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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. 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

  5. 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

  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

    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

  20. 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

  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 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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.

    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

  18. 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.

  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

    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 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

  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

    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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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)

  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. 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

  5. [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

  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

    ... 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 ...

  8. 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 ...

  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

    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 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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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,…

  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. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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. ...

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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 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

  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

    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

  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

    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 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