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Sample records for orbweaving spider species

  1. Partitioning of niches among four species of orb-weaving spiders in a grassland habitat.

    PubMed

    Richardson, M L; Hanks, L M

    2009-06-01

    Partitioning of niches can play an important role in structuring faunal communities. We tested the hypothesis that differences between four species of orb-weaving spiders (Araneidae) in body size and the structure and position of their webs resulted in their partitioning the available prey. The study species are sympatric in a grassland habitat and included Argiope trifasciata (Forskål), Cyclosa turbinata (Walckenaer), Mangora gibberosa (Hentz), and Neoscona arabesca (Walckenaer). The spider species differed in body size, web diameter, height of web above the ground, spacing of mesh within webs, and the type of plant to which the web was attached. The spider species had a generalist diet and captured prey of multiple trophic levels. Nevertheless, the hypothesis was supported: the spider species differed in the types of prey that they captured. Partitioning of the available prey was influenced by body size, with larger spiders capturing larger prey, but not by the structure or position of their webs. Differences between spider species in niche may reduce competitive interactions and allow them to coexist in sympatry.

  2. Discovery of the largest orbweaving spider species: the evolution of gigantism in Nephila.

    PubMed

    Kuntner, Matjaz; Coddington, Jonathan A

    2009-10-21

    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 19(th) 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. 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. 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.

  3. Systematics, phylogeny, and evolution of orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Hormiga, Gustavo; Griswold, Charles E

    2014-01-01

    The orb-weaving spiders (Orbiculariae) comprise more than 25% of the approximately 44,000 known living spider species and produce a remarkable variety of webs. The wheel-shaped orb web is primitive to this clade, but most Orbiculariae make webs hardly recognizable as orbs. Orb-weavers date at least to the Jurassic. With no evidence for convergence of the orb web, the monophyly of the two typical orb web taxa, the cribellate Deinopoidea and ecribellate Araneoidea, remains problematic, supported only weakly by molecular studies. The sister group of the Orbiculariae also remains elusive. Despite more than 15 years of phylogenetic scrutiny, a fully resolved cladogram of the Orbiculariae families is not yet possible. More comprehensive taxon sampling, comparative morphology, and new molecular markers are required for a better understanding of orb-weaver evolution.

  4. Effects of grassland succession on communities of orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Richardson, M L; Hanks, L M

    2009-12-01

    Native grasslands are among the most imperiled of the North American ecosystems, but abandoned agricultural areas may provide suitable habitat for animal taxa that are endemic to grasslands. We studied how species diversity of orb-weaving spiders was influenced by secondary succession of a grassland plant community by monitoring the abundance and species diversity in study plots that were cultivated at 6-yr intervals and left uncultivated in the interim. We tested the hypothesis that local abundance and species diversity of spiders would be positively associated with time since cultivation because plant communities in older habitats would be more architecturally complex. Local abundance of spiders in general was not associated with time since cultivation, but abundance of Mangora gibberosa (Hentz) was positively associated with the abundance of perennial plants. Species richness and diversity of spiders also were positively associated with the abundance of perennial plants and reached a threshold a few years after cultivation. Species diversity of orb-weaving spiders seems to be strongly influenced by species composition of the plant community. Therefore, effective restoration of the structure and function of endemic communities of orb-weaving spiders may depend on preserving endemic grassland plant communities.

  5. Orb-weaving spider diversity in the Iberá Marshlands, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Rubio, Gonzalo D; Moreno, Claudia E

    2010-01-01

    The Iberá Marshlands RAMSAR reserve, in the northeast of Argentina, is one of the largest and most important wetlands of America. In this study we assess orb-weaving spider (Araneae: Orbiculariae) diversity in this reserve, analyzing different facets of local diversity (species richness, diversity, evenness and taxonomic distinctness), and the contribution of species differentiation (beta diversity) among localities and habitat types to the composition of regional diversity. We found 1657 individuals of 59 orb-weaving spider species/morphospecies. Local diversity differs among the three sampled localities. At the habitat level, the different facets of biodiversity followed a clear pattern, where woodlands have higher species richness, diversity, evenness and taxonomic distinctness than savannas. Savanna sites shared a common spider species composition, while woodland communities have high values of complementarity. Thus, beta diversity has a very high contribution to the regional diversity of the orb-weaving spiders in the Iberá Marshlands. We suggest that conservation management in the reserve should be directed towards promoting natural spatial heterogeneity, giving special protection to habitat mosaics in different localities.

  6. Combining morphology, DNA sequences, and morphometrics: revising closely related species in the orb-weaving spider genus Araniella (Araneae, Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Spasojevic, Tamara; Kropf, Christian; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Lasut, Liana

    2016-05-17

    The integration of independent data sets could solve problems in both traditional and DNA-based taxonomy. The aim of this study is to investigate the power of CO1 sequences and of morphometrics to distinguish closely related species in the spider genus Araniella. We put special emphasis on the species pair A. cucurbitina (Clerck, 1757) and A. opisthographa (Kulczyński, 1905) since the females are morphologically difficult to distinguish and often misidentified. A total of 216 sequences of eight Araniella species from seven European countries, North America and Asia were included in the molecular analysis. The results from both maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic inference indicate successful separation of six out of eight Araniella species, including A. cucurbitina and A. opisthographa. For the same six species, we detect no overlap of intra- and interspecific genetic divergence, leading to successful species identification with a threshold approach. In addition, morphometric analysis of the epigyna of A. cucurbitina and A. opisthographa supports species separation by two best explanatory ratios: receptaculum length and distance between receptaculum and copulatory duct. Although a small overlap in the ratios exists, the species identification rate increases when combining morphometric and molecular data, which demonstrates the efficiency of integrative approaches for distinguishing closely related species. However, none of the molecular approaches was able to separate closely related A. alpica (L. Koch, 1869) and A. inconspicua (Simon, 1874) due to shared CO1 haplotypes. Considering the clear morphological separation of the males and different habitat preferences, incomplete lineage sorting or introgressive hybridization could have led to identical CO1 sequences. Therefore, DNA-barcoding must be thoroughly tested even within small homogenous genera of spiders.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The phylogenetic basis of sexual size dimorphism in orb-weaving spiders (Araneae, Orbiculariae).

    PubMed

    Hormiga, G; Scharff, N; Coddington, J A

    2000-09-01

    Extreme sexual body size dimorphism (SSD), in which males are only a small fraction of the size of the females, occurs only in a few, mostly marine, taxonomic groups. Spiders are the only terrestrial group in which small males are relatively common, particularly among orb-weavers (especially in the families Tetragnathidae and Araneidae) and crab spiders (Thomisidae). We used a taxonomic sample of 80 genera to study the phylogenetic patterns (origins and reversals) of SSD in orb-weaving spiders (Orbiculariae). We collected and compiled male and female size data (adult body length) for 536 species. Size data were treated as a continuous character, and ancestral sizes, for males and females separately, were reconstructed by using Wagner parsimony on a cladogram for the 80 genera used in this study. Of these 80 genera, 24 were female-biased dimorphic (twice or more the body length of the male); the remaining 56 genera were monomorphic. Under parsimony only four independent origins of dimorphism are required: in the theridiid genus Tidarren, in the distal nephilines, in the "argiopoid clade," and in the araneid genus Kaira. Dimorphism has reversed to monomorphism at least seven times, all of them within the large "argiopoid clade." The four independent origins of dimorphism represent two separate instances of an increase in female size coupled with a decrease of male size (involving only two genera), and two separate instances of an increase in female size with male size either remaining the same or increasing, but not as much as females (involving 30 genera). In orb-weaving spiders, far more taxa are sexually dimorphic as a result of female size increase (22 genera) than as a result of male size decrease (two genera). SSD in orb-weaving spiders encompasses several independent evolutionary histories that together suggest a variety of evolutionary pathways. This multiplicity strongly refutes all efforts thus far to find a general explanation for either the origin or

  10. 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.

