) from six families were infected by Wolbachia and WO, followed by comprehensive sequence analysis. Interestingly, WO could be only detected Wolbachia-infected spiders. The relative infection rates of those seven species of spiders were 75, 100, 88.9, 100, 62.5, 72.7, and 100 %, respectively. Our results indicated that both Wolbachia and WO were found in three different body parts of N. clavata, and WO could be passed to the next generation of H. graminicola by vertical transmission. There were three different sequences for WO infected in A. alternidens and two different WO sequences from C. octomaculatum. Only one sequence of WO was found for the other five species of spiders. The discovered sequence of WO ranged from 239 to 311 bp. Phylogenetic tree was generated using maximum likelihood (ML) based on the orf7 gene sequences. According to the phylogenetic tree, WOs in N. clavata and H. graminicola were clustered in the same group. WOs from A. alternidens (WAlt1) and C. octomaculatum (WOct2) were closely related to another clade, whereas WO in P. sinensis was classified as a sole cluster. PMID:25903547

  17. Nukuhiva Berland, 1935 is a troglobitic wolf spider (Araneae: Lycosidae), not a nursery-web spider (Pisauridae).

    PubMed

    Framenau, Volker W; Lehtinen, Pekka T

    2015-01-01

    The monotypic genus Nukuhiva Berland, 1935 with N. adamsoni (Berland, 1933) as type species, is re-described and transferred from the Pisauridae Simon, 1890 (fishing or nursery-web spiders) to the Lycosidae Sundevall, 1833 (wolf spiders) based on genitalic and somatic characters. Nukuhiva adamsoni, originally described from French Polynesia, appears to inhabit mountainous habitats of volcanic origin. Its troglobitic morphology--comparatively small eyes and pale, uniform coloration--suggest it to be associated with subterranean habitats such as caves or lava tubes, similar to the Hawaiian troglobitic species Lycosa howarthi Gertsch, 1973 and Adelocosa anops Gertsch, 1973. PMID:26624300

  18. Spider Movement, UV Reflectance and Size, but Not Spider Crypsis, Affect the Response of Honeybees to Australian Crab Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Llandres, Ana L.; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A.

    2011-01-01

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees. PMID:21359183

  19. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Artigas, Sandra M; Ballester, Rodrigo; Corronca, Jose A

    2016-01-01

    Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance), or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes). Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors) on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low dispersion

  20. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Artigas, Sandra M.; Ballester, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance), or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes). Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors) on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low dispersion

  1. Toward spinning artificial spider silk.

    PubMed

    Rising, Anna; Johansson, Jan

    2015-05-01

    Spider silk is strong and extensible but still biodegradable and well tolerated when implanted, making it the ultimate biomaterial. Shortcomings that arise in replicating spider silk are due to the use of recombinant spider silk proteins (spidroins) that lack native domains, the use of denaturing conditions under purification and spinning and the fact that the understanding of how spiders control silk formation is incomplete. Recent progress has unraveled the molecular mechanisms of the spidroin N- and C-terminal nonrepetitive domains (NTs and CTs) and revealed the pH and ion gradients in spiders' silk glands, clarifying how spidroin solubility is maintained and how silk is formed in a fraction of a second. Protons and CO2, generated by carbonic anhydrase, affect the stability and structures of the NT and CT in different ways. These insights should allow the design of conditions and devices for the spinning of recombinant spidroins into native-like silk. PMID:25885958

  2. Male-directed infanticide in spider monkeys (Ateles spp.).

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Sara; Di Fiore, Anthony; Champion, Jane; Pavelka, Mary Susan; Páez, Johanna; Link, Andrés

    2015-04-01

    Infanticide is considered a conspicuous expression of sexual conflict amongst mammals, including at least 35 primate species. Here we describe two suspected and one attempted case of intragroup infanticide in spider monkeys that augment five prior cases of observed or suspected infanticide in this genus. Contrary to the typical pattern of infanticide seen in most primate societies, where infants are killed by conspecifics independent of their sex, all eight cases of observed or suspected infanticide in spider monkeys have been directed toward male infants within their first weeks of life. Moreover, although data are still scant, infanticides seem to be perpetrated exclusively by adult males against infants from their own social groups and are not associated with male takeovers or a sudden rise in male dominance rank. Although the slow reproductive cycles of spider monkeys might favor the presence of infanticide because of the potential to shorten females' interbirth intervals, infanticide is nonetheless uncommon among spider monkeys, and patterns of male-directed infanticide are not yet understood. We suggest that given the potentially close genetic relationships among adult males within spider monkey groups, and the need for males to cooperate with one another in territorial interactions with other groups of related males, infanticide may be expected to occur primarily where the level of intragroup competition among males outweighs that of competition between social groups. Finally, we suggest that infanticide in spider monkeys may be more prevalent than previously thought, given that it may be difficult for observers to witness cases of infanticide or suspected infanticide that occur soon after birth in taxa that are characterized by high levels of fission-fusion dynamics. Early, undetected, male-biased infanticide could influence the composition of spider monkey groups and contribute to the female-biased adult sex ratios often reported for this genus. PMID

  3. Crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae) in flowering plants in a Brazilian "Cerrado" ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Filho, L C; Rinaldi, I M P

    2011-05-01

    Although crab spiders are common in flowering plants, their relations with plant species and its floral traits have been poorly known in the Neotropics. Observations regarding plant habits, floral visitors and also floral characteristics such as anthesis, odour, shape, colour and floral resources were recorded in flowering plant species of an area of "Cerrado" on a 2 km long trail. Misumenops argenteus and Misumenops pallens accounted for 62.86% of the spiders captured on 22 flowering plant species. The plants Senna rugosa (Fabaceae), Styrax ferrugineus (Styracaceae) and Banisteriopsis campestris (Malpighiaceae), hosted, each one, about 10 to 17% of the total spiders collected and these plants had diurnal anthesis, bee-attractive flower colours such as yellow (S. rugosa), white (S. ferrugineus), and pink (B. campestris), poricidal anthers as well as being visited by bees which evidenced bee-pollination syndrome. This study is the first survey regarding crab spiders and their associations with plant species of the "Cerrado". PMID:21755152

  4. 'Spider' Over The Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    View of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module 'Spider,' in a lunar landing configuration, as photographed form the Command/Service Module on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 earth-orbital mission. The landing gear on the Lunar Module has been deployed. Note Lunar Module's upper hatch and docking tunnel. The EVA foot restraints known as the 'Golden Slippers' are visible on the porch of the Lunar Module (LM). They allowed Lunar Module pilot Russell 'Rusty' Schweickart to securely stand on the porch during his EVA thus allowing him free use of his hands.

  5. 'Gumdrop Meets Spider'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    Apollo 9 Command/Service Modules (CSM) nicknamed 'Gumdrop' and Lunar Module (LM), nicknamed 'Spider' are shown docked together as Command Module pilot David R. Scott stands in the open hatch. Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Lunar Module pilot, took this photograph of Scott during his EVA as he stood on the porch outside the Lunar Module. Apollo 9 was an Earth orbital mission designed to test docking procedures between the CSM and LM as well as test fly the Lunar Module in the relative safe confines of Earth orbit.

  6. Spatial distribution of Madeira Island Laurisilva endemic spiders (Arachnida: Araneae)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Madeira island presents a unique spider diversity with a high number of endemic species, many of which are still poorly known. A recent biodiversity survey on the terrestrial arthropods of the native forest, Laurisilva, provided a large set of standardized samples from various patches throughout the island. Out of the fifty two species recorded, approximately 33.3% are Madeiran endemics, many of which had not been collected since their original description. Two new species to science are reported – Ceratinopsis n. sp. and Theridion n. sp. – and the first records of Poeciloneta variegata (Blackwall, 1841) and Tetragnatha intermedia Kulczynski, 1891 are reported for the first time for Madeira island. Considerations on species richness and abundance from different Laurisilva locations are presented, together with distribution maps for endemic species. These results contribute to a better understanding of spider diversity patterns and endemic species distribution in the native forest of Madeira island. PMID:24855443

  7. Description of a new species of brooding spider crab in the genus Paranaxia Rathbun, 1924 (Brachyura: Majoidea), from northern Australia and Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Hosie, Andrew M; Hara, Ana

    2016-01-01

    A new species, Paranaxia keesingi sp. nov., is described based on specimens collected in northern Australia. The new species differs from its only congener, P. serpulifera (Guérin, 1832, in Guérin-Méneville 1829-1837), by several characters including carapace setation, sternal cavities, absence of a subhepatic spine, presence of a sharp spine on the posterodistal angle of the cheliped merus, relatively shorter chelipeds, and longer and more slender ambulatory legs. Morphological separation of the two species is supported by 12s rDNA sequence divergences of 7.4-8.2%. Like P. serpulifera, the newly described species exhibits direct development with females carrying juvenile individuals under the pleon. Both species are sympatric, but Paranaxia keesingi sp. nov. is found in deeper waters than P. serpulifera. PMID:27395615

  8. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development.

    PubMed

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine; Oscoz, Saioa; Lauridsen, Line Præst; Engmark, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology. PMID:27455327

  9. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-12-01

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species. PMID:26633495

  10. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    PubMed Central

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine; Oscoz, Saioa; Lauridsen, Line Præst; Engmark, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology. PMID:27455327

  11. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-01-01

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species. PMID:26633495

  12. Mate Selection and Mating Behaviour in Spider Crabs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, D. R.; Hartnoll, R. G.

    1997-02-01

    Female spider crabs can only mate after the terminal moult, which means that they must either mate whilst soft-shelled after moulting, or subsequently when hard-shelled. There is evidence that some, at least, do both, whereas the majority of crabs mate in only one or other of these states. The mating behaviour, and the means of detecting receptive females, have been studied in a spider crab, Inachus dorsettensis. In this species, mating is predominantly hard-shelled, and receptive females are recognized by their emission of chemical pheromones. The implications of the behaviour patterns for male mating efficiency, sperm competition and female reproductive success are discussed. Mate selection and mating behaviour in other spider crabs are compared with I. dorsettensis. Reasons for similarities and differences are reviewed.

  13. David and Goliath: potent venom of an ant-eating spider (Araneae) enables capture of a giant prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pekár, Stano; Šedo, Onřej; Líznarová, Eva; Korenko, Stanislav; Zdráhal, Zdeněk

    2014-07-01

    It is rare to find a true predator that repeatedly and routinely kills prey larger than itself. A solitary specialised ant-eating spider of the genus Zodarion can capture a relatively giant prey. We studied the trophic niche of this spider species and investigated its adaptations (behavioural and venomic) that are used to capture ants. We found that the spider captures mainly polymorphic Messor arenarius ants. Adult female spiders captured large morphs while tiny juveniles captured smaller morphs, yet in both cases ants were giant in comparison with spider size. All specimens used an effective prey capture strategy that protected them from ant retaliation. Juvenile and adult spiders were able to paralyse their prey using a single bite. The venom glands of adults were more than 50 times larger than those of juvenile spiders, but the paralysis latency of juveniles was 1.5 times longer. This suggests that this spider species possesses very potent venom already at the juvenile stage. Comparison of the venom composition between juvenile and adult spiders did not reveal significant differences. We discovered here that specialised capture combined with very effective venom enables the capture of giant prey.

  14. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

    PubMed

    Gan, Wenjin; Liu, Shengjie; Yang, Xiaodong; Li, Daiqin; Lei, Chaoliang

    2015-01-01

    A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders. PMID:26405048

  15. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders

    PubMed Central

    Gan, Wenjin; Liu, Shengjie; Yang, Xiaodong; Li, Daiqin; Lei, Chaoliang

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders. PMID:26405048

  16. Interactions Between the Chilean Recluse Spider (Araneae: Sicariidae) and an Araneophagic Spitting Spider (Araneae: Scytodidae).

    PubMed

    Canals, Mauricio; Arriagada, Nicolás; Solís, Rigoberto

    2015-03-01

    In Chile, all necrotic arachnidism is attributed to the Chilean recluse spider, Loxosceles laeta Nicolet, a species that shares the microenvironmental habitats with the spitting spider Scytodes globula Nicolet. The latter species has been proposed as a potential predator of L. laeta. For this research, we studied the interaction between both species during individual encounters to assess the possibility of population regulation of L. laeta cohorts exposed to this potential predator. We found that in most encounters S. globula prevailed. Also, S. globula preys on spiderlings of L. laeta, with a population effect on cohorts of this species. These findings suggest that S. globula may be influencing L. laeta populations in central Chile. The population regulation of L. laeta by predation would be important because this species, in the absence of predators, has a high reproductive rate, and it can maintain populations of large size. However according to our results, although S. globula may aid in the reduction of both spiderling and adult L. laeta populations, and perhaps other Loxosceles species, it is insufficient for biological control of Loxosceles species. Its presence together with other control measures such as hygiene of the rooms can help to decrease loxoscelism incidence. PMID:26336293

  17. Hypoxic coma as a strategy to survive inundation in a salt-marsh inhabiting spider

    PubMed Central

    Pétillon, Julien; Montaigne, William; Renault, David

    2009-01-01

    Spiders constitute a major arthropod group in regularly inundated habitats. Some species survive a flooding period under water. We compared survival during both submersion and a recovery period after submersion, in three stenotopic lycosids: two salt-marsh species Arctosa fulvolineata and Pardosa purbeckensis, and a forest spider Pardosa lugubris. Both activity and survival rates were determined under controlled laboratory conditions by individually surveying 120 females kept submerged in sea water. We found significant differences between the three species, with the two salt-marsh spiders exhibiting higher survival abilities. To our knowledge, this study reports for the first time the existence of a hypoxic coma caused by submersion, which is most pronounced in A. fulvolineata, the salt-marsh spider known to overcome tidal inundation under water. Its ability to fall into that coma can therefore be considered a physiological adaptation to its regularly inundated habitat. PMID:19411268

  18. Host Specificity and Temporal and Seasonal Shifts in Host Preference of a Web-Spider Parasitoid Zatypota percontatoria

    PubMed Central

    Korenko, Stanislav; Michalková, Veronika; Zwakhals, Kees; Pekár, Stano

    2011-01-01

    Current knowledge about polysphinctine parasite wasps' interactions with their spider hosts is very fragmented and incomplete. This study presents the host specificity of Zatypota percontatoria (Müller) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) and its adaptation to varying host availability. Two years of field observations show that Z. percontatoria is a stenophagous parasitoid that parasitizes only five closely related web-building spiders of the family Theridiidae (Araneae). Within the Theridiidae it attacks only species belonging to a small group of species, here called the “Theridion” group. These hosts have a similar biology, but are available at different levels of abundance and at different sizes over the season. Laboratory experiments showed that this wasp species ignores linyphiid, araneid or dictynid spiders and accepts only theridiid spiders of the “Theridion” group. In the field study, wasp females preferred older juvenile and sub-adult female spider instars with intermediate body size. Only 5% of the parasitized spiders were males. Parasitism in the natural population of theridiid spiders was on average 1.3%. Parasitism was most frequent on two species, Theridion varians Hahn in 2007 and Neottiura bimaculata Linnaeus in 2008. The parasitization rate was positively correlated with spider abundance. The wasp responded adaptively to seasonal changes in host abundance and host body size and shifted host preference according to the availability of suitable hosts during, as well as between, seasons. In spring and summer the highest percentage of parasitism was on T. varians and in autumn it was on N. bimaculata. PMID:22216929

  19. Global Patterns of Guild Composition and Functional Diversity of Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Pedro; Pekár, Stano; Jocqué, Rudy; Coddington, Jonathan A.

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this work are: (1) to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2) test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3) compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4) compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5) relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1) sensing, (2) sheet, (3) space, and (4) orb web weavers; (5) specialists; (6) ambush, (7) ground, and (8) other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also influenced by

  20. SPIRE: the SPIDER reconstruction engine.

    PubMed

    Baxter, William T; Leith, ArDean; Frank, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    SPIRE is a Python program written to modernize the user interaction with SPIDER, the image processing system for electron microscopical reconstruction projects. SPIRE provides a graphical user interface (GUI) to SPIDER for executing batch files of SPIDER commands. It also lets users quickly view the status of a project by showing the last batch files that were run, as well as the data files that were generated. SPIRE handles the flexibility of the SPIDER programming environment through configuration files: XML-tagged documents that describe the batch files, directory trees, and presentation of the GUI for a given type of reconstruction project. It also provides the capability to connect to a laboratory database, for downloading parameters required by batch files at the start of a project, and uploading reconstruction results at the end of a project. PMID:17055743

  1. Climatic Variables Do Not Directly Predict Spider Richness and Abundance in Semiarid Caatinga Vegetation, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Leonardo S; Sebastian, Nicholas; Araújo, Helder F P; Dias, Sidclay C; Venticinque, Eduardo; Brescovit, Antonio D; Vasconcellos, Alexandre

    2015-02-01

    Spiders are abundant in tropical ecosystems and exert predatory pressure on a wide variety of invertebrate populations and also serve as prey for many others organisms, being part of complex interrelationships influenced directly and indirectly by a myriad of factors. We examined the influence of biotic (i.e., prey availability) and abiotic (i.e., temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, real evapotranspiration) factors on species richness and abundance during a two-year period in the semiarid Caatinga vegetation in northeastern Brazil. Data were analyzed through partial autocorrelation functions, cross correlations, and a path analysis. A total of 2522 spiders were collected with beating tray, pit-fall traps, and malaise traps, comprising 91 species and 34 families. Spider abundance peaked in the rainy season. Our results suggest that total invertebrate abundance has a direct influence on spider richness and abundance, whereas the effects of precipitation were mainly indirectly related to most spider assemblage parameters. The increase in vegetation cover with the rainy season in the Caatinga provides more breeding and foraging sites for spiders and stimulates their activities. Additionally, rainfall in arid and semiarid ecosystems stimulated the activity and reproduction of many herbivore and detritivore invertebrates dependent on plant biomass and necromass consumption, leading to an increase in spider prey availability. PMID:26308806

  2. Comparative Growth and Development of Spiders Reared on Live and Dead Prey

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yu; Zhang, Fan; Gui, Shaolan; Qiao, Huping; Hose, Grant C.

    2013-01-01

    Scavenging (feeding on dead prey) has been demonstrated across a number of spider families, yet the implications of feeding on dead prey for the growth and development of individuals and population is unknown. In this study we compare the growth, development, and predatory activity of two species of spiders that were fed on live and dead prey. Pardosa astrigera (Lycosidae) and Hylyphantes graminicola (Lyniphiidae) were fed live or dead fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. The survival of P. astrigera and H. graminicola was not affected by prey type. The duration of late instars of P. astrigera fed dead prey were longer and mature spiders had less protein content than those fed live prey, whereas there were no differences in the rate of H. graminicola development, but the mass of mature spiders fed dead prey was greater than those fed live prey. Predation rates by P. astrigera did not differ between the two prey types, but H. graminicola had a higher rate of predation on dead than alive prey, presumably because the dead flies were easier to catch and handle. Overall, the growth, development and reproduction of H. graminicola reared with dead flies was better than those reared on live flies, yet for the larger P. astrigera, dead prey may suit smaller instars but mature spiders may be best maintained with live prey. We have clearly demonstrated that dead prey may be suitable for rearing spiders, although the success of the spiders fed such prey appears size- and species specific. PMID:24386248

  3. Dynamics of spider glue adhesion: effect of surface energy and contact area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chen, Yizhou; Blackledge, Todd; Dhinojwala, Ali

    Spider glue is a unique biological adhesive which is humidity responsive such that the adhesion continues to increase upto 100% relative humidity (RH) for some species. This is unlike synthetic adhesives that significantly drop in adhesion with an increase in humidity. However, most of adhesion data reported in literature have used clean hydrophilic glass substrate, unlike the hydrophobic, and charged insect cuticle surface that adheres to spider glue in nature. Previously, we have reported that the spider glue viscosity changes over five orders of magnitude with humidity. Here, we vary the surface energy and surface charge of the substrate to test the change in Larnioides cornutus spider glue adhesion with humidity. We find that an increase in both surface energy and surface charge density increases the droplet spreading and there exists an optimum droplet contact area where adhesion is maximized. Moreover, spider glue droplets act as reusable adhesive for low energy hydrophobic surface at the optimum humidity. These results explain why certain prey are caught more efficiently by spiders in their habitat. The mechanism by which spider species tune its glue adhesion for local prey capture can inspire new generation smart adhesives.

  4. Structural color and its interaction with other color-producing elements: perspectives from spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsiung, Bor-Kai; Blackledge, Todd A.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2014-09-01

    Structural color is produced when nanostructures called schemochromes alter light reflected from a surface through different optic principles, in contrast with other types of colors that are produced when pigments selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light. Research on biogenic photonic nanostructures has focused primarily on bird feathers, butterfly wings and beetle elytra, ignoring other diverse groups such as spiders. We argue that spiders are a good model system to study the functions and evolution of colors in nature for the following reasons. First, these colors clearly function in spiders such as the tarantulas outside of sexual selection, which is likely the dominant driver of the evolution of structural colors in birds and butterflies. Second, within more than 44,000 currently known spider species, colors are used in every possible way based on the same sets of relatively simple materials. Using spiders, we can study how colors evolve to serve different functions under a variety of combinations of driving forces, and how those colors are produced within a relatively simple system. Here, we first review the different color-producing materials and mechanisms (i.e., light absorbing, reflecting and emitting) in birds, butterflies and beetles, the interactions between these different elements, and the functions of colors in different organisms. We then summarize the current state of knowledge of spider colors and compare it with that of birds and insects. We then raise questions including: 1. Could spiders use fluorescence as a mechanism to protect themselves from UV radiation, if they do not have the biosynthetic pathways to produce melanins? 2. What functions could color serve for nearly blind tarantulas? 3. Why are only multilayer nanostructures (thus far) found in spiders, while birds and butterflies use many diverse nanostructures? And, does this limit the diversity of structural colors found in spiders? Answering any of these questions in the future

  5. Trophic overlap between fish and riparian spiders: potential impacts of an invasive fish on terrestrial consumers.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle C; Woodford, Darragh J; Bellingan, Terence A; Weyl, Olaf L F; Potgieter, Michael J; Rivers-Moore, Nick A; Ellender, Bruce R; Fourie, Hermina E; Chimimba, Christian T

    2016-03-01

    Studies on resource sharing and partitioning generally consider species that occur in the same habitat. However, subsidies between linked habitats, such as streams and riparian zones, create potential for competition between populations which never directly interact. Evidence suggests that the abundance of riparian consumers declines after fish invasion and a subsequent increase in resource sharing of emerging insects. However, diet overlap has not been investigated. Here, we examine the trophic niche of native fish, invasive fish, and native spiders in South Africa using stable isotope analysis. We compared spider abundance and diet at upstream fishless and downstream fish sites and quantified niche overlap with invasive and native fish. Spider abundance was consistently higher at upstream fishless sites compared with paired downstream fish sites, suggesting that the fish reduced aquatic resource availability to riparian consumers. Spiders incorporated more aquatic than terrestrial insects in their diet, with aquatic insects accounting for 45-90% of spider mass. In three of four invaded trout rivers, we found that the average proportion of aquatic resources in web-building spider diet was higher at fishless sites compared to fish sites. The probability of web-building and ground spiders overlapping into the trophic niche of invasive brown and rainbow trout was as high as 26 and 51%, respectively. In contrast, the probability of spiders overlapping into the trophic niche of native fish was always less than 5%. Our results suggest that spiders share resources with invasive fish. In contrast, spiders had a low probability of trophic overlap with native fish indicating that the traits of invaders may be important in determining their influence on ecosystem subsidies. We have added to the growing body of evidence that invaders can have cross-ecosystem impacts and demonstrated that this can be due to niche overlap. PMID:27087934

  6. Spiders from Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003

    No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6oN, 327.7oW. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  7. Personnel in Mission Control examine replica of spider habitat from Skylab 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Flight Director Neil B. Hutchinson, left, and Astronaut Bruce McCandless II hold up a glass enclosure - home for the spider Arachne, which is the same species as the two spiders carried on the Skylab 3 mission. The real spider is the one barely visible at the upper right corner of the square; the larger one is a projected image on the rear-screen-projected map in the front of the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) of the Mission Control Center (MCC). McCandless served as backup pilot for the first manned Skylab mission and was a spacecraft-communicater (CAPCOM) for the second crew.

  8. Distribution of the brown recluse spider (Araneae: Sicariidae) in Georgia with comparison to poison center reports of envenomations.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S; Hinkle, Nancy C; Ames, Lisa M

    2009-01-01

    Georgia is on the southeastern margin of the native range of the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik. The brown recluse is not a common Georgia spider and has limited distribution in the state. Using recent submissions, previously published records, and examination of museum specimens, we document the spider's presence in 31 (19.5%) of Georgia's 159 counties, with almost all being found in the northern portion. The spider was collected almost exclusively north of the Fall Line (a transition zone separating the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain geological provinces). Only two locations in the southern Coastal Plain province produced L. reclusa specimens; these southern finds are considered spiders that were transported outside their range. There were six finds of the non-native world tramp species, L. rufescens (Dufour), three south of the Fall Line. In conspicuous contrast, over a 5-yr period, a Georgia poison center database recorded 963 reports of brown recluse spider bites from 103 counties. These figures greatly outnumber the historic verifications of brown recluses in the state for both specimen quantity and county occurrence, indicating improbable spider involvement and the overdiagnosis of bites. In the southern half of the state, medical diagnoses of brown recluse spider bites have virtually zero probability of being correct. Bite diagnoses should be made with caution in north Georgia given the spider's spotty distribution with low frequency of occurrence. PMID:19198513

  9. Reproductive Seasonality in Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) Cave Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Carver, Linnea M.; Perlaky, Patricia; Cressler, Alan; Zigler, Kirk S.

    2016-01-01

    Spiders of the family Nesticidae are members of cave communities around the world with cave-obligate (troglobiotic) species known from North America, Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific. A radiation of Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) in the southern Appalachians includes ten troglobiotic species. Many of these species are of conservation interest due to their small ranges, with four species being single-cave endemics. Despite conservation concerns and their important role as predators in cave communities, we know little about reproduction and feeding in this group. We addressed this knowledge gap by examining populations of two species on a monthly basis for one year. We made further observations on several other species and populations, totaling 671 individual spider observations. This more than doubled the reported observations of reproduction and feeding in troglobiotic Nesticus. Female Nesticus carry egg sacs, facilitating the determination of the timing and frequency of reproduction. We found that Nesticus exhibit reproductive seasonality. Females carried egg sacs from May through October, with a peak in frequency in June. These spiders were rarely observed with prey; only 3.3% (22/671) of individuals were observed with prey items. The frequency at which prey items were observed did not vary by season. Common prey items were flies, beetles and millipedes. Troglobiotic species constituted approximately half of all prey items observed. This result represents a greater proportion of troglobiotic prey than has been reported for various troglophilic spiders. Although our findings shed light on the life history of troglobiotic Nesticus and on their role in cave ecosystems, further work is necessary to support effective conservation planning for many of these rare species. PMID:27280416

  10. Reproductive Seasonality in Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) Cave Spiders.

    PubMed

    Carver, Linnea M; Perlaky, Patricia; Cressler, Alan; Zigler, Kirk S

    2016-01-01

    Spiders of the family Nesticidae are members of cave communities around the world with cave-obligate (troglobiotic) species known from North America, Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific. A radiation of Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) in the southern Appalachians includes ten troglobiotic species. Many of these species are of conservation interest due to their small ranges, with four species being single-cave endemics. Despite conservation concerns and their important role as predators in cave communities, we know little about reproduction and feeding in this group. We addressed this knowledge gap by examining populations of two species on a monthly basis for one year. We made further observations on several other species and populations, totaling 671 individual spider observations. This more than doubled the reported observations of reproduction and feeding in troglobiotic Nesticus. Female Nesticus carry egg sacs, facilitating the determination of the timing and frequency of reproduction. We found that Nesticus exhibit reproductive seasonality. Females carried egg sacs from May through October, with a peak in frequency in June. These spiders were rarely observed with prey; only 3.3% (22/671) of individuals were observed with prey items. The frequency at which prey items were observed did not vary by season. Common prey items were flies, beetles and millipedes. Troglobiotic species constituted approximately half of all prey items observed. This result represents a greater proportion of troglobiotic prey than has been reported for various troglophilic spiders. Although our findings shed light on the life history of troglobiotic Nesticus and on their role in cave ecosystems, further work is necessary to support effective conservation planning for many of these rare species. PMID:27280416

  11. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    PubMed Central

    Garrison, Nicole L.; Rodriguez, Juanita; Agnarsson, Ingi; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Griswold, Charles E.; Hamilton, Christopher A.; Hedin, Marshal; Kocot, Kevin M.; Ledford, Joel M.

    2016-01-01

    Spiders (Order Araneae) are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results challenge the

  12. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life.

    PubMed

    Garrison, Nicole L; Rodriguez, Juanita; Agnarsson, Ingi; Coddington, Jonathan A; Griswold, Charles E; Hamilton, Christopher A; Hedin, Marshal; Kocot, Kevin M; Ledford, Joel M; Bond, Jason E

    2016-01-01

    Spiders (Order Araneae) are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the "usual suspect" genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125-90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results challenge the monophyly of

  13. Competition between introduced and native spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houser, J.D.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The European sheet-web spider Linyphia triangularis (Araneae: Linyphiidae) has become established in Maine, where it often reaches very high densities. Two lines of evidence from previous work suggest that L. triangularis affects populations of the native linyphiid spider Frontinella communis. First, F. communis individuals are relatively scarce in both forest and coastal habitat where L. triangularis is common, but more common where L. triangularis is at low density. Second, in field experiments, F. communis species are less likely to settle in experimental plots when L. triangularis is present, and F. communis disappears from study plots when L. triangularis is introduced. Here we test two mechanisms that may underlie these patterns. First, we tested whether L. triangularis invades and usurps the webs of F. communis. When spiders were released onto webs of heterospecifics, L. triangularis was more likely to take over or share webs of F. communis than the reverse. We also observed natural takeovers of F. communis webs. Second, we explored the hypothesis that L. triangularis reduces prey availability for native species. We sampled flying prey in areas with L. triangularis and those where it had been removed, and found no effect of spider presence on measured prey density. We also found no effect of prey supplementation on web tenacity in F. communis, suggesting that F. communis movements are not highly dependent on prey availability. We conclude that web takeover is likely more important than prey reduction in driving negative effects of L. triangularis on F. communis.

  14. Multiple origins of subsociality in crab spiders (Thomisidae).

    PubMed

    Ruch, Jasmin; Riehl, Torben; May-Collado, Laura J; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2015-01-01

    Determining factors that facilitate the transition from a solitary to a social lifestyle is a major challenge in evolutionary biology, especially in taxa that are usually aggressive towards conspecifics. Most spiders live solitarily and few species are known to be social. Nevertheless, sociality has evolved multiple times across several families and nearly all studied social lineages have originated from a periodically social (subsocial) ancestor. Group-living crab spiders (Thomisidae) are exclusively found in Australia and differ from most other social spiders because they lack a communal capture web. Three of the group-living species were placed in the genus Diaea and another in the genus Xysticus. Most Australian thomisids are, however, difficult to identify as most descriptions are old and of poor quality, and the genera Diaea and Xysticus may not correspond to monophyletic groups. Here, we clarify the phylogenetic relationships of the four group-living Australian thomisids and conclude that amongst these subsociality has evolved two to three times independently. The subsocial Xysticus bimaculatus is not closely related to any of the social Diaea and an independent origin of subsociality is likely in this case. The presented data indicates that within Diaea two origins of subsociality are possible. Our results help to understand the evolution of sociality in thomisids and support the hypothesis that permanent sociality in spiders has evolved multiple times relatively recently from subsocial ancestors. PMID:25450103

  15. Brown recluse spider bites: a case report.

    PubMed

    Nunnelee, Janice D

    2006-02-01

    The brown recluse spider is found more commonly in the Southeast and the Central Midwest. Its bite is not common because it is a shy spider that only bites if cornered. A severe bite may necrose a large area that requires skin grafting; systemic reactions rarely occur. This article discusses the brown recluse spider and presents a case study of a patient with two spider bites that did require extensive grafting. PMID:16446239

  16. Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... a black widow spider, tell an adult immediately . Black widow spider bites rarely kill people, but it's important to get medical attention as ... is. What a Doctor Will Do Doctors treat people who have been bitten by black widow spiders with medications to help relax the ...

  17. Brown recluse spider bite on the breast.

    PubMed

    Norris, Kori; Misra, Subhasis

    2014-05-01

    Brown recluse spiders are one of two types of spiders in the United States that can cause significant tissue damage and, in rare cases, death. Brown recluse spider bites are most often benign and self-limiting, but in a few cases can cause severe necrotic skin lesions. PMID:24758975

  18. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest.

    PubMed

    Hénaut, Yann; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Herault, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between 'Aechmea-areas' and 'control-areas' of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests. PMID:25494055

  19. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest

    PubMed Central

    Hénaut, Yann; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Herault, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between ‘Aechmea-areas’ and ‘control-areas’ of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests. PMID:25494055

  20. [Spider community (Arachnida, Araneae) of alfalfa crops (Medicago sativa) in Buenos Aires, Argentina].

    PubMed

    Armendano, Andrea; González, Alda

    2010-06-01

    Over the last decades there has been an increasing interest in the use of natural enemies to control pest insects, including spiders. We studied a spider community in Argentina by sampling every two weeks during 2004-2006 in one-hectare lots. Soil stratum spiders were collected using nets and pitfall traps. A total of 6229 specimens were collected (15 families and 50 species). Seven families were found in the herbal stratum, the most abundant were Thomisidae (n=2012, 32.30%), Araneidae (n=1516, 24.33%) and Oxyopidae (n=604, 9.70%). The soil had 14 families, mainly: Lycosidae (n=629, 10.10%) and Linyphiidae (n=427, 6.85%). Hunting spiders predominated: ambushers (32.99%); stalkers (11.77%) and ground-runners (10.84%) were less common. The most abundant web building spiders were the orb weavers (27.56%). The diversity indexes were: H'=2.97, Dsp=0.11 and J=0.79, evidencing a moderately diverse spider community with predominance of Misumenops pallidus, Oxyopes salticus, Lycosa poliostoma and L. erythrognatha. The spiders were present throughout the phenological development of the crop with abundance peaks in spring and summer. PMID:20527473

  1. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    On the grounds of Kennedy Space Center, a female Golden-Silk Spider repairs its web. The female can be identified by its brownish-green abdomen with a white spotted irregular pattern. The golden-silk spider repairs the webbing each day, replacing half but never the whole web at one time. Its web may measure two to three feet across. The center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 92,000-acre refuge that is a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  2. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    On the grounds of Kennedy Space Center, a female Golden-Silk Spider repairs its web. During the day spider hands head downward from the underside of the web near the center. Its web may measure two to three feet across and it repairs the webbing each day, replacing half but never the whole web at one time. The center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 92,000-acre refuge that is a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  3. Stage-based mortality of grassland grasshoppers (Acrididae) from wandering spider (Lycosidae) predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oedekoven, Mark A.; Joern, Anthony

    1998-12-01

    Mortality rates in insects, including grasshoppers (Acrididae), are often stage- or size-specific. We estimated stage-specific mortality rates for three common grasshopper species from a Nebraska (USA) sandhills grassland ( Ageneotettix deorum, Melanoplus sanguinipes and Phoetaliotes nebrascensis), and partitioned the impact due to wandering spider predation from remaining sources. Survivorship was estimated for multiple developmental stages (3rd instar through adult) under experimental conditions that either prevented or permitted predation from free-living, wandering spiders (primarily Schizocosa species). Total stage-specific mortality, including spider predation, examined over the period of single stages was greatest for the youngest stages (91% for 3rd instar, 73% for 4th instar, 63.5% for 5th instar and 30.4% for adults). For the developmental stages considered and averaged for all species, the contribution to total mortality from spider predation over the 10-d period (approximately the length of a developmental stage) ranged from 17% for 3rd instar nymphs to 23% for 4th and 5th instars, and an undetectable level for adults. While spiders may depress grasshopper numbers, contributions from spider predation to grasshopper population dynamics are uncertain.