  11. Damping capacity is evolutionarily conserved in the radial silk of orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    Orb-weaving spiders depend upon their two-dimensional silk traps to stop insects in mid flight. While the silks used to construct orb webs must be extremely tough to absorb the tremendous kinetic energy of insect prey, webs must also minimize the return of that energy to prey to prevent insects from bouncing out of oscillating webs. We therefore predict that the damping capacity of major ampullate spider silk, which forms the supporting frames and radial threads of orb webs, should be evolutionarily conserved among orb-weaving spiders. We test this prediction by comparing silk from six diverse species of orb spiders. Silk was taken directly from the radii of orb webs and a Nano Bionix test system was used either to sequentially extend the silk to 25% strain in 5% increments while relaxing it fully between each cycle, or to pull virgin silk samples to 15% strain. Damping capacity was then calculated as the percent difference in loading and unloading energies. Damping capacity increased after yield for all species and typically ranged from 40 to 50% within each cycle for sequentially pulled silk and from 50 to 70% for virgin samples. Lower damping at smaller strains may allow orb webs to withstand minor perturbations from wind and small prey while still retaining the ability to capture large insects. The similarity in damping capacity of silk from the radii spun by diverse spiders highlights the importance of energy absorption by silk for orb-weaving spiders. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. 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. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The male of the orb-weaving spider Plebs mitratus (Simon, 1895) and a redescription of the female (Araneae, Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Paul, Jimmy; Sankaran, Pradeep M; Joseph, Mathew M; Sebastian, Pothalil A

    2016-10-28

    The orb-weaving spider genus Plebs Joseph & Framenau, 2012 currently has only two representatives in India: Plebs himalayaensis (Tikader, 1975) from the Himalayas and Plebs mitratus (Simon, 1895) from the Nilgiris and Anamudi Shola National Park (World Spider Catalog 2016), both are found in high altitude mountainous habitats (Joseph & Framenau 2012). Both species were known only from females (World Spider Catalog 2016), although Sherriffs (1918, 1919) provided a description of an immature male of P. mitratus. In the present paper, we provide the first description of the adult male of P. mitratus, together with the detailed redescription of its female demonstrating considerable intraspecific variation.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Prey analysis of four species of tropical orb-weaving spiders (Araneae: Araneidae) and a comparison with araneids of the temperate zone.

    PubMed

    Nentwig, Wolfgang

    1985-07-01

    The actual prey in the orb webs of four araneid spiders (Nephila clavipes, Eriophora fuliginea, Argiope argentata, and A. savignyi) and the relative abundance of their potential prey (pitfall traps, yellow traps, and sweep-netting) was investigated over 1 year at different locations in Panama. The relative abundance of insects and spiders depends on seasonal fluctuations (Fig. 2) which are reflected by corresponding variations in the effectiveness of the webs. The main prey groups are Nematocera (50%-68%), winged Formicoidea (6%-15%) and Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and Brachycera (4%-10% each) (Fig. 4-6). The remaining 10%-17% of the prey comes from up to 26 other groups (Table 2). Differences in prey size and prey composition between the spider species are small (Fig. 7). Most prey items are 1-2 mm long: only a few insects exceed 30 mm body length (Figs. 9-12). Relative to the available prey, some groups (e.g. Nematocera, Aphidoidea, Psocoptera) are caught selectively, while other groups (e.g. Heteroptera, Coleoptera, Brachycera, Orthoptera) are underrepresented in the prey spectrum and obviously avoid orb webs (Table 7). The differences in prey composition between araneids of the tropics and of the temperate zone are discussed (Table 8) and compared to those recorded in other studies (Table 9, 10). Most of these report large numbers of big prey items (Odonata, Lepidoptera, wasps/bees). It is pointed out that those studies do not take into account the total available prey in a spider's web but only that part which the spider selects from the web (mainly according to size). The importance of small prey items even for large spiders is explained and an obvious lack of niche partitioning among coexisting araneids is discussed (Table 11).

  19. 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.

  20. Modular evolution of egg case silk genes across orb-weaving spider superfamilies

    PubMed Central

    Garb, Jessica E.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2005-01-01

    Spider silk proteins (fibroins) are renowned for their extraordinary mechanical properties and biomimetic potential. Despite extensive evolutionary, ecological, and industrial interest in these fibroins, only a fraction of the known silk types have been characterized at the molecular level. Here we report cDNA and genomic sequences of the fibroin TuSp1, which appears to be the major component of tubuliform gland silk, a fiber exclusively synthesized by female spiders for egg case construction. We obtained TuSp1 sequences from 12 spider species that represent the extremes of phylogenetic diversity within the Orbicularia (orb-weaver superfamilies, Araneoidea and Deinopoidea) and finer scale sampling within genera. TuSp1 encodes tandem arrays of an ≈200-aa-long repeat unit and individual repeats are readily aligned, even among species that diverged >125 million years ago. Analyses of these repeats across species reveal the strong influence of concerted evolution, resulting in intragenic homogenization. However, deinopoid TuSp1 repeats also contain insertions of coding, minisatellite-like sequences, an apparent result of replication slippage and nonreciprocal recombination. Phylogenetic analyses of 37 spider fibroin sequences support the monophyly of TuSp1 within the spider fibroin gene family, consistent with a single origin of this ortholog group. The diversity of taxa and silks examined here confirms that repetitive architecture is a general feature of this gene family. Moreover, we show that TuSp1 provides a clear example of modular evolution across a range of phylogenetic levels. PMID:16061817

  1. Oldest true orb-weaving spider (Araneae: Araneidae)

    PubMed Central

    Penney, David; Ortuño, Vicente M

    2006-01-01

    The aerial orb web woven by spiders of the family Araneidae typifies these organisms to laypersons and scientists alike. Here we describe the oldest fossil species of this family, which is preserved in amber from Álava, Spain and represents the first record of Araneidae from the Lower Cretaceous. The fossils provide direct evidence that all three major orb web weaving families: Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Uloboridae had evolved by this time, confirming the antiquity of the use of this remarkable structure as a prey capture strategy by spiders. Given the complex and stereotyped movements that all orb weavers use to construct their webs, there is little question regarding their common origin, which must have occurred in the Jurassic or earlier. Thus, various forms of this formidable prey capture mechanism were already in place by the time of the explosive Cretaceous co-radiation of angiosperms and their flying insect pollinators. This permitted a similar co-radiation of spider predators with their flying insect prey, presumably without the need for a ‘catch-up lag phase’ for the spiders. PMID:17148427

  2. Colourful orb-weaving spiders, Nephila pilipes, through a bee's eyes.

    PubMed

    Tso, I-Min; Lin, Chih-Wei; Yang, En-Cheng

    2004-07-01

    Many orb-weaving spiders in the tropics forage in open sites during the day and some of them have both bright and dark colourations. The conspicuous UV-reflective colour markings of these spiders have been reported to be attractive to visually oriented prey and thus could increase the spiders' foraging success. Using a combination of field and laboratory studies, we examine whether or not the body colouration of orb-weaving spiders exhibits optical properties that are attractive to insect prey from the viewpoint of insect visual physiology. We compared the prey interception rates and colour contrasts of the typical and melanic morphs of the giant wood spider, Nephila pilipes. Results of the field study showed that the typical morph caught significantly more insects than the melanic morph. Colour contrasts calculated from spectral reflectances of the background and body surface of spiders showed that the brightly coloured body parts of the typical morph exhibited rather high values, but those of the dark body parts were below the discrimination threshold. The differential colour contrasts of body parts generated a visual signal unlike that of a spider but rather like certain forms of food resources. On the other hand, the melanic morphs did not have bright colouration and the colour contrasts of every part of the body were significantly higher than the threshold, making the contour of spiders quite clear to bees.

  3. A golden orb-weaver spider (Araneae: Nephilidae: Nephila) from the Middle Jurassic of China.

    PubMed

    Selden, Paul A; Shih, ChungKun; Ren, Dong

    2011-10-23

    Nephila are large, conspicuous weavers of orb webs composed of golden silk, in tropical and subtropical regions. Nephilids have a sparse fossil record, the oldest described hitherto being Cretaraneus vilaltae from the Cretaceous of Spain. Five species from Neogene Dominican amber and one from the Eocene of Florissant, CO, USA, have been referred to the extant genus Nephila. Here, we report the largest known fossil spider, Nephila jurassica sp. nov., from Middle Jurassic (approx. 165 Ma) strata of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. The new species extends the fossil record of the family by approximately 35 Ma and of the genus Nephila by approximately 130 Ma, making it the longest ranging spider genus known. Nephilidae originated somewhere on Pangaea, possibly the North China block, followed by dispersal almost worldwide before the break-up of the supercontinent later in the Mesozoic. The find suggests that the palaeoclimate was warm and humid at this time. This giant fossil orb-weaver provides evidence of predation on medium to large insects, well known from the Daohugou beds, and would have played an important role in the evolution of these insects.

  4. Proximate mechanism of behavioral manipulation of an orb-weaver spider host by a parasitoid wasp

    PubMed Central

    Gonzaga, Marcelo Oliveira; de Oliveira, Leandro Licursi; Sperber, Carlos Frankl

    2017-01-01

    Some ichneumonid wasps induce modifications in the web building behavior of their spider hosts to produce resistant “cocoon” webs. These structures hold and protect the wasp’s cocoon during pupa development. The mechanism responsible for host manipulation probably involves the inoculation of psychotropic chemicals by the parasitoid larva during a specific developmental period. Recent studies indicate that some spiders build cocoon webs similar to those normally built immediately before ecdysis, suggesting that this substance might be a molting hormone or a precursor chemical of this hormone. Here, we report that Cyclosa spider species exhibiting modified behavior presented higher 20-OH-ecdysone levels than parasitized spiders acting normally or unparasitized individuals. We suggest that the lack of control that spiders have when constructing modified webs can be triggered by anachronic activation of ecdysis. PMID:28158280

  5. Proximate mechanism of behavioral manipulation of an orb-weaver spider host by a parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Kloss, Thiago Gechel; Gonzaga, Marcelo Oliveira; de Oliveira, Leandro Licursi; Sperber, Carlos Frankl

    2017-01-01

    Some ichneumonid wasps induce modifications in the web building behavior of their spider hosts to produce resistant "cocoon" webs. These structures hold and protect the wasp's cocoon during pupa development. The mechanism responsible for host manipulation probably involves the inoculation of psychotropic chemicals by the parasitoid larva during a specific developmental period. Recent studies indicate that some spiders build cocoon webs similar to those normally built immediately before ecdysis, suggesting that this substance might be a molting hormone or a precursor chemical of this hormone. Here, we report that Cyclosa spider species exhibiting modified behavior presented higher 20-OH-ecdysone levels than parasitized spiders acting normally or unparasitized individuals. We suggest that the lack of control that spiders have when constructing modified webs can be triggered by anachronic activation of ecdysis.

  6. Mercury bioaccumulation, speciation, and influence on web structure in orb-weaving spiders from a forested watershed.

    PubMed

    Wyman, Katherine E; Rodenhouse, Nicholas L; Bank, Michael S

    2011-08-01

    Atmospheric deposition is an important source of Hg in remote terrestrial ecosystems of northeastern North America. As high-level invertebrate consumers, orb-weaving spiders (family Araneidae) are excellent subjects for studying the impact of sublethal levels of Hg on forest animals because their webs provide snapshots of behavior and neurological function. Spiders of the diadematus group of the genus Araneus were collected from the Jeffers Brook watershed in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire (USA), and analyzed for Hg content. Webs were photographed and measured to test for correlations between Hg body burden and web structure. Collected spiders contained concentrations of total Hg averaging 44.7 ± 10.0 ng/g Hg (wet mass; mean ± standard deviation), with 37 ± 6% of the total Hg present in the methylmercury form. Mercury loads were likely accumulated through diet (potential prey items contained an average of 43% of the Hg load in collected spiders) and possibly web ingestion. The present study found no direct evidence that the web structure-and thus the prey-capture ability-of spiders in the study area was affected by their Hg body burden. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  7. Visualization of the spatial and spectral signals of orb-weaving spiders, Nephila pilipes, through the eyes of a honeybee.

    PubMed

    Chiao, Chuan-Chin; Wu, Wen-Yen; Chen, Sheng-Hui; Yang, En-Cheng

    2009-07-01

    It is well known that the honeybee has good color vision. However, the spectral range in which the bee can see is different from that of the human eye. To study how bees view their world of colors, one has to see through the eyes of the bee, not the eyes of a human. A conventional way to examine the color signals that animals can detect is to measure the surface reflectance spectra and compute the quantum catches of each photoreceptor type based on its known spectral sensitivity. Color signal and color contrast are then determined from the loci of these quantum catches in the color space. While the point-by-point measurements of the reflectance spectra using a standard spectrometer have yielded a significant amount of data for analyzing color signals, the lack of spatial information and low sampling efficiency constrain their applications. Using a special filter coating technique, a set of filters with transmission spectra that were closely matched to the bee's sensitivity spectra of three photoreceptor types (UV, blue, and green) was custom made. By placing these filters in front of a UV/VIS-sensitive CCD camera and acquiring images sequentially, we could collect images of a bee's receptor with only three shots. This allowed a direct visualization of how bees view their world in a pseudo-color RGB display. With this imaging system, spatial and spectral signals of the orb-weaving spider, Nephila pilipes, were recorded, and color contrast images corresponding to the bee's spatial resolution were constructed and analyzed. The result not only confirmed that the color markings of N. pilipes are of high chromatic contrast to the eyes of a bee, but it also indicated that the spatial arrangement of these markings resemble flower patterns which may attract bees to visit them. Thus, it is likely that the orb-weaving spider (N. pilipes) deploys a similar strategy to that of the Australian crab spider (Thomisus spectabilis) to exploit the bee's pre-existing preference for

  8. Adhesive compatibility of cribellar and viscous prey capture threads and its implication for the evolution of orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Opell, Brent D; Tran, Andrew M; Karinshak, Shannon E

    2011-07-01

    Evolution of orb-weaving spiders that comprise the Orbiculariae clade involved a transition in the composition of prey capture thread that has been challenging to explain. The primitive cribellar threads spun by members of the Deinopoidea subclade resemble the capture threads of their non-orb-web-weaving ancestors and are formed of thousands of fine, dry, protein cribellar fibrils. In contrast, the derived viscous capture threads spun by members of the Araneoidea subclade have regularly spaced, aqueous adhesive droplets. When second instar deinopoid spiderlings emerge from egg sacs they are unable to spin cribellar threads, and, therefore, do not construct orb-webs; whereas second instar araneoids spin capture threads and construct orb-webs. If, as we hypothesize, viscous material evolved to enable second instar spiderlings to construct orb-webs, early araneoids may have spun composite cribellar-viscous capture threads. To examine the functional feasibility of such intermediate capture threads, we compared the adhesion of cribellar threads, viscous threads, and combined cribellar-viscous threads. The stickiness of these combined threads was greater than that of native cribellar or viscous threads alone. The viscous material of Araneus marmoreus threads exhibited a substantial increase in stickiness when combined with cribellar fibrils and that of Argiope aurantia threads a small increase in stickiness when combined with cribellar fibrils. Thus, if early araneoids retained their ability to spin cribellar threads after having evolved glands that produced viscous material, their composite threads could have formed a functional adhesive system that achieved its stickiness at no loss of material economy. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  9. Structure-activity relationships of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in insect chemical defense against the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes.

    PubMed

    Silva, Karina Lucas; Trigo, José Roberto

    2002-04-01

    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are known to protect Arctiidae moths and Danainae and Ithomiinae butterflies against the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes (Araneae, Araneidae, Tetragnathinae), which liberates adults of these insects unharmed from its web. We tested against this spider the role of eight PAs and one derived structure [an 89:11 mixture of the 12-membered macrocyclic diester free base integerrimine and senecionine and the respective N-oxide; two hydrolysis products from this mixture (the necine base retronecine, its respective N-oxide, and a mixture of integerriminic and senecionic necic acids); the 12-membered macrocyclic senkirkine; the 9-O-monoester free base senecioylretronecine and its respective N-oxide; and the 9-O-monoester free base callimorphine (a PA biosynthesized only by insects from retronecine)]. The mixture integerrimine-senecionine N-oxide seems to be more active than the respective free base [LibD50 (liberation dose 50) = 0.042 and 0.153 microg/dry weight of prey, respectively], but the difference in activity between the N-oxide and free base of the 9-O-monoester senecioylretronecine was slight (LibD50 = 0.167 and 0.104, respectively). Senkirkine, an otonecine base PA that does not form N-oxide and is not found in insects, was the less active, showing the highest LibD50 (0.354). The difference in antipredator activity between N-oxides and free bases from macrocyclic diesters and monoesters may be correlated with physicochemical properties of these molecules in interaction with the Nephila receptors. For the active structures, there was a significant correlation between dosage and antipredator activity. Both forms of retronecine and a necic acid mixture were inactive, supporting the hypothesis that PAs biosynthesized by insects from retronecine were originally produced and stored in order to optimize chemical defense. Comparison of dose/activity data with reported amounts of PAs in butterflies suggested that, in general, PA

  10. The adhesive delivery system of viscous capture threads spun by orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Opell, Brent D; Hendricks, Mary L

    2009-09-15

    The sticky viscous capture threads in araneoid orb-webs are responsible for retaining insects that strike these webs. We used features of 16 species' threads and the stickiness that they expressed on contact plates of four widths to model their adhesive delivery systems. Our results confirm that droplets at the edges of thread contact contribute the greatest adhesion, with each successively interior droplet contributing only 0.70 as much adhesion. Thus, regardless of the size and spacing of a thread's large primary droplets, little adhesion accrues beyond a span of 20 droplets. From this pattern we computed effective droplet number (EDN), an index that describes the total droplet equivalents that contribute to the stickiness of thread spans. EDN makes the greatest positive contribution to thread stickiness, followed by an index of the shape and size of primary droplets, and the volume of small secondary droplets. The proportion of water in droplets makes the single greatest negative contribution to thread stickiness, followed by a thread's extensibility, and the area of flattened droplets. Although highly significant, this six-variable model failed to convincingly describe the stickiness of six species, a problem resolved when species were assigned to three groups and a separate model was constructed for each. These models place different weights on the variables and, in some cases, reverse or exclude the contribution of a variable. Differences in threads may adapt them to particular habitats, web architectures or prey types, or they may be shaped by a species' phylogeny or metabolic capabilities.