  4. Untangling taxonomy: a DNA barcode reference library for Canadian spiders.

    PubMed

    Blagoev, Gergin A; deWaard, Jeremy R; Ratnasingham, Sujeevan; deWaard, Stephanie L; Lu, Liuqiong; Robertson, James; Telfer, Angela C; Hebert, Paul D N

    2016-01-01

    Approximately 1460 species of spiders have been reported from Canada, 3% of the global fauna. This study provides a DNA barcode reference library for 1018 of these species based upon the analysis of more than 30,000 specimens. The sequence results show a clear barcode gap in most cases with a mean intraspecific divergence of 0.78% vs. a minimum nearest-neighbour (NN) distance averaging 7.85%. The sequences were assigned to 1359 Barcode index numbers (BINs) with 1344 of these BINs composed of specimens belonging to a single currently recognized species. There was a perfect correspondence between BIN membership and a known species in 795 cases, while another 197 species were assigned to two or more BINs (556 in total). A few other species (26) were involved in BIN merges or in a combination of merges and splits. There was only a weak relationship between the number of specimens analysed for a species and its BIN count. However, three species were clear outliers with their specimens being placed in 11-22 BINs. Although all BIN splits need further study to clarify the taxonomic status of the entities involved, DNA barcodes discriminated 98% of the 1018 species. The present survey conservatively revealed 16 species new to science, 52 species new to Canada and major range extensions for 426 species. However, if most BIN splits detected in this study reflect cryptic taxa, the true species count for Canadian spiders could be 30-50% higher than currently recognized. PMID:26175299

  5. Vibration Propagation in Spider Webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatton, Ross; Otto, Andrew; Elias, Damian

    Due to their poor eyesight, spiders rely on web vibrations for situational awareness. Web-borne vibrations are used to determine the location of prey, predators, and potential mates. The influence of web geometry and composition on web vibrations is important for understanding spider's behavior and ecology. Past studies on web vibrations have experimentally measured the frequency response of web geometries by removing threads from existing webs. The full influence of web structure and tension distribution on vibration transmission; however, has not been addressed in prior work. We have constructed physical artificial webs and computer models to better understand the effect of web structure on vibration transmission. These models provide insight into the propagation of vibrations through the webs, the frequency response of the bare web, and the influence of the spider's mass and stiffness on the vibration transmission patterns. Funded by NSF-1504428.

  6. Infanticide by a solitary koinobiont ichneumonid ectoparasitoid of spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takasuka, Keizo; Matsumoto, Rikio

    2011-06-01

    When encountering an already parasitized host, a parasitoid's optimal choices (superparasitism, host rejection, host feeding or infanticide) seem to depend on the individual species' life history, because the same choice may have different fitness consequences. We demonstrate infanticide under laboratory conditions by a polysphinctine, Zatypota albicoxa, which is a solitary koinobiont ectoparasitoid of spiders. The female always removed any previously attached egg or larva from the body of the host spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum, with a rubbing behaviour. She rubbed her ovipositor back and forth toward the undersurface of the attached egg or of the saddle under the attached larva to pry it off and laid an egg after removal. When removing a larva, the infanticidal female engaged exclusively in unfastening the `saddle' which fastens the larva to the body of the spider. All larvae were removed with the `saddle' attached to the ventral surface of the body. The female invested more time to remove the medium second and the large penultimate instar larvae than to remove eggs and first instar larvae because of the labour involved in unfastening the saddle. Oviposition with infanticide of the medium second and the penultimate instar larvae imposed more time upon the female than that on an unparasitized host. Removal of any previous occupant in spite of the associated labour costs suggests that infanticide will always be adaptive, no matter the time costs to Z. albicoxa, because so much is invested in attacking the host and because the parasitoid cannot detect whether the spider is already parasitized until she achieves subjugation.

  7. Raiding parties of male spider monkeys: insights into human warfare?

    PubMed

    Aureli, Filippo; Schaffner, Colleen M; Verpooten, Jan; Slater, Kathryn; Ramos-Fernandez, Gabriel

    2006-12-01

    Raids into neighboring territories may occur for different reasons, including the increase of foraging and mating opportunities directly or indirectly through the killing of neighboring rivals. Lethal raids have been mainly observed in humans and chimpanzees, with raiding males being reported to search purposefully for neighbors. Here we report on the first cases ever witnessed of raiding parties of male spider monkeys, a species expected to show such a behavioral tendency, given its similarity with humans and chimpanzees in critical socio-ecological characteristics, such as fission-fusion social dynamics and male-male bonding. Despite the high degree of arboreality of spider monkeys, all seven witnessed raids involved the males progressing single file on the ground in unusual silence. This is remarkably similar to the behavior of chimpanzees. The circumstances around the raids suggest that factors such as reduced mating opportunities, number of males relative to that in the neighboring community, and the strength of bonds among males could play a role in the timing of such actions. The raids did not appear to be aimed at finding food, whereas there is some indication that they may directly or indirectly increase reproductive opportunities. Although no killing was observed, we cannot exclude the possibility that spider monkey raids may be aimed at harming rivals if a vulnerable individual were encountered. The similarity of spider monkey raids with those of chimpanzees and humans supports the notion that lethal raiding is a convergent response to similar socio-ecological conditions. PMID:16685723

  8. The Spider Assemblage of Olive Groves Under Three Management Systems.

    PubMed

    Cárdenas, Manuel; Pascual, Felipe; Campos, Mercedes; Pekár, Stano

    2015-06-01

    Olives, Olea europaea L., are one of the most important crops in Spain. They are currently produced under three management systems that involve different aspects of soil and pest management, productivity, and crop economy: organic, (integrated pest management-IPM), and conventional. Here, we studied how these systems affect the spiders, the natural enemies of olive grove pests, and performed a detailed analysis of their assemblage. The study was performed during one season in 18 olive groves in Andalusia, Spain, and included both ground-dwelling and canopy species. We found that the organic system supported a significantly higher level of abundance and diversity of canopy spiders than the IPM and conventional systems. Plowing had a negative effect on spider abundance and diversity. However, the presence of hedge vegetation had a positive effect on the spiders. The practices affected the guild structure differently, with some guilds supported by organic and others by IPM. It is suggested that sustainability (in terms of pest control) in olive grove agroecosystems may be obtained by maintaining hedge vegetation regardless of the management system. PMID:26313956

  9. Chemical recognition of fruit ripeness in spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

    PubMed Central

    Nevo, Omer; Orts Garri, Rosa; Hernandez Salazar, Laura Teresa; Schulz, Stefan; Heymann, Eckhard W.; Ayasse, Manfred; Laska, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Primates are now known to possess well-developed olfactory sensitivity and discrimination capacities that can play a substantial role in many aspects of their interaction with conspecifics and the environment. Several studies have demonstrated that olfactory cues may be useful in fruit selection. Here, using a conditioning paradigm, we show that captive spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) display high olfactory discrimination performance between synthetic odor mixtures mimicking ripe and unripe fruits of two wild, primate-consumed, Neotropical plant species. Further, we show that spider monkeys are able to discriminate the odor of ripe fruits from odors that simulate unripe fruits that become increasingly similar to that of ripe ones. These results suggest that the ability of spider monkeys to identify ripe fruits may not depend on the presence of any individual compound that mark fruit ripeness. Further, the results demonstrate that spider monkeys are able to identify ripe fruits even when the odor signal is accompanied by a substantial degree of noise. PMID:26440380

  10. A case of Spider bite localized to the eyelid.

    PubMed

    Bilgili, Serap Gunes; Karadag, Ayse Serap; Karadag, Remzi; Cecen, Ilhan; Calka, Omer

    2013-03-01

    Loxosceles Spiders have a worldwide distribution and are considered one of the most medically important groups of Spiders. The venom from Spiders of the genus Loxosceles, the most famous being Loxosceles reclusa (brown recluse Spider), can promote severe local and systemic damages. This report describes a girl presenting with a Spider bite over her right upper eyelid. PMID:22320167

  11. Spider webs as environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Hose, G C; James, J M; Gray, M R

    2002-01-01

    Analysis of spider webs from limestone arches in New South Wales, Australia showed levels of lead and zinc to be several times higher at Jenolan Caves than reference sites at Abercrombie and Wombeyan Caves. The high concentrations at Jenolan were attributed to emissions from motor vehicles that travel through the arch. Analysis of water-soluble ions in webs from Jenolan and Abercrombie Caves showed large differences between the sites, which could be explained by differences in the geology and biology of the cave environments. Spider webs proved useful indicators of environmental chemistry and undoubtedly have applications beyond the cave environments studied here. PMID:12442796

  12. The use of tetragnathid spiders as bioindicators of metal exposure at a coal ash spill site.

    PubMed

    Otter, Ryan R; Hayden, Mary; Mathews, Teresa; Fortner, Allison; Bailey, Frank C

    2013-09-01

    On 22 December 2008, a dike containing coal fly ash from the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant (TN, USA) failed, resulting in the largest coal ash spill in US history. The present study was designed to determine sediment metal concentrations at multiple site locations and to determine whether site-specific bioaccumulation of metals existed in tetragnathid spiders. Selenium and nickel were the only 2 metals to exceed the US Environmental Protection Agency sediment screening levels. Selenium concentrations in spiders were significantly higher at ash-affected sites than in those from reference sites. The ratio of methylmercury to total mercury in spiders was found to be similar to that in other organisms (65-75%), which highlights the potential use of tetragnathid spiders as an indicator species for tracing contaminant transfer between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:23686551

  13. Longer-term effects of selective thinning on carabid beetles and spiders in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peck, R.; Niwa, C.G.

    2005-01-01

    Within late-successional forests of the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon, abundances of carabid beetles (Carabidae) and spiders (Araneae) from pitfall traps were compared between stands thinned 16-41 years prior and nearby unthinned stands. Species richness of both taxa were moderate for coniferous forests of this region, with 12 carabid beetle species and >120 spider species collected. No differences in total abundance or species richness were found between stand types for carabid beetles, although abundances of four of the six most common species differed significantly. Pterostichus setosus, the most abundant species collected, was significantly more abundant in unthinned stands, while Omus cazieri, P. lama, and Carabus taedatus were more numerous in thinned stands. In contrast, both total spider abundance and species richness were significantly higher in thinned stands. Hunting spiders within the families Lycosidae and Gnaphosidae, and the funnel web-building Dictynidae were captured more often in thinned stands while sheet web spiders within Linyphiidae and Hahniidae were more abundant in unthinned stands. The forest floor within unthinned stands was structurally more diverse than in thinned stands, but this did not lead to greater overall abundance or diversity of either carabid beetles or spiders.

  14. Parasitism of Trombidium brevimanum larvae on agrobiont linyphiid spiders from Germany.

    PubMed

    Tomić, Vladimir; Mąkol, Joanna; Stamenković, Srdjan; Büchs, Wolfgang; Prescher, Sabine; Sivčev, Ivan; Graora, Draga; Sivčev, Lazar; Gotlin-Čuljak, Tatjana; Dudić, Boris

    2015-08-01

    An experiment on three differently-managed agricultural fields in Ahlum, Germany, which aimed at establishing the impact of different management systems on the biodiversity of predators and decomposers, yielded a significant number of spiders parasitized by larvae of Trombidium brevimanum (Actinotrichida, Parasitengona, Trombidiidae). Spider data from the whole sampling period (September 2010-July 2012), indicated that ectoparasitic larvae were recorded only on spiders in pitfall traps in the period of June-July 2011. In this period, only eight species of Linyphiidae--out of 42 species assigned to nine spider families recorded from the study area--were parasitized by mites; considerable levels of parasitism were recorded on Erigone atra, E. dentipalpis, and Oedothorax apicatus. The highest prevalence of parasitism was recorded on the organic field for E. atra (29%), while on the integrated and conventional fields significantly fewer parasitized spiders were observed. The preferred attachment sites on the spider host were regions with softer cuticle, especially regions on the carapace and on the abdomen, adjacent to the pedicel. PMID:25917328

  15. [Spider diversity in cultures of Citrus sinensis (Rutaceae) in Corrientes province, Argentina].

    PubMed

    Avalos, Gilberto; Bar, Maria Esther; Oscherov, Elena Beatriz; González, Alda

    2013-09-01

    Spiders are predators that reduce insect pest populations in agroecosystems. In spite that the presence of spider assemblages has been described in different crop plants, no reports have been done for Citrus species in Argentina. We studied the spider community associated with cultures of Citrus sinensis in the province of Corrientes, Argentina, in two plots (AM1 irrigated and AM2 unirrigated) of 0.82 hectares each. Spiders were collected monthly by using pitfall traps, hand capture, agitation of foliage and sieving of soil litter. A total of 7174 specimens were collected (33 families, 44 genera and 200 species/morphospecies). The AM1 recorded 3811 individuals (33 families, 179 species/morphospecies) and AM2 3363 individuals (31 families, 174 species/morphospecies). November, December and January showed the highest abundance in both plots. A total of 70% of collected spiders were juveniles. Eight families were the most abundant and represented 75% of spiders collected in both plots, the largest being Lycosidae. We identified eight guilds in both plots, for which the ground runners resulted the most abundant (AM1 n = 1341, s=39, n=999 AM2, s = 33), followed by orb weavers (AM1 n = 637, s = 36; AM2 n = 552, s = 33), the stalkers (AM1 n = 471, s = 43, AM2 n = 453, s = 47) and the space web-builders (AM1 n = 446, s = 23; AM2 n = 342, s = 25). The analysis of alpha diversity in both plots (AM1H' = 4.161, J' = 0.802; AM2 H' = 4.184, J' = 0.811) showed no significant differences (t = 1.083 p = 0.279). The linear dependences model was the one with the best fit results, where the species observed were more than estimated. Clench model estimated 90.9% of the spiders observed in the unit with irrigation and 90.6% in the unit without irrigation. PMID:24027921

  16. The Spider and the Fly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mellinger, Keith E.; Viglione, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The Spider and the Fly puzzle, originally attributed to the great puzzler Henry Ernest Dudeney, and now over 100 years old, asks for the shortest path between two points on a particular square prism. We explore a generalization, find that the original solution only holds in certain cases, and suggest how this discovery might be used in the…

  17. Spider silk: Webs measure up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J.

    2013-03-01

    The complete elastic response of a spider's orb web has been quantified by non-invasive light scattering, revealing important insights into the architecture, natural material use and mechanical properties of the web. This knowledge advances our understanding of the prey-catching process and the role of supercontraction therein.

  18. The toxicology of Latrodectus tredecimguttatus: the Mediterranean Black Widow spider.

    PubMed

    Bonnet, M S

    2004-01-01

    The symptomatology of envenomation by the Mediterranean Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus tredecimguttatus, is reviewed. The results confirm the hypothesis that the homeopathic remedy, Tarentula hispanica, is derived from this spider, not from the Wolf spider, Lycosa tarentula. PMID:14960100

  19. One size fits all? Determinants of sperm transfer in a highly dimorphic orb-web spider.

    PubMed

    Assis, B A; Foellmer, M W

    2016-06-01

    The evolutionary significance of widespread hypo-allometric scaling of genital traits in combination with rapid interspecific genital trait divergence has been of key interest to evolutionary biologists for many years and remains poorly understood. Here, we provide a detailed assessment of quantitative genital trait variation in males and females of the sexually highly dimorphic and cannibalistic orb-weaving spider Argiope aurantia. We then test how this trait variation relates to sperm transfer success. In particular, we test specific predictions of the one-size-fits-all and lock-and-key hypotheses for the evolution of genital characters. We use video-taped staged matings in a controlled environment with subsequent morphological microdissections and sperm count analyses. We find little support for the prediction of the one-size-fits-all hypothesis for the evolution of hypo-allometric scaling of genital traits, namely that intermediate trait dimensions confer highest sperm transfer success. Likewise, our findings do not support the prediction of the lock-and-key hypothesis that a tight fit of male and female genital traits mediates highest sperm transfer success. We do, however, detect directional effects of a number of male and female genital characters on sperm transfer, suggesting that genital trait dimensions are commonly under selection in nature. Importantly, even though females are much larger than males, spermatheca size limits the number of sperm transferred, contradicting a previous hypothesis about the evolutionary consequences of genital size dimorphism in extremely size-dimorphic taxa. We also find strong positive effects of male body size and copulation duration on the probability of sperm transfer and the number of sperm transferred, with implications for the evolution of extreme sexual size dimorphism and sexual cannibalism in orb weavers. PMID:26881910

  20. The history of venomous spider identification, venom extraction methods and antivenom production: a long journey at the Butantan Institute, São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Sylvia M

    2015-01-01

    The article provides a historical report on venomous spider identification, venom obtainment methods and serum production at the Butantan Institute, São Paulo, Brazil. It is based on literature and personnal experience during the last 50 years. This result is the discovery that the real species causing potential severe human accidents were the spiders of the genus Loxosceles and Phoneutria. PMID:26085831

  1. A Proteomics and Transcriptomics Investigation of the Venom from the Barychelid Spider Trittame loki (Brush-Foot Trapdoor)

    PubMed Central

    Undheim, Eivind A.B.; Sunagar, Kartik; Herzig, Volker; Kely, Laurence; Low, Dolyce H.W.; Jackson, Timothy N.W.; Jones, Alun; Kurniawan, Nyoman; King, Glenn F.; Ali, Syed A.; Antunes, Agostino; Ruder, Tim; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    Although known for their potent venom and ability to prey upon both invertebrate and vertebrate species, the Barychelidae spider family has been entirely neglected by toxinologists. In striking contrast, the sister family Theraphosidae (commonly known as tarantulas), which last shared a most recent common ancestor with Barychelidae over 200 million years ago, has received much attention, accounting for 25% of all the described spider toxins while representing only 2% of all spider species. In this study, we evaluated for the first time the venom arsenal of a barychelid spider, Trittame loki, using transcriptomic, proteomic, and bioinformatic methods. The venom was revealed to be dominated by extremely diverse inhibitor cystine knot (ICK)/knottin peptides, accounting for 42 of the 46 full-length toxin precursors recovered in the transcriptomic sequencing. In addition to documenting differential rates of evolution adopted by different ICK/knottin toxin lineages, we discovered homologues with completely novel cysteine skeletal architecture. Moreover, acetylcholinesterase and neprilysin were revealed for the first time as part of the spider-venom arsenal and CAP (CRiSP/Allergen/PR-1) were identified for the first time in mygalomorph spider venoms. These results not only highlight the extent of venom diversification in this neglected ancient spider lineage, but also reinforce the idea that unique venomous lineages are rich pools of novel biomolecules that may have significant applied uses as therapeutics and/or insecticides. PMID:24351713

  2. A proteomics and transcriptomics investigation of the venom from the barychelid spider Trittame loki (brush-foot trapdoor).

    PubMed

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Sunagar, Kartik; Herzig, Volker; Kely, Laurence; Low, Dolyce H W; Jackson, Timothy N W; Jones, Alun; Kurniawan, Nyoman; King, Glenn F; Ali, Syed A; Antunes, Agostino; Ruder, Tim; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-12-01

    Although known for their potent venom and ability to prey upon both invertebrate and vertebrate species, the Barychelidae spider family has been entirely neglected by toxinologists. In striking contrast, the sister family Theraphosidae (commonly known as tarantulas), which last shared a most recent common ancestor with Barychelidae over 200 million years ago, has received much attention, accounting for 25% of all the described spider toxins while representing only 2% of all spider species. In this study, we evaluated for the first time the venom arsenal of a barychelid spider, Trittame loki, using transcriptomic, proteomic, and bioinformatic methods. The venom was revealed to be dominated by extremely diverse inhibitor cystine knot (ICK)/knottin peptides, accounting for 42 of the 46 full-length toxin precursors recovered in the transcriptomic sequencing. In addition to documenting differential rates of evolution adopted by different ICK/knottin toxin lineages, we discovered homologues with completely novel cysteine skeletal architecture. Moreover, acetylcholinesterase and neprilysin were revealed for the first time as part of the spider-venom arsenal and CAP (CRiSP/Allergen/PR-1) were identified for the first time in mygalomorph spider venoms. These results not only highlight the extent of venom diversification in this neglected ancient spider lineage, but also reinforce the idea that unique venomous lineages are rich pools of novel biomolecules that may have significant applied uses as therapeutics and/or insecticides. PMID:24351713

  3. Potential lethal and non-lethal effects of predators on dispersal of spider mites.

    PubMed

    Otsuki, Hatsune; Yano, Shuichi

    2014-11-01

    Predators can affect prey dispersal lethally by direct consumption or non-lethally by making prey hesitate to disperse. These lethal and non-lethal effects are detectable only in systems where prey can disperse between multiple patches. However, most studies have drawn their conclusions concerning the ability of predatory mites to suppress spider mites based on observations of their interactions on a single patch or on heavily infested host plants where spider mites could hardly disperse toward intact patches. In these systems, specialist predatory mites that penetrate protective webs produced by spider mites quickly suppress the spider mites, whereas generalist predators that cannot penetrate the webs were ineffective. By using a connected patch system, we revealed that a generalist ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), effectively prevented dispersal of spider mites, Tetranychus kanzawai Kishida (Acari: Tetranychidae), by directly consuming dispersing individuals. We also revealed that a generalist predatory mite, Euseius sojaensis Ehara (Acari: Phytoseiidae), prevented between-patch dispersal of T. kanzawai by making them hesitate to disperse. In contrast, a specialist phytoseiid predatory mite, Neoseiulus womersleyi Schicha, allowed spider mites to escape an initial patch, increasing the number of colonized patches within the system. Our results suggest that ants and generalist predatory mites can effectively suppress Tetranychus species under some conditions, and should receive more attention as agents for conservation biological control in agroecosystems. PMID:24867061

  4. Geophagy in brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) in a lowland tropical rainforest in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Link, Andres; de Luna, Ana Gabriela; Arango, Ricardo; Diaz, Maria Clara

    2011-01-01

    Spider monkeys and howler monkeys are the only Neotropical primates that eat soil from mineral licks. Not all species within these genera visit mineral licks, and geophagy has been restricted to populations of Ateles belzebuth belzebuth,Ateles belzebuth chamek and Alouatta seniculus in western Amazonian rainforests. With the aid of a camera trap we studied the visitation patterns of a group of brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) to a mineral lick at Serrania de Las Quinchas, in Colombia. Spider monkeys visited the lick frequently throughout the year, with a monthly average of 21.7 ± 7.2 visits per 100 days of camera trapping (n = 14 months). Spider monkeys visited the mineral lick almost always on days with no rain, or very little (<3 mm) rain, suggesting that proximate environmental variables might determine spider monkeys' decisions to come to the ground at the licks. This study expands the geographical occurrence of mineral lick use by spider monkeys providing additional data for future assessments on the biogeographical correlates of mineral lick use by platyrrhines. PMID:21494049

  5. Carbon nanotubes on a spider silk scaffold

    PubMed Central

    Steven, Eden; Saleh, Wasan R.; Lebedev, Victor; Acquah, Steve F. A.; Laukhin, Vladimir; Alamo, Rufina G.; Brooks, James S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the compatibility between spider silk and conducting materials is essential to advance the use of spider silk in electronic applications. Spider silk is tough, but becomes soft when exposed to water. Here we report a strong affinity of amine-functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes for spider silk, with coating assisted by a water and mechanical shear method. The nanotubes adhere uniformly and bond to the silk fibre surface to produce tough, custom-shaped, flexible and electrically conducting fibres after drying and contraction. The conductivity of coated silk fibres is reversibly sensitive to strain and humidity, leading to proof-of-concept sensor and actuator demonstrations. PMID:24022336

  6. Carbon nanotubes on a spider silk scaffold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steven, Eden; Saleh, Wasan R.; Lebedev, Victor; Acquah, Steve F. A.; Laukhin, Vladimir; Alamo, Rufina G.; Brooks, James S.

    2013-09-01

    Understanding the compatibility between spider silk and conducting materials is essential to advance the use of spider silk in electronic applications. Spider silk is tough, but becomes soft when exposed to water. Here we report a strong affinity of amine-functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes for spider silk, with coating assisted by a water and mechanical shear method. The nanotubes adhere uniformly and bond to the silk fibre surface to produce tough, custom-shaped, flexible and electrically conducting fibres after drying and contraction. The conductivity of coated silk fibres is reversibly sensitive to strain and humidity, leading to proof-of-concept sensor and actuator demonstrations.

  7. Carbon nanotubes on a spider silk scaffold.

    PubMed

    Steven, Eden; Saleh, Wasan R; Lebedev, Victor; Acquah, Steve F A; Laukhin, Vladimir; Alamo, Rufina G; Brooks, James S

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the compatibility between spider silk and conducting materials is essential to advance the use of spider silk in electronic applications. Spider silk is tough, but becomes soft when exposed to water. Here we report a strong affinity of amine-functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes for spider silk, with coating assisted by a water and mechanical shear method. The nanotubes adhere uniformly and bond to the silk fibre surface to produce tough, custom-shaped, flexible and electrically conducting fibres after drying and contraction. The conductivity of coated silk fibres is reversibly sensitive to strain and humidity, leading to proof-of-concept sensor and actuator demonstrations. PMID:24022336

  8. Post-secretion processing influences spider silk performance.

    PubMed

    Blamires, Sean J; Wu, Chung-Lin; Blackledge, Todd A; Tso, I-Min

    2012-10-01

    Phenotypic variation facilitates adaptations to novel environments. Silk is an example of a highly variable biomaterial. The two-spidroin (MaSp) model suggests that spider major ampullate (MA) silk is composed of two proteins-MaSp1 predominately contains alanine and glycine and forms strength enhancing β-sheet crystals, while MaSp2 contains proline and forms elastic spirals. Nonetheless, mechanical properties can vary in spider silks without congruent amino acid compositional changes. We predicted that post-secretion processing causes variation in the mechanical performance of wild MA silk independent of protein composition or spinning speed across 10 species of spider. We used supercontraction to remove post-secretion effects and compared the mechanics of silk in this 'ground state' with wild native silks. Native silk mechanics varied less among species compared with 'ground state' silks. Variability in the mechanics of 'ground state' silks was associated with proline composition. However, variability in native silks did not. We attribute interspecific similarities in the mechanical properties of native silks, regardless of amino acid compositions, to glandular processes altering molecular alignment of the proteins prior to extrusion. Such post-secretion processing may enable MA silk to maintain functionality across environments, facilitating its function as a component of an insect-catching web. PMID:22628213

  9. Post-secretion processing influences spider silk performance

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chung-Lin; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic variation facilitates adaptations to novel environments. Silk is an example of a highly variable biomaterial. The two-spidroin (MaSp) model suggests that spider major ampullate (MA) silk is composed of two proteins—MaSp1 predominately contains alanine and glycine and forms strength enhancing β-sheet crystals, while MaSp2 contains proline and forms elastic spirals. Nonetheless, mechanical properties can vary in spider silks without congruent amino acid compositional changes. We predicted that post-secretion processing causes variation in the mechanical performance of wild MA silk independent of protein composition or spinning speed across 10 species of spider. We used supercontraction to remove post-secretion effects and compared the mechanics of silk in this ‘ground state’ with wild native silks. Native silk mechanics varied less among species compared with ‘ground state’ silks. Variability in the mechanics of ‘ground state’ silks was associated with proline composition. However, variability in native silks did not. We attribute interspecific similarities in the mechanical properties of native silks, regardless of amino acid compositions, to glandular processes altering molecular alignment of the proteins prior to extrusion. Such post-secretion processing may enable MA silk to maintain functionality across environments, facilitating its function as a component of an insect-catching web. PMID:22628213

  10. Comparing the rheology of native spider and silkworm spinning dope.

    PubMed

    Holland, C; Terry, A E; Porter, D; Vollrath, F

    2006-11-01

    Silk production has evolved to be energetically efficient and functionally optimized, yielding a material that can outperform most industrial fibres, particularly in toughness. Spider silk has hitherto defied all attempts at reproduction, despite advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind its superb mechanical properties. Spun fibres, natural and man-made, rely on the extrusion process to facilitate molecular orientation and bonding. Hence a full understanding of the flow characteristics of native spinning feedstock (dope) will be essential to translate natural spinning to artificial silk production. Here we show remarkable similarity between the rheologies for native spider-dragline and silkworm-cocoon silk, despite their independent evolution and substantial differences in protein structure. Surprisingly, both dopes behave like typical polymer melts. This observation opens the door to using polymer theory to clarify our general understanding of natural silks, despite the many specializations found in different animal species. PMID:17057700

  11. Comparing the rheology of native spider and silkworm spinning dope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, C.; Terry, A. E.; Porter, D.; Vollrath, F.

    2006-11-01

    Silk production has evolved to be energetically efficient and functionally optimized, yielding a material that can outperform most industrial fibres, particularly in toughness. Spider silk has hitherto defied all attempts at reproduction, despite advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind its superb mechanical properties. Spun fibres, natural and man-made, rely on the extrusion process to facilitate molecular orientation and bonding. Hence a full understanding of the flow characteristics of native spinning feedstock (dope) will be essential to translate natural spinning to artificial silk production. Here we show remarkable similarity between the rheologies for native spider-dragline and silkworm-cocoon silk, despite their independent evolution and substantial differences in protein structure. Surprisingly, both dopes behave like typical polymer melts. This observation opens the door to using polymer theory to clarify our general understanding of natural silks, despite the many specializations found in different animal species.

  12. The age and evolution of sociality in Stegodyphus spiders: a molecular phylogenetic perspective

    PubMed Central

    Johannesen, Jes; Lubin, Yael; Smith, Deborah R; Bilde, Trine; Schneider, Jutta M

    2006-01-01

    Social, cooperative breeding behaviour is rare in spiders and generally characterized by inbreeding, skewed sex ratios and high rates of colony turnover, processes that when combined may reduce genetic variation and lower individual fitness quickly. On these grounds, social spider species have been suggested to be unstable in evolutionary time, and hence sociality a rare phenomenon in spiders. Based on a partial molecular phylogeny of the genus Stegodyphus, we address the hypothesis that social spiders in this genus are evolutionary transient. We estimate the age of the three social species, test whether they represent an ancestral or derived state and assess diversification relative to subsocial congeners. Intraspecific sequence divergence was high in all of the social species, lending no support for the idea that they are young, transient species. The age of the social lineages, constant lineage branching and the likelihood that social species are independently derived suggest that either the social species are ‘caught in sociality’ or they have evolved into cryptic species. PMID:17148252

  13. Studies of the necrotic actions of the venoms of several Australian spiders.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, R K; Wright, L G

    1991-01-01

    1. Raw venoms from a number of Australian Araneomorph spiders were found to cause epidermal disruption in cultured skin from both mice and humans. 2. The more potent ones also caused loss of epidermal cell-cell adhesion of mouse skin in vivo. 3. Raw venoms from three Mygalomorph species did not have these actions. 4. Venom gland extracts from the Araneomorph species were also ineffective. 5. It was concluded that where spider venoms appear to possess necrogenic activity the most likely reason for this is contamination of the venoms with digestive tract secretions. PMID:1676958

  14. Novel Class of Spider Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Fedorova, Irina M.; Maleeva, Ekaterina E.; Korolkova, Yuliya V.; Efimova, Svetlana S.; Samsonova, Olga V.; Schagina, Ludmila V.; Feofanov, Alexei V.; Magazanik, Lev G.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2010-01-01

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a–c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe. PMID:20657014

  15. Spider diversity (Arachnida: Araneae) in Atlantic Forest areas at Pedra Branca State Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-González, Abel; Baptista, Renner L. C.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background There has never been any published work about the diversity of spiders in the city of Rio de Janeiro using analytical tools to measure diversity. The only available records for spider communities in nearby areas indicate 308 species in the National Park of Tijuca and 159 species in Marapendi Municipal Park. These numbers are based on a rapid survey and on an one-year survey respectively. New information This study provides a more thorough understanding of how the spider species are distributed at Pedra Branca State Park. We report a total of 14,626 spider specimens recorded from this park, representing 49 families and 373 species or morphospecies, including at least 73 undescribed species. Also, the distribution range of 45 species was expanded, and species accumulation curves estimate that there is a minimum of 388 (Bootstrap) and a maximum of 468 species (Jackknife2) for the sampled areas. These estimates indicates that the spider diversity may be higher than observed. PMID:26929710

  16. A comparative analysis of the morphology and evolution of permanent sperm depletion in spiders.

    PubMed

    Michalik, Peter; Rittschof, Clare C

    2011-01-01

    Once thought to be energetically cheap and easy to produce, empirical work has shown that sperm is a costly and limited resource for males. In some spider species, there is behavioral evidence that sperm are permanently depleted after a single mating. This extreme degree of mating investment appears to co-occur with other reproductive strategies common to spiders, e.g. genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. Here we corroborate that sperm depletion in the golden orb-web spider Nephila clavipes is permanent by uncovering its mechanistic basis using light and electron microscopy. In addition, we use a phylogeny-based statistical analysis to test the evolutionary relationships between permanent sperm depletion (PSD) and other reproductive strategies in spiders. Male testes do not produce sperm during adulthood, which is unusual in spiders. Instead, spermatogenesis is nearly synchronous and ends before the maturation molt. Testis size decreases as males approach their maturation molt and reaches its lowest point after sperm is transferred into the male copulatory organs (pedipalps). As a consequence, the amount of sperm available to males for mating is limited to the sperm contained in the pedipalps, and once it is used, males lose their ability to fertilize eggs. Our data suggest that PSD has evolved independently at least three times within web-building spiders and is significantly correlated with the evolution of other mating strategies that limit males to monogamy, including genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. We conclude that PSD may be an energy-saving adaptation in species where males are limited to monogamy. This could be particularly important in web-building spiders where extreme sexual size dimorphism results in large, sedentary females and small, searching males who rarely feed as adults and are vulnerable to starvation. Future work will explore possible energetic benefits and the evolutionary lability of PSD relative to other mate

  17. A Comparative Analysis of the Morphology and Evolution of Permanent Sperm Depletion in Spiders

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Once thought to be energetically cheap and easy to produce, empirical work has shown that sperm is a costly and limited resource for males. In some spider species, there is behavioral evidence that sperm are permanently depleted after a single mating. This extreme degree of mating investment appears to co-occur with other reproductive strategies common to spiders, e.g. genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. Here we corroborate that sperm depletion in the golden orb-web spider Nephila clavipes is permanent by uncovering its mechanistic basis using light and electron microscopy. In addition, we use a phylogeny-based statistical analysis to test the evolutionary relationships between permanent sperm depletion (PSD) and other reproductive strategies in spiders. Male testes do not produce sperm during adulthood, which is unusual in spiders. Instead, spermatogenesis is nearly synchronous and ends before the maturation molt. Testis size decreases as males approach their maturation molt and reaches its lowest point after sperm is transferred into the male copulatory organs (pedipalps). As a consequence, the amount of sperm available to males for mating is limited to the sperm contained in the pedipalps, and once it is used, males lose their ability to fertilize eggs. Our data suggest that PSD has evolved independently at least three times within web-building spiders and is significantly correlated with the evolution of other mating strategies that limit males to monogamy, including genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. We conclude that PSD may be an energy-saving adaptation in species where males are limited to monogamy. This could be particularly important in web-building spiders where extreme sexual size dimorphism results in large, sedentary females and small, searching males who rarely feed as adults and are vulnerable to starvation. Future work will explore possible energetic benefits and the evolutionary lability of PSD relative to other mate

  18. Predator-Prey Interactions are Context Dependent in a Grassland Plant-Grasshopper-Wolf Spider Food Chain.

    PubMed

    Laws, Angela N; Joern, Anthony

    2015-06-01

    Species interactions are often context dependent, where outcomes vary in response to one or more environmental factors. It remains unclear how abiotic conditions like temperature combine with biotic factors such as consumer density or food quality to affect resource availability or influence species interactions. Using the large grasshopper Melanoplus bivittatus (Say) and a common wolf spider [Rabidosa rabida (Walkenaer)], we conducted manipulative field experiments in tallgrass prairie to examine how spider-grasshopper interactions respond to manipulations of temperature, grasshopper density, and food quality. Grasshopper survival was density dependent, as were the effects of spider presence and food quality in context-dependent ways. In high grasshopper density treatments, predation resulted in increased grasshopper survival, likely as a result of reduced intraspecific competition in the presence of spiders. Spiders had no effect on grasshopper survival when grasshoppers were stocked at low densities. Effects of the experimental treatments were often interdependent so that effects were only observed when examined together with other treatments. The occurrence of trophic cascades was context dependent, where the effects of food quality and spider presence varied with temperature under high-density treatments. Temperature weakly affected the impact of spider presence on M. bivittatus survivorship when all treatments were considered simultaneously, but different context-dependent responses to spider presence and food quality were observed among the three temperature treatments under high-density conditions. Our results indicate that context-dependent species interactions are common and highlight the importance of understanding how key biotic and abiotic factors combine to influence species interactions. PMID:26313957

  19. Influence of Crop Management and Environmental Factors on Wolf Spider Assemblages (Araneae: Lycosidae) in an Australian Cotton Cropping System.

    PubMed

    Rendon, Dalila; Whitehouse, Mary E A; Hulugalle, Nilantha R; Taylor, Phillip W

    2015-02-01

    Wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are the most abundant ground-hunting spiders in the Australian cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) agroecosystems. These spiders have potential in controlling pest bollworms, Helicoverpa spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in minimum-tilled fields. A study was carried out during a wet growing season (2011-2012) in Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia, to determine how different crop rotations and tillage affect wolf spider assemblages in cotton fields. Spider abundance and species richness did not differ significantly between simple plots (no winter crop) and complex plots (cotton-wheat Triticum aestivum L.-vetch Vicia benghalensis L. rotation). However, the wolf spider biodiversity, as expressed by the Shannon-Weaver and Simpson's indices, was significantly higher in complex plots. Higher biodiversity reflected a more even distribution of the most dominant species (Venatrix konei Berland, Hogna crispipes Koch, and Tasmanicosa leuckartii Thorell) and the presence of more rare species in complex plots. T. leuckartii was more abundant in complex plots and appears to be sensitive to farming disturbances, whereas V. konei and H. crispipes were similarly abundant in the two plot types, suggesting higher resilience or recolonizing abilities. The demographic structure of these three species varied through the season, but not between plot types. Environmental variables had a significant effect on spider assemblage, but effects of environment and plot treatment were overshadowed by the seasonal progression of cotton stages. Maintaining a high density and even distribution of wolf spiders that prey on Helicoverpa spp. should be considered as a conservation biological control element when implementing agronomic and pest management strategies. PMID:26308820

  20. Passive hemagglutination inhibition test for diagnosis of brown recluse spider bite envenomation.

    PubMed

    Barrett, S M; Romine-Jenkins, M; Blick, K E

    1993-10-01

    Our goal was to recreate a passive hemagglutination inhibition (PHAI) test to diagnose brown recluse spider (BRS; Loxosceles reclusa) bite envenomation for treatment trials. Guinea pigs received intradermal injections of concentrated spider venom from the following species: Loxosceles reclusa, Argiope aurantia, Argiope trifasciata, Phidippus audax, and Lycosa frondicola. Skin lesion exudate was collected and tested with the BRS venom PHAI assay. From 51 separate collections of exudate, test sensitivity was 90% as long as 3 days after venom injection. Specificity was 100% with venom from the other spider species listed above in vivo (7 test samples) and in vitro (5 test samples), as well as with random bacterial exudate with and without added serial dilutions of BRS venom (10 test samples). The test was reproducible over repetitive assays to within one 10-fold dilution. A positive PHAI test result could function as an entry criterion for BRS bite victims in human treatment trials. PMID:8403394

  1. Spider management in agroecosystems: Habitat manipulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mansour, Fadel; Richman, David B.; Whitcomb, W. H.

    1983-01-01

    Based on the literature and on work conducted in Israel, the management of spider populations through habitat manipulation was found to be very helpful in controlling pest insects in various crops. Spiders were found to be reduced or eliminated by non-selective insecticides, although some resistance has been noted

  2. Insects and Spiders. Environmental Education Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Topeka Public Schools, KS.

    This unit is designed to provide information on insects and spiders that special education students are capable of understanding. The activities are aimed at level 2 and level 3 educable mentally retarded classes. There are four topics: (1) Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects; (2) Characteristics of Spiders; (3) Habitats and Food Sources of…

  3. Science Education Resources on the Web--Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thirunarayanan, M. O.

    1997-01-01

    Lists Web sites containing information on spiders and offers brief descriptions of the information available at those sites. The 11 sites provide information on taxonomy of spiders, anatomy, different ways spiders use silk, Internet mailing lists, folk literature and art, bibliographies, night collection, and spiders commonly found in the state of…

  4. Tracking a medically important spider: climate change, ecological niche modeling, and the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa).

    PubMed

    Saupe, Erin E; Papes, Monica; Selden, Paul A; Vetter, Richard S

    2011-01-01

    Most spiders use venom to paralyze their prey and are commonly feared for their potential to cause injury to humans. In North America, one species in particular, Loxosceles reclusa (brown recluse spider, Sicariidae), causes the majority of necrotic wounds induced by the Araneae. However, its distributional limitations are poorly understood and, as a result, medical professionals routinely misdiagnose brown recluse bites outside endemic areas, confusing putative spider bites for other serious conditions. To address the issue of brown recluse distribution, we employ ecological niche modeling to investigate the present and future distributional potential of this species. We delineate range boundaries and demonstrate that under future climate change scenarios, the spider's distribution may expand northward, invading previously unaffected regions of the USA. At present, the spider's range is centered in the USA, from Kansas east to Kentucky and from southern Iowa south to Louisiana. Newly influenced areas may include parts of Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These results illustrate a potential negative consequence of climate change on humans and will aid medical professionals in proper bite identification/treatment, potentially reducing bite misdiagnoses. PMID:21464985

  5. Antipredator behaviours of a spider mite in response to cues of dangerous and harmless predators.

    PubMed

    Dias, Cleide Rosa; Bernardo, Ana Maria Guimarães; Mencalha, Jussara; Freitas, Caelum Woods Carvalho; Sarmento, Renato Almeida; Pallini, Angelo; Janssen, Arne

    2016-07-01

    Prey are known to invest in costly antipredator behaviour when perceiving cues of dangerous, but not of relatively harmless predators. Whereas most studies investigate one type of antipredator behaviour, we studied several types (changes in oviposition, in escape and avoidance behaviour) in the spider mite Tetranychus evansi in response to cues from two predatory mites. The predator Phytoseiulus longipes is considered a dangerous predator for T. evansi, whereas Phytoseiulus macropilis has a low predation rate on this prey, thus is a much less dangerous predator. Spider mite females oviposited less on leaf disc halves with predator cues than on clean disc halves, independent of the predator species. On entire leaf discs, they laid fewer eggs in the presence of cues of the dangerous predator than on clean discs, but not in the presence of cues of the harmless predator. Furthermore, the spider mites escaped more often from discs with cues of the dangerous predator than from discs without predator cues, but they did not escape more from discs with cues of the harmless predator. The spider mites did not avoid plants with conspecifics and predators. We conclude that the spider mites displayed several different antipredator responses to the same predator species, and that some of these antipredator responses were stronger with cues of dangerous predators than with cues of harmless predators. PMID:27067101

  6. Tracking a Medically Important Spider: Climate Change, Ecological Niche Modeling, and the Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)

    PubMed Central

    Saupe, Erin E.; Papes, Monica; Selden, Paul A.; Vetter, Richard S.

    2011-01-01

    Most spiders use venom to paralyze their prey and are commonly feared for their potential to cause injury to humans. In North America, one species in particular, Loxosceles reclusa (brown recluse spider, Sicariidae), causes the majority of necrotic wounds induced by the Araneae. However, its distributional limitations are poorly understood and, as a result, medical professionals routinely misdiagnose brown recluse bites outside endemic areas, confusing putative spider bites for other serious conditions. To address the issue of brown recluse distribution, we employ ecological niche modeling to investigate the present and future distributional potential of this species. We delineate range boundaries and demonstrate that under future climate change scenarios, the spider's distribution may expand northward, invading previously unaffected regions of the USA. At present, the spider's range is centered in the USA, from Kansas east to Kentucky and from southern Iowa south to Louisiana. Newly influenced areas may include parts of Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These results illustrate a potential negative consequence of climate change on humans and will aid medical professionals in proper bite identification/treatment, potentially reducing bite misdiagnoses. PMID:21464985

  7. [Diversity of insects captured by weaver spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) in the cocoa agroecosystem in Tabasco, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Pérez-de La Cruz, Manuel; Sánchez-Soto, Saúl; Ortíz-García, Carlos F; Zapata-Mata, Raúl; Cruz-Pérez, Aracely de la

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this work was to know the diversity of insects captured by weaver spiders in a plantation of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) of 6 ha in the State of Tabasco, Mexico. The study was carried out from July 2004 to June 2005 by means biweekly samples of the insects captured on the spiders webs. The total of 3,041 webs of 54 species of spiders belonging to seven families (Araneidae, Theridiidae, Tetragnathidae, Uloboridae, Pholcidae, Dyctinidae and Linyphiidae) were revised. We found 1,749 specimens belonging to 10 orders of insects, represented by 93 families, the majority of Coleoptera, Diptera and Hemiptera that constituted 74% of the identified families. The biggest number of specimens of all orders was captured by Araneidae, except of Isoptera, whose specimens were captured mainly by the family Theridiidae. The index of diversity (H'), evenness (J') and similarity (Is), applied to know the diversity of families of insects captured among families of spiders, varied from 0.00 to 3.24, 0.00 to 0.81, and 0.04 to 0.522, respectively. We conclude that there is a wide diversity of insects predated by the weaver spiders in the cocoa agroecosystem, and that there are species that can be promising for the biological control of pests. PMID:17420866

  8. Immobilizing and lethal effects of spider venoms on the cockroach and the common mealbeetle.

    PubMed

    Friedel, T; Nentwig, W

    1989-01-01

    Immobilizing and lethal effects of the venoms obtained from six spider species (Brachypelma albopilosum, Atrax robustus, Cupiennius salei, Selenops mexicanus, Tegenaria atrica, Argiope bruennichi) were tested on Blatta orientalis (cockroach) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). The immobilizing effects were quantified by measuring insect locomotor activity in circle arenas observed over 72 hr after venom injection. Both insect species showed cramps, quivering and jerking of the limbs as well as flaccid paralysis after venom injection. Through relative toxicity of the venoms tested is the same in T. molitor and B. orientalis, T. molitor is absolutely less sensitive to spider venoms. The effects on locomotor activity show time characteristics specific for each venom. A dependence of the venom paralyzing effects on insect locomotor activity, low intensity of the initial excitatory phase of the venom effects and partial recovery of the insects was found with A. bruennichi and T. atrica venom. The maximal venom yields of A. bruennichi and S. mexicanus are not lethal to B. orientalis, indicating that the mere immobilizing effects of spider venoms are far more crucial to prey capture than their lethal effects. The contribution of a variety of differently acting neurotoxic components in spider venoms to the observed venom effects on insects and the significance of the venoms in spider nutrition, hunting behaviour and ecology are discussed. PMID:2728023

  9. Liquid crystalline spinning of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Vollrath, F; Knight, D P

    2001-03-29

    Spider silk has outstanding mechanical properties despite being spun at close to ambient temperatures and pressures using water as the solvent. The spider achieves this feat of benign fibre processing by judiciously controlling the folding and crystallization of the main protein constituents, and by adding auxiliary compounds, to create a composite material of defined hierarchical structure. Because the 'spinning dope' (the material from which silk is spun) is liquid crystalline, spiders can draw it during extrusion into a hardened fibre using minimal forces. This process involves an unusual internal drawdown within the spider's spinneret that is not seen in industrial fibre processing, followed by a conventional external drawdown after the dope has left the spinneret. Successful copying of the spider's internal processing and precise control over protein folding, combined with knowledge of the gene sequences of its spinning dopes, could permit industrial production of silk-based fibres with unique properties under benign conditions. PMID:11279484

  10. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer. PMID:25406008

  11. The use of spider webs as passive bioaerosol collectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattei, Daniel I.; Bleckmann, Charles A.; Bunker, David J.; Maxis, Ike

    2009-05-01

    Spider webs were shown to be effective collectors of bioaerosols and airborne microorganisms. Spider webs were collected and analyzed for microbial content using two general microbial culture mediums. To be considered suitable passive collectors, webs had to satisfy three basic conditions; (1) collection of microorganisms without discrimination based on species or size, (2) collection under variable environmental conditions, and (3) saturation avoidance in the presence of strong microbial launching sources. Samples were collected from four locations near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, a waste water treatment facility, a commercial garden center, a secluded state park area, and a parking garage located within a medium size metropolitan area. These four locations provided appropriately varied environmental and physical conditions to test the collection parameters previously stated. A simple collection methodology was devised; microscopy cover glass slides were used as collection instruments. The methodology assured sterility during collection and permitted in situ microbial growth, observation, and enumeration. Microbial growth, both bacteria and fungi, were recovered from all collected spider web samples.

  12. Effects of dimethoate on spiders from metal pollution gradient.

    PubMed

    Babczyńska, Agnieszka; Wilczek, Grazyna; Migula, Paweł

    2006-11-01

    In this study, an attempt has been made to assess whether a chronic exposure to metals in habitats under a strong industrial pressure might have equipped spiders with biochemical defensive mechanisms enabling them to survive an additional chemical stress. To check this, non-web-building wolf spiders Pardosa lugubris (Lycosidae) and funnel web Agelena labyrinthica (Agelenidae) were collected at five variously polluted meadows and, under laboratory conditions, intoxicated with either single or multiple dose of dimethoate (OP pesticide). Then the activities of detoxifying (carboxylesterase: CarE, glutathione S-transferase: GST), antioxidative (selene-dependent and selene-independent glutathione peroxidases: GPOX and GSTPx) enzymes as well as acetylcholinesterase as a biomarker of exposure to OP pesticides were measured. In web-building A. labyrinthica, even a single application of the pesticide caused the inhibition of CarE, GSTPx and GPOX in individuals from less polluted sites and AChE and GST in specimens pre-exposed to high metal concentrations. Multiple intoxication, irrespectively of the site, caused significant, in comparison to controls, decrease in CarE, AChE and GSTPx activities. Actively hunting P. lugubris seem more resistant to acute pesticide intoxication, since the spiders from each site had a constant level of GST and AChE. In individuals of this species from heavily polluted sites, the inhibition caused by multiple intoxication with dimethoate was stated only for glutathione peroxidases. PMID:16914184

  13. Differential accumulation of heavy metals by web spiders and ground spiders in an old-field

    SciTech Connect

    Larsen, K.J.; Brewer, S.R.; Taylor, D.H. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1994-03-01

    Accumulation of the heavy metals Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn by web spiders (orb weavers: Araneidae) and ground spiders was examined in an old-field that had been subjected to 11 years of nutrient enrichment. The study area consistent of six 0.1-ha plots treated from 1978 to 1988 with municipal sewage sludge containing heavy-metal contaminants, urea-phosphate fertilizer, or left as untreated controls. In 1991 and 1992, heavy-metal concentrations in the soil, ground spiders, and web spiders were measured with a flame AA spectrophotometer. Spiders accumulated Cd, Cu, and Zn to concentrations greater than those present in the soil but did not accumulate Pb. Ground spiders contained significantly higher levels of Cd and Cu than web spiders, whereas web spiders contained slightly greater levels of Pb than ground spiders. No trend between spider guilds was apparent for Zn accumulation. To understand the impact of the application of metal-contaminated municipal sludge on ecosystem, the toxicological effects on the biology and behavior of major biotic components in terrestrial food webs must be known.

  14. Sperm Dynamics in Spiders (Araneae): Ultrastructural Analysis of the Sperm Activation Process in the Garden Spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772)

    PubMed Central

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process. PMID:24039790

  15. Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).

    PubMed

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process. PMID:24039790

  16. Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Spidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroin evolutionary relationships have principally been determined from their non-repetitive carboxy (C)-terminal domains, though they offer limited character data. The few known spidroin amino (N)-terminal domains have been difficult to obtain, but potentially contain critical phylogenetic information for reconstructing the diversification of spider silks. Here we used silk gland expression data (ESTs) from highly divergent species to evaluate the functional significance and phylogenetic utility of spidroin N-terminal domains. Results We report 11 additional spidroin N-termini found by sequencing ~1,900 silk gland cDNAs from nine spider species that shared a common ancestor > 240 million years ago. In contrast to their hyper-variable repetitive regions, spidroin N-terminal domains have retained striking similarities in sequence identity, predicted secondary structure, and hydrophobicity. Through separate and combined phylogenetic analyses of N-terminal domains and their corresponding C-termini, we find that combined analysis produces the most resolved trees and that N-termini contribute more support and less conflict than the C-termini. These analyses show that paralogs largely group by silk gland type, except for the major ampullate spidroins. Moreover, spidroin structural motifs associated with superior tensile strength arose early in the history of this gene family, whereas a motif conferring greater extensibility convergently evolved in two distantly related paralogs. Conclusions A non-repetitive N-terminal domain appears to be a universal attribute of spidroin proteins, likely retained from the origin of spider silk production. Since this time, spidroin N-termini have maintained several features, consistent with this domain playing a key role in silk assembly. Phylogenetic

  17. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-12-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering.

  18. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering. PMID:25475975

  19. Spiders spinning electrically charged nano-fibres

    PubMed Central

    Kronenberger, Katrin; Vollrath, Fritz

    2015-01-01

    Most spider threads are on the micrometre and sub-micrometre scale. Yet, there are some spiders that spin true nano-scale fibres such as the cribellate orb spider, Uloborus plumipes. Here, we analyse the highly specialized capture silk-spinning system of this spider and compare it with the silk extrusion systems of the more standard spider dragline threads. The cribellar silk extrusion system consists of tiny, morphologically basic glands each terminating through exceptionally long and narrow ducts in uniquely shaped silk outlets. Depending on spider size, hundreds to thousands of these outlet spigots cover the cribellum, a phylogenetically ancient spinning plate. We present details on the unique functional design of the cribellate gland–duct–spigot system and discuss design requirements for its specialist fibrils. The spinning of fibres on the nano-scale seems to have been facilitated by the evolution of a highly specialist way of direct spinning, which differs from the aqua-melt silk extrusion set-up more typical for other spiders. PMID:25631231

  20. Kin recognition in a social spider

    PubMed Central

    Evans, T. A.

    1999-01-01

    Social spiders accept immigrant spiders into their kin-based groups, suggesting that spiders cannot recognise kin and may lose inclusive fitness benefits. A field and two laboratory experiments on Diaea ergandros, a social crab spider, demonstrated that younger and older instar D. ergandros do discriminate siblings, but potential benefits were variable and not equally distributed. First, proportional survival was greater in large groups regardless of the within-group relatedness, so accepting immigrants increases probability of group survival (although relatedness was more important among smaller groups). Second, juvenile D. ergandros ate unrelated spiders instead of siblings when starved, so immigrants might represent a food reserve in times of food shortage. Third, subadult resident, sibling females cannibalised unrelated, immigrant females and their brothers instead of immigrant males when starved, suggesting that subadult female spiders may maximise outbreeding opportunities. These benefits provide selective pressure for groups to accept immigrants, but as benefits are realised differentially, conflict and cooperation will exist within spider groups similar to that shown in other group-living taxa.

  1. Spinning a laser web: predicting spider distributions using LiDAR.

    PubMed

    Vierling, K T; Bässler, C; Brandl, R; Vierling, L A; Weiss, I; Müller, J

    2011-03-01

    LiDAR remote sensing has been used to examine relationships between vertebrate diversity and environmental characteristics, but its application to invertebrates has been limited. Our objectives were to determine whether LiDAR-derived variables could be used to accurately describe single-species distributions and community characteristics of spiders in remote forested and mountainous terrain. We collected over 5300 spiders across multiple transects in the Bavarian National Park (Germany) using pitfall traps. We examined spider community characteristics (species richness, the Shannon index, the Simpson index, community composition, mean body size, and abundance) and single-species distribution and abundance with LiDAR variables and ground-based measurements. We used the R2 and partial R2 provided by variance partitioning to evaluate the predictive power of LiDAR-derived variables compared to ground measurements for each of the community characteristics. The total adjusted R2 for species richness, the Shannon index, community species composition, and body size had a range of 25-57%. LiDAR variables and ground measurements both contributed >80% to the total predictive power. For species composition, the explained variance was approximately 32%, which was significantly greater than expected by chance. The predictive power of LiDAR-derived variables was comparable or superior to that of the ground-based variables for examinations of single-species distributions, and it explained up to 55% of the variance. The predictability of species distributions was higher for species that had strong associations with shade in open-forest habitats, and this niche position has been well documented across the European continent for spider species. The similar statistical performance between LiDAR and ground-based measures at our field sites indicated that deriving spider community and species distribution information using LiDAR data can provide not only high predictive power at

  2. A rare finding of mites (Arachnida: Acari: Leeuwenhoekiidae) parasitising a whip spider (Arachnida: Amblypygi: Charinidae).

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Giupponi, Alessandro P L; Hernandes, Fabio A

    2014-04-01

    Twelve larvae of unidentified species of Odontacarus Ewing, 1929 (Acari: Leeuwenhoekiidae) were found parasitising an adult male whip spider Charinus brasilianus Weygoldt (Charinidae) in Santa Teresa, mountainous region of Espirito Santo state, southeastern Brazil. These larvae occurred in the intersegmental membrane of prosoma and legs. This is the first report of ectoparasitic mites infecting a charinid whip spider and the first record of leeuwenhoekiid mites parasitising an invertebrate host. We suggest that future studies are essential to understand the reasons why these events of parasitism are so rare in the order Amblypygi. PMID:24822324

  3. Molecular Architecture and Evolution of a Modular Spider Silk Protein Gene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2000-02-01

    Spider flagelliform silk is one of the most elastic natural materials known. Extensive sequencing of spider silk genes has shown that the exons and introns of the flagelliform gene underwent intragenic concerted evolution. The intron sequences are more homogenized within a species than are the exons. This pattern can be explained by extreme mutation and recombination pressures on the internally repetitive exons. The iterated sequences within exons encode protein structures that are critical to the function of silks. Therefore, attributes that make silks exceptional biomaterials may also hinder the fixation of optimally adapted protein sequences.

  4. Influence of the biogeospatial environment on the distribution of spider communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The maintenance of local biodiversity is an important aspect of the long-term sustainability of agricultural production. Maintaining biodiversity, especially in regards to predator species, promotes natural pest control and many other ecosystem services. Spiders (Araneae) often prey upon common pest...

  5. Spider silk fibers spun from soluble recombinant silk produced in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lazaris, Anthoula; Arcidiacono, Steven; Huang, Yue; Zhou, Jiang-Feng; Duguay, Francois; Chretien, Nathalie; Welsh, Elizabeth A; Soares, Jason W; Karatzas, Costas N

    2002-01-18

    Spider silks are protein-based "biopolymer" filaments or threads secreted by specialized epithelial cells as concentrated soluble precursors of highly repetitive primary sequences. Spider dragline silk is a flexible, lightweight fiber of extraordinary strength and toughness comparable to that of synthetic high-performance fibers. We sought to "biomimic" the process of spider silk production by expressing in mammalian cells the dragline silk genes (ADF-3/MaSpII and MaSpI) of two spider species. We produced soluble recombinant (rc)-dragline silk proteins with molecular masses of 60 to 140 kilodaltons. We demonstrated the wet spinning of silk monofilaments spun from a concentrated aqueous solution of soluble rc-spider silk protein (ADF-3; 60 kilodaltons) under modest shear and coagulation conditions. The spun fibers were water insoluble with a fine diameter (10 to 40 micrometers) and exhibited toughness and modulus values comparable to those of native dragline silks but with lower tenacity. Dope solutions with rc-silk protein concentrations >20% and postspinning draw were necessary to achieve improved mechanical properties of the spun fibers. Fiber properties correlated with finer fiber diameter and increased birefringence. PMID:11799236

  6. The multiple disguises of spiders: web colour and decorations, body colour and movement

    PubMed Central

    Théry, Marc; Casas, Jérôme

    2008-01-01

    Diverse functions have been assigned to the visual appearance of webs, spiders and web decorations, including prey attraction, predator deterrence and camouflage. Here, we review the pertinent literature, focusing on potential camouflage and mimicry. Webs are often difficult to detect in a heterogeneous visual environment. Static and dynamic web distortions are used to escape visual detection by prey, although particular silk may also attract prey. Recent work using physiological models of vision taking into account visual environments rarely supports the hypothesis of spider camouflage by decorations, but most often the prey attraction and predator confusion hypotheses. Similarly, visual modelling shows that spider coloration is effective in attracting prey but not in conveying camouflage. Camouflage through colour change might be used by particular crab spiders to hide from predator or prey on flowers of different coloration. However, results obtained on a non-cryptic crab spider suggest that an alternative function of pigmentation may be to avoid UV photodamage through the transparent cuticle. Numerous species are clearly efficient locomotory mimics of ants, particularly in the eyes of their predators. We close our paper by highlighting gaps in our knowledge. PMID:18990672

  7. Strength and structure of spiders' silks.

    PubMed

    Vollrath, F

    2000-08-01

    Spider silks are composite materials with often complex microstructures. They are spun from liquid crystalline dope using a complicated spinning mechanism which gives the animal considerable control. The material properties of finished silk are modified by the effects of water and other solvents, and spiders make use of this to produce fibres with specific qualities. The surprising sophistication of spider silks and spinning technologies makes it imperative for us to understand both material and manufacturing in nature before embarking on the commercialization of biotechnologically modified silk dope. PMID:11763504

  8. It Was as Big as My Head, I Swear! Biased Spider Size Estimation in Spider Phobia

    PubMed Central

    Vasey, Michael W.; Vilensky, Michael R.; Heath, Jacqueline H.; Harbaugh, Casaundra N.; Buffington, Adam G.; Fazio, Russell H.

    2011-01-01

    The current study tested the association between fear and perception in spider phobic individuals (n = 57) within the context of a treatment outcome study. Participants completed 5 post-treatment Behavioral Approach Tasks (BATs) in which they encountered a live spider and were asked to provide spider size estimates. Consistent with predictions, results indicated that high levels of fear were associated with magnified perception of phobic stimuli. Specifically, we found a significant positive correlation between size estimates and self-reported fear while encountering spiders. Together with previous findings, these results further support the notion that fear is involved in the encoding and processing of perceptual information. PMID:21906909

  9. Biomaterial evolution parallels behavioral innovation in the origin of orb-like spider webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackledge, Todd A.; Kuntner, Matjaž; Marhabaie, Mohammad; Leeper, Thomas C.; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2012-11-01

    Correlated evolution of traits can act synergistically to facilitate organism function. But, what happens when constraints exist on the evolvability of some traits, but not others? The orb web was a key innovation in the origin of >12,000 species of spiders. Orb evolution hinged upon the origin of novel spinning behaviors and innovations in silk material properties. In particular, a new major ampullate spidroin protein (MaSp2) increased silk extensibility and toughness, playing a critical role in how orb webs stop flying insects. Here, we show convergence between pseudo-orb-weaving Fecenia and true orb spiders. As in the origin of true orbs, Fecenia dragline silk improved significantly compared to relatives. But, Fecenia silk lacks the high compliance and extensibility found in true orb spiders, likely due in part to the absence of MaSp2. Our results suggest how constraints limit convergent evolution and provide insight into the evolution of nature's toughest fibers.

  10. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Madurga, R.; Blackledge, T. A.; Perea, B.; Plaza, G. R.; Riekel, C.; Burghammer, M.; Elices, M.; Guinea, G.; Pérez-Rigueiro, J.

    2015-01-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers. PMID:26438975

  11. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Madurga, R; Blackledge, T A; Perea, B; Plaza, G R; Riekel, C; Burghammer, M; Elices, M; Guinea, G; Pérez-Rigueiro, J

    2015-01-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers. PMID:26438975

  12. INSECTICIDE RESISTANCE IN THE GROUND SPIDER, Pardosa sumatrana (THORELL, 1890; ARANEAE: LYCOSIDAE).

    PubMed

    Tahir, Hafiz Muhammad; Khizar, Farva; Naseem, Sajida; Yaqoob, Rabia; Samiullah, Khizar

    2016-09-01

    Elevated levels of insecticides detoxifying enzymes, such as esterases, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), and cytochrome P-450 monooxygenases, act in the resistance mechanisms in insects. In the present study, levels of these enzymes in the insecticide-resistant ground spider Pardosa sumatrana (Thorell, 1890) were compared with a susceptible population (control) of the same species. Standard protocols were used for biochemical estimation of enzymes. The results showed significantly higher levels of nonspecific esterases and monooxygenases in resistant spiders compared to controls. The activity of GSTs was lower in the resistant spiders. Elevated levels of nonspecific esterases and monooxygenases suggest their role in metabolic resistance in P. sumatrana. The reduced levels of total protein contents revealed its possible consumption to meet energy demands. PMID:27312591

  13. Composition and substrate-dependent strength of the silken attachment discs in spiders

    PubMed Central

    Grawe, Ingo; Wolff, Jonas O.; Gorb, Stanislav N.

    2014-01-01

    Araneomorph spiders have evolved different silks with dissimilar material properties, serving different purposes. The two-compound pyriform secretion is used to glue silk threads to substrates or to other threads. It is applied in distinct patterns, called attachment discs. Although ubiquitously found in spider silk applications and hypothesized to be strong and versatile at low material consumption, the performance of attachment discs on different substrates remains unknown. Here, we analyse the detachment forces and fracture mechanics of the attachment discs spun by five different species on three different substrates, by pulling on the upstream part of the attached thread. Results show that although the adhesion of the pyriform glue is heavily affected by the substrate, even on Teflon it is frequently strong enough to hold the spider's weight. As plant surfaces are often difficult to wet, they are hypothesized to be the major driving force for evolution of the pyriform secretion. PMID:25030386

  14. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madurga, R.; Blackledge, T. A.; Perea, B.; Plaza, G. R.; Riekel, C.; Burghammer, M.; Elices, M.; Guinea, G.; Pérez-Rigueiro, J.

    2015-10-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers.

  15. Biomaterial evolution parallels behavioral innovation in the origin of orb-like spider webs

    PubMed Central

    Blackledge, Todd A.; Kuntner, Matjaž; Marhabaie, Mohammad; Leeper, Thomas C.; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2012-01-01

    Correlated evolution of traits can act synergistically to facilitate organism function. But, what happens when constraints exist on the evolvability of some traits, but not others? The orb web was a key innovation in the origin of >12,000 species of spiders. Orb evolution hinged upon the origin of novel spinning behaviors and innovations in silk material properties. In particular, a new major ampullate spidroin protein (MaSp2) increased silk extensibility and toughness, playing a critical role in how orb webs stop flying insects. Here, we show convergence between pseudo-orb-weaving Fecenia and true orb spiders. As in the origin of true orbs, Fecenia dragline silk improved significantly compared to relatives. But, Fecenia silk lacks the high compliance and extensibility found in true orb spiders, likely due in part to the absence of MaSp2. Our results suggest how constraints limit convergent evolution and provide insight into the evolution of nature's toughest fibers. PMID:23150784

  16. [Total upper lip necrosis and loxoscelism caused by violin spider bite].

    PubMed

    Bogdán, Sándor; Barabás, József; Zacher, Gábor; Huszár, Tamás; Velich, Norbert; Szabó, György; Németh, Zsolt

    2005-11-01

    Arthropods and in particular spiders are a common embodiment of our fears, despite the fact that only a few species are dangerous to man. The authors present a case involving severe local and general reactions to a loxosceles (brown recluse spider) bite. They give an overview of the occurrence of loxosceles spiders, the signs and symptoms of envenomation and the therapeutic possibilities. The severe symptoms presenting following loxosceles envenomation is termed loxoscelism. Loxoscelism is characterised by local soft tissue necrosis of varying degree at the site of the sting, and rarely, life-threatening general reactions, such as haemolysis with ensuing anaemia, and renal failure. Therapeutic interventions following loxosceles bites range from dapsone treatment to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but the most promising therapy is the use of the antiserum, commercially available in certain South-American countries where loxosceles bites are common. Treatment of soft tissue necrosis consists of necrectomy and surgical reconstruction following the resolution of the inflammatory symptoms. PMID:16304811

  17. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Saez, Natalie J.; Senff, Sebastian; Jensen, Jonas E.; Er, Sing Yan; Herzig, Volker; Rash, Lachlan D.; King, Glenn F.

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are the most successful venomous animals and the most abundant terrestrial predators. Their remarkable success is due in large part to their ingenious exploitation of silk and the evolution of pharmacologically complex venoms that ensure rapid subjugation of prey. Most spider venoms are dominated by disulfide-rich peptides that typically have high affinity and specificity for particular subtypes of ion channels and receptors. Spider venoms are conservatively predicted to contain more than 10 million bioactive peptides, making them a valuable resource for drug discovery. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against a wide range of pathophysiological conditions including cardiovascular disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and erectile dysfunction. PMID:22069579

  18. Modelling Crop Biocontrol by Wanderer Spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venturino, Ezio; Ghersi, Andrea

    2008-09-01

    We study mathematically the effects some spiders populations have on insects living in and near agroecosystems, where woods and vineyards alternate in the landscape as in the Alta Langa, Piemonte, NW Italy.

  19. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins.