  11. The effect of insect surface features on the adhesion of viscous capture threads spun by orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Opell, Brent D; Schwend, Harold S

    2007-07-01

    Spider orb-webs intercept a broad range of insects and their capture threads must adhere to a range of surface textures. In species of the Araneoidea clade, these capture threads are composed of viscid droplets whose size and spacing differ among species. To determine how droplet profile and insect surface texture interact, we measured the stickiness of viscous threads produced by four species using four insect surfaces that ranged from a smooth beetle elytra to the dorsal surface of a fly abdomen that was covered by large, widely spaced setae. The adhesion of threads to these surfaces differed by as much as 3.5-fold within a spider species and 2.1-fold for the same insect surface between spider species. However, 96% of these differences in stickiness was explained by four variables: the ratio of natural log of droplet volume to setal length, the natural log of droplet volume per mm of thread length, setal surface area, and the area of cuticle not excluded from thread contact by setae. Compared with previous measurements of primitive cribellar capture threads produced by orb weavers of the Deinopoidea clade, viscous threads performed more uniformly over the range of insect surfaces. They also held bug hemelytra, which were densely covered with fine setae, more securely, but held beetle elytra, fly wings and fly abdomens less securely than did viscous threads. Hemelytra may be held more securely because their setae more easily penetrate the viscous boundary layer to establish a greater area of interaction and, after having done so, offer more resistance as they are pulled through this layer. Finely textured surfaces may also have higher effective surface energies and therefore may interact more completely with viscous material.

  12. 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

  13. Dynamic optimization over infinite-time horizon: web-building strategy in an orb-weaving spider as a case study.

    PubMed

    Venner, Samuel; Chadès, Iadine; Bel-Venner, Marie-Claude; Pasquet, Alain; Charpillet, François; Leborgne, Raymond

    2006-08-21

    Dynamic state-dependent models have been widely developed since 1990s for solving questions in evolutionary ecology. Up to now, these models were mainly run over finite-time horizon. However, for many biological questions an infinite-time horizon perspective could be more appropriate, especially when the end of the modeled period is state- rather than time-dependent. Despite this approach is widely used in the field of economics and operational research, thus far no work has been providing biologists with a general method to solve infinite-time horizon problems. Here we present such a method, through the exhaustive description of an algorithm that we implement to determine the strategy an organism should follow to reach a particular state as fast as possible while limiting mortality risk. To illustrate that method we explored web-building behavior in an orb-weaving spider. How are adult females predicted to build their successive webs to gain energy, grow, and lay their first clutch as fast as possible, without suffering from either predation or starvation? From this example, we first show how an optimal strategy over infinite-time horizon can be processed and selected. Second, we analyse variations of the optimal web-building strategy along with the spider's body weight and predation risk during web building. Our model yields two main predictions: (1) spiders reduce their web size as they are gaining weight due to body-mass-dependent cost of web-building behavior, and (2) this reduction in web size starts at lower weight under higher predation risk.

  14. Variation in the material properties of spider dragline silk across species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, B. O.; Blackledge, T. A.; Beltrán, J.; Hayashi, C. Y.

    2006-02-01

    Spiders produce high performance fibers that compare favorably with the best manmade fibers in strength and toughness. The amino acid sequences of silk proteins have been determined for a number of silk types and species, revealing extensive variation. This variation in sequence is hypothesized to confer different material properties. However, the material properties of silk have been characterized from only a few ecologically similar species, even though spiders are extremely diverse. Using a Nano Bionix® tensile tester, we measured mechanical properties of one type of silk, the dragline, from a broad sample of spider species. These taxa included orb-weavers and representatives of other lineages of true spiders that do not spin aerial capture webs. We found that all of the species sampled produce high-performance dragline fibers, suggesting that the remarkable properties of dragline silk predate the origin of the aerial orb-web. However, we report significant variation in all of the material properties measured. Furthermore, material properties tend not to be correlated, implying that different properties may have been selected upon in different spider lineages. We suggest that the spectrum of dragline silk sequences and material properties that have been produced over evolutionary time provides a rich resource for the design of biomimetic silk fibers.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-02-15

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Summary statistics for fossil spider species taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Penney, David; Dunlop, Jason A; Marusik, Yuri M

    2012-01-01

    Spiders (Araneae) are one of the most species-rich orders on Earth today, and also have one of the longest geological records of any terrestrial animal groups, as demonstrated by their extensive fossil record. There are currently around 1150 described fossil spider species, representing 2.6% of all described spiders (i.e. extinct and extant). Data for numbers of fossil and living spider taxa described annually (and various other metrics for the fossil taxa) were compiled from current taxonomic catalogues. Data for extant taxa showed a steady linear increase of approximately 500 new species per year over the last decade, reflecting a rather constant research activity in this area by a large number of scientists, which can be expected to continue. The results for fossil species were very different, with peaks of new species descriptions followed by long troughs, indicating minimal new published research activity for most years. This pattern is indicative of short bursts of research by a limited number of authors. Given the frequent discovery of new fossil deposits containing spiders, a wealth of new material coming to light from previously worked deposits, and the application of new imaging techniques in palaeoarachnology that allow us to extract additional data from historical specimens, e.g. X-ray computed tomography, it is important not only to ensure a sustained research activity on fossil spiders (and other arachnids) through training and enthusing the next generation of palaeoarachnologists, but preferably to promote increased research and expertise in this field.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-31

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Nephila clavipes spiders (Araneae: Nephilidae) keep track of captured prey counts: testing for a sense of numerosity in an orb-weaver.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Rafael L; Briceño, R D; Briceño-Aguilar, Eduardo; Höbel, Gerlinde

    2015-01-01

    Nephila clavipes golden orb-web spiders accumulate prey larders on their webs and search for them if they are removed from their web. Spiders that lose larger larders (i.e., spiders that lose larders consisting of more prey items) search for longer intervals, indicating that the spiders form memories of the size of the prey larders they have accumulated, and use those memories to regulate recovery efforts when the larders are pilfered. Here, we ask whether the spiders represent prey counts (i.e., numerosity) or a continuous integration of prey quantity (mass) in their memories. We manipulated larder sizes in treatments that varied in either prey size or prey numbers but were equivalent in total prey quantity (mass). We then removed the larders to elicit searching and used the spiders' searching behavior as an assay of their representations in memory. Searching increased with prey quantity (larder size) and did so more steeply with higher prey counts than with single prey of larger sizes. Thus, Nephila spiders seem to track prey quantity in two ways, but to attend more to prey numerosity. We discuss alternatives for continuous accumulator mechanisms that remain to be tested against the numerosity hypothesis, and the evolutionary and adaptive significance of evidence suggestive of numerosity in a sit-and-wait invertebrate predator.

  3. Are temperate canopy spiders tree-species specific?

    PubMed

    Mupepele, Anne-Christine; Müller, Tobias; Dittrich, Marcus; Floren, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Arboreal spiders in deciduous and coniferous trees were investigated on their distribution and diversity. Insecticidal knock-down was used to comprehensively sample spiders from 175 trees from 2001 to 2003 in the Białowieża forest and three remote forests in Poland. We identified 140 species from 9273 adult spiders. Spider communities were distinguished between deciduous and coniferous trees. The richest fauna was collected from Quercus where beta diversity was also highest. A tree-species-specific pattern was clearly observed for Alnus, Carpinus, Picea and Pinus trees and also for those tree species that were fogged in only four or three replicates, namely Betula and Populus. This hitherto unrecognised association was mainly due to the community composition of common species identified in a Dufrene-Legendre indicator species analysis. It was not caused by spatial or temporal autocorrelation. Explaining tree-species specificity for generalist predators like spiders is difficult and has to involve physical and ecological tree parameters like linkage with the abundance of prey species. However, neither did we find a consistent correlation of prey group abundances with spiders nor could differences in spider guild composition explain the observed pattern. Our results hint towards the importance of deterministic mechanisms structuring communities of generalist canopy spiders although the casual relationship is not yet understood.

  4. Are Temperate Canopy Spiders Tree-Species Specific?

    PubMed Central

    Mupepele, Anne-Christine; Müller, Tobias; Dittrich, Marcus; Floren, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Arboreal spiders in deciduous and coniferous trees were investigated on their distribution and diversity. Insecticidal knock-down was used to comprehensively sample spiders from 175 trees from 2001 to 2003 in the Białowieża forest and three remote forests in Poland. We identified 140 species from 9273 adult spiders. Spider communities were distinguished between deciduous and coniferous trees. The richest fauna was collected from Quercus where beta diversity was also highest. A tree-species-specific pattern was clearly observed for Alnus, Carpinus, Picea and Pinus trees and also for those tree species that were fogged in only four or three replicates, namely Betula and Populus. This hitherto unrecognised association was mainly due to the community composition of common species identified in a Dufrene-Legendre indicator species analysis. It was not caused by spatial or temporal autocorrelation. Explaining tree-species specificity for generalist predators like spiders is difficult and has to involve physical and ecological tree parameters like linkage with the abundance of prey species. However, neither did we find a consistent correlation of prey group abundances with spiders nor could differences in spider guild composition explain the observed pattern. Our results hint towards the importance of deterministic mechanisms structuring communities of generalist canopy spiders although the casual relationship is not yet understood. PMID:24586251

  5. 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

  6. Bat predation by spiders.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Verified spider bites in Oregon (USA) with the intent to assess hobo spider venom toxicity.

    PubMed

    McKeown, Nathanael; Vetter, Richard S; Hendrickson, Robert G

    2014-06-01

    This study compiled 33 verified spider bites from the state of Oregon (USA). The initial goal was to amass a series of bites by the hobo spider to assess whether it possesses toxic venom, a supposition which is currently in a contested state. None of the 33 bites from several spider species developed significant medical symptoms nor did dermonecrosis occur. The most common biters were the yellow sac spider, Cheiracanthium mildei (N = 10) and orb-weavers of the genus Araneus (N = 6). There were 10 bites from three genera of funnel web spiders of the family Agelenidae including one hobo spider bite and one from the congeneric giant house spider which is readily confused as a hobo spider. The hobo spider bite resulted in pain, redness, twitching in the calf muscle and resolved in 12 h. Also generated from this study were possibly the first records of bites from spiders of the genera Callobius (Amaurobiidae) and Antrodiaetus (Antrodiaetidae), both with minor manifestations.

  8. The venomous secrets of the web droplets from the viscid spiral of the orb-weaver spider Nephila clavipes (Araneae, Tetragnatidae).

    PubMed

    Salles, Heliana C; Volsi, Evelyn Cristina F R; Marques, Maurício R; Souza, Bibiana M; dos Santos, Lucilene D; Tormena, Cláudio F; Mendes, Maria A; Palma, Mario S

    2006-07-01

    The capture web of N. clavipes presents viscous droplets, which play important roles in web mechanics and prey capture. By using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, it was demonstrated that the web droplets are constituted of different chemical environments, provided by the existence both of an aqueous and a lipid layer, which, in turn, present a suspension of tenths of vesicles containing polypeptides and/or lipids. GC/EI-MS Analysis of the contents of these vesicles led to the identification of some saturated fatty acids, such as decanoic acid, undecanoic acid, dodecanoic acid, tetradecanoic acid, octadecanoic acid, and icosanoic acid, while other components were unsaturated fatty acids, such as (Z)-tetradec-9-enoic acid, (Z)-octadec-9-enoic acid, and (Z)-icosa-11-enoic acid; and polyunsaturated fatty acids like (9Z,12Z)-octadeca-9,12-dienoic acid, (9Z,12Z,15Z)-octadeca-9,12,15-trienoic acid, and (11Z,14Z)-icosa-11,14-dienoic acid. Toxic proteins such as calcium-activated proteinase and metalloproteinase jararhagin-like precursor were also identified by using a proteomic approach, indicating the possible involvement of these enzymes in the pre-digestion of spiders' preys web-captured. Apparently, the mixture of fatty acids are relatively toxic to insects by topical application (LD50 64.3+/-7.6 ng mg(-1) honeybee), while the proteins alone present no topical effect; however, when injected into the prey-insects, these proteins presented a moderate toxicity (LD50 40.3+/-4.8 ng mg(-1) honeybee); the mixture of fatty acids and proteins is very toxic to the preys captured by the web droplets of the viscid spiral of Nephila clavipes when topically applied on them (LD50 14.3+/-1.8 ng mg(-1) honeybee).

  9. Convergent evolution of behavior in an adaptive radiation of Hawaiian web-building spiders.

    PubMed

    Blackledge, Todd A; Gillespie, Rosemary G

    2004-11-16

    Species in ecologically similar habitats often display patterns of divergence that are strikingly comparable, suggesting that natural selection can lead to predictable evolutionary change in communities. However, the relative importance of selection as an agent mediating in situ diversification, versus dispersal between habitats, cannot be addressed without knowledge of phylogenetic history. We used an adaptive radiation of spiders within the Hawaiian Islands to test the prediction that species of spiders on different islands would independently evolve webs with similar architectures. Tetragnatha spiders are the only nocturnal orb-weaving spiders endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago, and multiple species of orb-weaving Tetragnatha co-occur within mesic and wet forest habitats on each of the main islands. Therefore, comparison of web architectures spun by spiders on different islands allowed study of replicated evolutionary events of past behavioral diversification. We found that species within each island construct webs with architectures that differ from one another. However, pairs of species on different islands, "ethotypes," share remarkable similarities in web architectures. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the species comprising these ethotypes evolved independent of one another. Our study illustrates the high degree of predictability that can be exhibited by the evolutionary diversification of complex behaviors. However, not all web architectures were shared between islands, demonstrating that unique effects also have played an important role in the historical diversification of behavior.

  10. Constraints on the adhesion of viscous threads spun by orb-weaving spiders: the tensile strength of glycoprotein glue exceeds its adhesion.

    PubMed

    Opell, Brent D; Schwend, Harold S; Vito, Stephen T

    2011-07-01

    In this study we tested the hypothesis that a viscous thread releases its hold on a surface because its glycoprotein glue pulls from the surface and not because its elongating droplets break near their attachment to the surface. We compared the values obtained when three species' viscous threads adhered to four smooth surfaces, which differed in their total surface energy and in the proportions of their dispersion and polar energy components. Although water comprised 43-70% of the volume of these viscous droplets, only the dispersion surface energies of test materials and not their polar surface energies impacted thread adhesion. These results support the droplet pull-off hypothesis and are consistent with a previous finding that capillary force contributes little to thread adhesion. Just as a viscous thread's stickiness is constrained by the tensile strength of its supporting axial fibers, our findings suggest that glycoprotein adhesion is constrained by glycoprotein tensile strength.

  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. Reproducing natural spider silks' copolymer behavior in synthetic silk mimics.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-10

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Australian wolf spider bites (Lycosidae): clinical effects and influence of species on bite circumstances.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; Framenau, Volker W

    2004-01-01

    Necrotic arachnidism continues to be attributed to wolf spider bites. This study investigates the clinical effects of bites by wolf spiders in Australia (family Lycosidae). Subjects were recruited prospectively from February 1999 to April 2001 from participating emergency departments or state poison information centers. Subjects were included if they had a definite bite by a wolf spider and had collected the spider, which was later identified by an arachnologist. Spiders were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible and cephalothorax width was measured to correlate bite effects and spider size. There were 45 definite wolf spider bites (23 male and 22 female patients; age range 1 to 69 years, median age 28 years). Species level identifications (14 species) were possible for 31 of 43 spiders belonging to seven different generic groupings. Most bites were by spiders from four generic groupings, Tasmanicosa (including 'Lycosa') (15), Venatrix (8), Venator (10), and Hogna (7). Bites occurred more commonly in south-eastern Australia and occurred throughout the year, with 7 bites (16%) in late autumn or winter. In 7 cases (16%) the person was swimming in or cleaning a pool. Seventy-two percent of bites occurred on distal parts of limbs. Pain occurred in all bites and was severe in 11 cases (24%), with a median duration of 10 min (IQR: 2-60 min). Other effects included puncture marks/bleeding (33%), swelling (20%), redness (67%), and itchiness (13%). Minor systemic effects occurred in three patients (7%): nausea (two), headache (one) and malaise (one). There were no cases of necrotic ulcers [0%; 97.5% CI 0-8%]. Tasmanicosa spider bites caused significantly more itchiness and redness, and large spiders (>5 mm) more often caused severe pain and left fang marks. Wolf spider bites cause minor effects, no more severe than most other spiders, and do not appear to cause necrotic ulcers. The effects are likely to be due to mechanical injury, although minor local

  17. Efficacy of DNA barcoding for the species identification of spiders from Western Ghats of India.

    PubMed

    Gaikwad, Swapnil; Warudkar, Ashwin; Shouche, Yogesh

    2017-09-01

    DNA barcoding has emerged as an additional tool for taxonomy and as an aid to taxonomic impediments. Due to their extensive morphological variation, spiders are taxonomically challenging. Therefore, all over the world, attempts are being made to DNA barcode species of spiders. Till now no attempts were made to DNA barcode Indian spiders despite their rich diversity. We have generated DNA barcodes for 60 species (n = 112) of spiders for the first time from India. Although only 17 species were correctly identified at the species level, DNA barcoding correctly discriminated 99% of the species studied here. We have also found high intraspecies nucleotide divergence in Plexippus paykulli suggesting cryptic diversity that needs to be studied in detail. Our study also showed non-specific amplification of the Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) gene of endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia. However, these cases are very rare and could be resolved by the use of modified or group specific primers.