    PubMed

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Spencer, Alan R T; Atwood, Robert C; Vo, Nghia T; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-03-30

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasierigen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian,ca 305-299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian-Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies. PMID:27030415

  20. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins

    PubMed Central

    Garwood, Russell J.; Dunlop, Jason A.; Selden, Paul A.; Spencer, Alan R. T.; Atwood, Robert C.; Vo, Nghia T.; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasieri gen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian, ca 305–299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian–Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri. While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies. PMID:27030415

  1. Molecular diagnostics reveal spiders that exploit prey vibrational signals used in sexual communication.

    PubMed

    Virant-Doberlet, Meta; King, R Andrew; Polajnar, Jernej; Symondson, William O C

    2011-05-01

    Vibrational signalling is a widespread form of animal communication and, in the form of sexual communication, has been generally regarded as inherently short-range and a private communication channel, free from eavesdropping by generalist predators. A combination of fieldwork and laboratory experiments was used to test the hypothesis that predators can intercept and exploit such signals. First, we developed and characterized PCR primers specific for leafhoppers of the genus Aphrodes and specifically for the species Aphrodes makarovi. Spiders were collected from sites where leafhoppers were present and screened with these primers to establish which spider species were significant predators of this species during the mating period of these leafhoppers. Analysis using PCR of the gut contents of tangle-web spiders, Enoplognatha ovata (Theridiidae), showed that they consume leafhoppers in the field at a greater rate when signalling adults were present than when nymphs were dominant, suggesting that the spiders were using these vibrations signals to find their prey. Playback and microcosm experiments then showed that E. ovata can use the vibrational signals of male leafhoppers as a cue during foraging and, as a result, killed significantly more male than female A. makarovi. Our results show, for the first time, that arthropod predators can exploit prey vibrational communication to obtain information about prey availability and use this information to locate and capture prey. This may be a widespread mechanism for prey location, one that is likely to be a major unrecognized driver of evolution in both predators and prey. PMID:21352388

  2. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins

    PubMed Central

    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. PMID:24119078

  3. Spider's web inspires fibres for industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dacey, James

    2010-03-01

    Spiders may not be everybody's idea of natural beauty, but nobody can deny the artistry in the webs that they spin, especially when decorated with water baubles in the morning dew. Inspired by this spectacle, a group of researchers in China has mimicked the structural properties of the spider's web to create a fibre for industry that can manipulate water with the same skill and efficiency, writes James Dacey.

  4. Spinning an elastic ribbon of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Knight, David P; Vollrath, Fritz

    2002-02-28

    The Sicarid spider Loxosceles laeta spins broad but very thin ribbons of elastic silk that it uses to form a retreat and to capture prey. A structural investigation into this spider's silk and spinning apparatus shows that these ribbons are spun from a gland homologous to the major ampullate gland of orb web spiders. The Loxosceles gland is constructed from the same basic parts (separate transverse zones in the gland, a duct and spigot) as other spider silk glands but construction details are highly specialized. These differences are thought to relate to different ways of spinning silk in the two groups of spiders. Loxosceles uses conventional die extrusion, feeding a liquid dope (spinning solution) to the slit-like die to form a flat ribbon, while orb web spiders use an extrusion process in which the silk dope is processed in an elongated duct to produce a cylindrical thread. This is achieved by the combination of an initial internal draw down, well inside the duct, and a final draw down, after the silk has left the spigot. The spinning mechanism in Loxosceles may be more ancestral. PMID:11911779

  5. Venom of the Brazilian Spider Sicarius ornatus (Araneae, Sicariidae) Contains Active Sphingomyelinase D: Potential for Toxicity after Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Priscila Hess; Bertani, Rogério; Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute M.; Nagahama, Roberto H.; van den Berg, Carmen W.; Tambourgi, Denise V.

    2013-01-01

    Background The spider family Sicariidae includes two genera, Sicarius and Loxosceles. Bites by Sicarius are uncommon in humans and, in Brazil, a single report is known of a 17-year old man bitten by a Sicarius species that developed a necrotic lesion similar to that caused by Loxosceles. Envenomation by Loxosceles spiders can result in dermonecrosis and severe ulceration. Sicarius and Loxosceles spider venoms share a common characteristic, i.e., the presence of Sphingomyelinases D (SMase D). We have previously shown that Loxosceles SMase D is the enzyme responsible for the main pathological effects of the venom. Recently, it was demonstrated that Sicarius species from Africa, like Loxosceles spiders from the Americas, present high venom SMase D activity. However, despite the presence of SMase D like proteins in venoms of several New World Sicarius species, they had reduced or no detectable SMase D activity. In order to contribute to a better understanding about the toxicity of New World Sicarius venoms, the aim of this study was to characterize the toxic properties of male and female venoms from the Brazilian Sicarius ornatus spider and compare these with venoms from Loxosceles species of medical importance in Brazil. Methodology/Principal Findings SDS-PAGE analysis showed variations in the composition of Loxosceles spp. and Sicarius ornatus venoms. Differences in the electrophoretic profiles of male and female venoms were also observed, indicating a possible intraspecific variation in the composition of the venom of Sicarius spider. The major component in all tested venoms had a Mr of 32–35 kDa, which was recognized by antiserum raised against Loxosceles SMases D. Moreover, male and female Sicarius ornatus spiders' venoms were able to hydrolyze sphingomyelin, thus showing an enzymatic activity similar to that determined for Loxosceles venoms. Sicarius ornatus venoms, as well as Loxosceles venoms, were able to render erythrocytes susceptible to lysis by

  6. Mites Parasitic on Australasian and African Spiders Found in the Pet Trade; a Redescription of Ljunghia pulleinei Womersley

    PubMed Central

    Masan, Peter; Simpson, Christopher; Perotti, M. Alejandra; Braig, Henk R.

    2012-01-01

    Parasitic mites associated with spiders are spreading world-wide through the trade in tarantulas and other pet species. Ljunghia pulleinei Womersley, a mesostigmatic laelapid mite originally found in association with the mygalomorph spider Selenocosmia stirlingi Hogg (Theraphosidae) in Australia, is redescribed and illustrated on the basis of specimens from the African theraphosid spider Pterinochilus chordatus (Gerstäcker) kept in captivity in the British Isles (Wales). The mite is known from older original descriptions of Womersley in 1956; the subsequent redescription of Domrow in 1975 seems to be questionable in conspecificity of treated specimens with the type material. Some inconsistencies in both descriptions are recognised here as intraspecific variability of the studied specimens. The genus Arachnyssus Ma, with species A. guangxiensis (type) and A. huwenae, is not considered to be a valid genus, and is included in synonymy with Ljunghia Oudemans. A new key to world species of the genus Ljunghia is provided. PMID:22720019

  7. Mites parasitic on Australasian and African spiders found in the pet trade; a redescription of Ljunghia pulleinei Womersley.

    PubMed

    Masan, Peter; Simpson, Christopher; Perotti, M Alejandra; Braig, Henk R

    2012-01-01

    Parasitic mites associated with spiders are spreading world-wide through the trade in tarantulas and other pet species. Ljunghia pulleinei Womersley, a mesostigmatic laelapid mite originally found in association with the mygalomorph spider Selenocosmia stirlingi Hogg (Theraphosidae) in Australia, is redescribed and illustrated on the basis of specimens from the African theraphosid spider Pterinochilus chordatus (Gerstäcker) kept in captivity in the British Isles (Wales). The mite is known from older original descriptions of Womersley in 1956; the subsequent redescription of Domrow in 1975 seems to be questionable in conspecificity of treated specimens with the type material. Some inconsistencies in both descriptions are recognised here as intraspecific variability of the studied specimens. The genus Arachnyssus Ma, with species A. guangxiensis (type) and A. huwenae, is not considered to be a valid genus, and is included in synonymy with Ljunghia Oudemans. A new key to world species of the genus Ljunghia is provided. PMID:22720019

  8. The Effects of Alcohol on Spiders: What Happens to Web Construction after Spiders Consume Alcohol?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cross, Victor E.

    2006-01-01

    In the high school experiment reported in this paper, spiders were provided with 40% ethanol (ETOH) in order to determine the effects of alcohol on the web-spinning ability of orb weaver spiders. It was hypothesized that alcohol would have a deleterious effect on the number of radii, number of cells, and area of cells in the webs of orb weaving…

  9. 36 cases of bites by spiders, including the white-tailed spider, Lampona cylindrata.

    PubMed

    White, J; Hirst, D; Hender, E

    1989-04-01

    Thirty-six cases of bites by spiders are reported; in all cases, the spider was identified. No cases resulted in the formation of local ulcers, in necrosis, or in serious systemic symptoms. Eight bites by Lampona cylindrata, the white-tailed spider, caused a mild sting to sharp pain of short duration, itchiness, erythema, local swelling or a lump, and either no systemic symptoms, or anxiety. Five bites by Badumna insignis, the black house-spider, caused local pain, erythema, swelling, and no systemic symptoms, or anxiety, or chest pain and shortness of breath of mild degree and of short duration. The other spiders to be reported as causing bites were Hadronyche adelaidensis, Misgolas andrewsi, Aganippe subtristis, Olios calligaster, Isopeda pessleri, Eriophora sp., Phonognatha graeffei, Holoplatys sp., Breda jovialis, Opisthoncus sp., Lycosa sp. and Achaearanea tepidariorum. PMID:2783216

  10. A new jumping spider of the genus Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886 from India (Araneae: Salticidae: Aelurillina).

    PubMed

    Caleb, John T D; Mathai, Manu Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The genus Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886 is known from 35 species worldwide, including 27 species from Africa and eight from Asia (four species known from India, one from Iran, one from China, one from Tibet and one from Vietnam) (World Spider Catalog 2016). The four species known from India are S. albus Sebastian et al., 2015, S. jagannathae Das, Malik & Vidhel, 2015, S. lesserti Reimoser, 1934 and S. sarojinae Caleb & Mathai, 2014 (Prószyński 2015; World Spider Catalog 2016). The present paper contains description of Stenaelurillus metallicus sp. nov., discovered from scrub jungle remnants of tropical dry evergreen forests, a unique habitat found in Madras Christian College campus, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. PMID:27394630

  11. New records of spider wasps (Hymenoptera, Pompilidae) from Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Castro-Huertas, Valentina; Pitts, James P.; Rodriguez, Juanita; Cecilia Waichert; Fernández, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Abstract New records of genera and species of spider wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) from Colombia are provided. Agenioideus, Cryptocheilus, Evagetes, Mystacagenia, and Xerochares are newly recorded genera from Colombia. Nineteen species are first recorded from Colombia: Aimatocare vitrea (Fox); Ageniella azteca (Cameron); Ageniella curtipinus (Cameron); Ageniella fallax (Arlé); Ageniella hirsuta Banks; Ageniella pilifrons (Cameron); Ageniella pretiosa Banks; Ageniella sanguinolenta (Smith); Ageniella zeteki (Banks); Agenioideus birkmanni (Banks); Aporus (Aporus) cuzco Evans; Aporus (Cosmiaporus) diverticulus (Fox); Aporus (Notoplaniceps) canescens Smith; Euplaniceps exilis (Banks); Euplaniceps herbertii (Fox); Irenangelus clarus Evans; Mystacagenia bellula Evans; Phanochilus nobilitatus (Smith) and Xerochares expulsus Schulz. The following species and genera have their occurence ranges expanded for South America: Ageniella azteca (Cameron); Ageniella zeteki (Banks); Agenioideus birkmanni (Banks); and Xerochares expulsus Schulz; Cryptocheilus Panzer; and Xerochares Evans. PMID:25349495

  12. Papiliocoelotes gen. n., a new genus of Coelotinae (Araneae, Agelenidae) spiders from the Wuling Mountains, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhe; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    Abstract One new genus of the spider subfamily Coelotinae, Papiliocoelotes gen. n., with five new species is described for both sexes: Papiliocoelotes guanyinensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes guitangensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes jiepingensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes meiyuensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes yezhouensis sp. n. All new species were collected from caves in the Wuling Mountains of Hubei and Hunan Provinces, China. DNA barcodes were obtained for future use. PMID:27199603

  13. Papiliocoelotes gen. n., a new genus of Coelotinae (Araneae, Agelenidae) spiders from the Wuling Mountains, China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhe; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    One new genus of the spider subfamily Coelotinae, Papiliocoelotes gen. n., with five new species is described for both sexes: Papiliocoelotes guanyinensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes guitangensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes jiepingensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes meiyuensis sp. n., Papiliocoelotes yezhouensis sp. n. All new species were collected from caves in the Wuling Mountains of Hubei and Hunan Provinces, China. DNA barcodes were obtained for future use. PMID:27199603

  14. A Parasitoid Wasp Induces Overwintering Behaviour in Its Spider Host

    PubMed Central

    Korenko, Stanislav; Pekár, Stano

    2011-01-01

    Parasites and parasitoids control behaviors of their hosts. However, the origin of the behavior evoked by the parasitic organism has been rarely identified. It is also not known whether the manipulation is universal or host-specific. Polysphinctine wasps, koinobiont ectoparasitoids of several spider species that manipulate host web-spinning activity for their own protection during pupation, provide an ideal system to reveal the origin of the evoked behavior. Larva of Zatypota percontatoria performed species-specific manipulation of theridiid spiders, Neottiura bimaculata and Theridion varians, shortly before pupation. Parasitized N. bimaculata produced a dense web, whereas parasitized T. varians built a cupola-like structure. The larva pupated inside of either the dense web or the cupola-like structure. We discovered that unparasitized N. bimaculata produce an analogous dense web around their eggsacs and for themselves during winter, while T. varians construct an analogous ‘cupola’ only for overwintering. We induced analogous manipulation in unparasitized hosts by altering ambient conditions. We discovered that the behavior evoked by larvae in two hosts was functionally similar. The larva evoked protective behaviors that occur in unparasitized hosts only during specific life-history periods. PMID:21931784

  15. Benefits of cooperation with genetic kin in a subsocial spider.

    PubMed

    Schneider, J M; Bilde, T

    2008-08-01

    Interaction within groups exploiting a common resource may be prone to cheating by selfish actions that result in disadvantages for all members of the group, including the selfish individuals. Kin selection is one mechanism by which such dilemmas can be resolved. This is because selfish acts toward relatives include the cost of lowering indirect fitness benefits that could otherwise be achieved through the propagation of shared genes. Kin selection theory has been proved to be of general importance for the origin of cooperative behaviors, but other driving forces, such as direct fitness benefits, can also promote helping behavior in many cooperatively breeding taxa. Investigating transitional systems is therefore particularly suitable for understanding the influence of kin selection on the initial spread of cooperative behaviors. Here we investigated the role of kinship in cooperative feeding. We used a cross-fostering design to control for genetic relatedness and group membership. Our study animal was the periodic social spider Stegodyphus lineatus, a transitional species that belongs to a genus containing both permanent social and periodic social species. In S. lineatus, the young cooperate in prey capture and feed communally. We provide clear experimental evidence for net benefits of cooperating with kin. Genetic relatedness within groups and not association with familiar individuals directly improved feeding efficiency and growth rates, demonstrating a positive effect of kin cooperation. Hence, in communally feeding spiders, nepotism favors group retention and reduces the conflict between selfish interests and the interests of the group. PMID:18658236

  16. Crypsis via leg clustering: twig masquerading in a spider

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shichang; Mao, Kuei-Kai; Lin, Po-Ting; Ho, Chiu-Ju; Hung, Wei; Piorkowski, Dakota; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tso, I-Min

    2015-01-01

    The role of background matching in camouflage has been extensively studied. However, contour modification has received far less attention, especially in twig-mimicking species. Here, we studied this deceptive strategy by revealing a special masquerade tactic, in which the animals protract and cluster their legs linearly in the same axis with their bodies when resting, using the spider Ariamnes cylindrogaster as a model. We used cardboard papers to construct dummies resembling spiders in appearance and colour. To differentiate the most important factors in the concealment effect, we manipulated body size (long or short abdomen) and resting postures (leg clustered or spread) of the dummies and recorded the responses of predators to different dummy types in the field. The results showed that dummies with clustered legs received significantly less attention from predators, regardless of the body length. Thus, we conclude that A. cylindrogaster relies on the resting posture rather than body size for predator avoidance. This study provides, to the best of our knowledge, empirical evidence for the first time that twig-mimicking species can achieve effective camouflage by contour modification. PMID:26064622

  17. Crypsis via leg clustering: twig masquerading in a spider.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shichang; Mao, Kuei-Kai; Lin, Po-Ting; Ho, Chiu-Ju; Hung, Wei; Piorkowski, Dakota; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tso, I-Min

    2015-03-01

    The role of background matching in camouflage has been extensively studied. However, contour modification has received far less attention, especially in twig-mimicking species. Here, we studied this deceptive strategy by revealing a special masquerade tactic, in which the animals protract and cluster their legs linearly in the same axis with their bodies when resting, using the spider Ariamnes cylindrogaster as a model. We used cardboard papers to construct dummies resembling spiders in appearance and colour. To differentiate the most important factors in the concealment effect, we manipulated body size (long or short abdomen) and resting postures (leg clustered or spread) of the dummies and recorded the responses of predators to different dummy types in the field. The results showed that dummies with clustered legs received significantly less attention from predators, regardless of the body length. Thus, we conclude that A. cylindrogaster relies on the resting posture rather than body size for predator avoidance. This study provides, to the best of our knowledge, empirical evidence for the first time that twig-mimicking species can achieve effective camouflage by contour modification. PMID:26064622

  18. A 4-year study of invasive and native spider populations in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jakob, Elizabeth M.; Porter, Adam H.; Ginsberg, Howard; Bednarski, Julie V.; Houser, Jeremy

    2011-01-01

    Invasive spiders pose potential threats to native spiders. In 2002, the European spider Linyphia triangularis (Clerck, 1757) (Araneae: Linyphiidae) was discovered in all but one county in Maine. At Acadia National Park, we conducted a 4-year study of L. triangularis and three native linyphiid species of a similar size (Frontinella communis (Hentz, 1850), Pityohyphantes subarcticus Chamberlin and Ivie, 1943, and Neriene radiata (Walckenaer, 1842)). Using line-transect surveys, we measured population densities in coastal and forest habitat. The density of L. triangularis varied across years but was always significantly higher on the coast than in the forest. In contrast, only one native species was present on the coast and at very low numbers. Coastal L. triangularis were larger and in better condition than those in the forest, and numbers and biomass of insect prey were also higher on the coast. In 2 years, we also conducted transects at a second coastal location in Maine where the invader was at low density. At that site, native densities were substantially higher than at either Acadia site. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that L. triangularis is reducing populations of native spiders. Companion studies suggest that L. triangularis negatively impacts natives by usurping both web sites and webs.

  19. Multiple techniques confirm elevational differences in insect size that may influence spider sociality.

    PubMed

    Guevara, Jennifer; Avilés, Leticia

    2007-08-01

    Social and subsocial spiders of the genus Anelosimus exhibit an altitudinal pattern in their geographic distribution at tropical latitudes in the Americas. Social species, which capture prey cooperatively, occur primarily in the lowland rain forest and are absent from higher elevations, whereas subsocial species are common at higher elevations but absent from the lowland rain forest. Previous studies have suggested that differences in the size of potential insect prey along altitudinal gradients may explain this pattern as insects were found to be, on average, larger in lowland rain forests than at higher elevations. These studies, however, may have under-sampled the insect size composition of each habitat because only one sampling technique was used. Using a number of collection methods we sampled the insect size composition in the environments of social and subsocial spiders in this genus. We found that the average insect size in lowland rain forest habitats was indeed larger than at high-elevation cloud forests in eastern Ecuador. We also found that, even though the various techniques differed in the size of the insects they captured (visual searching and blacklighting yielding larger insects than beating, sweeping, or malaise trapping), they all caught, on average, larger insects in the lowlands. Overall, spider colonies in the lowlands caught larger prey than did spider colonies at higher elevations, paralleling differences in insect size distribution obtained by the various techniques in their respective environments. PMID:17824433

  20. A case of spider phobia in a congenitally blind person.

    PubMed

    Musial, Frauke; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana; Sülzenbrück, Sandra; Miltner, Wolfgang H R

    2007-09-30

    Vision is the key sensory system in humans, leading to the implicit assumption that the acquisition of spider phobia is predominantly mediated through the visual pathway. We report on a congenitally blind person with spider phobia, showing that the acquisition of spider phobia does not necessarily depend on visual cues. PMID:17597227

  1. Spider diffraction: a comparison of curved and straight legs

    SciTech Connect

    Richter, J.L.

    1984-06-15

    It has been known for some time that, if curved legs rather than the usual straight ones are used in the spider that supports the secondary optics in certain telescopes, the visible diffraction effect is reduced. Fraunhofer theory is used to calculate the diffraction effects due to the curved leg spider. Calculated and photographic diffraction patterns are compared for straight and curved leg spiders.

  2. SPIDER: Next Generation Chip Scale Imaging Sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Alan; Kendrick, Rick; Thurman, Sam; Wuchenich, Danielle; Scott, Ryan P.; Yoo, S. J. B.; Su, Tiehui; Yu, Runxiang; Ogden, Chad; Proiett, Roberto

    The LM Advanced Technology Center and UC Davis are developing an Electro-Optical (EO) imaging sensor called SPIDER (Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-optical Reconnaissance) that provides a 10x to 100x size, weight, and power (SWaP) reduction alternative to the traditional bulky optical telescope and focal plane detector array. The substantial reductions in SWaP would reduce cost and/or provide higher resolution by enabling a larger aperture imager in a constrained volume. The SPIDER concept consists of thousands of direct detection white-light interferometers densely packed onto Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) to measure the amplitude and phase of the visibility function at spatial frequencies that span the full synthetic aperture. In other words, SPIDER would sample the object being imaged in the Fourier domain (i.e., spatial frequency domain), and then digitally reconstruct an image. The conventional approach for imaging interferometers requires complex mechanical delay lines to form the interference fringes. This results in designs that are not traceable to more than a few simultaneous spatial frequency measurements. SPIDER seeks to achieve this traceability by employing micron-=scale optical waveguides and nanophotonic structures fabricated on a PIC with micron-scale packing density to form the necessary interferometers. Prior LM IRAD and DARPA/NASA CRAD-funded SPIDER risk reduction experiments, design trades, and simulations have matured the SPIDER imager concept to a TRL 3 level. Current funding under the DARPA SPIDER Zoom program is maturing the underlying PIC technology for SPIDER to the TRL 4 level. This is done by developing and fabricating a second-generation PIC that is fully traceable to the multiple layers and low-power phase modulators required for higher-dimension waveguide arrays that are needed for higher field-of-view sensors. Our project also seeks to extend the SPIDER concept to add a zoom capability that would provide

  3. Remembering the Object You Fear: Brain Potentials during Recognition of Spiders in Spider-Fearful Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M.; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O.

    2014-01-01

    In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery. PMID:25296032

  4. Remembering the object you fear: brain potentials during recognition of spiders in spider-fearful individuals.

    PubMed

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O

    2014-01-01

    In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery. PMID:25296032

  5. Optics of spider "sticky" orb webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Deb M.; Staib, Gregory R.; Naidoo, Nishen; Little, Douglas J.; Herberstein, Marie E.

    2011-04-01

    Spider orb webs are known to produce colour displays in nature, both in reflection and transmission of sunlight, under certain illumination conditions. The cause of these colours has been the subject of speculation since the time of Newton. It has also been the topic of observational interpretation and some experiment which has proposed diffraction by the fine silks, scattering from rough/structured surfaces and thin film effects as the primary causes. We report systematic studies carried out using the silks of Australian orb web weaving spiders. Studies of both white light and laser light scattering/propagation by natural spider silks have definitively determined the primary cause of the colour displays is rainbows that can be understood by the application of geometric optics combined with new knowledge of the optical properties of the spider web strands, silks, and proteins as optical materials. Additionally, a range of microscopies (optical, AFM, optical surface profiling) show the silks to be optically flat. Overall, spider silks emerge as fascinating optical materials with high dispersion, high birefringence and the potential for future research to show they have high nonlinear optical coefficients. Their importance as a bioinspiration in optics is only just beginning to be realised. Their special optical properties have been achieved by ~136 million years of evolution driven by the need for the web to evade detection by insect prey.

  6. The elaborate structure of spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Römer, Lin

    2008-01-01

    Biomaterials, having evolved over millions of years, often exceed man-made materials in their properties. Spider silk is one outstanding fibrous biomaterial which consists almost entirely of large proteins. Silk fibers have tensile strengths comparable to steel and some silks are nearly as elastic as rubber on a weight to weight basis. In combining these two properties, silks reveal a toughness that is two to three times that of synthetic fibers like Nylon or Kevlar. Spider silk is also antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and completely biodegradable. This article focuses on the structure-function relationship of the characterized highly repetitive spider silk spidroins and their conformational conversion from solution into fibers. Such knowedge is of crucial importance to understanding the intrinsic properties of spider silk and to get insight into the sophisticated assembly processes of silk proteins. This review further outlines recent progress in recombinant production of spider silk proteins and their assembly into distinct polymer materials as a basis for novel products. PMID:19221522

  7. Exploring the shock response of spider webs.

    PubMed

    Tietsch, V; Alencastre, J; Witte, H; Torres, F G

    2016-03-01

    Spider orb-webs are designed to allow for quick energy absorption as well as the constraint of drastic oscillations occurring upon prey impact. Studies on spider silk illustrate its impressive mechanical properties and its capacity to be used as technical fibers in composite materials. Models have previously been used to study the mechanical properties of different silk fibers, but not the behavior of the spider web as a whole. Full spider webs have been impacted by a projectile and the transverse displacement was measured by means of a laser interferometer. The damping and stiffness of the entire webs were quantified considering the orb-web as a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) system. The amplitude, the period duration, and the energy dissipation of the oscillations have also been reported from the experiments. The analysis of the energy dissipation confirmed that the webs of orb-web spiders are optimized for the capture of a single or few large prey, rather than several small prey. The experiments also confirmed that the overall stiffness of the web displayed a non-linear behavior. Such non-linearity was also observed in the damping characteristics of the webs studied. PMID:26651062

  8. Flee or fight: ontogenetic changes in the behavior of cobweb spiders in encounters with spider-hunting wasps.

    PubMed

    Uma, Divya B; Weiss, Martha R

    2012-12-01

    An animal's body size plays a predominant role in shaping its interspecific interactions, and, in encounters between two predators, often determines which shall be predator and which shall be prey. Spiders are top predators of insects, yet can fall prey to mud-dauber wasps that provision their larval nests with paralyzed spiders. Here we examined predator-prey interactions between Chalybion californicum (Saussure) (Sphecidae), a mud-dauber wasp, and Parasteatoda tepidariorum C. L. Koch (Theridiidae), a cobweb spider. We examined whether a spider's size influences its response to an attacking wasp, and report a size-dependent change in spider behavior: small-sized spiders fled, whereas medium- and large-sized spiders fought in response to wasp attacks. From the wasps' perspective, we examined whether spider size influences a wasp's hunting behavior and capture success. We found that wasps commonly approached small spiders, but were much less likely to approach medium and large spiders. However, wasp capture success did not vary with spider size. We also report a strategy used by Chalybion wasps toward cobweb spiders that is consistent with an interpretation of aggressive mimicry. PMID:23321095

  9. Pupil Size in Spider Eyes Is Linked to Post-Ecdysal Lens Growth

    PubMed Central

    Fenk, Lisa M.; Heidlmayr, Karin; Lindner, Philipp; Schmid, Axel

    2010-01-01

    In this study we describe a distinctive pigment ring that appears in spider eyes after ecdysis and successively decreases in size in the days thereafter. Although pigment stops in spider eyes are well known, size variability is, to our knowledge, reported here for the first time. Representative species from three families (Ctenidae, Sparassidae and Lycosidae) are investigated and, for one of these species (Cupiennius salei, Ctenidae), the progressive increase in pupil diameter is monitored. In this species the pupil occupies only a fourth of the total projected lens surface after ecdysis and reaches its final size after approximately ten days. MicroCT images suggest that the decrease of the pigment ring is linked to the growth of the corneal lens after ecdysis. The pigment rings might improve vision in the immature eye by shielding light rays that would otherwise enter the eye via peripheral regions of the cornea, beside the growing crystalline lens. PMID:21209876

  10. Four new species of the spider genus Nesticella Lehtinen & Saaristo, 1980 from Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and the first description of the male of Nesticella yui Wunderlich & Song, 1995 with a proposed new diagnostic character for the family Nesticidae Simon, 1894 (Arachnida, Araneae).

    PubMed

    Grall, Elena; Jäger, Peter

    2016-01-01

    During various expeditions to Laos between 2003 and 2012 and one expedition to Myanmar in 2014, spiders of the family Nesticidae were collected inside and outside of caves. This was the first time this family was encountered in Laos. All specimens belong to the genus Nesticella Lehtinen & Saaristo, 1980. Four species have been recognized as being new to science, which are described in this paper: Nesticella beccus n. sp. (male, female; LAOS: Bolikhamsay Province, Luang Prabang Province, Huaphan Province, Khammouan Province, THAILAND: Mae Hong Son Province), Nesticella laotica n. sp. (male, female; LAOS: Vientiane Province, Huaphan Province, Luang Prabang Province, Bolikhamsay Province), Nesticella foelixi n. sp. (male; LAOS: Bolikhamsay Province) and Nesticella michaliki n. sp. (male, female; MYANMAR: Chin State). The male of Nesticella yui Wunderlich & Song, 1995 is described for the first time and it is the first record for Laos. Results from a first micro-computed tomography analysis of a female copulatory organ for this genus are provided. This analysis proves that female Nesticella exhibit a complex functional receptaculum, which is highly complex within the genus. The presence of a special type of leg setae (pipette setae) in males is proposed as diagnostic for the family Nesticidae. PMID:27394301

  11. [Effect of spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) as predators of insect pest in alfalfa crops (Medicago sativa) (Fabaceae) in Argentina].

    PubMed

    Armendano, Andrea; González, Alda

    2011-12-01

    Spiders are predators that reduce insect pest populations in agroecosystems. Trials were conducted to measure the selectivity against different insect preys, the daily consumption, effect of predators alone and together with a known number of preys, and the indirect effect of predators on vegetation. For this, experimental units (1 x 1m) were used covered with a fine plastic mesh. Misumenops pallidus, Oxyopes salticus and Araneus sp. were used as generalist predators, and aphids, weevils, locusts, chrysomelids and Lepidoptera larvae as their potential preys. Among the preys offered, the spiders preferred Lepidoptera larvae compared to the other two pests groups (weevils and aphids). The maximum consumption rate was of 93.33% for Lepidoptera larvae, 25.33% for aphids and 11.67% for weevils. The Q Index values for the three species of spiders showed a positive selectivity only for defoliating larvae. O. salticus showed the highest values of consumption rates while Rachiplusia nu was the most consumed. The maximum value of consumption in 24 hours was showed by O. salticus on R. nu (C) = 2.8. The association of several species of predatory spiders increased the total number of insects captured, and also showed that the addition of spiders caused a decrease in the number of leaves damaged by the effect of lepidopterous larvae. PMID:22208081

  12. Spider Invasion Across the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hui, Chung-Yue

    2014-06-01

    The nature of the exotic stellar corpses which reincarnate by consuming their companion is reviewed. Apart from sucking life from their partners, they are actually eating the doomed companions away by their deadly and powerful particle/radiation beams. Such situation resembles that a female ¡°black widow¡± spider that eats its mate after mating. These celestial zombies are called - Millisecond pulsars (MSPs). In this review article, I will focus on the effort of Fermi Asian Network (FAN) in exploring these intricating objects over the last five years. Two special classes of MSPs are particularly striking. Since Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has started surveying the gamma?ray sky, the population of ¡°black widows¡± has been boosted. Another dramatic class is so-called ¡°redbacks¡± (Australian cousin of ¡°black widows¡±) which has just emerged in the last few years. These MSPs provide us with a long-sought missing link in understanding the transition between accretion-powered and rotation-powered systems. The strategy of hunting MSPs through mulitwavelength observations of the unidentified Fermi objects is also reviewed.

  13. Latarcins: versatile spider venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Dubovskii, Peter V; Vassilevski, Alexander A; Kozlov, Sergey A; Feofanov, Alexey V; Grishin, Eugene V; Efremov, Roman G

    2015-12-01

    Arthropod venoms feature the presence of cytolytic peptides believed to act synergetically with neurotoxins to paralyze prey or deter aggressors. Many of them are linear, i.e., lack disulfide bonds. When isolated from the venom, or obtained by other means, these peptides exhibit common properties. They are cationic; being mostly disordered in aqueous solution, assume amphiphilic α-helical structure in contact with lipid membranes; and exhibit general cytotoxicity, including antifungal, antimicrobial, hemolytic, and anticancer activities. To suit the pharmacological needs, the activity spectrum of these peptides should be modified by rational engineering. As an example, we provide a detailed review on latarcins (Ltc), linear cytolytic peptides from Lachesana tarabaevi spider venom. Diverse experimental and computational techniques were used to investigate the spatial structure of Ltc in membrane-mimicking environments and their effects on model lipid bilayers. The antibacterial activity of Ltc was studied against a panel of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, the action of Ltc on erythrocytes and cancer cells was investigated in detail with confocal laser scanning microscopy. In the present review, we give a critical account of the progress in the research of Ltc. We explore the relationship between Ltc structure and their biological activity and derive molecular characteristics, which can be used for optimization of other linear peptides. Current applications of Ltc and prospective use of similar membrane-active peptides are outlined. PMID:26286896

  14. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-11-01

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 102-3 rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  15. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2−3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  16. Traditions in Spider Monkeys Are Biased towards the Social Domain

    PubMed Central

    Santorelli, Claire J.; Schaffner, Colleen M.; Campbell, Christina J.; Notman, Hugh; Pavelka, Mary S.; Weghorst, Jennifer A.; Aureli, Filippo

    2011-01-01

    Cross-site comparison studies of behavioral variation can provide evidence for traditions in wild species once ecological and genetic factors are excluded as causes for cross-site differences. These studies ensure behavior variants are considered within the context of a species' ecology and evolutionary adaptations. We examined wide-scale geographic variation in the behavior of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) across five long-term field sites in Central America using a well established ethnographic cross-site survey method. Spider monkeys possess a relatively rare social system with a high degree of fission-fusion dynamics, also typical of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens). From the initial 62 behaviors surveyed 65% failed to meet the necessary criteria for traditions. The remaining 22 behaviors showed cross-site variation in occurrence ranging from absent through to customary, representing to our knowledge, the first documented cases of traditions in this taxon and only the second case of multiple traditions in a New World monkey species. Of the 22 behavioral variants recorded across all sites, on average 57% occurred in the social domain, 19% in food-related domains and 24% in other domains. This social bias contrasts with the food-related bias reported in great ape cross-site comparison studies and has implications for the evolution of human culture. No pattern of geographical radiation was found in relation to distance across sites. Our findings promote A. geoffroyi as a model species to investigate traditions with field and captive based experiments and emphasize the importance of the social domain for the study of animal traditions. PMID:21373196

  17. Low genetic diversity and strong but shallow population differentiation suggests genetic homogenization by metapopulation dynamics in a social spider.