  18. Behavioural and biomaterial coevolution in spider orb webs.

    PubMed

    Sensenig, A; Agnarsson, I; Blackledge, T A

    2010-09-01

    Mechanical performance of biological structures, such as tendons, byssal threads, muscles, and spider webs, is determined by a complex interplay between material quality (intrinsic material properties, larger scale morphology) and proximate behaviour. Spider orb webs are a system in which fibrous biomaterials--silks--are arranged in a complex design resulting from stereotypical behavioural patterns, to produce effective energy absorbing traps for flying prey. Orb webs show an impressive range of designs, some effective at capturing tiny insects such as midges, others that can occasionally stop even small birds. Here, we test whether material quality and behaviour (web design) co-evolve to fine-tune web function. We quantify the intrinsic material properties of the sticky capture silk and radial support threads, as well as their architectural arrangement in webs, across diverse species of orb-weaving spiders to estimate the maximum potential performance of orb webs as energy absorbing traps. We find a dominant pattern of material and behavioural coevolution where evolutionary shifts to larger body sizes, a common result of fecundity selection in spiders, is repeatedly accompanied by improved web performance because of changes in both silk material and web spinning behaviours. Large spiders produce silk with improved material properties, and also use more silk, to make webs with superior stopping potential. After controlling for spider size, spiders spinning higher quality silk used it more sparsely in webs. This implies that improvements in silk quality enable 'sparser' architectural designs, or alternatively that spiders spinning lower quality silk compensate architecturally for the inferior material quality of their silk. In summary, spider silk material properties are fine-tuned to the architectures of webs across millions of years of diversification, a coevolutionary pattern not yet clearly demonstrated for other important biomaterials such as tendon, mollusc

  19. Spider assemblages in the overstory, understory, and ground layers of managed stands in the western boreal mixedwood forest of Canada.

    PubMed

    Pinzon, Jaime; Spence, John R; Langor, David W

    2011-08-01

    Logging is the main human disturbance in the boreal forest; thus, understanding the effects of harvesting practices on biodiversity is essential for a more sustainable forestry. To assess changes in spider composition because of harvesting, samples were collected from three forest layers (overstory, understory, and ground) of deciduous and conifer dominated stands in the northwestern Canadian boreal mixedwood forest. Spider assemblages and feeding guild composition were compared between uncut controls and stands harvested to 20% retention. In total, 143 spider species were collected, 74 from the ground, 60 from the understory, and 71 from the overstory, and species composition of these three pools differed considerably among layers. Distinctive spider assemblages were collected from the canopy of each forest cover type but these were only slightly affected by harvesting. However, logging had a greater impact on the species composition in the understory and ground layers when compared with unharvested controls. Guild structure differed among layers, with wandering and sheet-weaving spiders dominant on the ground while orb-weaving and ambush spiders were better represented in the understory and overstory, respectively. Given the ecological importance of spiders and the expectation of faunal changes with increased harvesting, further efforts toward the understanding of species composition in higher strata of the boreal forest are needed.

  20. Sexual size dimorphism predicts the frequency of sexual cannibalism within and among species of spiders.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Rypstra, Ann L

    2008-09-01

    Sexual cannibalism varies widely among spiders, but no general evolutionary hypothesis has emerged to explain its distribution across taxa. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) also varies widely among spiders and could affect the vulnerability of males to cannibalistic attacks by females. We tested for a relationship between SSD and sexual cannibalism within and among species of spiders, using a broad taxonomic data set. For most species, cannibalism was more likely when males were much smaller than females. In addition, using phylogenetically controlled and uncontrolled analyses, there was a strong positive relationship between average SSD of a species and the frequency of sexual cannibalism. This is the first evidence that the degree of size difference between males and females is related to the phylogenetic distribution of sexual cannibalism among a broad range of spiders.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Production And Characterization Of Synthetic Spider Silks Based On Nephila Clavipes Major Ampullate Silk Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Bo

    The extraordinary mechanical properties of orb-weaving spider silks have served spiders for over 400 million years. However, only in the late 20th century did we start to understand the molecular nature of spider silk that contributes to its incredible properties as biomaterials. Among all seven types of spider silks, major ampullate silk from typical orb-weaving spiders is the toughest of all, it consists of primarily two proteins: MaSp1 and MaSp2. Variable ratios and conserved motifs of these two proteins in all the native spider silks demonstrate the significant role of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in controlling the mechanical properties of the fiber. The amino acid sequences of the orb weaving spider silk proteins have remained almost unchanged for more than 100 million years. Interestingly, MaSp1 and MaSp2 are the only two components in all studied dragline silk fibers from these spiders. The mechanical properties of native dragline silk vary slightly between species, which are believed to relate to the ratio of MaSp1 to MaSp2 in the silk. Both of these facts clearly indicate the importance of these two proteins to the mechanical properties of the fiber. Various types of synthetic spider silk fibers have been produced and studied in an effort to mass-produce man-made fibers with qualities comparable to native spider silk. To investigate the roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in silk fiber, synthetic MaSp1 (major abundant protein in Nephila clavipes major ampullate silks) only fibers, MaSp1/MaSp2 protein mixture fibers and chimeric protein fibers with both MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequence features have been produced and tested for mechanical properties. Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance was used to characterize the structure of silk fibers and reveal the relation between fiber spatial structure and mechanical properties.

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

    PubMed

    Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-12-08

    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.

  8. A new species of the spider genus Taczanowskia (Araneae, Araneidae) from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Ibarra-Núñez, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    A new species of the spider genus Taczanowskia, T. gustavoi n. sp. is described from Chiapas, Mexico. This finding extends the distribution of Taczanowskia species, hitherto known only from South America to Southern Mexico. T. gustavoi n. sp. can be differentiated from all other species in this genus by having more than six tubercles in the dorsum of its opisthosoma. This species is included in an earlier determination key for all previously known Taczanowskia species.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Analysis of transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species reveals gene profiles involved in silk and toxin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ying-Jun; Zeng, Yan; Chen, Lei; Dong, Yang; Wang, Wen

    2014-12-01

    As an ancient arthropod with a history of 390 million years, spiders evolved numerous morphological forms resulting from adaptation to different environments. The venom and silk of spiders, which have promising commercial applications in agriculture, medicine and engineering fields, are of special interests to researchers. However, little is known about their genomic components, which hinders not only understanding spider biology but also utilizing their valuable genes. Here we report on deep sequenced and de novo assembled transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species, Gasteracantha arcuata, Nasoonaria sinensis and Gasteracantha hasselti which are distributed in tropical forests of south China. With Illumina paired-end RNA-seq technology, 54 871, 101 855 and 75 455 unigenes for the three spider species were obtained, respectively, among which 9 300, 10 001 and 10 494 unique genes are annotated, respectively. From these annotated unigenes, we comprehensively analyzed silk and toxin gene components and structures for the three spider species. Our study provides valuable transcriptome data for three spider species which previously lacked any genetic/genomic data. The results have laid the first fundamental genomic basis for exploiting gene resources from these spiders. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  13. 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.

  14. Inter-specific sequence conservation and intra-individual sequence variation in a spider silk gene.

    PubMed

    Tai, Pei-Ling; Hwang, Guang-Yuh; Tso, I-Min

    2004-10-01

    Currently, studies on major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) genes of non-orb weaving spiders are few, and it is not clear whether genes of these organisms exhibit the same characteristics as those of orb-weavers. In addition, many studies have proposed that MaSp1 might be a single gene with allelic variants, but supporting evidence is still lacking. In this study, we compared partial DNA and amino acid sequences of MaSp1 cloned from different spider guilds. We also cloned partial MaSp1 sequences from genomic DNA and cDNA of the same individuals of spiders using the same primer combination to see if different molecular forms existed. In the repetitive region of partial MaSp1 sequences obtained, GGX, GA and poly-A motifs were present in all Araneomorphae and Mygalomorpae species examined. An extreme similarity in MaSp1 non-repetitive portions was found in sequences of ecribellate, cribellate and Mygalomorphae web-builders and such a result suggested that this sequence might exhibit an important function. A comparison of sequences amplified from the same individual showed that substitutions in amino acids occurred in both repetitive and non-repetitive regions, with a much higher variation in the former. These results suggest that the MaSp1 of Araneomorphae spiders exhibits several forms in an individual spider and it might be either a multiple gene or a single gene with a multiple exon/intron organization.