    PubMed

    Settepani, V; Bechsgaard, J; Bilde, T

    2014-12-01

    Mating systems and population dynamics influence genetic diversity and structure. Species that experience inbreeding and limited gene flow are expected to evolve isolated, divergent genetic lineages. Metapopulation dynamics with frequent extinctions and colonizations may, on the other hand, deplete and homogenize genetic variation, if extinction rate is sufficiently high compared to the effect of drift in local demes. We investigated these theoretical predictions empirically in social spiders that are highly inbred. Social spiders show intranest mating, female-biased sex ratio, and frequent extinction and colonization events, factors that deplete genetic diversity within nests and populations and limit gene flow. We characterized population genetic structure in Stegodyphus sarasinorum, a social spider distributed across the Indian subcontinent. Species-wide genetic diversity was estimated over approximately 2800 km from Sri Lanka to Himalayas, by sequencing 16 protein-coding nuclear loci. We found 13 SNPs in 6592 bp (π = 0.00045) indicating low species-wide nucleotide diversity. Three genetic lineages were strongly differentiated; however, only one fixed difference among them suggests recent divergence. This is consistent with a scenario of metapopulation dynamics that homogenizes genetic diversity across the species' range. Ultimately, low standing genetic variation may hamper a species' ability to track environmental change and render social inbreeding spiders 'evolutionary dead-ends'. PMID:25348843

  18. Coincidental intraguild predation by caterpillars on spider mites.

    PubMed

    Shirotsuka, Kanako; Yano, Shuichi

    2012-01-29

    Intraguild predation (IGP) is defined as the killing and eating of prey species by a predator that also can utilize the resources of the prey. It is mainly reported among carnivores that share common herbivorous prey. However, a large chewing herbivore could prey upon sedentary and/or micro herbivores in addition to utilizing a host plant. To investigate such coincidental IGP, we observed the behavioral responses of the polyphagous mite Tetranychus kanzawai Kishida (Acari: Tetranychidae) when its host plant Cayratia japonica (Thunb.) Gagnep. (Vitaceae) was attacked by hornworms, Theretra japonica Boisduval (Sphingidae) and T. oldenlandiae Fabricius (Sphingidae). We also examined an interaction between the oligophagous mite Panonychus citri McGregor (Acari: Tetranychidae) and caterpillars of the swallowtail Papilio xuthus L. (Papilionidae) that share citrus plants as their main food source. Although all T. kanzawai and some active stage P. citri tried to escape from the coincidental IGP, some were consumed together with eggs, quiescent mites, and host plant leaves, suggesting that coincidental IGP occurs on spider mites in the wild. Moreover, neither hornworms nor swallowtail caterpillars distinguished between spider mite-infested and uninfested leaves, suggesting that the mite-infested leaves do not discourage caterpillar feeding. The reasons that the mites have no effective defense against coincidental IGP other than escaping are discussed. PMID:22286142

  19. ‘Natural experiment’ Demonstrates Top-Down Control of Spiders by Birds on a Landscape Level

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Haldre; Hille Ris Lambers, Janneke; Miller, Ross; Tewksbury, Joshua J.

    2012-01-01

    The combination of small-scale manipulative experiments and large-scale natural experiments provides a powerful approach for demonstrating the importance of top-down trophic control on the ecosystem scale. The most compelling natural experiments have come from studies examining the landscape-scale loss of apex predators like sea otters, wolves, fish and land crabs. Birds are dominant apex predators in terrestrial systems around the world, yet all studies on their role as predators have come from small-scale experiments; the top-down impact of bird loss on their arthropod prey has yet to be examined at a landscape scale. Here, we use a unique natural experiment, the extirpation of insectivorous birds from nearly all forests on the island of Guam by the invasive brown tree snake, to produce the first assessment of the impacts of bird loss on their prey. We focused on spiders because experimental studies showed a consistent top-down effect of birds on spiders. We conducted spider web surveys in native forest on Guam and three nearby islands with healthy bird populations. Spider web densities on the island of Guam were 40 times greater than densities on islands with birds during the wet season, and 2.3 times greater during the dry season. These results confirm the general trend from manipulative experiments conducted in other systems however, the effect size was much greater in this natural experiment than in most manipulative experiments. In addition, bird loss appears to have removed the seasonality of spider webs and led to larger webs in at least one spider species in the forests of Guam than on nearby islands with birds. We discuss several possible mechanisms for the observed changes. Overall, our results suggest that effect sizes from smaller-scale experimental studies may significantly underestimate the impact of bird loss on spider density as demonstrated by this large-scale natural experiment. PMID:22970126

  20. Colouration in crab spiders: substrate choice and prey attraction.

    PubMed

    Heiling, Astrid M; Chittka, Lars; Cheng, Ken; Herberstein, Marie E

    2005-05-01

    Australian crab spiders Thomisus spectabilis ambush pollinating insects, such as honeybees (Apis mellifera) on flowers, and can change their body colour between yellow and white. It is traditionally assumed that the spiders change their colour to match the flower colour, thus rendering them cryptic to insect prey. Here, we test this assumption combining state-of-the-art knowledge of bee vision and behavioural experiments. In the field, yellow spiders are only found on yellow daisies (Chrysanthemum frutescens), whereas white spiders are found on yellow and white daisies. These field patterns were confirmed in the laboratory. When given the choice between white and yellow daisies, yellow spiders preferred yellow daisies, whereas white spiders showed only a slight but non-significant preference for white flowers. Thus, T. spectabilis select background colours according to their own body colour. When viewed from a distance, bees use an achromatic signal produced by their green receptors for target detection. Through this visual channel, white spiders on white flowers, and yellow spiders on yellow flowers are virtually undetectable. From a closer distance of a few centimetres, when bees evaluate colour contrast, the combination of spider colour against different flower backgrounds affected the response of honeybees, but not in ways predicted by a classical crypsis/conspicuousness interpretation. Yellow spiders on yellow flowers are not perfectly matched when interpreted through the colour vision of a honeybee. Nevertheless, honeybees showed indifference to the presence of a spider, equally landing on vacant or spider-occupied flowers. Likewise, white spiders are poorly hidden on white flowers, as white spiders reflect ultraviolet light strongly, while white flowers do not. Surprisingly, bees are attracted to this contrast, and significantly more honeybees preferred white flowers occupied by white spiders. White spiders on yellow flowers produce the highest colour

  1. Impact of Canopy Openness on Spider Communities: Implications for Conservation Management of Formerly Coppiced Oak Forests.

    PubMed

    Košulič, Ondřej; Michalko, Radek; Hula, Vladimír

    2016-01-01

    Traditional woodland management created a mosaic of differently aged patches providing favorable conditions for a variety of arthropods. After abandonment of historical ownership patterns and traditional management and the deliberate transformation to high forest after World War II, large forest areas became darker and more homogeneous. This had significant negative consequences for biodiversity. An important question is whether even small-scale habitat structures maintained by different levels of canopy openness in abandoned coppiced forest may constitute conditions suitable for forest as well as open habitat specialists. We investigated the effect of canopy openness in former traditionally coppiced woodlands on the species richness, functional diversity, activity density, conservation value, and degree of rareness of epigeic spiders. In each of the eight studied locations, 60-m-long transect was established consisting of five pitfall traps placed at regular 15 m intervals along the gradient. Spiders were collected from May to July 2012. We recorded 90 spider species, including high proportions of xeric specialists (40%) and red-listed threatened species (26%). The peaks of conservation indicators, as well as spider community abundance, were shifted toward more open canopies. On the other hand, functional diversity peaked at more closed canopies followed by a rapid decrease with increasing canopy openness. Species richness was highest in the middle of the canopy openness gradient, suggesting an ecotone effect. Ordinations revealed that species of conservation concern tended to be associated with sparse and partly opened canopy. The results show that the various components of biodiversity peaked at different levels of canopy openness. Therefore, the restoration and suitable forest management of such conditions will retain important diversification of habitats in formerly coppiced oak forest stands. We indicate that permanent presence of small-scale improvements

  2. Impact of Canopy Openness on Spider Communities: Implications for Conservation Management of Formerly Coppiced Oak Forests

    PubMed Central

    Košulič, Ondřej; Michalko, Radek; Hula, Vladimír

    2016-01-01

    Traditional woodland management created a mosaic of differently aged patches providing favorable conditions for a variety of arthropods. After abandonment of historical ownership patterns and traditional management and the deliberate transformation to high forest after World War II, large forest areas became darker and more homogeneous. This had significant negative consequences for biodiversity. An important question is whether even small-scale habitat structures maintained by different levels of canopy openness in abandoned coppiced forest may constitute conditions suitable for forest as well as open habitat specialists. We investigated the effect of canopy openness in former traditionally coppiced woodlands on the species richness, functional diversity, activity density, conservation value, and degree of rareness of epigeic spiders. In each of the eight studied locations, 60-m-long transect was established consisting of five pitfall traps placed at regular 15 m intervals along the gradient. Spiders were collected from May to July 2012. We recorded 90 spider species, including high proportions of xeric specialists (40%) and red-listed threatened species (26%). The peaks of conservation indicators, as well as spider community abundance, were shifted toward more open canopies. On the other hand, functional diversity peaked at more closed canopies followed by a rapid decrease with increasing canopy openness. Species richness was highest in the middle of the canopy openness gradient, suggesting an ecotone effect. Ordinations revealed that species of conservation concern tended to be associated with sparse and partly opened canopy. The results show that the various components of biodiversity peaked at different levels of canopy openness. Therefore, the restoration and suitable forest management of such conditions will retain important diversification of habitats in formerly coppiced oak forest stands. We indicate that permanent presence of small-scale improvements

  3. Patterns of mineral lick visitation by spider monkeys and howler monkeys in Amazonia: are licks perceived as risky areas?

    PubMed

    Link, Andres; Galvis, Nelson; Fleming, Erin; Di Fiore, Anthony

    2011-04-01

    Mineral licks--also known as "salados," "saladeros," or "collpas"--are specific sites in tropical and temperate ecosystems where a large diversity of mammals and birds come regularly to feed on soil. Although the reasons for vertebrate geophagy are not completely understood, animals are argued to obtain a variety of nutritional and health benefits from the ingestion of soil at mineral licks. We studied the temporal patterns of mineral lick use by white-bellied spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth) and red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) in a lowland rain forest in Amazonian Ecuador. Using camera and video traps at four different mineral licks, combined with behavioral follows of one group of spider monkeys, we documented rates of mineral lick visitation by both primate species and the relative frequency and intensity of mineral lick use by spider monkeys. On the basis of 1,612 days and 888 nights of mineral lick monitoring, we found that A. belzebuth and A. seniculus both visit mineral licks frequently throughout the year (on average ∼14% of days for both species), and mineral lick visitation was influenced by short-term environmental conditions (e.g. sunny and dry weather). For spider monkeys, the area surrounding the lick was also the most frequently and most intensively used region within the group's home range. The fact that spider monkeys spent long periods at the lick area before coming to the ground to obtain soil, and the fact that both species visited the lick preferentially during dry sunny conditions (when predator detectability is presumed to be relatively high) and visited simultaneously more often than expected by chance, together suggest that licks are indeed perceived as risky areas by these primates. We suggest that howler and spider monkeys employ behavioral strategies aimed at minimizing the probability of predation while visiting the forest floor at risky mineral lick sites. PMID:21328597

  4. First Record of the Mediterranean Recluse Spider Loxosceles rufescens (Araneae: Sicariidae) from Iran.

    PubMed

    Zamani, Alireza; Rafinejad, Javad

    2014-12-01

    Loxosceles rufescens, commonly known as the Mediterranean Recluse or Mediterranean Fiddle-Back Spider is recorded from Iran for the first time. The genus Loxosceles contains 103 accepted species, two of them (including L. rufescens) are cosmopolitan. All Loxosceles species tested so far possess necrotic venoms, which is a unique characteristic among the Order Araneae. Considering this characteristic, it is of medical importance to determine a specific geographical distribution of these spiders. Collecting methods include visual inspection and direct hand collecting. All of the specimens were collected in Tehran. Six specimens of both sexes were collected from parks, houses and apartments. The characteristics of the genus, which are the unique arrangement of six eyes in three diads, the violin shaped mark on the cephalothorax, and the short tibia of adult male palpi with narrow base and it's embolus which is about as long as the width of the globular bulb were observed and recorded. Having the cytotoxicity of the venom and its urban distribution in mind, L. rufescens is probably among the more important spider species of Iran. Since there are no reports of loxoscelism from Iran, we assume that the bites are either infrequent or misdiagnosed. Therefore further studies are needed to clarify the medical importance degree of this species. PMID:26114138

  5. First Record of the Mediterranean Recluse Spider Loxosceles rufescens (Araneae: Sicariidae) from Iran

    PubMed Central

    Zamani, Alireza; Rafinejad, Javad

    2014-01-01

    Loxosceles rufescens, commonly known as the Mediterranean Recluse or Mediterranean Fiddle-Back Spider is recorded from Iran for the first time. The genus Loxosceles contains 103 accepted species, two of them (including L. rufescens) are cosmopolitan. All Loxosceles species tested so far possess necrotic venoms, which is a unique characteristic among the Order Araneae. Considering this characteristic, it is of medical importance to determine a specific geographical distribution of these spiders. Collecting methods include visual inspection and direct hand collecting. All of the specimens were collected in Tehran. Six specimens of both sexes were collected from parks, houses and apartments. The characteristics of the genus, which are the unique arrangement of six eyes in three diads, the violin shaped mark on the cephalothorax, and the short tibia of adult male palpi with narrow base and it’s embolus which is about as long as the width of the globular bulb were observed and recorded. Having the cytotoxicity of the venom and its urban distribution in mind, L. rufescens is probably among the more important spider species of Iran. Since there are no reports of loxoscelism from Iran, we assume that the bites are either infrequent or misdiagnosed. Therefore further studies are needed to clarify the medical importance degree of this species. PMID:26114138

  6. Refugia preferences by the spiders Loxosceles reclusa and Loxosceles laeta (Araneae: Sicariidae).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2008-01-01

    A variety of refugia were offered to different instars of brown recluse spiders, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik, and a South American recluse spider, L. laeta (Nicolet), to determine whether they preferred certain types of refugia spaces. Variables included (1) crevice widths ranging from 3.2 to 21 mm, (2) horizontal and vertical orientations, and (3) new refugia or refugia that had silk deposited by a previous conspecific resident. An additional 30-d assay with similar-sized refugia studied each species' propensity for site fidelity or movement among refugia. L. reclusa preferred crevice widths > or = 9 mm with no correlation of body size to crevice width, whereas L. laeta preferred crevice sizes > or = 6.4 mm with a marginally significant correlation between crevice width and body size. Both species preferred (1) vertical instead of horizontal-oriented refugia and (2) refugia with conspecific silk compared with previously uninhabited refugia. There was no significant difference between the species in their propensity to move among refugia in the 30-d trial; however, both species had individuals that were always found in the same refugium for the entire assay and individuals changing refugia every 2-3 d. The propensity to switch refugia was not affected by the degree of starvation for the period tested as was initially hypothesized. The possible implications of this research toward developing novel control measures for Loxosceles spiders are discussed. PMID:18283940

  7. Short-Term Response of Soil Spiders to Cover-Crop Removal in an Organic Olive Orchard in a Mediterranean Setting

    PubMed Central

    Cárdenas, Manuel; Castro, Juan; Campos, Mercedes

    2012-01-01

    This study shows that disturbance caused by cover-crop removal (CCR) in an organic olive orchard affects ground-spider populations. The effect of CCR on various organic olive-orchard plots was assessed by monitoring the abundance and diversity of ground-dwelling spiders. Covered plots in the organic olive orchard were compared with uncovered plots where the covers had been removed mechanically. CCR positively affected the most abundant spider species Zodarion styliferum (Simon) (Araneae: Zodariidae) as well as other species of running spiders belonging to the families Gnaphosidae and Lycosidae. Over time, the two types of plots did not significantly differ in diversity or dominance. Similarly, no differences were detected between the study plots in terms of the distribution of individuals when a cluster-similarity analysis was performed. This lack of difference in diversity might be due to the spatial scale used in the study or climatology. Because of their general effects, CCR profoundly changed the abundance of spiders in the olive orchard, but with no clear impact on spider diversity. PMID:22938154

  8. Disentangling the visual cues used by a jumping spider to locate its microhabitat.

    PubMed

    Tedore, Cynthia; Johnsen, Sönke

    2016-08-01

    Many arthropod species have evolved to thrive only on the leaves of a particular species of plant, which they must be capable of finding in order to survive accidental displacement, developmental transitions or the changing of the seasons. A number of studies have tested whether such species select leaves to land or oviposit on based on their color, shape or size. Unfortunately, many studies did not control for correlates of these characters, such as the brightness of different colors, the areas of different shapes, and the level of ambient illumination in the vicinity of different sizes of leaves. In the present study, we tested for leaf color, shape and size preferences in a leaf-dwelling jumping spider (Lyssomanes viridis) with known summer and winter host plants, while controlling for these correlates. First, color preferences were tested outdoors under the natural illumination of their forest habitat. Lyssomanes viridis did not prefer to perch on a green substrate compared with various shades of gray, but did prefer the second darkest shade of gray we presented them with. Of the green and gray substrates, this shade of gray's integrated photon flux (350-700 nm), viewed from below, i.e. the spider's perspective in the arena, was the most similar to that of real leaves. This relationship also held when we weighted the transmitted photon flux by the jumping spiders' green photopigment spectral sensitivity. Spiders did not prefer the star-like leaf shape of their summer host plant, Liquidambar styraciflua, to a green circle of the same area. When given a choice between a L. styraciflua leaf-shaped stimulus that was half the area of an otherwise identical alternative, spiders preferred the larger stimulus. However, placing a neutral density filter over the side of the experimental arena with the smaller stimulus abolished this preference, with spiders then being more likely to choose the side of the arena with the smaller stimulus. In conclusion, L. viridis

  9. First record of the mygalomorph spider family Paratropididae (Arachnida, Araneae) in North America with the description of a new species of Paratropis Simon from Mexico, and with new ultramorphological data for the family

    PubMed Central

    Valdez-Mondragón, Alejandro; Mendoza, Jorge I.; Francke, Oscar F.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the genus Paratropis is described from North America: Paratropis tuxtlensis sp. n., from a tropical rainforest in Veracruz, Mexico. This is the fifth Paratropis and the tenth paratropidid species described and the first North American record of this Neotropical family. The species is described based on adult males and females, and juveniles. The juveniles show ontogenetic variation in the number of cuspules on the labium and endites, and in the number and position of leg trichobothria. This is the second Paratropis species, and the third paratropidid known from both sexes. The scanning electron photographs (SEM) reveal new morphological data and contribute to the knowledge of the family. PMID:25061343

  10. Male adaptations to minimize sexual cannibalism during reproduction in the funnel-web spider Hololena curta.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yong-Hong; Zunic-Kosi, Alenka; Zhang, Long-Wa; Prentice, Thomas R; McElfresh, J Steven; Chinta, Satya P; Zou, Yun-Fan; Millar, Jocelyn G

    2015-12-01

    Males of many spider species risk being attacked and cannibalized while searching for, courting, and mating with conspecific females. However, there are exceptions. We show that the funnel-web spider, Hololena curta, has 3 adaptations that minimize risk to males during courtship and mating, and enhance reproductive success. First, males detected chemical or tactile signals associated with webs of virgin females, and differentiated them from webs of mated females, enabling males to increase encounter rates with virgin females and avoid aggressive mated females. Second, males produced stereotyped vibrational signals during courting which induced female quiescence and suppressed female aggression. Third, when touched by males, sexually receptive females entered a cataleptic state, allowing males to safely approach and copulate. Because males can mate multiple times and the sex ratio in natural populations of H. curta is female biased, overall reproductive output is likely increased by males of this species avoiding sexual cannibalism. PMID:26033974

  11. Smaller colonies and more solitary living mark higher elevation populations of a social spider.

    PubMed

    Purcell, Jessica; Avilés, Leticia

    2007-05-01

    1. There appears to be a pattern of decreasing sociality with increasing elevation across social spider species in the genus Anelosimus at tropical latitudes. Our data suggest that this pattern holds within a single species, Anelosimus eximius, on a smaller altitudinal gradient. 2. In comparing colony size at six different altitudes in north-eastern Ecuador, we find that the lowland A. eximius populations tend to have larger colonies and few solitary females. At higher elevations, many of the colonies are small and the proportion of solitary females is greater. 3. Contrary to expectation, we also found no difference in spider density between the upper elevation and lowland populations. This result may be partly due to the fact that upper elevation populations occur only at the forest edge (as opposed to both edge and interior) where populations at all elevations appear more robust. PMID:17439475

  12. Which senses play a role in nonhuman primate food selection? A comparison between squirrel monkeys and spider monkeys.

    PubMed

    Laska, Matthias; Freist, Pamela; Krause, Stephanie

    2007-03-01

    In order to optimize foraging efficiency and avoid toxicosis, animals must be able to detect, discriminate, and learn about the predictive signals of potential food. Primates are typically regarded as animals that rely mainly on their highly developed visual systems, and little is known about the role that the other senses may play in food selection. It was therefore the aim of the present study to assess which senses are involved in the evaluation of food by two species of New World primates: the squirrel monkey and the spider monkey. To this end, six animals per species were repeatedly presented with both familiar and novel food items, and their behavior was videotaped and analyzed. To obtain a further indication of the relative importance of visual and chemosensory cues, the animals were also presented with familiar food items that were experimentally modified in color, odor, or both color and odor. The results demonstrate that squirrel monkeys and spider monkeys use olfactory, gustatory, and tactile cues in addition to visual information to evaluate novel food, whereas they mainly inspect familiar food items visually prior to consumption. Our findings also show that in both species the use of nonvisual cues decreased rapidly with repeated presentations of novel food, suggesting a fast multimodal learning process. Further, the two species clearly differ in their relative use of nonvisual cues when evaluating novel or modified food, with spider monkeys relying more on olfactory cues than squirrel monkeys, and squirrel monkeys relying more on tactile cues compared to spider monkeys. PMID:17146790

  13. Interference of boll weevil trapping by spiders (Araneida) and an evaluation of trap modification to reduce unwanted arthropods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our evaluation of a boll weevil trap modified to reduce the number of unwanted arthropods had little effect on reducing spiders, the arthropod species that made up > 95% of the individuals that entered boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman) traps and interfere with weekly capture of boll w...

  14. Tomato Whole Genome Transcriptional Response to Tetranychus urticae Identifies Divergence of Spider Mite-Induced Responses Between Tomato and Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Martel, Catherine; Zhurov, Vladimir; Navarro, Marie; Martinez, Manuel; Cazaux, Marc; Auger, Philippe; Migeon, Alain; Santamaria, M Estrella; Wybouw, Nicky; Diaz, Isabel; Van Leeuwen, Thomas; Navajas, Maria; Grbic, Miodrag; Grbic, Vojislava

    2015-03-01

    The two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae is one of the most significant mite pests in agriculture, feeding on more than 1,100 plant hosts, including model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum. Here, we describe timecourse tomato transcriptional responses to spider mite feeding and compare them with Arabidopsis in order to determine conserved and divergent defense responses to this pest. To refine the involvement of jasmonic acid (JA) in mite-induced responses and to improve tomato Gene Ontology annotations, we analyzed transcriptional changes in the tomato JA-signaling mutant defenseless1 (def-1) upon JA treatment and spider mite herbivory. Overlay of differentially expressed genes (DEG) identified in def-1 onto those from the timecourse experiment established that JA controls expression of the majority of genes differentially regulated by herbivory. Comparison of defense responses between tomato and Arabidopsis highlighted 96 orthologous genes (of 2,133 DEG) that were recruited for defense against spider mites in both species. These genes, involved in biosynthesis of JA, phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids, represent the conserved core of induced defenses. The remaining tomato DEG support the establishment of tomato-specific defenses, indicating profound divergence of spider mite-induced responses between tomato and Arabidopsis. PMID:25679539

  15. Loss of genetic variability in social spiders: genetic and phylogenetic consequences of population subdivision and inbreeding

    PubMed Central

    Agnarsson, I; Avilés, L; Maddison, W P

    2013-01-01

    The consequences of population subdivision and inbreeding have been studied in many organisms, particularly in plants. However, most studies focus on the short-term consequences, such as inbreeding depression. To investigate the consequences of both population fragmentation and inbreeding for genetic variability in the longer term, we here make use of a natural inbreeding experiment in spiders, where sociality and accompanying population subdivision and inbreeding have evolved repeatedly. We use mitochondrial and nuclear data to infer phylogenetic relationships among 170 individuals of Anelosimus spiders representing 23 species. We then compare relative mitochondrial and nuclear genetic variability of the inbred social species and their outbred relatives. We focus on four independently derived social species and four subsocial species, including two outbred–inbred sister species pairs. We find that social species have 50% reduced mitochondrial sequence divergence. As inbreeding is not expected to reduce genetic variability in the maternally inherited mitochondrial genome, this suggests the loss of variation due to strong population subdivision, founder effects, small effective population sizes (colonies as individuals) and lineage turnover. Social species have < 10% of the nuclear genetic variability of the outbred species, also suggesting the loss of genetic variability through founder effects and/or inbreeding. Inbred sociality hence may result in reduction in variability through various processes. Sociality in most Anelosimus species probably arose relatively recently (0.1–2 mya), with even the oldest social lineages having failed to diversify. This is consistent with the hypothesis that inbred spider sociality represents an evolutionary dead end. Heterosis underlies a species potential to respond to environmental change and/or disease. Inbreeding and loss of genetic variability may thus limit diversification in social Anelosimus lineages and similarly pose

  16. Hey! A Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... putting them on. Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD Date reviewed: April 2013 For Teens For Kids For Parents MORE ON THIS TOPIC Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! Hey! A Tarantula Bit Me! Hey! A Scorpion Stung Me! Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me! Camping and Woods Safety ...

  17. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes. PMID:27517908

  18. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes. PMID:27517908

  19. Are You as Clever as a Spider?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Charles R.

    1992-01-01

    A hands-on simulation on spider web construction is described. Students recreate the mysteries of web construction by creating a yarn web with a pentagonal frame, 12 spokes, and 12 spiral loops. Contains instructions to the teacher for constructing the web board. Provides a procedure for the students to follow. (PR)

  20. Taxonomic revision of the American spider genus Arachosia (Araneae: Anyphaenidae).

    PubMed

    Rubio, Gonzalo D; Ramírez, Martín J

    2015-01-01

    We review the American spider genus Arachosia O.P.-Cambridge, and present a descriptive taxonomic study with a comparative dichotomous key including 21 species, of which seven are newly described (A. avalosi sp. nov., A. carancho sp. nov., A. kapiipeoi sp. nov., A. magna sp. nov., A. monserrate sp. nov., A. pinhalito sp. nov. and A. tungurahua sp. nov.). Four species names are considered nomina dubia: Oxysoma dubium Berland, Gayenna duplovittata Mello-Leitão, Oxysoma polytrichium Mello-Leitão, and Arachosia sulfurea Mello-Leitão. Arachosia bonneti (Mello-Leitão) is newly synonymized with A. albiventris Mello-Leitão, and A. mezenioides Mello-Leitão with A. freiburgensis Keyserling. Previous problems with the identification of species in a species complex including A. cubana (Banks) are resolved. A disjunct distributional pattern is reported for A. kapiipeoi sp. nov.; a preliminary phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial COI sequences shows that these may correspond with two cryptic species. In this contribution, grassland and forests are discussed as the two main habitats inhabited by species of Arachosia. Finally, we propose a hypothesis of matching sexes based on functionality of some genital structures, involving sclerites of the male copulatory organ with structures of the epigyne: the prolateral projection on the primary conductor of the male would have a direct interaction with the lateral projections of the anterior pouch on the median epigynal field of females. PMID:25781851

  1. Spiders on a Hot Volcanic Roof: Colonisation Pathways and Phylogeography of the Canary Islands Endemic Trap-Door Spider Titanidiops canariensis (Araneae, Idiopidae)

    PubMed Central

    Opatova, Vera; Arnedo, Miquel A.

    2014-01-01

    Studies conducted on volcanic islands have greatly contributed to our current understanding of how organisms diversify. The Canary Islands archipelago, located northwest of the coast of northern Africa, harbours a large number of endemic taxa. Because of their low vagility, mygalomorph spiders are usually absent from oceanic islands. The spider Titanidiops canariensis, which inhabits the easternmost islands of the archipelago, constitutes an exception to this rule. Here, we use a multi-locus approach that combines three mitochondrial and four nuclear genes to investigate the origins and phylogeography of this remarkable trap-door spider. We provide a timeframe for the colonisation of the Canary Islands using two alternative approaches: concatenation and species tree inference in a Bayesian relaxed clock framework. Additionally, we investigate the existence of cryptic species on the islands by means of a Bayesian multi-locus species delimitation method. Our results indicate that T. canariensis colonised the Canary Islands once, most likely during the Miocene, although discrepancies between the timeframes from different approaches make the exact timing uncertain. A complex evolutionary history for the species in the archipelago is revealed, which involves two independent colonisations of Fuerteventura from the ancestral range of T. canariensis in northern Lanzarote and a possible back colonisation of southern Lanzarote. The data further corroborate a previously proposed volcanic refugium, highlighting the impact of the dynamic volcanic history of the island on the phylogeographic patterns of the endemic taxa. T. canariensis includes at least two different species, one inhabiting the Jandia peninsula and central Fuerteventura and one spanning from central Fuerteventura to Lanzarote. Our data suggest that the extant northern African Titanidiops lineages may have expanded to the region after the islands were colonised and, hence, are not the source of colonisation. In

  2. Spiders on a Hot Volcanic Roof: Colonisation Pathways and Phylogeography of the Canary Islands Endemic Trap-Door Spider Titanidiops canariensis (Araneae, Idiopidae).

    PubMed

    Opatova, Vera; Arnedo, Miquel A

    2014-01-01

    Studies conducted on volcanic islands have greatly contributed to our current understanding of how organisms diversify. The Canary Islands archipelago, located northwest of the coast of northern Africa, harbours a large number of endemic taxa. Because of their low vagility, mygalomorph spiders are usually absent from oceanic islands. The spider Titanidiops canariensis, which inhabits the easternmost islands of the archipelago, constitutes an exception to this rule. Here, we use a multi-locus approach that combines three mitochondrial and four nuclear genes to investigate the origins and phylogeography of this remarkable trap-door spider. We provide a timeframe for the colonisation of the Canary Islands using two alternative approaches: concatenation and species tree inference in a Bayesian relaxed clock framework. Additionally, we investigate the existence of cryptic species on the islands by means of a Bayesian multi-locus species delimitation method. Our results indicate that T. canariensis colonised the Canary Islands once, most likely during the Miocene, although discrepancies between the timeframes from different approaches make the exact timing uncertain. A complex evolutionary history for the species in the archipelago is revealed, which involves two independent colonisations of Fuerteventura from the ancestral range of T. canariensis in northern Lanzarote and a possible back colonisation of southern Lanzarote. The data further corroborate a previously proposed volcanic refugium, highlighting the impact of the dynamic volcanic history of the island on the phylogeographic patterns of the endemic taxa. T. canariensis includes at least two different species, one inhabiting the Jandia peninsula and central Fuerteventura and one spanning from central Fuerteventura to Lanzarote. Our data suggest that the extant northern African Titanidiops lineages may have expanded to the region after the islands were colonised and, hence, are not the source of colonisation. In

  3. Cooperative effects enhance the transport properties of molecular spider teams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rank, Matthias; Reese, Louis; Frey, Erwin

    2013-03-01

    Molecular spiders are synthetic molecular motors based on DNA nanotechnology. While natural molecular motors have evolved towards very high efficiency, it remains a major challenge to develop efficient designs for man-made molecular motors. Inspired by biological motor proteins such as kinesin and myosin, molecular spiders comprise a body and several legs. The legs walk on a lattice that is coated with substrate which can be cleaved catalytically. We propose a molecular spider design in which n spiders form a team. Our theoretical considerations show that coupling several spiders together alters the dynamics of the resulting team significantly. Although spiders operate at a scale where diffusion is dominant, spider teams can be tuned to behave nearly ballistic, which results in fast and predictable motion. Based on the separation of time scales of substrate and product dwell times, we develop a theory which utilizes equivalence classes to coarse-grain the microstate space. In addition, we calculate diffusion coefficients of the spider teams, employing a mapping of an n-spider team to an n-dimensional random walker on a confined lattice. We validate these results with Monte Carlo simulations and predict optimal parameters of the molecular spider team architecture which makes their motion most directed and maximally predictable.

  4. Thermal conditions during juvenile development affect adult dispersal in a spider.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Dries; Travis, Justin M J; De Clercq, Nele; Zwertvaegher, Ingrid; Lens, Luc

    2008-11-01

    Understanding the causes and consequences of dispersal is a prerequisite for the effective management of natural populations. Rather than treating dispersal as a fixed trait, it should be considered a plastic process that responds to both genetic and environmental conditions. Here, we consider how the ambient temperature experienced by juvenile Erigone atra, a spider inhabiting crop habitat, influences adult dispersal. This species exhibits 2 distinct forms of dispersal, ballooning (long distance) and rappelling (short distance). Using a half-sib design we raised individuals under 4 different temperature regimes and quantified the spiders' propensity to balloon and to rappel. Additionally, as an indicator of investment in settlement, we determined the size of the webs build by the spiders following dispersal. The optimal temperature regimes for reproduction and overall dispersal investment were 20 degrees C and 25 degrees C. Propensity to perform short-distance movements was lowest at 15 degrees C, whereas for long-distance dispersal it was lowest at 30 degrees C. Plasticity in dispersal was in the direction predicted on the basis of the risks associated with seasonal changes in habitat availability; long-distance ballooning occurred more frequently under cooler, spring-like conditions and short-distance rappelling under warmer, summer-like conditions. Based on these findings, we conclude that thermal conditions during development provide juvenile spiders with information about the environmental conditions they are likely to encounter as adults and that this information influences the spider's dispersal strategy. Climate change may result in suboptimal adult dispersal behavior, with potentially deleterious population level consequences. PMID:18974219

  5. Gustatory responsiveness to the 20 proteinogenic amino acids in the spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi).

    PubMed

    Larsson, Jenny; Maitz, Anna; Hernandez Salazar, Laura Teresa; Laska, Matthias

    2014-03-29

    The gustatory responsiveness of four adult spider monkeys to the 20 proteinogenic amino acids was assessed in two-bottle preference tests of brief duration (1min). We found that Ateles geoffroyi responded with significant preferences for seven amino acids (glycine, l-proline, l-alanine, l-serine, l-glutamic acid, l-aspartic acid, and l-lysine) when presented at a concentration of 100mM and/or 200mM and tested against water. At the same concentrations, the animals significantly rejected five amino acids (l-tryptophan, l-tyrosine, l-valine, l-cysteine, and l-isoleucine) and were indifferent to the remaining tastants. Further, the results show that the spider monkeys discriminated concentrations as low as 0.2mM l-lysine, 2mM l-glutamic acid, 10mM l-proline, 20mM l-valine, 40mM glycine, l-serine, and l-aspartic acid, and 80mM l-alanine from the alternative stimulus, with individual animals even scoring lower threshold values. A comparison between the taste qualities of the proteinogenic amino acids as described by humans and the preferences and aversions observed in the spider monkeys suggests a fairly high degree of agreement in the taste quality perception of these tastants between the two species. A comparison between the taste preference thresholds obtained with the spider monkeys and taste detection thresholds reported in human subjects suggests that the taste sensitivity of A. geoffroyi for the amino acids tested here might match that of Homo sapiens. The results support the assumption that the taste responses of spider monkeys to proteinogenic amino acids might reflect an evolutionary adaptation to their frugivorous and thus protein-poor diet. PMID:24480073

  6. Spider-fed bromeliads: seasonal and interspecific variation in plant performance

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves, Ana Zangirólame; Mercier, Helenice; Mazzafera, Paulo; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Several animals that live on bromeliads can contribute to plant nutrition through nitrogen provisioning (digestive mutualism). The bromeliad-living spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae) inhabits and breeds on Bromelia balansae in regions of South America, but in specific regions can also appear on Ananas comosus (pineapple) plantations and Aechmea distichantha. Methods Using isotopic and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments, the role of labelled (15N) spider faeces and Drosophila melanogaster flies in the nutrition and growth of each host plant was evaluated, as well as seasonal variation in the importance of this digestive mutualism. Key Results Spiders contributed 0·6 ± 0·2 % (mean ± s.e.; dry season) to 2·7 ± 1 % (wet season) to the total nitrogen in B. balansae, 2·4 ± 0·4 % (dry) to 4·1 ± 0·3 % (wet) in An. comosus and 3·8 ± 0·4 % (dry) to 5 ± 1 % (wet) in Ae. distichantha. In contrast, flies did not contribute to the nutrition of these bromeliads. Chlorophylls and carotenoid concentrations did not differ among treatments. Plants that received faeces had higher soluble protein concentrations and leaf growth (RGR) only during the wet season. Conclusions These results indicate that the mutualism between spiders and bromeliads is seasonally restricted, generating a conditional outcome. There was interspecific variation in nutrient uptake, probably related to each species' performance and photosynthetic pathways. Whereas B. balansae seems to use nitrogen for growth, Ae. distichantha apparently stores nitrogen for stressful nutritional conditions. Bromeliads absorbed more nitrogen coming from spider faeces than from flies, reinforcing the beneficial role played by predators in these digestive mutualisms. PMID:21385776

  7. Spider Trait Assembly Patterns and Resilience under Fire-Induced Vegetation Change in South Brazilian Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Podgaiski, Luciana R.; Joner, Fernando; Lavorel, Sandra; Moretti, Marco; Ibanez, Sebastien; Mendonça, Milton de S.; Pillar, Valério D.