  15. A new species of ant mimicking spider, Myrmecotypus jasmineae (Araneae: Corinnidae: Castianeirinae), from Nicaragua.

    PubMed

    Leister, Matthew; Miller, Kelly

    2014-07-21

    Spiders of the corinnid genus Myrmecotypus Pickard-Cambridge, 1894 are known for being morphological and behavioral mimics of ants (Reiskind 1969, 1977; Cushing 1997, 2012; Rubio & Arbino 2009; Rubio et al. 2013). This genus currently includes nine species from to the New World. They occur from the United States (one species) to Argentina (one species), but most (seven species) occur from Mexico to Panama (Reiskind 1969; Rubio & Arbino 2009, Platnick 2014). A new species, M. jasmineae, from Nicaragua is described here from two males. A key to males and females of Myrmecotypus, adapted from Reiskind (1969), is modified to include all of the known species.

  16. Molecular nanosprings in spider capture-silk threads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Nathan; Oroudjev, Emin; Mutz, Stephanie; Cleveland, Jason P.; Hansma, Paul K.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Makarov, Dmitrii E.; Hansma, Helen G.

    2003-04-01

    Spider capture silk is a natural material that outperforms almost any synthetic material in its combination of strength and elasticity. The structure of this remarkable material is still largely unknown, because spider-silk proteins have not been crystallized. Capture silk is the sticky spiral in the webs of orb-weaving spiders. Here we are investigating specifically the capture spiral threads from Araneus, an ecribellate orb-weaving spider. The major protein of these threads is flagelliform protein, a variety of silk fibroin. We present models for molecular and supramolecular structures of flagelliform protein, derived from amino acid sequences, force spectroscopy (molecular pulling) and stretching of bulk capture web. Pulling on molecules in capture-silk fibres from Araneus has revealed rupture peaks due to sacrificial bonds, characteristic of other self-healing biomaterials. The overall force changes are exponential for both capture-silk molecules and intact strands of capture silk.

  17. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2014-08-04

    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.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The Nephila clavipes genome highlights the diversity of spider silk genes and their complex expression.

    PubMed

    Babb, Paul L; Lahens, Nicholas F; Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Nicholson, David N; Kim, Eun Ji; Hogenesch, John B; Kuntner, Matjaž; Higgins, Linden; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Agnarsson, Ingi; Voight, Benjamin F

    2017-06-01

    Spider silks are the toughest known biological materials, yet are lightweight and virtually invisible to the human immune system, and they thus have revolutionary potential for medicine and industry. Spider silks are largely composed of spidroins, a unique family of structural proteins. To investigate spidroin genes systematically, we constructed the first genome of an orb-weaving spider: the golden orb-weaver (Nephila clavipes), which builds large webs using an extensive repertoire of silks with diverse physical properties. We cataloged 28 Nephila spidroins, representing all known orb-weaver spidroin types, and identified 394 repeated coding motif variants and higher-order repetitive cassette structures unique to specific spidroins. Characterization of spidroin expression in distinct silk gland types indicates that glands can express multiple spidroin types. We find evidence of an alternatively spliced spidroin, a spidroin expressed only in venom glands, evolutionary mechanisms for spidroin diversification, and non-spidroin genes with expression patterns that suggest roles in silk production.

  2. Two new species of the spider genus Antoonops (Araneae: Oonopidae), with a key to the known species.

    PubMed

    Fannes, Wouter

    2013-01-01

    Two new species of the goblin spider genus Antoonops are described, bringing the total number of species to six. Antoonops kamieli sp. nov. is described from two males and one female collected in Bouaké, Ivory Coast. The species can be easily distinguished from congeners by its large eyes. In addition, the males are characterized by a distinct depression on the ventral abdomen. Antoonops sarae sp. nov. is described from four females collected in Tchabal Mbabo, Cameroon. The species is unusual in having a long postepigastric scutum and a genital duct with finger-like protrusions. A key to the species of Antoonops is provided.

  3. A New Assay for the Detection of Loxosceles Species (Brown Recluse) Spider Venom

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Hernan F.; Krywko, Diann M.; Stoecker, William V.

    2011-01-01

    Study objective Dermal lesions from unrelated arthropod species and medical causes appear similar to Loxosceles species (brown recluse spider) bites. This may result in delayed diagnosis and treatment. We developed a sensitive Loxosceles species venom enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and characterized the specificity of the assay by evaluating antigenic cross-reactivity from a variety of North American arthropod venoms. Methods North American arthropod (14 spiders, 2 scorpions, and 1 bee) venoms were studied. Three venom amounts (diluted in 100 μL of ELISA buffer) were assayed: 16,000 ng, 2,000 ng, and 40 ng. The latter quantity was selected because this is the observed maximum amount of venom we detect when inoculating dermis with amounts likely to be deposited by a spider bite. The larger venom amounts are overwhelming quantities designed to test the limits of the assay for arthropod venom cross-reactivity. Similar amounts of Loxosceles species venom and bovine albumin served as positive and negative controls, respectively. Results At the lowest amount of venom tested (40 ng), the ELISA detected only the Loxosceles species positive control. When 2,000 ng was assayed, only Scytodes fusca and Kukulcania hibernalis arachnid venoms (in addition to Loxosceles species) cross-reacted to the assay. Finally, at 16,000 ng, the ELISA assay modestly detected Diguetia canities, Heteropoda venatoria, Tegenaria agrestis, Plectreurys tristes, Dolomedes tenebrosus, and Hadrurus arizonensis arachnid venoms. Conclusion Cross-reactivity was observed in 8 of 17 North American arthropod venoms when large venom amounts were assayed with a Loxosceles species ELISA. By using a relevant quantity of venom, 40 ng, the assay was specific for Loxosceles species venom. The venom specificity of the ELISA may allow clinical application in Loxosceles species endemic regions of North America. PMID:11973553

  4. The Peacock Spiders (Araneae: Salticidae: Maratus) of the Queensland Museum, including six new species.

    PubMed

    Baehr, Barbara C; Whyte, Robert

    2016-08-24

    Six new species of the peacock spider genus Maratus Karsch, 1878 are described from Australia: M. eliasi sp. nov., M. julianneae sp. nov., M. licunxini sp. nov., M. michaelorum sp. nov. and M. ottoi sp. nov. from Queensland, and M. kiwirrkurra sp. nov. from Western  Australia. Five species groups are further documented within the genus and new records, detailed SEM and automontage images are provided for six previously described species: M. anomalus Karsch, 1878, M. chrysomelas (Simon, 1909), M. digitatus Otto & Hill, 2012, M. pavonis (Dunn, 1947), M. speciosus (O.P.-Cambridge, 1874) and M. volans (O.P.-Cambridge, 1874).

  5. 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. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Lyriform slit sense organs on the pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders.

    PubMed

    Patil, Bhavani; Prabhu, Suphala; Rajashekhar, K P

    2006-03-01

    Lyriform slits sense organs (LSSO) are a precise assembly of stress detecting cuticular slit sensilla found on the appendages of arachnids. While these structures on the legs of the wandering spider Cupennius salei are well studied in terms of morphology, function and contribution to behaviour, their distribution on pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders is not well explored. A study was therefore carried out to observe the distribution of LSSO on pedipalps and spinnerets of some spider species. Haplogyne spiders belonging to family Pholcidae have a simple complement of LSSOs represented by one or two LSSOs on their femur. The entelegyne spiders possess a complex assembly of LSSOs on the distal segments of their pedipalps. Various types of LSSOs are found on the pedipalps indicating a capacity for analysis of complex cuticular stress. It is suggested that the complexity of LSSOs on pedipalps of entel-egyne spiders relates to courtship and spermatophore transfer and may help in reproductive isolation. Lack of LSSOs on the distal segments of pedipalps leads us to infer that unlike legs, pedipalps are less likely to receive vibratory input through their distal segments. Spinnerets have a relatively simple complement of LSSOs. One LSSO is found only on anterior spinnerets and it is a common feature observed among spiders, irrespective of the variations in web building behaviour. The orb-weaving araneid Argiope pulchella, however, has two LSSOs on the anterior spinneret. As non-web builders and orb weavers do not differ markedly in terms of LSSOs on the spinnerets and LSSOs are simple in nature (type A), it is likely that spinning and weaving are not largely regulated by sensory input from LSSOs on the spinnerets.