    2013-01-01

    Disturbances induce changes on habitat proprieties that may filter organism's functional traits thereby shaping the structure and interactions of many trophic levels. We tested if communities of predators with foraging traits dependent on habitat structure respond to environmental change through cascades affecting the functional traits of plants. We monitored the response of spider and plant communities to fire in South Brazilian Grasslands using pairs of burned and unburned plots. Spiders were determined to the family level and described in feeding behavioral and morphological traits measured on each individual. Life form and morphological traits were recorded for plant species. One month after fire the abundance of vegetation hunters and the mean size of the chelicera increased due to the presence of suitable feeding sites in the regrowing vegetation, but irregular web builders decreased due to the absence of microhabitats and dense foliage into which they build their webs. Six months after fire rosette-form plants with broader leaves increased, creating a favourable habitat for orb web builders which became more abundant, while graminoids and tall plants were reduced, resulting in a decrease of proper shelters and microclimate in soil surface to ground hunters which became less abundant. Hence, fire triggered changes in vegetation structure that lead both to trait-convergence and trait-divergence assembly patterns of spiders along gradients of plant biomass and functional diversity. Spider individuals occurring in more functionally diverse plant communities were more diverse in their traits probably because increased possibility of resource exploitation, following the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. Finally, as an indication of resilience, after twelve months spider communities did not differ from those of unburned plots. Our findings show that functional traits provide a mechanistic understanding of the response of communities to environmental change

  8. Why do males choose heterospecific females in the red spider mite?

    PubMed

    Sato, Yukie; Staudacher, Heike; Sabelis, Maurice W

    2016-01-01

    In some species, males readily show courtship behaviour towards heterospecific females and even prefer them to females of their own species. This behaviour is generally explained by indiscriminate mating to acquire more mates, but may partly be explained by male mate preference mechanisms that have developed to choose among conspecific females, as male preference for larger females causes mating with larger heterospecific females. Recently, we found that males of the red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi collected from Spain (invasive population), prefer to mate with females of the two-spotted spider mite, T. urticae rather than with conspecific females. In spider mites, mate preference for non-kin individuals has been observed. Here, we investigated if T. evansi males collected from the area of its origin (Brazil) also show preference for heterospecific females. Secondly, we investigated if mate preference of T. evansi males for heterospecific females is affected by their relatedness to conspecific females which are offered together with heterospecific females. We found that mate preference for heterospecific females exists in Brazilian T. evansi, suggesting that the preference for heterospecific females is not a lack of evolved premating isolation with an allopatric species. We found that T. evansi males showed lower propensity to mate with heterospecific females when alternative females were non-kin in the two iso-female lines collected from Brazil. However, the effect of relatedness on male mate preference was not significant. We discuss alternative hypotheses explaining why T. evansi males prefer to mate with T. urticae females. PMID:26530994

  9. Intersexual variations in Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (M. bradleyi) mouse spider venom.

    PubMed

    Herzig, Volker; Khalife, Ali A; Chong, Youmie; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Currie, Bart J; Churchill, Tracey B; Horner, Suzanne; Escoubas, Pierre; Nicholson, Graham M; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2008-06-01

    Venoms of both sexes of Australian Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (Missulena bradleyi) mouse spiders were studied in order to determine intersexual variations in venom yield, composition and bioactivity. Females of both species yielded more venom than males. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry data further indicate a substantial degree of intersexual variation in the venom composition of both species. In a cricket (Acheta domestica) acute toxicity assay, only small intersexual differences were observed, but M. bradleyi venom was found to be considerably more potent than M. pruinosa venom. In the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation, male but not female M. bradleyi venom induced large and sustained muscle contractions with fasciculation and decreased twitch height that could be reversed by CSL funnel-web spider antivenom. In contrast, venoms of both sexes of M. pruinosa did not induce significant effects in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. We therefore conclude that female M. bradleyi venom and venoms from male and female M. pruinosa appear to contain few, if any, orthologs of delta-missulenatoxin-Mb1a, the toxin responsible for the effects of male M. bradleyi venom in vertebrates. These findings are consistent with clinical reports that mouse spiders, particularly species other than male M. bradleyi, do not appear to be a major medical problem in humans. PMID:18346773

  10. Mygalomorph Spider Community of a Natural Reserve in a Hilly System in Central Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Ferretti, Nelson; Pompozzi, Gabriel; Copperi, Sofia; Pérez-Miles, Fernando; González, Alda

    2012-01-01

    The diversity, abundance, spatial distribution, and phenology of the mygalomorph spider community in the “Ernesto Tornquist” Strict Nature Reserve were analyzed in this study. Located in southwestern Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Reserve is representative of the Ventania system, which is a sigmoidal mountain belt 180 km in length. This exceptional hilly ecosystem is home for many endemic species and rich native fauna and flora. Spider abundance was sampled monthly from October 2009 to October 2010 by hand capture and pitfall traps on grassland slopes. The species recorded in the study area were: Actinopus sp.1 (Actinopodidae); Grammostola vachoni and Plesiopelma longisternale (Theraphosidae); Acanthogonatus centralis (Nemesiidae); and Mecicobothrium thorelli (Mecicobothriidae). Grammostola vachoni and Acanthogonatus centralis were the dominant species in hand capture and pitfall traps, respectively. The seasonal variation, diversity, and abundance of the mygalomorph community are analyzed and discussed here. The Mygalomorphae of the Ventania system comprises an important group of sedentary and cryptozoic spiders that seem to be highly dependent on habitat type and environmental factors. PMID:22947032

  11. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    PubMed

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions. PMID:27061175

  12. Total X-Ray Scattering of Spider Dragline Silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benmore, C. J.; Izdebski, T.; Yarger, J. L.

    2012-04-01

    Total x-ray scattering measurements of spider dragline silk fibers from Nephila clavipes, Argiope aurantia, and Latrodectus hesperus all yield similar structure factors, with only small variations between the different species. Wide-angle x-ray scattering from fibers orientated perpendicular to the beam shows a high degree of anisotropy, and differential pair distribution functions obtained by integrating over wedges of the equatorial and meridian planes indicate that, on average, the majority (95%) of the atom-atom correlations do not extend beyond 1 nm. Futhermore, the atom-atom correlations between 1 and 3 nm are not associated with the most intense diffraction peaks at Q=1-2Å-1. Disordered molecular orientations along the fiber axis are consistent with proteins in similar structural arrangements to those in the equatorial plane, which may be associated with the silk’s greater flexibility in this direction.

  13. Climate change and sexual size dimorphism in an Arctic spider.

    PubMed

    Høye, Toke Thomas; Hammel, Jörg U; Fuchs, Thomas; Toft, Søren

    2009-08-23

    Climate change is advancing the onset of the growing season and this is happening at a particularly fast rate in the High Arctic. However, in most species the relative fitness implications for males and females remain elusive. Here, we present data on 10 successive cohorts of the wolf spider Pardosa glacialis from Zackenberg in High-Arctic, northeast Greenland. We found marked inter-annual variation in adult body size (carapace width) and this variation was greater in females than in males. Earlier snowmelt during both years of its biennial maturation resulted in larger adult body sizes and a skew towards positive sexual size dimorphism (females bigger than males). These results illustrate the pervasive influence of climate on key life-history traits and indicate that male and female responses to climate should be investigated separately whenever possible. PMID:19435831

  14. No discrimination against previous mates in a sexually cannibalistic spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fromhage, Lutz; Schneider, Jutta M.

    2005-09-01

    In several animal species, females discriminate against previous mates in subsequent mating decisions, increasing the potential for multiple paternity. In spiders, female choice may take the form of selective sexual cannibalism, which has been shown to bias paternity in favor of particular males. If cannibalistic attacks function to restrict a male's paternity, females may have little interest to remate with males having survived such an attack. We therefore studied the possibility of female discrimination against previous mates in sexually cannibalistic Argiope bruennichi, where females almost always attack their mate at the onset of copulation. We compared mating latency and copulation duration of males having experienced a previous copulation either with the same or with a different female, but found no evidence for discrimination against previous mates. However, males copulated significantly shorter when inserting into a used, compared to a previously unused, genital pore of the female.

  15. Climate change and sexual size dimorphism in an Arctic spider

    PubMed Central

    Høye, Toke Thomas; Hammel, Jörg U.; Fuchs, Thomas; Toft, Søren

    2009-01-01

    Climate change is advancing the onset of the growing season and this is happening at a particularly fast rate in the High Arctic. However, in most species the relative fitness implications for males and females remain elusive. Here, we present data on 10 successive cohorts of the wolf spider Pardosa glacialis from Zackenberg in High-Arctic, northeast Greenland. We found marked inter-annual variation in adult body size (carapace width) and this variation was greater in females than in males. Earlier snowmelt during both years of its biennial maturation resulted in larger adult body sizes and a skew towards positive sexual size dimorphism (females bigger than males). These results illustrate the pervasive influence of climate on key life-history traits and indicate that male and female responses to climate should be investigated separately whenever possible. PMID:19435831

  16. No discrimination against previous mates in a sexually cannibalistic spider.

    PubMed

    Fromhage, Lutz; Schneider, Jutta M

    2005-09-01

    In several animal species, females discriminate against previous mates in subsequent mating decisions, increasing the potential for multiple paternity. In spiders, female choice may take the form of selective sexual cannibalism, which has been shown to bias paternity in favor of particular males. If cannibalistic attacks function to restrict a male's paternity, females may have little interest to remate with males having survived such an attack. We therefore studied the possibility of female discrimination against previous mates in sexually cannibalistic Argiope bruennichi, where females almost always attack their mate at the onset of copulation. We compared mating latency and copulation duration of males having experienced a previous copulation either with the same or with a different female, but found no evidence for discrimination against previous mates. However, males copulated significantly shorter when inserting into a used, compared to a previously unused, genital pore of the female. PMID:16075265

  17. Effect of phenology on agonistic competitive interactions between invasive and native sheet-web spiders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houser, Jeremy D.; Porter, Adam H.; Ginsberg, Howard; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2016-01-01

    The phenologies of introduced relative to native species can greatly influence the degree and symmetry of competition between them. The European spider Linyphia triangularis (Clerck, 1757) (Linyphiidae) reaches very high densities in coastal Maine (USA). Previous studies suggest thatL. triangularis negatively affects native linyphiid species, with competition for webs as one mechanism. We documented phenological differences between L. triangularis and three native species that illustrate the potential for the reversal of size-based competitive advantage over the course of the year. To test whether relative size influences interaction outcome, we allowed a resident spider to build a web and then introduced an intruder. We examined whether the outcomes of agonistic interactions over the webs were influenced by the species of the resident (invasive or native), the relative size of the contestants, and the species × size interaction. We found that the importance of relative size differed among species. In interactions between L. triangularis and each of two native species, size played a greater role than resident species on the outcome of interactions, suggesting that competitive advantage reverses over the season based on phenology-related size differences. Linyphia triangularis had a negative impact on the third species regardless of relative size.

  18. [Population dynamics of ground carabid beetles and spiders in a wheat field along the wheat-alfalfa interface and their response to alfalfa mowing].

    PubMed

    Liu, Wen-Hui; Hu, Yi-Jun; Hu, Wen-Chao; Hong, Bo; Guan, Xiao-Qing; Ma, Shi-Yu; He, Da-Han

    2014-09-01

    Taking the wheat-alfalfa and wheat-wheat interfaces as model systems, sampling points were set by the method of pitfall trapping in the wheat field at the distances of 3 m, 6 m, 9 m, 12 m, 15 m, 18 m, 21 m, 24 m, and 27 m from the interface. The species composition and abundance of ground carabid beetles and spiders captured in pitfalls were investigated. The results showed that, to some extent there was an edge effect on species diversity and abundance of ground carabid beetles and spiders along the two interfaces. A marked edge effect was observed between 15 m and 18 m along the alfalfa-wheat interface, while no edge effect was found at a distance over 20 m. The edge effect along the wheat-wheat interface was weaker in comparison to the alfalfa-wheat interface. Alfalfa mowing resulted in the migration of a large number of ground carabid beetles and spiders to the adjacent wheat filed. During ten days since mowing, both species and abundance of ground carabid beetles and spiders increased in wheat filed within the distance of 20 m along the alfalfa-wheat interface. The spatial distribution of species diversity of ground beetles and spiders, together with the population abundance of the dominant Chlaenius pallipes and Pardosa astrigera, were depicted, which could directly indicate the migrating process of natural enemy from alfalfa to wheat field. PMID:25757322

  19. Targeting a portion of central European spider diversity for permanent preservation.

    PubMed

    Candek, Klemen; Gregorič, Matjaž; Kostanjšek, Rok; Frick, Holger; Kropf, Christian; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2013-01-01

    Given the limited success of past and current conservation efforts, an alternative approach is to preserve tissues and genomes of targeted organisms in cryobanks to make them accessible for future generations. Our pilot preservation project aimed to obtain, expertly identify, and permanently preserve a quarter of the known spider species diversity shared between Slovenia and Switzerland, estimated at 275 species. We here report on the faunistic part of this project, which resulted in 324 species (227 in Slovenia, 143 in Switzerland) for which identification was reasonably established. This material is now preserved in cryobanks, is being processed for DNA barcoding, and is available for genomic studies. PMID:24723774

  20. Targeting a portion of central European spider diversity for permanent preservation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Given the limited success of past and current conservation efforts, an alternative approach is to preserve tissues and genomes of targeted organisms in cryobanks to make them accessible for future generations. Our pilot preservation project aimed to obtain, expertly identify, and permanently preserve a quarter of the known spider species diversity shared between Slovenia and Switzerland, estimated at 275 species. We here report on the faunistic part of this project, which resulted in 324 species (227 in Slovenia, 143 in Switzerland) for which identification was reasonably established. This material is now preserved in cryobanks, is being processed for DNA barcoding, and is available for genomic studies. PMID:24723774

  1. A Novel Neurotoxin from Venom of the Spider, Brachypelma albopilosum

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation. PMID:25329070

  2. Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators

    PubMed Central

    Rota, Jadranka; Wagner, David L.

    2006-01-01

    Cases of mimicry provide many of the nature's most convincing examples of natural selection. Here we report evidence for a case of predator mimicry in which metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia mimic jumping spiders, one of their predators. In controlled trials, Brenthia had higher survival rates than other similarly sized moths in the presence of jumping spiders and jumping spiders responded to Brenthia with territorial displays, indicating that Brenthia were sometimes mistaken for jumping spiders, and not recognized as prey. Our experimental results and a review of wing patterns of other insects indicate that jumping spider mimicry is more widespread than heretofore appreciated, and that jumping spiders are probably an important selective pressure shaping the evolution of diurnal insects that perch on vegetation. PMID:17183674

  3. Cosmic Spider is Good Mother

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    Hanging above the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) - one of our closest galaxies - in what some describe as a frightening sight, the Tarantula nebula is worth looking at in detail. Also designated 30 Doradus or NGC 2070, the nebula owes its name to the arrangement of its brightest patches of nebulosity that somewhat resemble the legs of a spider. This name, of the biggest spiders on Earth, is also very fitting in view of the gigantic proportions of the celestial nebula - it measures nearly 1,000 light years across! ESO PR Photo 11/06 ESO PR Photo 13b/06 Tarantula's Central Cluster, R136 The Tarantula nebula is the largest emission nebula in the sky and also one of the largest known star-forming regions in all the Milky Way's neighbouring galaxies. Located about 170,000 light-years away, in the southern constellation Dorado (The Swordfish), it can be seen with the unaided eye. As shown in this image obtained with the FORS1 multi-mode instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, its structure is fascinatingly complex, with a large number of bright arcs and apparently dark areas in between. Inside the giant emission nebula lies a cluster of young, massive and hot stars, denoted R 136, whose intense radiation and strong winds make the nebula glow, shaping it into the form of a giant arachnid. The cluster is about 2 to 3 million years old, that is, almost from 'yesterday' in the 13.7 billion year history of the Universe. Several of the brighter members in the immediate surroundings of the dense cluster are among the most massive stars known, with masses well above 50 times the mass of our Sun. The cluster itself contains more than 200 massive stars. ESO PR Photo 11/06 ESO PR Photo 13c/06 The Stellar Cluster Hodge 301 In the upper right of the image, another cluster of bright, massive stars is seen. Known to astronomers as Hodge 301, it is about 20 million years old, or about 10 times older than R136. The more massive stars of Hodge 301 have therefore already exploded as

  4. Molecular Evolution of α-Latrotoxin, the Exceptionally Potent Vertebrate Neurotoxin in Black Widow Spider Venom

    PubMed Central

    Garb, Jessica E.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2013-01-01

    Black widow spiders (members of the genus Latrodectus) are widely feared because of their potent neurotoxic venom. α-Latrotoxin is the vertebrate-specific toxin responsible for the dramatic effects of black widow envenomation. The evolution of this toxin is enigmatic because only two α-latrotoxin sequences are known. In this study, ∼4 kb α-latrotoxin sequences and their homologs were characterized from a diversity of Latrodectus species, and representatives of Steatoda and Parasteatoda, establishing the wide distribution of latrotoxins across the mega-diverse spider family Theridiidae. Across black widow species, α-latrotoxin shows ≥94% nucleotide identity and variability consistent with purifying selection. Multiple codon and branch-specific estimates of the nonsynonymous/synonymous substitution rate ratio also suggest a long history of purifying selection has acted on α-latrotoxin across Latrodectus and Steatoda. However, α-latrotoxin is highly divergent in amino acid sequence between these genera, with 68.7% of protein differences involving non-conservative substitutions, evidence for positive selection on its physiochemical properties and particular codons, and an elevated rate of nonsynonymous substitutions along α-latrotoxin’s Latrodectus branch. Such variation likely explains the efficacy of red-back spider, L. hasselti, antivenom in treating bites from other Latrodectus species, and the weaker neurotoxic symptoms associated with Steatoda and Parasteatoda bites. Long-term purifying selection on α-latrotoxin indicates its functional importance in black widow venom, even though vertebrates are a small fraction of their diet. The greater differences between Latrodectus and Steatoda α-latrotoxin, and their relationships to invertebrate-specific latrotoxins, suggest a shift in α-latrotoxin toward increased vertebrate toxicity coincident with the evolution of widow spiders. PMID:23339183

  5. 54. VIEW SHOWING THE PLACEMENT OF SPIDER WEB BRACING, SHOOFLY ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    54. VIEW SHOWING THE PLACEMENT OF SPIDER WEB BRACING, SHOOFLY BRIDGE, January 1935 - Sacramento River Bridge, Spanning Sacramento River at California State Highway 275, Sacramento, Sacramento County, CA

  6. Sublethal responses of wolf spiders (Lycosidae) to organophosphorous insecticides.

    PubMed

    Van Erp, S; Booth, L; Gooneratne, R; O'Halloran, K

    2002-10-01

    The activities of cholinesterase (ChE) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes were assessed in the wolf spider (Lycosa hilaris) as biomarkers of organophosphate contamination in agricultural ecosystems. Spiders were exposed to simulated field rates of two commercially available organophosphorous insecticides [Basudin (diazinon) and Lorsban (chlorpyrifos)] under laboratory conditions. In terms of survival, chlorpyrifos and diazinon were more toxic to male than to female wolf spiders, but gender-specific differences in ChE activities were not evident. Cholinesterase activity in male spiders was inhibited to 14% and 61% of control activity by Basudin and Lorsban, respectively. Gluthathione S-transferase activity was not affected by either pesticide. Mortality and biomarker responses in the wolf spider were further investigated following the application of Basudin to pasture. Wolf spiders were deployed into field mesocosms; after 24 h mortality was 40%, and surviving spiders displayed significant inhibition of ChE activity (87%) compared with controls. Cholinesterase activity in spiders exposed for subsequent 24- or 48-h time periods was monitored until it returned to control levels 8 days post-application. Inhibition of ChE activity after a single application of Basudin indicate the potential use of this enzyme in wolf spiders as a biomarker for evaluating organophosphate contamination. PMID:12242675

  7. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa.

    PubMed

    Coddington, Jonathan A; Agnarsson, Ingi; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Čandek, Klemen; Driskell, Amy; Frick, Holger; Gregorič, Matjaž; Kostanjšek, Rok; Kropf, Christian; Kweskin, Matthew; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Pipan, Miha; Vidergar, Nina; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-01-01

    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 single or multiple, organelle or nuclear, loci) clearly are an increasingly fast and inexpensive method of identification, especially as compared to manual identification of unknowns by increasingly rare expert taxonomists. Because most species on Earth are undescribed, a complete reference database at the species level is impractical in the near term. The question therefore arises whether unidentified species can, using DNA barcodes, be accurately assigned to more inclusive groups such as genera and families-taxonomic ranks of putatively monophyletic groups for which the global inventory is more complete and stable. We used a carefully chosen test library of CO1 sequences from 49 families, 313 genera, and 816 species of spiders to assess the accuracy of genus and family-level assignment. We used BLAST queries of each sequence against the entire library and got the top ten hits. The percent sequence identity was reported from these hits (PIdent, range 75-100%). Accurate assignment of higher taxa (PIdent above which errors totaled less than 5%) occurred for genera at PIdent values >95 and families at PIdent values ≥ 91, suggesting these as heuristic thresholds for accurate generic and familial identifications in spiders. Accuracy of identification increases with numbers of species/genus and genera/family in the library; above five genera per family and fifteen species per genus all higher taxon assignments were correct. We propose that using percent sequence identity between conventional barcode sequences may be a feasible and reasonably accurate method to identify animals to family/genus. However, the quality of the

  8. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa

    PubMed Central

    Coddington, Jonathan A.; Agnarsson, Ingi; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Čandek, Klemen; Driskell, Amy; Frick, Holger; Gregorič, Matjaž; Kostanjšek, Rok; Kropf, Christian; Kweskin, Matthew; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Pipan, Miha; Vidergar, Nina

    2016-01-01

    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 single or multiple, organelle or nuclear, loci) clearly are an increasingly fast and inexpensive method of identification, especially as compared to manual identification of unknowns by increasingly rare expert taxonomists. Because most species on Earth are undescribed, a complete reference database at the species level is impractical in the near term. The question therefore arises whether unidentified species can, using DNA barcodes, be accurately assigned to more inclusive groups such as genera and families—taxonomic ranks of putatively monophyletic groups for which the global inventory is more complete and stable. We used a carefully chosen test library of CO1 sequences from 49 families, 313 genera, and 816 species of spiders to assess the accuracy of genus and family-level assignment. We used BLAST queries of each sequence against the entire library and got the top ten hits. The percent sequence identity was reported from these hits (PIdent, range 75–100%). Accurate assignment of higher taxa (PIdent above which errors totaled less than 5%) occurred for genera at PIdent values >95 and families at PIdent values ≥ 91, suggesting these as heuristic thresholds for accurate generic and familial identifications in spiders. Accuracy of identification increases with numbers of species/genus and genera/family in the library; above five genera per family and fifteen species per genus all higher taxon assignments were correct. We propose that using percent sequence identity between conventional barcode sequences may be a feasible and reasonably accurate method to identify animals to family/genus. However, the quality of

  9. Salivary proteins of spider mites suppress defenses in Nicotiana benthamiana and promote mite reproduction.

    PubMed

    Villarroel, Carlos A; Jonckheere, Wim; Alba, Juan M; Glas, Joris J; Dermauw, Wannes; Haring, Michel A; Van Leeuwen, Thomas; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2016-04-01

    Spider mites (Tetranychidae sp.) are widely occurring arthropod pests on cultivated plants. Feeding by the two-spotted spider mite T. urticae, a generalist herbivore, induces a defense response in plants that mainly depends on the phytohormones jasmonic acid and salicylic acid (SA). On tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), however, certain genotypes of T. urticae and the specialist species T. evansi were found to suppress these defenses. This phenomenon occurs downstream of phytohormone accumulation via an unknown mechanism. We investigated if spider mites possess effector-like proteins in their saliva that can account for this defense suppression. First we performed an in silico prediction of the T. urticae and the T. evansi secretomes, and subsequently generated a short list of candidate effectors based on additional selection criteria such as life stage-specific expression and salivary gland expression via whole mount in situ hybridization. We picked the top five most promising protein families and then expressed representatives in Nicotiana benthamiana using Agrobacterium tumefaciens transient expression assays to assess their effect on plant defenses. Four proteins from two families suppressed defenses downstream of the phytohormone SA. Furthermore, T. urticae performance on N. benthamiana improved in response to transient expression of three of these proteins and this improvement was similar to that of mites feeding on the tomato SA accumulation mutant nahG. Our results suggest that both generalist and specialist plant-eating mite species are sensitive to SA defenses but secrete proteins via their saliva to reduce the negative effects of these defenses. PMID:26946468

  10. The Great Silk Alternative: Multiple Co-Evolution of Web Loss and Sticky Hairs in Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Wolff, Jonas O.; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Gorb, Stanislav N.

    2013-01-01

    Spiders are the most important terrestrial predators among arthropods. Their ecological success is reflected by a high biodiversity and the conquest of nearly every terrestrial habitat. Spiders are closely associated with silk, a material, often seen to be responsible for their great ecological success and gaining high attention in life sciences. However, it is often overlooked that more than half of all Recent spider species have abandoned web building or never developed such an adaptation. These species must have found other, more economic solutions for prey capture and retention, compensating the higher energy costs of increased locomotion activity. Here we show that hairy adhesive pads (scopulae) are closely associated with the convergent evolution of a vagrant life style, resulting in highly diversified lineages of at least, equal importance as the derived web building taxa. Previous studies often highlighted the idea that scopulae have the primary function of assisting locomotion, neglecting the fact that only the distal most pads (claw tufts) are suitable for those purposes. The former observations, that scopulae are used in prey capture, are largely overlooked. Our results suggest the scopulae evolved as a substitute for silk in controlling prey and that the claw tufts are, in most cases, a secondary development. Evolutionary trends towards specialized claw tufts and their composition from a low number of enlarged setae to a dense array of slender ones, as well as the secondary loss of those pads are discussed further. Hypotheses about the origin of the adhesive setae and their diversification throughout evolution are provided. PMID:23650526

  11. Extraction of Venom and Venom Gland Microdissections from Spiders for Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Garb, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Venoms are chemically complex secretions typically comprising numerous proteins and peptides with varied physiological activities. Functional characterization of venom proteins has important biomedical applications, including the identification of drug leads or probes for cellular receptors. Spiders are the most species rich clade of venomous organisms, but the venoms of only a few species are well-understood, in part due to the difficulty associated with collecting minute quantities of venom from small animals. This paper presents a protocol for the collection of venom from spiders using electrical stimulation, demonstrating the procedure on the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus). The collected venom is useful for varied downstream analyses including direct protein identification via mass spectrometry, functional assays, and stimulation of venom gene expression for transcriptomic studies. This technique has the advantage over protocols that isolate venom from whole gland homogenates, which do not separate genuine venom components from cellular proteins that are not secreted as part of the venom. Representative results demonstrate the detection of known venom peptides from the collected sample using mass spectrometry. The venom collection procedure is followed by a protocol for dissecting spider venom glands, with results demonstrating that this leads to the characterization of venom-expressed proteins and peptides at the sequence level. PMID:25407635

  12. The effect of colour polymorphism on thermoregulation in an orb web spider.

    PubMed

    Rao, Dinesh; Mendoza-Cuenca, Luis

    2016-08-01

    Spiders that build aerial webs in open areas face the risk of overheating due to incident solar radiation. These spiders can counteract overheating by either moving the web to another site or by adopting behavioural thermoregulation within the web. Since moving can be costly, studies have suggested that a passive but effective method of reducing heat load is by light reflectance through body colouration. We explored the interaction between colour and thermoregulation in a colour polymorphic species, under both field and laboratory conditions. We show that in natural conditions, the spiders maintain their body temperature below that of the ambient, but with no difference in surface temperature between colour morphs. In laboratory experiments with internal temperature measurements, white morphs bore the risk of overheating better than the yellow morphs since they heated up slower and cooled faster. We suggest that the thermoregulatory properties of colour polymorphism in Verrucosa arenata have physiological consequences and may play an important role in the maintenance of colour polymorphism in this species. PMID:27379401

  13. The effect of colour polymorphism on thermoregulation in an orb web spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Dinesh; Mendoza-Cuenca, Luis

    2016-08-01

    Spiders that build aerial webs in open areas face the risk of overheating due to incident solar radiation. These spiders can counteract overheating by either moving the web to another site or by adopting behavioural thermoregulation within the web. Since moving can be costly, studies have suggested that a passive but effective method of reducing heat load is by light reflectance through body colouration. We explored the interaction between colour and thermoregulation in a colour polymorphic species, under both field and laboratory conditions. We show that in natural conditions, the spiders maintain their body temperature below that of the ambient, but with no difference in surface temperature between colour morphs. In laboratory experiments with internal temperature measurements, white morphs bore the risk of overheating better than the yellow morphs since they heated up slower and cooled faster. We suggest that the thermoregulatory properties of colour polymorphism in Verrucosa arenata have physiological consequences and may play an important role in the maintenance of colour polymorphism in this species.

  14. Phospholipase D toxins of brown spider venom convert lysophosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin to cyclic phosphates.

    PubMed

    Lajoie, Daniel M; Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A; Kumirov, Vlad K; Bandarian, Vahe; Binford, Greta J; Cordes, Matthew H J

    2013-01-01

    Venoms of brown spiders in the genus Loxosceles contain phospholipase D enzyme toxins that can cause severe dermonecrosis and even death in humans. These toxins cleave the substrates sphingomyelin and lysophosphatidylcholine in mammalian tissues, releasing the choline head group. The other products of substrate cleavage have previously been reported to be monoester phospholipids, which would result from substrate hydrolysis. Using (31)P NMR and mass spectrometry we demonstrate that recombinant toxins, as well as whole venoms from diverse Loxosceles species, exclusively catalyze transphosphatidylation rather than hydrolysis, forming cyclic phosphate products from both major substrates. Cyclic phosphates have vastly different biological properties from their monoester counterparts, and they may be relevant to the pathology of brown spider envenomation. PMID:24009677

  15. Phospholipase D Toxins of Brown Spider Venom Convert Lysophosphatidylcholine and Sphingomyelin to Cyclic Phosphates

    PubMed Central

    Lajoie, Daniel M.; Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A.; Kumirov, Vlad K.; Bandarian, Vahe; Binford, Greta J.; Cordes, Matthew H. J.

    2013-01-01

    Venoms of brown spiders in the genus Loxosceles contain phospholipase D enzyme toxins that can cause severe dermonecrosis and even death in humans. These toxins cleave the substrates sphingomyelin and lysophosphatidylcholine in mammalian tissues, releasing the choline head group. The other products of substrate cleavage have previously been reported to be monoester phospholipids, which would result from substrate hydrolysis. Using 31P NMR and mass spectrometry we demonstrate that recombinant toxins, as well as whole venoms from diverse Loxosceles species, exclusively catalyze transphosphatidylation rather than hydrolysis, forming cyclic phosphate products from both major substrates. Cyclic phosphates have vastly different biological properties from their monoester counterparts, and they may be relevant to the pathology of brown spider envenomation. PMID:24009677

  16. The ultrastructure of an intraspindle membrane system in meiosis of spider spermatocytes.

    PubMed

    Wise, D

    1984-01-01

    An extensive system of membranes was found in the spindles of spermatocytes of two wolf spider species, Lycosa georgicola and L. rabida. Serial section reconstructions of this membrane system revealed that each meiotic bivalent is encased in a tube of membrane, which encloses both kinetochore microtubule bundles and approaches to within a few microns of the centriolar complex. The membrane tube is open at the polar ends. The membrane composing the tube is doubled and resembles smooth endoplasmic reticulum (ER). No evidence of nuclear pore complexes has been found in the intraspindle membrane system, but typical pores are present on the nuclear envelope of prophase cells. The membrane tubes are fenestrated and microtubules sometimes penetrate these fenestrae. Besides its possible function in the regulation of chromosome movement, the intraspindle membrane system may participate in the nonrandom segregation of the sex chromosomes at meiosis in these spiders. PMID:6468094

  17. Bugs as drugs, part two: worms, leeches, scorpions, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

    In this second of a two-part series analyzing the evidence for the use of organisms as medicine, the use of a number of different "bugs" (worms, leeches, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders) is detailed. Several live organisms are used as treatments: leeches for plastic surgery and osteoarthritis and the helminths Trichuris suis and Necator americanus for inflammatory bowel disease. Leech saliva is the source of a number of anticoagulants, including the antithrombin agent hirudin and its synthetic analogues, which have been approved for human use. Predatory arthropods, such as certain species of snails, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and ticks provide a trove of potential analgesic peptides in their venom. A synthetic analogue of a snail venom peptide, ziconotide, has been approved for human use and is used as an alternative to opioids in severe pain cases. Arthropods, such as ticks, have venom that contains anticoagulants and centipede venom has a protein that corrects abnormalities in lipid metabolism. PMID:21438646

  18. Establishment of the Brown Widow Spider (Araneae: Theridiidae) and Infestation of its Egg Sacs by a Parasitoid, Philolema latrodecti (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

    PubMed

    Marie, Jérôme; Vetter, Richard S

    2015-11-01

    This paper presents two newly established species for French Polynesia: the invasive brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus C. L. Koch, and its potential biocontrol agent, the parasitoid wasp, Philolema latrodecti (Fullaway). The brown widow spider was recorded from the island of Moorea in 2006 and, since that discovery, the occurrence of this species has expanded to two of the five archipelagos of French Polynesia including the main island of Tahiti and four of the Cook Islands. Although the tropical climate contributes to the establishment of L. geometricus, a biotic factor, P. latrodecti, may restrain population from demographic explosion. This eurytomid wasp is present in French Polynesia and is a parasitoid that has been used in biological control of the southern black widow Latrodectus mactans (F.) in Hawaii. This wasp could become a significant limiting factor for L. geometricus distribution on these islands, as it was found in 31% of the Tahitian brown widow spider egg sacs that were dissected. However, thus far, the wasp was only found on Tahiti in association with the brown widow spider. Although the brown widow is generally considered to be less toxic than its black widow relatives, it remains of medical concern in French Polynesia because reactions to its bites can, at times, be severe. The spider remains of public concern because it is a novel species; it has the word widow in its name and dark morphs are mistaken as black widows. PMID:26336266

  19. Population genetic patterns among social groups of the endangered Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) in a human-dominated landscape

    PubMed Central

    Hagell, Suzanne; Whipple, Amy V; Chambers, Carol L

    2013-01-01

    Spider monkeys (Genus: Ateles) are a widespread Neotropical primate with a highly plastic socioecological strategy. However, the Central American species, Ateles geoffroyi, was recently re-listed as endangered due to the accelerated loss of forest across the subcontinent. There is inconsistent evidence that spider monkey populations could persist when actively protected, but their long-term viability in unprotected, human-dominated landscapes is not known. We analyzed noninvasive genetic samples from 185 individuals in 14 putative social groups on the Rivas Isthmus in southwestern Nicaragua. We found evidence of weak but significant genetic structure in the mitochondrial control region and in eight nuclear microsatellite loci plus negative spatial autocorrelation in Fst and kinship. The overall pattern suggests strong localized mating and at least historical female-biased dispersal, as is expected for this species. Heterozygosity was significantly lower than expected under random mating and lower than that found in other spider monkey populations, possibly reflecting a recent decline in genetic diversity and a threat from inbreeding. We conclude that despite a long history of human disturbance on this landscape, spider monkeys were until recently successful at maintaining gene flow. We consider the recent decline to be further indication of accelerated anthropogenic disturbance, but also of an opportunity to conserve native biodiversity. Spider monkeys are one of many wildlife species in Central America that is threatened by land cover change, and an apt example of how landscape-scale conservation planning could be used to ensure long-term persistence. PMID:23762523

  20. Metacommunity Composition of Web-Spiders in a Fragmented Neotropical Forest: Relative Importance of Environmental and Spatial Effects

    PubMed Central

    Baldissera, Ronei; Rodrigues, Everton N. L.; Hartz, Sandra M.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of beta diversity is shaped by factors linked to environmental and spatial control. The relative importance of both processes in structuring spider metacommunities has not yet been investigated in the Atlantic Forest. The variance explained by purely environmental, spatially structured environmental, and purely spatial components was compared for a metacommunity of web spiders. The study was carried out in 16 patches of Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil. Field work was done in one landscape mosaic representing a slight gradient of urbanization. Environmental variables encompassed plot- and patch-level measurements and a climatic matrix, while principal coordinates of neighbor matrices (PCNMs) acted as spatial variables. A forward selection procedure was carried out to select environmental and spatial variables influencing web-spider beta diversity. Variation partitioning was used to estimate the contribution of pure environmental and pure spatial effects and their shared influence on beta-diversity patterns, and to estimate the relative importance of selected environmental variables. Three environmental variables (bush density, land use in the surroundings of patches, and shape of patches) and two spatial variables were selected by forward selection procedures. Variation partitioning revealed that 15% of the variation of beta diversity was explained by a combination of environmental and PCNM variables. Most of this variation (12%) corresponded to pure environmental and spatially environmental structure. The data indicated that (1) spatial legacy was not important in explaining the web-spider beta diversity; (2) environmental predictors explained a significant portion of the variation in web-spider composition; (3) one-third of environmental variation was due to a spatial structure that jointly explains variation in species distributions. We were able to detect important factors related to matrix management influencing the web-spider beta

  1. Insects and Spiders: Infestations and Bites

    PubMed Central

    Turgeon, E.W.T.

    1987-01-01

    Despite successful eradication techniques and specific effective therapies, insect bites and infestations remain a source of great human misery. The current scabies pandemic shows no signs of abating. Bed bugs, which through the ages have been second only to the malarial mosquito as an insect vector of fatal infection, have now been implicated in the transmission of Hepatitis B and possibly African acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The incidence of head- and pubic lice is on the rise, the latter paralleling, and often co-existing with, other sexually transmitted diseases. Black widow spiders are native to many populous areas in southern Canada, and the brown recluse spider's range now encompasses Canada, thanks to moving vans and central heating. ImagesFigure 1Figure 2Figure 3Figure 4Figure 5Figure 6 PMID:21263961

  2. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  3. Proximal and Distal Predictors of the Spider Monkey's Stress Levels in Fragmented Landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ordóñez-Gómez, José D; Cristóbal-Azkarate, Jurgi; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Santillán-Doherty, Ana M; Valdez, Ricardo A; Romano, Marta C

    2016-01-01

    The rapid loss, fragmentation and degradation of tropical forests threaten the survival of many animal species. However, the way in which these phenomena affect animal health has been poorly explored, thus limiting the design of appropriate conservation strategies. To address this, here we identified using linear mixed models the effect of proximal (diet, activity pattern, hunting and logging) and distal (sum of the basal areas of fruiting-tree species [SBAFS], landscape forest cover and degree of forest fragmentation) variables over fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) levels-hormones associated with animal health and fitness-of six groups of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) inhabiting six landscapes with different spatial structures in Mexico. Proximal variables showed a stronger predictive power over fGCMs than distal. In this sense, increases in travel time, the occurrence of hunting, and reductions in rest time and fruit consumption resulted in higher fGCM levels. Regarding distal variables, increases in SBAFS were negatively related to fGCM levels, thus suggesting that food scarcity increases stress hormone levels. Nevertheless, contrary to theoretical expectations, spider monkeys living in smaller tracts of forest spent less time travelling, but the same time feeding on fruit as those in more forested areas. The lower net energy return associated with this combination of factors would explain why, contrary to theoretical expectations, increased forest cover was associated with increased levels of fGCMs in these groups. Our study shows that, at least in the short term, spider monkeys in fragmented landscapes do not always present higher levels of stress hormones compared to those inhabiting continuous forest, and the importance of preserving fruit sources and controlling hunting for reducing the levels of stress hormones in free ranging spider monkeys. PMID:26901767

  4. Proximal and Distal Predictors of the Spider Monkey’s Stress Levels in Fragmented Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Ordóñez-Gómez, José D.; Cristóbal-Azkarate, Jurgi; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Santillán-Doherty, Ana M.; Valdez, Ricardo A.; Romano, Marta C.

    2016-01-01

    The rapid loss, fragmentation and degradation of tropical forests threaten the survival of many animal species. However, the way in which these phenomena affect animal health has been poorly explored, thus limiting the design of appropriate conservation strategies. To address this, here we identified using linear mixed models the effect of proximal (diet, activity pattern, hunting and logging) and distal (sum of the basal areas of fruiting-tree species [SBAFS], landscape forest cover and degree of forest fragmentation) variables over fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) levels–hormones associated with animal health and fitness–of six groups of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) inhabiting six landscapes with different spatial structures in Mexico. Proximal variables showed a stronger predictive power over fGCMs than distal. In this sense, increases in travel time, the occurrence of hunting, and reductions in rest time and fruit consumption resulted in higher fGCM levels. Regarding distal variables, increases in SBAFS were negatively related to fGCM levels, thus suggesting that food scarcity increases stress hormone levels. Nevertheless, contrary to theoretical expectations, spider monkeys living in smaller tracts of forest spent less time travelling, but the same time feeding on fruit as those in more forested areas. The lower net energy return associated with this combination of factors would explain why, contrary to theoretical expectations, increased forest cover was associated with increased levels of fGCMs in these groups. Our study shows that, at least in the short term, spider monkeys in fragmented landscapes do not always present higher levels of stress hormones compared to those inhabiting continuous forest, and the importance of preserving fruit sources and controlling hunting for reducing the levels of stress hormones in free ranging spider monkeys. PMID:26901767

  5. Behavioural evidence of male volatile pheromones in the sex-role reversed wolf spiders Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aisenberg, Anita; Baruffaldi, Luciana; González, Macarena

    2010-01-01

    The use of chemical signals in a sexual context is widespread in the animal kingdom. Most studies in spiders report the use of female pheromones that attract potential sexual partners. Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps are two burrowing wolf spiders that show sex-role reversal. Females locate male burrows and initiate courtship before males perform any detectable visual or vibratory signal. So, females of these species would be detecting chemical or mechanical cues left by males. Our objective was to explore the potential for male pheromones to play a role in mate detection in A. brasiliensis and A. alticeps. We designed two experiments. In Experiment 1, we tested the occurrence of male contact pheromones by evaluating female courtship when exposed to empty burrows constructed by males or females (control). In Experiment 2, we tested the existence of male volatile pheromones by evaluating female behaviour when exposed to artificial burrows connected to tubes containing males, females or empty tubes (control). Our results suggest the occurrence of male volatile pheromones that trigger female courtship in both Allocosa species. The sex-role reversal postulated for these wolf spiders could be driving the consequent reversal in typical pheromone-emitter and detector roles expected for spiders.

  6. Antimicrobial functionalized genetically engineered spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Sílvia; Leonor, Isabel B.; Mano, João F.; Reis, Rui L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Genetically engineered fusion proteins offer potential as multifunctional biomaterials for medical use. Fusion or chimeric proteins can be formed using recombinant DNA technology by combining nucleotide sequences encoding different peptides or proteins that are otherwise not found together in nature. In the present study, three new fusion proteins were designed, cloned and expressed and assessed for function, by combining the consensus sequence of dragline spider silk with three different antimicrobial peptides. The human antimicrobial peptides human neutrophil defensin 2 (HNP-2), human neutrophil defensins 4 (HNP-4) and hepcidin were fused to spider silk through bioengineering. The spider silk domain maintained its self-assembly features, a key aspect of these new polymeric protein biomaterials, allowing the formation of β-sheets to lock in structures via physical interactions without the need for chemical cross-linking. These new functional silk proteins were assessed for antimicrobial activity against Gram - Escherichia coli and Gram + Staphylococcus aureus and microbicidal activity was demonstrated. Dynamic light scattering was used to assess protein aggregation to clarify the antimicrobial patterns observed. Attenuated-total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) were used to assess the secondary structure of the new recombinant proteins. In vitro cell studies with a human osteosarcoma cell line (SaOs-2) demonstrated the compatibility of these new proteins with mammalian cells. PMID:21458065

  7. Ex vivo rheology of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Kojić, N; Bico, J; Clasen, C; McKinley, G H

    2006-11-01

    We investigate the rheological properties of microliter quantities of the spinning material extracted ex vivo from the major ampullate gland of a Nephila clavipes spider using two new micro-rheometric devices. A sliding plate micro-rheometer is employed to measure the steady-state shear viscosity of approximately 1 microl samples of silk dope from individual biological specimens. The steady shear viscosity of the spinning solution is found to be highly shear-thinning, with a power-law index consistent with values expected for liquid crystalline solutions. Calculations show that the viscosity of the fluid decreases 10-fold as it flows through the narrow spinning canals of the spider. By contrast, measurements in a microcapillary extensional rheometer show that the transient extensional viscosity (i.e. the viscoelastic resistance to stretching) of the spinning fluid increases more than 100-fold during the spinning process. Quantifying the properties of native spinning solutions provides new guidance for adjusting the spinning processes of synthetic or genetically engineered silks to match those of the spider. PMID:17050850

  8. [Poisoning by spiders of Loxosceles genus].

    PubMed

    De Roodt, Adolfo R; Salomón, Oscar D; Lloveras, Susana C; Orduna, Tomás A

    2002-01-01

    Despite the great number of spiders in the world, only a small group of them is capable of producing death in humans. In Argentina, there are only three of the four genera of spiders considered of high risk to humans: Latrodectus is present in rural areas, Phoneutria is restricted to small regions while Loxosceles is distributed throughout the country. Accidents by Loxosceles represent around 4% of the total number produced by venomous animals in Argentina. The bite is accidental and may produce considerable local necrosis with scar formation and ulcers of slow and difficult healing that may require surgical repair. Some bitten people may suffer from intravascular hemolysis, disseminated coagulation and acute renal insufficiency leading to death. Despite the great number of studies performed on Loxosceles venoms, at present, the physiopathological course of poisoning is not clear and there is not common criteria for its treatment. In this review, biological and epidemiological data of this spider are described as well as the venom composition and the possible participation of its components in the poisoning. These data provide biological and biochemical tools to understand the course of poisoning and to have better criteria for the treatment and prevention of these accidents and their complications. PMID:11965857

  9. Taxonomic revision of the Trapdoor spider genus Eucteniza Ausserer (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Euctenizidae)

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Jason E.; Godwin, Rebecca L.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The mygalomorph spider genus Eucteniza Ausserer, 1875 comprises 15 nominal species known only from the southwestern United States (Texas) and Mexico (Northern, Central, and the Baja Peninsula). Eucteniza atoyacensis Bond & Opell, 2002 is considered a nomen dubium; E. rex (Chamberlin, 1940) and E. stolida (Gertsch & Mulaik, 1940) are both considered junior synonyms of E. relata (O.P.-Cambridge, 1895). Twelve new species are described: E. caprica, E. coylei, E. diablo, E. cabowabo, E. huasteca, E. zapatista, E. chichimeca, E. ronnewtoni, E. hidalgo, E. golondrina, E. panchovillai and E. rosalia. PMID:24363573

  10. Taxonomic revision of the Trapdoor spider genus Eucteniza Ausserer (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Euctenizidae).

    PubMed

    Bond, Jason E; Godwin, Rebecca L

    2013-01-01

    The mygalomorph spider genus Eucteniza Ausserer, 1875 comprises 15 nominal species known only from the southwestern United States (Texas) and Mexico (Northern, Central, and the Baja Peninsula). Eucteniza atoyacensis Bond & Opell, 2002 is considered a nomen dubium; E. rex (Chamberlin, 1940) and E. stolida (Gertsch & Mulaik, 1940) are both considered junior synonyms of E. relata (O.P.-Cambridge, 1895). Twelve new species are described: E. caprica, E. coylei, E. diablo, E. cabowabo, E. huasteca, E. zapatista, E. chichimeca, E. ronnewtoni, E. hidalgo, E. golondrina, E. panchovillai and E. rosalia. PMID:24363573

  11. Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders.

    PubMed

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Raffel, Thomas R; Rohr, Jason R

    2010-10-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that competition between disparate taxa can be important in determining community structure, yet surprisingly, to our knowledge, no quantitative studies have been conducted on competition between carnivorous plants and animals. To examine potential competition between these taxa, we studied dietary and microhabitat overlap between pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in the field, and conducted a laboratory experiment examining the effects of wolf spiders on sundew fitness. In the field, we found that sundews and spiders had a high dietary overlap with each other and with the available arthropod prey. Associations between sundews and spiders depended on spatial scale: both sundews and spiders were found more frequently in quadrats with more abundant prey, but within quadrats, spiders constructed larger webs and located them further away from sundews as the total sundew trapping area increased, presumably to reduce competition. Spiders also constructed larger webs when fewer prey were available. In the laboratory, our experiment revealed that spiders can significantly reduce sundew fitness. Our findings suggest that members of the plant and animal kingdoms can and do compete. PMID:20462904

  12. Using Spider-Web Patterns To Determine Toxicity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noever, David A.; Cronise, Raymond J.; Relwani, Rachna A.

    1995-01-01

    Method of determining toxicities of chemicals involves recording and analysis of spider-web patterns. Based on observation spiders exposed to various chemicals spin webs that differ, in various ways, from normal webs. Potential alternative to toxicity testing on higher animals.

  13. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  14. Brain systems underlying encounter expectancy bias in spider phobia.

    PubMed

    Aue, Tatjana; Hoeppli, Marie-Eve; Piguet, Camille; Hofstetter, Christoph; Rieger, Sebastian W; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2015-06-01

    Spider-phobic individuals are characterized by exaggerated expectancies to be faced with spiders (so-called encounter expectancy bias). Whereas phobic responses have been linked to brain systems mediating fear, little is known about how the recruitment of these systems relates to exaggerated expectancies of threat. We used fMRI to examine spider-phobic and control participants while they imagined visiting different locations in a forest after having received background information about the likelihood of encountering different animals (spiders, snakes, and birds) at these locations. Critically, imagined encounter expectancies modulated brain responses differently in phobics as compared with controls. Phobics displayed stronger negative modulation of activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex by encounter expectancies for spiders, relative to snakes or birds (within-participants analysis); these effects were not seen in controls. Between-participants correlation analyses within the phobic group further corroborated the hypothesis that these phobia-specific modulations may underlie irrationality in encounter expectancies (deviations of encounter expectancies from objective background information) in spider phobia; the greater the negative modulation a phobic participant displayed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex, the stronger was her bias in encounter expectancies for spiders. Interestingly, irrationality in expectancies reflected in frontal areas relied on right rather than left hemispheric deactivations. Our data accord with the idea that expectancy biases in spider phobia may reflect deficiencies in cognitive control and contextual integration that are mediated by right frontal and parietal areas. PMID:25694215

  15. Genome size and endonuclear DNA replication in spiders.

    PubMed

    Rasch, Ellen M; Connelly, Barbara A

    2005-08-01

    Although genome sizes (C-values) are now available for 115 arachnid species (Gregory and Shorthouse [2003] J Hered 94:285-290), the extent of genome amplification (endonuclear DNA replication or polyploidization) accompanying tissue differentiation in this diverse and abundant class of invertebrates remains unknown. To explore this aspect of arachnid development, samples of hemolymph and other tissues were taken from wild-caught specimens as air-dried smears, stained with the Feulgen reaction for DNA, and assayed using both scanning and image analysis densitometry. Cells from midgut diverticula and Malpighian tubules of Argiope and Lycosa (=Pardosa) often showed giant nuclei with 50-100 pg of DNA per nucleus, reflecting at least four cycles of endonuclear DNA replication when compared to the DNA content of hemocytes or sperm from the same specimen. Nuclei with markedly elevated DNA levels also appeared, but far less frequently, in tissue samples from several other arachnid species (Antrodiaetus, Hypochilus, Latrodectus, Liphistus and Loxosceles), but revealed no correlation with differences in somatic cell (2C) genome sizes. Our data show that several DNA classes of polysomatic nuclei regularly arise during tissue differentiation in some species of spiders and may provide an interesting model system for further study of patterns of tissue-specific variation in DNA endoreduplication during development. PMID:15971267

  16. Amensalism via webs causes unidirectional shifts of dominance in spider mite communities.

    PubMed

    Osakabe, Masahiro; Hongo, Kimiko; Funayama, Ken; Osumi, Senichi

    2006-12-01

    Competitive displacement is considered the most severe consequence of interspecific competition; if a superior competitor invades the habitat of an inferior species, the inferior species will be displaced. Most displacements previously reported among arthropods were caused by exotic species. The lack of investigation of displacement among native species may be due to their apparently harmonious coexistence, even if it is equivalent to an outcome of interspecific association. A seasonal change in the species composition of spider mites, from Panonychus ulmi to Tetranychus urticae, is observed in apple trees worldwide. Previous laboratory experiments have revealed amensal effects of T. urticae on P. ulmi via their webs. Using manipulation experiments in an orchard, we tested whether this seasonal change in species composition occurred as the result of interspecific competition between these spider mites. Invasion by T. urticae prevented an increase in P. ulmi densities throughout the experimental periods. Degree of overlap relative to the independent distribution on a leaf-surface basis (omega (S)) changed from positive to negative with increasing density of T. urticae. T. urticae invasion drove P. ulmi toward upper leaf surfaces (competitor-free space). The niche adjustment by P. ulmi occurred between leaf surfaces but not among leaves. Our findings show that asymmetrical competition between T. urticae and P. ulmi plays an important role in this unidirectional displacement and that the existence of refuges within a leaf produces the apparently harmonious coexistence of the mites and obscures their negative association. PMID:17024380

  17. [Processing and Modification of Recombinant Spider Silk Proteins].

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Wang, Tao; Liu, Xiaobing; Luo, Yongen

    2015-08-01

    Due to its special sequence structure, spider silk protein has unique physical and chemical properties, mechanical properties and excellent biological properties. With the expansion of the application value of spider silk in many fields as a functional material, progress has been made in the studies on the expression of recombinant spider silk proteins through many host systems by gene recombinant techniques. Recombinant spider silk proteins can be processed into high performance fibers, and a wide range of nonfibrous morphologies. Moreover, for their excellent biocompatibility and low immune response they are ideal for biomedical applications. Here we review the process and mechanism of preparation in vitro, chemistry and genetic engineering modification on recombinant spider silk protein. PMID:26710473

  18. Tuning the instrument: sonic properties in the spider's web.

    PubMed

    Mortimer, B; Soler, A; Siviour, C R; Zaera, R; Vollrath, F

    2016-09-01

    Spider orb webs are multifunctional, acting to absorb prey impact energy and transmit vibratory information to the spider. This paper explores the links between silk material properties, propagation of vibrations within webs and the ability of the spider to control and balance web function. Combining experimental and modelling approaches, we contrast transverse and longitudinal wave propagation in the web. It emerged that both transverse and longitudinal wave amplitude in the web can be adjusted through changes in web tension and dragline silk stiffness, i.e. properties that can be controlled by the spider. In particular, we propose that dragline silk supercontraction may have evolved as a control mechanism for these multifunctional fibres. The various degrees of active influence on web engineering reveals the extraordinary ability of spiders to shape the physical properties of their self-made materials and architectures to affect biological functionality, balancing trade-offs between structural and sensory functions. PMID:27605164

  19. Behavior of an adaptive bio-inspired spider web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Lingyue; Behrooz, Majid; Huie, Andrew; Hartman, Alex; Gordaninejad, Faramarz

    2015-03-01

    The goal of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of an artificial adaptive spider web with comparable behavior to a real spider web. First, the natural frequency and energy absorption ability of a passive web is studied. Next, a control system that consists of stepper motors, load cells and an Arduino, is constructed to mimic a spider's ability to control the tension of radial strings in the web. The energy related characteristics in the artificial spider web is examined while the pre-tension of the radial strings are varied. Various mechanical properties of a damaged spider web are adjusted to study their effect on the behavior of the web. It is demonstrated that the pre-tension and stiffness of the web's radial strings can significantly affect the natural frequency and the total energy of the full and damaged webs.

  20. And along Came a Spider: An Attentional Bias for the Detection of Spiders in Young Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LoBue, Vanessa

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are among the most common targets of fears and phobias in the world. In visual search tasks, adults detect their presence more rapidly than other kinds of stimuli. Reported here is an investigation of whether young children share this attentional bias for the detection of spiders. In a series of experiments, preschoolers and adults were…

  1. Silk wrapping of nuptial gifts as visual signal for female attraction in a crepuscular spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trillo, Mariana C.; Melo-González, Valentina; Albo, Maria J.

    2014-02-01

    An extensive diversity of nuptial gifts is known in invertebrates, but prey wrapped in silk is a unique type of gift present in few insects and spiders. Females from spider species prefer males offering a gift accepting more and longer matings than when males offered no gift. Silk wrapping of the gift is not essential to obtain a mating, but appears to increase the chance of a mating evidencing a particularly intriguing function of this trait. Consequently, as other secondary sexual traits, silk wrapping may be an important trait under sexual selection, if it is used by females as a signal providing information on male quality. We aimed to understand whether the white color of wrapped gifts is used as visual signal during courtship in the spider Paratrechalea ornata. We studied if a patch of white paint on the males' chelicerae is attractive to females by exposing females to males: with their chelicerae painted white; without paint; and with the sternum painted white (paint control). Females contacted males with white chelicerae more often and those males obtained higher mating success than other males. Thereafter, we explored whether silk wrapping is a condition-dependent trait and drives female visual attraction. We exposed good and poor condition males, carrying a prey, to the female silk. Males in poor condition added less silk to the prey than males in good condition, indicating that gift wrapping is an indicator of male quality and may be used by females to acquire information of the potential mate.

  2. Material properties of evolutionary diverse spider silks described by variation in a single structural parameter.

    PubMed

    Madurga, Rodrigo; Plaza, Gustavo R; Blackledge, Todd A; Guinea, Gustavo V; Elices, Manuel; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2016-01-01

    Spider major ampullate gland silks (MAS) vary greatly in material properties among species but, this variation is shown here to be confined to evolutionary shifts along a single universal performance trajectory. This reveals an underlying design principle that is maintained across large changes in both spider ecology and silk chemistry. Persistence of this design principle becomes apparent after the material properties are defined relative to the true alignment parameter, which describes the orientation and stretching of the protein chains in the silk fiber. Our results show that the mechanical behavior of all Entelegynae major ampullate silk fibers, under any conditions, are described by this single parameter that connects the sequential action of three deformation micromechanisms during stretching: stressing of protein-protein hydrogen bonds, rotation of the β-nanocrystals and growth of the ordered fraction. Conservation of these traits for over 230 million years is an indication of the optimal design of the material and gives valuable clues for the production of biomimetic counterparts based on major ampullate spider silk. PMID:26755434

  3. First evidence of neurons in the male copulatory organ of a spider (Arachnida, Araneae)

    PubMed Central

    Lipke, Elisabeth; Hammel, Jörg U.; Michalik, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Spider males have evolved a remarkable way of transferring sperm by using a modified part of their pedipalps, the so-called palpal organ. The palpal organ is ontogenetically derived from tarsal claws; however, no nerves, sensory organs or muscles have been detected in the palpal bulb so far, suggesting that the spider male copulatory organ is numb and sensorily blind. Here, we document the presence of neurons and a nerve inside the male palpal organ of a spider for the first time. Several neurons that are located in the embolus are attached to the surrounding cuticle where stresses and strains lead to a deformation (stretching) of the palpal cuticle on a local scale, suggesting a putative proprioreceptive function. Consequently, the male copulatory organ of this species is not just a numb structure but likely able to directly perceive sensory input during sperm transfer. In addition, we identified two glands in the palpal organ, one of which is located in the embolus (embolus gland). The embolus gland appears to be directly innervated, which could allow for rapid modulation of secretory activity. Thus, we hypothesize that the transferred seminal fluid can be modulated to influence female processes. PMID:26156131

  4. Material properties of evolutionary diverse spider silks described by variation in a single structural parameter

    PubMed Central

    Madurga, Rodrigo; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Blackledge, Todd A.; Guinea, Gustavo.V.; Elices, Manuel; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2016-01-01

    Spider major ampullate gland silks (MAS) vary greatly in material properties among species but, this variation is shown here to be confined to evolutionary shifts along a single universal performance trajectory. This reveals an underlying design principle that is maintained across large changes in both spider ecology and silk chemistry. Persistence of this design principle becomes apparent after the material properties are defined relative to the true alignment parameter, which describes the orientation and stretching of the protein chains in the silk fiber. Our results show that the mechanical behavior of all Entelegynae major ampullate silk fibers, under any conditions, are described by this single parameter that connects the sequential action of three deformation micromechanisms during stretching: stressing of protein-protein hydrogen bonds, rotation of the β-nanocrystals and growth of the ordered fraction. Conservation of these traits for over 230 million years is an indication of the optimal design of the material and gives valuable clues for the production of biomimetic counterparts based on major ampullate spider silk. PMID:26755434

  5. Material properties of evolutionary diverse spider silks described by variation in a single structural parameter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madurga, Rodrigo; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Blackledge, Todd A.; Guinea, Gustavo. V.; Elices, Manuel; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2016-01-01

    Spider major ampullate gland silks (MAS) vary greatly in material properties among species but, this variation is shown here to be confined to evolutionary shifts along a single universal performance trajectory. This reveals an underlying design principle that is maintained across large changes in both spider ecology and silk chemistry. Persistence of this design principle becomes apparent after the material properties are defined relative to the true alignment parameter, which describes the orientation and stretching of the protein chains in the silk fiber. Our results show that the mechanical behavior of all Entelegynae major ampullate silk fibers, under any conditions, are described by this single parameter that connects the sequential action of three deformation micromechanisms during stretching: stressing of protein-protein hydrogen bonds, rotation of the β-nanocrystals and growth of the ordered fraction. Conservation of these traits for over 230 million years is an indication of the optimal design of the material and gives valuable clues for the production of biomimetic counterparts based on major ampullate spider silk.

  6. Sibling cannibalism in a web-building spider: effects of density and shared environment.

    PubMed

    Modanu, Maria; Li, Lucy Dong Xuan; Said, Hosay; Rathitharan, Nizanthan; Andrade, Maydianne C B

    2014-07-01

    Sibling cannibalism occurs across diverse taxa and can affect population size and structure, as well as the fitness of parents and the cannibal, via density effects and variation in individual propensity to cannibalize. We examined these effects on sibling cannibalism in juveniles of a web-building spider (Latrodectus hasselti, Australian redbacks). Adult redbacks are solitary, but juveniles live in clusters of variable density for a week after hatching. We confined newly hatched siblings from a singly-mated female to a low or high density treatment in a split-clutch design, then left spiderlings unfed for a week. Our results showed no effect of density on overall cannibalism levels, but a strong correlation between cannibalism counts from the same maternal lines across densities. Unlike web-bound sit-and-wait predators, wandering spiders that are active hunters have been shown to experience density-dependent cannibalism. In contrast, we suggest sibling cannibalism in web-building spiders may be density independent because early cohabitation on the web selects for elevated tolerance of conspecifics. We conclude that, rather than being linked to density, cannibalism of siblings in these species may be controlled more strongly by variation in individual propensity to cannibalize. PMID:24726519

  7. Müllerian Mimicry as a Result of Codivergence between Velvet Ants and Spider Wasps

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Juanita; Pitts, James P.; von Dohlen, Carol D.; Wilson, Joseph S.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have delineated a large Nearctic Müllerian mimicry complex in Dasymutilla velvet ants. Psorthaspis spider wasps live in areas where this mimicry complex is found and are phenotypically similar to Dasymutilla. We tested the idea that Psorthaspis spider wasps are participating in the Dasymutilla mimicry complex and that they codiverged with Dasymutilla. We performed morphometric analyses and human perception tests, and tabulated distributional records to determine the fit of Psorthaspis to the Dasymutilla mimicry complex. We inferred a dated phylogeny using nuclear molecular markers (28S, elongation factor 1-alpha, long-wavelength rhodopsin and wingless) for Psorthaspis species and compared it to a dated phylogeny of Dasymutilla. We tested for codivergence between the two groups using two statistical analyses. Our results show that Psorthaspis spider wasps are morphologically similar to the Dasymutilla mimicry rings. In addition, our tests indicate that Psorthaspis and Dasymutilla codiverged to produce similar color patterns. This study expands the breadth of the Dasymutilla Müllerian mimicry complex and provides insights about how codivergence influenced the evolution of mimicry in these groups. PMID:25396424

  8. Life history trade-offs imposed by dragline use in two money spiders.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Dries; Verduyn, Lieselot; Braeckman, Bart P

    2016-01-01

    Trade-offs among life history traits are central to understanding the limits of adaptations to stress. In animals, virtually all decisions taken during life are expected to have downstream consequences. To what degree rare, but energy-demanding, decisions carry over to individual performance is rarely studied in arthropods. We used spiders as a model system to test how single investments in silk use - for dispersal or predator escape - affect individual performance. Silk produced for safe lines and as threads for ballooning is of the strongest kind and is energetically costly, especially when resources are limited. We induced dragline spinning in two species of money spider at similar quantities to that under natural conditions and tested trade-offs with lifespan and egg sac production under unlimited prey availability and a dietary restriction treatment. We demonstrate strong trade-offs between dragline spinning and survival and fecundity. Survival trade-offs were additive to those imposed by the dietary treatment, but a reduction in eggs produced after silk use was only prevalent under conditions where food was restricted during the spider's life. Because draglines are not recycled after their use for dispersal or predator escape, their spinning incurs substantial fitness costs in dispersal, especially in environments with prey limitation. Rare but energetically costly decisions related to dispersal or predator escape may thus carry over to adult performance and explain phenotypic heterogeneity in natural populations. PMID:26596528

  9. De novo characterization of the gene-rich transcriptomes of two color-polymorphic spiders, Theridion grallator and T. californicum (Araneae: Theridiidae), with special reference to pigment genes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A number of spider species within the family Theridiidae exhibit a dramatic abdominal (opisthosomal) color polymorphism. The polymorphism is inherited in a broadly Mendelian fashion and in some species consists of dozens of discrete morphs that are convergent across taxa and populations. Few genomic resources exist for spiders. Here, as a first necessary step towards identifying the genetic basis for this trait we present the near complete transcriptomes of two species: the Hawaiian happy-face spider Theridion grallator and Theridion californicum. We mined the gene complement for pigment-pathway genes and examined differential expression (DE) between morphs that are unpatterned (plain yellow) and patterned (yellow with superimposed patches of red, white or very dark brown). Results By deep sequencing both RNA-seq and normalized cDNA libraries from pooled specimens of each species we were able to assemble a comprehensive gene set for both species that we estimate to be 98-99% complete. It is likely that these species express more than 20,000 protein-coding genes, perhaps 4.5% (ca. 870) of which might be unique to spiders. Mining for pigment-associated Drosophila melanogaster genes indicated the presence of all ommochrome pathway genes and most pteridine pathway genes and DE analyses further indicate a possible role for the pteridine pathway in theridiid color patterning. Conclusions Based upon our estimates, T. grallator and T. californicum express a large inventory of protein-coding genes. Our comprehensive assembly illustrates the continuing value of sequencing normalized cDNA libraries in addition to RNA-seq in order to generate a reference transcriptome for non-model species. The identification of pteridine-related genes and their possible involvement in color patterning is a novel finding in spiders and one that suggests a biochemical link between guanine deposits and the pigments exhibited by these species. PMID:24314324

  10. The embryonic development of the central American wandering spider Cupiennius salei

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The spider Cupiennius salei (Keyserling 1877) has become an important study organism in evolutionary and developmental biology. However, the available staging system for its embryonic development is difficult to apply to modern studies, with strong bias towards the earliest developmental stages. Furthermore, important embryonic events are poorly understood. We address these problems, providing a new description of the embryonic development of C. salei. The paper also discusses various observations that will improve our understanding of spider development. Results Conspicuous developmental events were used to define numbered stages 1 to 21. Stages 1 to 9 follow the existing staging system for the spider Achaearanea tepidariorum, and stages 10 to 21 provide a high-resolution description of later development. Live-embryo imaging shows cell movements during the earliest formation of embryonic tissue in C. salei. The imaging procedure also elucidates the encircling border between the cell-dense embryo hemisphere and the hemisphere with much lower cell density (a structure termed 'equator' in earlier studies). This border results from subsurface migration of primordial mesendodermal cells from their invagination site at the blastopore. Furthermore, our detailed successive sequence shows: 1) early differentiation of the precheliceral neuroectoderm; 2) the morphogenetic process of inversion and 3) initial invaginations of the opisthosomal epithelium for the respiratory system. Conclusions Our improved staging system of development in C. salei development should be of considerable value to future comparative studies of animal development. A dense germ disc is not evident during development in C. salei, but we show that the gastrulation process is similar to that in spider species that do have a dense germ disc. In the opisthosoma, the order of appearance of precursor epithelial invaginations provides evidence for the non-homology of the tracheal and book lung

  11. Evidence of Decoupling Protein Structure from Spidroin Expression in Spider Dragline Silks.

    PubMed

    Blamires, Sean J; Kasumovic, Michael M; Tso, I-Min; Martens, Penny J; Hook, James M; Rawal, Aditya

    2016-01-01

    The exceptional strength and extensibility of spider dragline silk have been thought to be facilitated by two spidroins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and major ampullate spidroin 2 (MaSp2), under the assumption that protein secondary structures are coupled with the expressed spidroins. We tested this assumption for the dragline silk of three co-existing Australian spiders, Argiope keyserlingi, Latrodectus hasselti and Nephila plumipes. We found that silk amino acid compositions did not differ among spiders collected in May. We extended these analyses temporally and found the amino acid compositions of A. keyserlingi silks to differ when collected in May compared to November, while those of L. hasselti did not. To ascertain whether their secondary structures were decoupled from spidroin expression, we performed solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) analysis on the silks of all spiders collected in May. We found the distribution of alanine toward β-sheet and 3,10helix/random coil conformations differed between species, as did their relative crystallinities, with A. keyserlingi having the greatest 3,10helix/random coil composition and N. plumipes the greatest crystallinity. The protein secondary structures correlated with the mechanical properties for each of the silks better than the amino acid compositions. Our findings suggested that a differential distribution of alanine during spinning could decouple secondary structures from spidroin expression ensuring that silks of desirable mechanical properties are consistently produced. Alternative explanations include the possibility that other spidroins were incorporated into some silks. PMID:27517909

  12. Population genetic evidence for sex-specific dispersal in an inbred social spider.

    PubMed

    Smith, Deborah R; Su, Yong-Chao; Berger-Tal, Reut; Lubin, Yael

    2016-08-01

    Dispersal in most group-living species ensures gene flow among groups, but in cooperative social spiders, juvenile dispersal is suppressed and colonies are highly inbred. It has been suggested that such inbred sociality is advantageous in the short term, but likely to lead to extinction or reduced speciation rates in the long run. In this situation, very low levels of dispersal and gene flow among colonies may have unusually important impacts on fitness and persistence of social spiders. We investigated sex-specific differences in dispersal and gene flow among colonies, as reflected in the genetic structure within colonies and populations of the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola Pocock, 1898 (Eresidae). We used DNA fingerprinting and mtDNA sequence data along with spatial mapping of colonies to compare male and female patterns of relatedness within and among colonies at three study sites. Samples were collected during and shortly after the mating season to detect sex-specific dispersal. Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes was consistent with proliferation of social nests by budding and medium- to long-distance dispersal by ballooning females. Analysis of molecular variance and spatial autocorrelation analyses of AFLPs showed high levels of genetic similarity within colonies, and STRUCTURE analyses revealed that the number of source populations contributing to colonies ranged from one to three. We also showed significant evidence of male dispersal among colonies at one site. These results support the hypothesis that in social spiders, genetic cohesion among populations is maintained by long-distance dispersal of female colony founders. Genetic diversity within colonies is maintained by colony initiation by multiple dispersing females, and adult male dispersal over short distances. Male dispersal may be particularly important in maintaining gene flow among colonies in local populations. PMID:27551398

  13. Evidence of Decoupling Protein Structure from Spidroin Expression in Spider Dragline Silks

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Kasumovic, Michael M.; Tso, I-Min; Martens, Penny J.; Hook, James M.; Rawal, Aditya

    2016-01-01

    The exceptional strength and extensibility of spider dragline silk have been thought to be facilitated by two spidroins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and major ampullate spidroin 2 (MaSp2), under the assumption that protein secondary structures are coupled with the expressed spidroins. We tested this assumption for the dragline silk of three co-existing Australian spiders, Argiope keyserlingi, Latrodectus hasselti and Nephila plumipes. We found that silk amino acid compositions did not differ among spiders collected in May. We extended these analyses temporally and found the amino acid compositions of A. keyserlingi silks to differ when collected in May compared to November, while those of L. hasselti did not. To ascertain whether their secondary structures were decoupled from spidroin expression, we performed solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) analysis on the silks of all spiders collected in May. We found the distribution of alanine toward β-sheet and 3,10helix/random coil conformations differed between species, as did their relative crystallinities, with A. keyserlingi having the greatest 3,10helix/random coil composition and N. plumipes the greatest crystallinity. The protein secondary structures correlated with the mechanical properties for each of the silks better than the amino acid compositions. Our findings suggested that a differential distribution of alanine during spinning could decouple secondary structures from spidroin expression ensuring that silks of desirable mechanical properties are consistently produced. Alternative explanations include the possibility that other spidroins were incorporated into some silks. PMID:27517909

  14. Chromosome Mapping of Dragline Silk Genes in the Genomes of Widow Spiders (Araneae, Theridiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yonghui; Ayoub, Nadia A.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2010-01-01

    With its incredible strength and toughness, spider dragline silk is widely lauded for its impressive material properties. Dragline silk is composed of two structural proteins, MaSp1 and MaSp2, which are encoded by members of the spidroin gene family. While previous studies have characterized the genes that encode the constituent proteins of spider silks, nothing is known about the physical location of these genes. We determined karyotypes and sex chromosome organization for the widow spiders, Latrodectus hesperus and L. geometricus (Araneae, Theridiidae). We then used fluorescence in situ hybridization to map the genomic locations of the genes for the silk proteins that compose the remarkable spider dragline. These genes included three loci for the MaSp1 protein and the single locus for the MaSp2 protein. In addition, we mapped a MaSp1 pseudogene. All the MaSp1 gene copies and pseudogene localized to a single chromosomal region while MaSp2 was located on a different chromosome of L. hesperus. Using probes derived from L. hesperus, we comparatively mapped all three MaSp1 loci to a single region of a L. geometricus chromosome. As with L. hesperus, MaSp2 was found on a separate L. geometricus chromosome, thus again unlinked to the MaSp1 loci. These results indicate orthology of the corresponding chromosomal regions in the two widow genomes. Moreover, the occurrence of multiple MaSp1 loci in a conserved gene cluster across species suggests that MaSp1 proliferated by tandem duplication in a common ancestor of L. geometricus and L. hesperus. Unequal crossover events during recombination could have given rise to the gene copies and could also maintain sequence similarity among gene copies over time. Further comparative mapping with taxa of increasing divergence from Latrodectus will pinpoint when the MaSp1 duplication events occurred and the phylogenetic distribution of silk gene linkage patterns. PMID:20877726

  15. Changes in composition of spider orb web sticky droplets with starvation and web removal, and synthesis of sticky droplet compounds

    PubMed Central

    Townley, Mark A.; Tillinghast, Edward K.; Neefus, Christopher D.

    2006-01-01

    Summary The sticky spiral of araneoid spider orb webs consists of silk fibers coated with adhesive droplets. The droplets contain a variety of low-molecular-mass compounds (LMM). Within a species, a fairly consistent ratio of LMM is often observed, but substantial variability can exist. To gain insight into factors influencing LMM composition, spiders of three araneid species were starved and LMM from their webs were analyzed for changes in composition. To determine if these changes were consistent with the spider’s ability to synthesize the different organic LMM, synthetic capacities were estimated following the feeding of radiolabeled metabolites. Some changes in droplet composition were broadly consistent with differing synthetic capacities: molar percentages of less readily synthesized compounds (e.g., choline, isethionate, n-acetyltaurine) typically declined with starvation, at least during a portion of the imposed fast, while more readily synthesized compounds (e.g., GABamide, glycine) tended to increase. Most striking was the apparent partial substitution of n-acetylputrescine by the more readily synthesized GABamide in fasting Argiope trifasciata. However, departures from expected compositional shifts demonstrated that synthetic capacity alone does not adequately predict sticky droplet compositional shifts with starvation. Moreover, feeding controls exhibited some changes in composition similar to starving spiders. As the webs of both feeding and starving spiders were removed for chemical analysis and could not be recycled, the loss of LMM contained in these webs likely contributed to similarities between treatments. In addition, feeding spiders molted, oviposited, and/or built heavier webs. The added metabolic demands of these activities may have contributed to changes in composition similar to those resulting from starvation. PMID:16574806

  16. A Comparative Analysis of the Venom Gland Transcriptomes of the Fishing Spiders Dolomedes mizhoanus and Dolomedes sulfurous

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xunxun; Wang, Hengyun; Zhang, Fang; Hu, Zhaotun; Liang, Songping; Liu, Zhonghua

    2015-01-01

    Dolomedes sulfurous and Dolomedes mizhoanus are predaceous arthropods catching and feeding on small fish. They live in the same area and have similar habits. Their venoms exhibit some similarities and differences in biochemical and electrophysiological properties. In the present work, we first performed a transcriptomic analysis by constructing the venom gland cDNA library of D. sulfurous and 127 novel putative toxin sequences were consequently identified, which were classified into eight families. This venom gland transcriptome was then compared with that of D. mizhoanus, which revealed that the putative toxins from both spider venoms might have originated from the same gene ancestors although novel toxins were evolved independently in the two spiders. The putative toxins from both spiders contain 6–12 cysteine residues forming seven cysteine patterns. As revealed by blast search, the two venoms are rich in neurotoxins targeting ion channels with pharmacological and therapeutic significance. This study provides insight into the venoms of two closely related species of spider, which will be of use for future investigations into the structure and function of their toxins. PMID:26445494

  17. Genetic differentiation in the circum—Antarctic sea spider Nymphon australe (Pycnogonida; Nymphonidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arango, Claudia P.; Soler-Membrives, Anna; Miller, Karen J.

    2011-03-01

    Nymphon australe Hodgson 1902 is the most abundant species of sea spiders in the Southern Ocean. The species is recognised as highly morphologically variable, circumpolar and eurybathic—which is surprising given that sea spiders lack a planktonic stage; the fertilised eggs and larvae remain attached to the ovigers of the father, and consequently have limited dispersal capacity. In this study, we investigate the genetic structure of N. australe populations around Antarctica, confronting the apparent limited dispersal ability with its recognised circumpolarity. Here we analyse mitochondrial DNA of specimens from Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea and East Antarctica to determine if they represent populations of the widespread N. australe — or instead we can recognise cryptic species - and how genetically different they are. Both CO1 and 16S sequence data produced single haplotype networks for N. australe from all three Antarctic locations without indication of cryptic speciation. However, we found strong phylogeographic structure among the three Antarctic locations based on CO1 data. There was only a single shared haplotype between the Antarctic Peninsula and the East Antarctica locations, and all three regions were significantly subdivided from each other ( FST=0.28, p<0.01). Furthermore, within the Antarctic Peninsula and East Antarctic locations, we found evidence of genetic subdivision between populations of N. australe separated by 10-100 s of km ( FST=0.07-0.22, p<0.05), consistent with sea spiders life history traits indicating a limited dispersal capability. We conclude N. australe represents a single circum-Antarctic species that, despite its limited dispersal abilities, has successfully colonised large parts of the Antarctic marine ecosystem through geological history. However, clear genetic differences among and within locations indicate contemporary gene flow is limited, and that populations of N. australe around Antarctica are effectively isolated.

  18. Contagious Deposition of Seeds in Spider Monkeys' Sleeping Trees Limits Effective Seed Dispersal in Fragmented Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    González-Zamora, Arturo; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Escobar, Federico; Rös, Matthias; Oyama, Ken; Ibarra-Manríquez, Guillermo; Stoner, Kathryn E.; Chapman, Colin A.

    2014-01-01

    The repeated use of sleeping sites by frugivorous vertebrates promotes the deposition and aggregation of copious amounts of seeds in these sites. This spatially contagious pattern of seed deposition has key implications for seed dispersal, particularly because such patterns can persist through recruitment. Assessing the seed rain patterns in sleeping sites thus represents a fundamental step in understanding the spatial structure and regeneration of plant assemblages. We evaluated the seed rain produced by spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in latrines located beneath 60 sleeping trees in two continuous forest sites (CFS) and three forest fragments (FF) in the Lacandona rainforest, Mexico. We tested for differences among latrines, among sites, and between forest conditions in the abundance, diversity (α-, β- and, γ-components) and evenness of seed assemblages. We recorded 45,919 seeds ≥5 mm (in length) from 68 species. The abundance of seeds was 1.7 times higher in FF than in CFS, particularly because of the dominance of a few plant species. As a consequence, community evenness tended to be lower within FF. β-diversity of common and dominant species was two times greater among FF than between CFS. Although mean α-diversity per latrine did not differ among sites, the greater β-diversity among latrines in CFS increased γ-diversity in these sites, particularly when considering common and dominant species. Our results support the hypothesis that fruit scarcity in FF can ‘force’ spider monkeys to deplete the available fruit patches more intensively than in CFS. This feeding strategy can limit the effectiveness of spider monkeys as seed dispersers in FF, because (i) it can limit the number of seed dispersers visiting such fruit patches; (ii) it increases seed dispersal limitation; and (iii) it can contribute to the floristic homogenization (i.e., reduced β-diversity among latrines) in fragmented landscapes. PMID:24586705

  19. Mosaic evolution of silk genes in Aliatypus trapdoor spiders (mygalomorphae, antrodiaetidae).

    PubMed

    Starrett, James; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2013-04-01

    Spider silk genes are composed mostly of repetitive sequence that is flanked by non-repetitive terminal regions. Inferences about the evolutionary processes that influenced silk genes have largely been made from analyses using distantly related taxa and ancient silk gene duplicates. These studies have relied on comparisons across the conserved non-repetitive terminal regions to determine orthologous and paralogous relationships, as well as the influence of selection on silk genes. While the repetitive region heavily influences silk fiber mechanical properties, few molecular evolutionary analyses have been conducted on this region due to difficulty in determining homology. Here, we sample internal repetitive and carboxy terminal regions from all extant species of the trapdoor spider genus, Aliatypus. Aliatypus spiders are highly dispersal limited and rely on their silk lined burrow for protection. We determine positional homology across species for the carboxy terminal regions and relative positional homology for the internal repetitive regions. Gene trees based on each of these regions are in good agreement with the Aliatypus species tree, which indicates we sampled single spidroin orthologs in each species. In addition, we find that purifying selection and concerted evolution have acted to conserve Aliatypus spidroin internal repetitive regions. In contrast, selection testing identifies evidence of sites that evolved under positive selection and amino acid replacements that result in radical physicochemical changes in the carboxy terminal region. These findings indicate that comparison of spidroin orthologs across a comprehensive sample of congenerics reveal molecular evolutionary patterns obscured from studies using higher-level sampling of silk encoding genes. PMID:23503815

  20. Behavioral and physiological responses to fruit availability of spider monkeys ranging in a small forest fragment

    PubMed Central

    Rimbach, Rebecca; Link, Andrés; Montes-Rojas, Andrés; Di Fiore, Anthony; Heistermann, Michael; Heymann, Eckhard W

    2014-01-01

    Numerous animal species currently experience habitat loss and fragmentation. This might result in behavioral and dietary adjustments, especially because fruit availability is frequently reduced in fragments. Food scarcity can result in elevated physiological stress levels, and chronic stress often has detrimental effects on individuals. Some animal species exhibit a high degree of fission–fusion dynamics, and theory predicts that these species reduce intragroup feeding competition by modifying their subgroup size according to resource availability. Until now, however, there have been few studies on how species with such fission–fission dynamics adjust their grouping patterns and social behavior in small fragments or on how food availability influences their stress levels. We collected data on fruit availability, feeding behavior, stress hormone levels (measured through fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGCM)), subgroup size, and aggression for two groups of brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) in a small forest fragment in Colombia and examined whether fruit availability influences these variables. Contrary to our predictions, spider monkeys ranged in smaller subgroups, had higher FGCM levels and higher aggression rates when fruit availability was high compared to when it was low. The atypical grouping pattern of the study groups seems to be less effective at mitigating contest competition over food resources than more typical fission–fusion patterns. Overall, our findings illustrate that the relationship between resource availability, grouping patterns, aggression rates, and stress levels can be more complex than assumed thus far. Additional studies are needed to investigate the long-term consequences on the health and persistence of spider monkeys in fragmented habitats. PMID:24820229

  1. Spider crabs of the Western Atlantic with special reference to fossil and some modern Mithracidae.

    PubMed

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Portell, Roger W; Klier, Aaron T; Prueter, Vanessa; Tucker, Alyssa L

    2015-01-01

    Spider crabs (Majoidea) are well-known from modern oceans and are also common in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean. When spider crabs appeared in the Western Atlantic in deep time, and when they became diverse, hinges on their fossil record. By reviewing their fossil record, we show that (1) spider crabs first appeared in the Western Atlantic in the Late Cretaceous, (2) they became common since the Miocene, and (3) most species and genera are found in the Caribbean region from the Miocene onwards. Furthermore, taxonomic work on some modern and fossil Mithracidae, a family that might have originated in the Western Atlantic, was conducted. Specifically, Maguimithrax gen. nov. is erected to accommodate the extant species Damithrax spinosissimus, while Damithrax cf. pleuracanthus is recognized for the first time from the fossil record (late Pliocene-early Pleistocene, Florida, USA). Furthermore, two new species are described from the lower Miocene coral-associated limestones of Jamaica (Mithrax arawakum sp. nov. and Nemausa windsorae sp. nov.). Spurred by a recent revision of the subfamily, two known species from the same deposits are refigured and transferred to new genera: Mithrax donovani to Nemausa, and Mithrax unguis to Damithrax. The diverse assemblage of decapods from these coral-associated limestones underlines the importance of reefs for the abundance and diversity of decapods in deep time. Finally, we quantitatively show that these crabs possess allometric growth in that length/width ratios drop as specimens grow, a factor that is not always taken into account while describing and comparing among taxa. PMID:26557432

  2. Spider crabs of the Western Atlantic with special reference to fossil and some modern Mithracidae

    PubMed Central

    Portell, Roger W.; Klier, Aaron T.; Prueter, Vanessa; Tucker, Alyssa L.

    2015-01-01

    Spider crabs (Majoidea) are well-known from modern oceans and are also common in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean. When spider crabs appeared in the Western Atlantic in deep time, and when they became diverse, hinges on their fossil record. By reviewing their fossil record, we show that (1) spider crabs first appeared in the Western Atlantic in the Late Cretaceous, (2) they became common since the Miocene, and (3) most species and genera are found in the Caribbean region from the Miocene onwards. Furthermore, taxonomic work on some modern and fossil Mithracidae, a family that might have originated in the Western Atlantic, was conducted. Specifically, Maguimithrax gen. nov. is erected to accommodate the extant species Damithrax spinosissimus, while Damithrax cf. pleuracanthus is recognized for the first time from the fossil record (late Pliocene–early Pleistocene, Florida, USA). Furthermore, two new species are described from the lower Miocene coral-associated limestones of Jamaica (Mithrax arawakum sp. nov. and Nemausa windsorae sp. nov.). Spurred by a recent revision of the subfamily, two known species from the same deposits are refigured and transferred to new genera: Mithrax donovani to Nemausa, and Mithrax unguis to Damithrax. The diverse assemblage of decapods from these coral-associated limestones underlines the importance of reefs for the abundance and diversity of decapods in deep time. Finally, we quantitatively show that these crabs possess allometric growth in that length/width ratios drop as specimens grow, a factor that is not always taken into account while describing and comparing among taxa. PMID:26557432

  3. Behavioral and physiological responses to fruit availability of spider monkeys ranging in a small forest fragment.

    PubMed

    Rimbach, Rebecca; Link, Andrés; Montes-Rojas, Andrés; Di Fiore, Anthony; Heistermann, Michael; Heymann, Eckhard W

    2014-11-01

    Numerous animal species currently experience habitat loss and fragmentation. This might result in behavioral and dietary adjustments, especially because fruit availability is frequently reduced in fragments. Food scarcity can result in elevated physiological stress levels, and chronic stress often has detrimental effects on individuals. Some animal species exhibit a high degree of fission-fusion dynamics, and theory predicts that these species reduce intragroup feeding competition by modifying their subgroup size according to resource availability. Until now, however, there have been few studies on how species with such fission-fission dynamics adjust their grouping patterns and social behavior in small fragments or on how food availability influences their stress levels. We collected data on fruit availability, feeding behavior, stress hormone levels (measured through fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGCM)), subgroup size, and aggression for two groups of brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) in a small forest fragment in Colombia and examined whether fruit availability influences these variables. Contrary to our predictions, spider monkeys ranged in smaller subgroups, had higher FGCM levels and higher aggression rates when fruit availability was high compared to when it was low. The atypical grouping pattern of the study groups seems to be less effective at mitigating contest competition over food resources than more typical fission-fusion patterns. Overall, our findings illustrate that the relationship between resource availability, grouping patterns, aggression rates, and stress levels can be more complex than assumed thus far. Additional studies are needed to investigate the long-term consequences on the health and persistence of spider monkeys in fragmented habitats. PMID:24820229

  4. Habitat productivity constrains the distribution of social spiders across continents – case study of the genus Stegodyphus

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Sociality has evolved independently multiple times across the spider phylogeny, and despite wide taxonomic and geographical breadth the social species are characterized by a common geographical constrain to tropical and subtropical areas. Here we investigate the environmental factors that drive macro-ecological patterns in social and solitary species in a genus that shows a Mediterranean–Afro-Oriental distribution (Stegodyphus). Both selected drivers (productivity and seasonality) may affect the abundance of potential prey insects, but seasonality may further directly affect survival due to mortality caused by extreme climatic events. Based on a comprehensive dataset including information about the distribution of three independently derived social species and 13 solitary congeners we tested the hypotheses that the distribution of social Stegodyphus species relative to solitary congeners is: (1) restricted to habitats of high vegetation productivity and (2) constrained to areas with a stable climate (low precipitation seasonality). Results Using spatial logistic regression modelling and information-theoretic model selection, we show that social species occur at higher vegetation productivity than solitary, while precipitation seasonality received limited support as a predictor of social spider occurrence. An analysis of insect biomass data across the Stegodyphus distribution range confirmed that vegetation productivity is positively correlated to potential insect prey biomass. Conclusions Habitat productivity constrains the distribution of social spiders across continents compared to their solitary congeners, with group-living in spiders being restricted to areas with relatively high vegetation productivity and insect prey biomass. As known for other taxa, permanent sociality likely evolves in response to high predation pressure and imposes within-group competition for resources. Our results suggest that group living is contingent upon productive

  5. Spontaneous male death and monogyny in the dark fishing spider.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Steven K; Wagner, William E; Hebets, Eileen A

    2013-08-23

    Monogyny (male monogamy) is found in a diverse assemblage of taxa, and recent theoretical work reveals that a male-biased sex ratio can favour the evolution of this relatively rare mating system. We integrate this theoretical framework with field observations and laboratory experiments involving the sexually size dimorphic fishing spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, to test the prediction that this species exhibits monogyny. Field surveys revealed a male-biased sex ratio, likely resulting from different life-history strategies (early male maturation). Results from mating trials supported our prediction of monogyny as we discovered that males mate with a single female. Unexpectedly, however, we observed that mating results in obligate male death and genital mutilation. Additional field observations of released individuals suggest that males are not limited by their ability to encounter additional females. Controlled laboratory assays demonstrated that males discriminate among virgin and non-virgin female silk cues, consistent with predictions of first-male sperm precedence. In summary, we report a novel case of male self-sacrifice in a species that exhibits female-biased sexual size dimorphism, male-biased sex ratio, genital mutilation and a suggestion of first-male sperm precedence; all of which are consistent with theoretical predictions of the evolution of monogyny. PMID:23784928

  6. Spontaneous male death and monogyny in the dark fishing spider

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Steven K.; Wagner, William E.; Hebets, Eileen A.

    2013-01-01

    Monogyny (male monogamy) is found in a diverse assemblage of taxa, and recent theoretical work reveals that a male-biased sex ratio can favour the evolution of this relatively rare mating system. We integrate this theoretical framework with field observations and laboratory experiments involving the sexually size dimorphic fishing spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, to test the prediction that this species exhibits monogyny. Field surveys revealed a male-biased sex ratio, likely resulting from different life-history strategies (early male maturation). Results from mating trials supported our prediction of monogyny as we discovered that males mate with a single female. Unexpectedly, however, we observed that mating results in obligate male death and genital mutilation. Additional field observations of released individuals suggest that males are not limited by their ability to encounter additional females. Controlled laboratory assays demonstrated that males discriminate among virgin and non-virgin female silk cues, consistent with predictions of first-male sperm precedence. In summary, we report a novel case of male self-sacrifice in a species that exhibits female-biased sexual size dimorphism, male-biased sex ratio, genital mutilation and a suggestion of first-male sperm precedence; all of which are consistent with theoretical predictions of the evolution of monogyny. PMID:23784928

  7. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio . E-mail: veigass@ufpr.br

    2006-02-15

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  8. Inherently Chiral Spider-Like Oligothiophenes.

    PubMed

    Sannicolò, Francesco; Mussini, Patrizia R; Benincori, Tiziana; Martinazzo, Rocco; Arnaboldi, Serena; Appoloni, Giulio; Panigati, Monica; Quartapelle Procopio, Elsa; Marino, Valentina; Cirilli, Roberto; Casolo, Simone; Kutner, Wlodzimierz; Noworyta, Krzysztof; Pietrzyk-Le, Agnieszka; Iskierko, Zofia; Bartold, Katarzyna

    2016-07-25

    The racemate of an inherently chiral "spider-like" octathiophene monomer T83 , in which chirality is generated by torsion in its backbone, was synthesized. The racemate was resolved into configurationally stable antipodes by HPLC on a chiral stationary phase. Electrooxidation of the enantiomers resulted in materials displaying high enantiorecognition ability towards the antipodes of some chiral probes. Moreover, the T83 racemate demonstrated great aptitude to stimulate formation of 3D rigid architectures if used as a cross-linking monomer for molecular imprinting. This feature was exploited to devise a molecularly imprinted polymer-based chemosensor selective for a thymine-adenine oligonucleotide. PMID:27321902

  9. New spider flies from the Neotropical Region (Diptera, Acroceridae) with a key to New World genera

    PubMed Central

    Schlinger, Evert I.; Gillung, Jessica P.; Borkent, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Two new genera and five new species of spider flies (Diptera: Acroceridae) are described from the Neotropical Region. A new genus of Philopotinae (Neophilopota brevirostris Schlinger gen. et sp. n.) is described from Mexico, while an unusual new species of Sphaerops Philippi, 1865 (Acrocerinae: Sphaerops micella Schlinger sp. n.) is described from Chile. A new Panopinae genus near Lasia Wiedemann, 1824 (Coquena stangei Schlinger gen. et sp. n.), is described from Argentina and two new species of Pialea Erichson, 1840 (Pialea brunea Schlinger sp. n. and Pialea corbiculata Schlinger sp. n.)are described from Venezuela. Each genus is diagnosed and figured, and a key to species provided. The Neotropical fauna presently includes 19 genera, containing approximately 100 species. A key to New World genera is also included. PMID:23730188

  10. Probing the Impact of Acidification on Spider Silk Assembly Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dian; Guo, Chengchen; Holland, Gregory P

    2015-07-13

    Spiders utilize fine adjustment of the physicochemical conditions within its silk spinning system to regulate spidroin assembly into solid silk fibers with outstanding mechanical properties. However, the exact mechanism about which this occurs remains elusive and is still hotly debated. In this study, the effect of acidification on spider silk assembly was investigated on native spidroins from the major ampullate (MA) gland fluid excised from Latrodectus hesperus (Black Widow) spiders. Incubating the protein-rich MA silk gland fluid at acidic pH conditions results in the formation of silk fibers that are 10-100 μm in length and ∼2 μm in diameter as judged by optical and electron microscope methods. The in vitro spider silk assembly kinetics were monitored as a function of pH with a (13)C solid-state MAS NMR approach. The results confirm the importance of acidic pH in the spider silk self-assembly process with observation of a sigmoidal nucleation-elongation kinetic profile. The rates of nucleation and elongation as well as the percentage of β-sheet structure in the grown fibers depend on the pH. These results confirm the importance of an acidic pH gradient along the spinning duct for spider silk formation and provide a powerful spectroscopic approach to probe the kinetics of spider silk formation under various biochemical conditions. PMID:26030517

  11. Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey.

    PubMed

    Wignall, Anne E; Taylor, Phillip W

    2011-05-01

    Assassin bugs (Stenolemus bituberus) hunt web-building spiders by invading the web and plucking the silk to generate vibrations that lure the resident spider into striking range. To test whether vibrations generated by bugs aggressively mimic the vibrations generated by insect prey, we compared the responses of spiders to bugs with how they responded to prey, courting male spiders and leaves falling into the web. We also analysed the associated vibrations. Similar spider orientation and approach behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from bugs and prey, whereas different behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from male spiders and leaves. Peak frequency and duration of vibrations generated by bugs were similar to those generated by prey and courting males. Further, vibrations from bugs had a temporal structure and amplitude that were similar to vibrations generated by leg and body movements of prey and distinctly different to vibrations from courting males or leaves, or prey beating their wings. To be an effective predator, bugs do not need to mimic the full range of prey vibrations. Instead bugs are general mimics of a subset of prey vibrations that fall within the range of vibrations classified by spiders as 'prey'. PMID:20980305

  12. Time-dependent motor properties of multipedal molecular spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samii, Laleh; Blab, Gerhard A.; Bromley, Elizabeth H. C.; Linke, Heiner; Curmi, Paul M. G.; Zuckermann, Martin J.; Forde, Nancy R.

    2011-09-01

    Molecular spiders are synthetic biomolecular walkers that use the asymmetry resulting from cleavage of their tracks to bias the direction of their stepping motion. Using Monte Carlo simulations that implement the Gillespie algorithm, we investigate the dependence of the biased motion of molecular spiders, along with binding time and processivity, on tunable experimental parameters, such as number of legs, span between the legs, and unbinding rate of a leg from a substrate site. We find that an increase in the number of legs increases the spiders’ processivity and binding time but not their mean velocity. However, we can increase the mean velocity of spiders with simultaneous tuning of the span and the unbinding rate of a spider leg from a substrate site. To study the efficiency of molecular spiders, we introduce a time-dependent expression for the thermodynamic efficiency of a molecular motor, allowing us to account for the behavior of spider populations as a function of time. Based on this definition, we find that spiders exhibit transient motor function over time scales of many hours and have a maximum efficiency on the order of 1%, weak compared to other types of molecular motors.

  13. Repeated Evolution of Power-Amplified Predatory Strikes in Trap-Jaw Spiders.

    PubMed

    Wood, Hannah M; Parkinson, Dilworth Y; Griswold, Charles E; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Elias, Damian O

    2016-04-25

    Small animals possess intriguing morphological and behavioral traits that allow them to capture prey, including innovative structural mechanisms that produce ballistic movements by amplifying power [1-6]. Power amplification occurs when an organism produces a relatively high power output by releasing slowly stored energy almost instantaneously, resulting in movements that surpass the maximal power output of muscles [7]. For example, trap-jaw, power-amplified mechanisms have been described for several ant genera [5, 8], which have evolved some of the fastest known movements in the animal kingdom [6]. However, power-amplified predatory strikes were not previously known in one of the largest animal classes, the arachnids. Mecysmaucheniidae spiders, which occur only in New Zealand and southern South America, are tiny, cryptic, ground-dwelling spiders that rely on hunting rather than web-building to capture prey [9]. Analysis of high-speed video revealed that power-amplified mechanisms occur in some mecysmaucheniid species, with the fastest species being two orders of magnitude faster than the slowest species. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that power-amplified cheliceral strikes have evolved four times independently within the family. Furthermore, we identified morphological innovations that directly relate to cheliceral function: a highly modified carapace in which the cheliceral muscles are oriented horizontally; modification of a cheliceral sclerite to have muscle attachments; and, in the power-amplified species, a thicker clypeus and clypeal apodemes. These structural innovations may have set the stage for the parallel evolution of ballistic predatory strikes. PMID:27068421

  14. Discovery of the first telemid spider (Araneae, Telemidae) from South America, and the first member of the family bearing a stridulatory organ.

    PubMed

    Dupérré, Nadine; Tapia, Elicio

    2015-01-01

    The genus Kinku n. gen. is established for the first telemid spider found in South America. The new species, Kinku turumanya n. sp. is characterized by the unique conformation of the male palp and the presence of an abdominal anterioventral stridulatory organ. PMID:26624096

  15. Structure of Membrane-active Toxin from Crab Spider Heriaeus melloteei Suggests Parallel Evolution of Sodium Channel Gating Modifiers in Araneomorphae and Mygalomorphae*

    PubMed Central

    Berkut, Antonina A.; Peigneur, Steve; Myshkin, Mikhail Yu.; Paramonov, Alexander S.; Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N.; Arseniev, Alexander S.; Grishin, Eugene V.; Tytgat, Jan; Shenkarev, Zakhar O.; Vassilevski, Alexander A.

    2015-01-01

    We present a structural and functional study of a sodium channel activation inhibitor from crab spider venom. Hm-3 is an insecticidal peptide toxin consisting of 35 amino acid residues from the spider Heriaeus melloteei (Thomisidae). We produced Hm-3 recombinantly in Escherichia coli and determined its structure by NMR spectroscopy. Typical for spider toxins, Hm-3 was found to adopt the so-called “inhibitor cystine knot” or “knottin” fold stabilized by three disulfide bonds. Its molecule is amphiphilic with a hydrophobic ridge on the surface enriched in aromatic residues and surrounded by positive charges. Correspondingly, Hm-3 binds to both neutral and negatively charged lipid vesicles. Electrophysiological studies showed that at a concentration of 1 μm Hm-3 effectively inhibited a number of mammalian and insect sodium channels. Importantly, Hm-3 shifted the dependence of channel activation to more positive voltages. Moreover, the inhibition was voltage-dependent, and strong depolarizing prepulses attenuated Hm-3 activity. The toxin is therefore concluded to represent the first sodium channel gating modifier from an araneomorph spider and features a “membrane access” mechanism of action. Its amino acid sequence and position of the hydrophobic cluster are notably different from other known gating modifiers from spider venom, all of which are described from mygalomorph species. We hypothesize parallel evolution of inhibitor cystine knot toxins from Araneomorphae and Mygalomorphae suborders. PMID:25352595

  16. Verified bites by the woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2006-06-01

    Bites by the woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata, are virtually innocuous. The main symptom is minor pain, typically lasting less than 1h, probably due mostly to mechanical puncture of the skin. However, because the spider has a strong proclivity to bite, has large fangs which it bares when threatened and is commonly mistaken for the medically important brown recluse spider in the United States, documentation of the mild effects of its bites may prevent excessive, unwarranted and possibly harmful treatment. We present information on eight verified bites reported to us as well as eight additional bites recorded in the literature. PMID:16574180

  17. Inhibition of the spider heartbeat by gravity and vibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1984-01-01

    The rate and vigor of the spider heartbeat is controlled by an external pacemaker. A mechanical feature of the spider cardio-vascular system is the production of high serum pressure in the prosoma and the legs. This appears to be the source for leg extension. The lyriform organ on the patella of the leg is sensitive to vibratory and kinesthetic stimuli. This sensitivity depends upon the degree of leg extension. Thus the activity of the heart and the response characteristics of the sense receptor are related. The effect of a supra-threshold vibratory or gravitational stimulus is to produce an inhibition and a tachycardia of the spider heartbeat.

  18. Recent Results from the 2015 flight of Spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, William C.

    2016-06-01

    Spider is a balloon borne mm-wave polarimeter designed to provide high fidelity measurements of the large scale polarization of the microwave sky. Spider flew a 17 day mission in January 2015, mapping roughly 10% of the full sky (4500 square degrees) in the southern Galactic hemisphere at each of 94 and 150 GHz. Spider achieved an instrumental sensitivity of 4 μ K_{CMB}&sqrt;{s}, providing maps that exceed the sensitivity of the Planck data. We discuss these data, the current status of our science analysis, and our understanding of the Galacticforeground emission in this high latitude region.

  19. Spider silk: a novel optical fibre for biochemical sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hey Tow, Kenny; Chow, Desmond M.; Vollrath, Fritz; Dicaire, Isabelle; Gheysens, Tom; Thévenaz, Luc

    2015-09-01

    Whilst being thoroughly used in the textile industry and biomedical sector, silk has not yet been exploited for fibre optics-based sensing although silk fibres directly obtained from spiders can guide light and have shown early promises to being sensitive to some solvents. In this communication, a pioneering optical fibre sensor based on spider silk is reported, demonstrating for the first time the use of spider silk as an optical fibre sensor to detect polar solvents such as water, ammonia and acetic acid.

  20. Structure-Function-Property-Design Interplay in Biopolymers: Spider Silk

    PubMed Central

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures, and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. PMID:23962644