  7. Co-occurrence of ecologically equivalent cryptic species of spider wasps

    PubMed Central

    Kurushima, Hiroaki; Kim, Jeong-Kyu; Kim, Jong-Kuk; Nishimoto, Yutaka; Sayama, Katsuhiko; Kato, Manabu; Watanabe, Kenta; Hasegawa, Eisuke; Roff, Derek A.; Shimizu, Akira

    2016-01-01

    Many cryptic species have been discovered in various taxonomic groups based on molecular phylogenetic analyses and mating experiments. Some sympatric cryptic species share equivalent resources, which contradicts the competitive exclusion principle. Two major theories have been proposed to explain the apparent lack of competitive exclusion, i.e. niche-based coexistence and neutral model, but a conclusive explanation is lacking. Here, we report the co-occurrence of cryptic spider wasp species appearing to be ecologically equivalent. Molecular phylogenetic analyses and mating experiments revealed that three phylogenetically closely related species are found sympatrically in Japan. These species share the same resources for larval food, and two of the species have the same niche for nesting sites, indicating a lack of competitive exclusion. This evidence may suggest that ecologically equivalent species can co-occur stably if their shared resources are sufficiently abundant that they cannot be over-exploited. PMID:27853590

  8. Microhabitat identity of two species of sheet-web spiders: field experimental demonstration.

    PubMed

    Toft, S

    1987-05-01

    Descriptive studies reveal that web-site characteristics of two sympatric species of sheet-web spiders, Linyphia triangularis and L. tenuipalpis are similar, even though their body sizes and web sizes are significantly different. The hypothesis of identical web-sites were tested by a species exchange experiment in the field. Here the residence times of adult females of each species released in webs of the other species were compared to the residence times of other females released in own species' webs. As there was no differences between the species-exchange series and the control series, the experimental results supported the conclusions of the descriptive studies. The utility of testing habitat parameter differences experimentally, and the significance of the results to the ecology of the species, in particular to their interspecific interactions, are discussed.

  9. Social spiders of the genus Anelosimus occur in wetter, more productive environments than non-social species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majer, Marija; Agnarsson, Ingi; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Bilde, Trine

    2013-11-01

    Latitude, rainfall, and productivity have been shown to influence social organisation and level of sociality in arthropods on large geographic scales. Social spiders form permanent group-living societies where they cooperate in brood care, web maintenance, and foraging. Sociality has evolved independently in a number of unrelated spider genera and may reflect convergent evolutionary responses to common environmental drivers. The genus Anelosimus contains a third of approximately 25 described permanently social spider species, eight to nine species that all occur in the Americas. To test for environmental correlates of sociality in Anelosimus across the Americas, we used logistic regression to detect effects of annual rainfall, productivity, and precipitation seasonality on the relative likelihood of occurrence of social and non-social Anelosimus spiders. Our analyses show that social species tend to occur at higher annual rainfall and productivity than non-social species, supporting the hypothesised effects of these environmental variables on the geographical distribution of social species. We did not find support for the hypothesis that permanently social species occur in areas with low precipitation seasonality. High annual precipitation and, to less extent, high productivity favour the occurrence of permanently group-living Anelosimus spiders relative to subsocial and solitary species. These results are partially consistent with previous findings for the Old World spider genus Stegodyphus, where a link between high habitat productivity and sociality was also found. Unlike Anelosimus, however, Stegodyphus typically occur in dry habitats negating a general importance of high precipitation for sociality. Sociality in spiders thus seems to be strongly linked to productivity, probably reflecting the need for relatively high availability of large prey to sustain social colonies.

  10. Social spiders of the genus Anelosimus occur in wetter, more productive environments than non-social species.

    PubMed

    Majer, Marija; Agnarsson, Ingi; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Bilde, Trine

    2013-11-01

    Latitude, rainfall, and productivity have been shown to influence social organisation and level of sociality in arthropods on large geographic scales. Social spiders form permanent group-living societies where they cooperate in brood care, web maintenance, and foraging. Sociality has evolved independently in a number of unrelated spider genera and may reflect convergent evolutionary responses to common environmental drivers. The genus Anelosimus contains a third of approximately 25 described permanently social spider species, eight to nine species that all occur in the Americas. To test for environmental correlates of sociality in Anelosimus across the Americas, we used logistic regression to detect effects of annual rainfall, productivity, and precipitation seasonality on the relative likelihood of occurrence of social and non-social Anelosimus spiders. Our analyses show that social species tend to occur at higher annual rainfall and productivity than non-social species, supporting the hypothesised effects of these environmental variables on the geographical distribution of social species. We did not find support for the hypothesis that permanently social species occur in areas with low precipitation seasonality. High annual precipitation and, to less extent, high productivity favour the occurrence of permanently group-living Anelosimus spiders relative to subsocial and solitary species. These results are partially consistent with previous findings for the Old World spider genus Stegodyphus, where a link between high habitat productivity and sociality was also found. Unlike Anelosimus, however, Stegodyphus typically occur in dry habitats negating a general importance of high precipitation for sociality. Sociality in spiders thus seems to be strongly linked to productivity, probably reflecting the need for relatively high availability of large prey to sustain social colonies.

  11. Latrodectism: variations in clinical manifestations provoked by Latrodectus species of spiders.

    PubMed

    Maretić, Z

    1983-01-01

    The clinical picture caused by the bite of Latrodectus spp. is described, including the patient's general condition with agonizing pains, cramps, spasms, motor unrest, boardlike abdomen, "facies latrodectismica", sweating, oliguria, hypertension, anxiety, mental excitation and an extended convalescence. The notorious biters are mainly L. mactans, L. variolus, L. hesperus, L. tredecimguttatus, L. hasselti, L. indistinctus and L. menavodi, all of which appear to provoke somewhat similar clinical pictures. For some species, however, there is limited data and for the toxicity of some spiders, such as L. rhodesiensis, no data are available, However, it would appear that the clinical manifestations of the venom are similar in all species.

  12. 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

  13. 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. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Nuptial gifts and sexual behavior in two species of spider (Araneae, Trechaleidae, Paratrechalea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa-Schmidt, Luiz Ernesto; Carico, James Edwin; de Araújo, Aldo Mellender

    2008-08-01

    Male delivering of a prey packed in silk as a nuptial gift is rare in spiders and restricted until now to Pisauridae. Here, we describe this behavioral pattern found in two Trechaleidae species, Paratrechalea azul Carico 2005, and Paratrechalea ornata (Mello-Leitão 1943), mainly based on field observations. We observed the following steps of sexual behavior: sperm induction, nuptial gift construction, mate searching, pre-copulatory courtship, copulation, and copulatory ending. In this group, a nuptial gift consists of a prey wrapped in silk, which appears as a white rounded shape. The male carries his nuptial gift in his chelicerae while searching for a female. When he finds a female, he shows a stereotyped courting behavior consisting of a hyperflexed posture that is also assumed by the receptive female while they face each other. The copulatory position and pattern is similar to that found in other Lycosoidea: the male mounts the female and makes a total of four palpal insertions while alternating sides. However, after each palpal insertion the male dismounts and returns to a frontal position while biting the gift. Copulatory courtship is evidenced by palpal and leg movements. The copulation ends by female initiative and she almost always retains the nuptial gift. No case of pre-copulatory or post-copulatory cannibalism has been recorded. Descriptions of nuptial gift construction by males and copulation in these species, as well as hypotheses about the origin of nuptial gift construction among spiders, are presented. These descriptions are the first records of such nuptial gift offering for Neotropical spiders and for non-Pisauridae species as well.

  17. Evolution of sociality in spiders leads to depleted genomic diversity at both population and species levels.

    PubMed

    Settepani, V; Schou, M F; Greve, M; Grinsted, L; Bechsgaard, J; Bilde, T

    2017-08-01

    Across several animal taxa, the evolution of sociality involves a suite of characteristics, a "social syndrome," that includes cooperative breeding, reproductive skew, primary female-biased sex ratio, and the transition from outcrossing to inbreeding mating system, factors that are expected to reduce effective population size (Ne). This social syndrome may be favoured by short-term benefits but come with long-term costs, because the reduction in Ne amplifies loss of genetic diversity by genetic drift, ultimately restricting the potential of populations to respond to environmental change. To investigate the consequences of this social life form on genetic diversity, we used a comparative RAD-sequencing approach to estimate genomewide diversity in spider species that differ in level of sociality, reproductive skew and mating system. We analysed multiple populations of three independent sister-species pairs of social inbreeding and subsocial outcrossing Stegodyphus spiders, and a subsocial outgroup. Heterozygosity and within-population diversity were sixfold to 10-fold lower in social compared to subsocial species, and demographic modelling revealed a tenfold reduction in Ne of social populations. Species-wide genetic diversity depends on population divergence and the viability of genetic lineages. Population genomic patterns were consistent with high lineage turnover, which homogenizes the genetic structure that builds up between inbreeding populations, ultimately depleting genetic diversity at the species level. Indeed, species-wide genetic diversity of social species was 5-8 times lower than that of subsocial species. The repeated evolution of species with this social syndrome is associated with severe loss of genomewide diversity, likely to limit their evolutionary potential. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Individual and species-specific traits explain niche size and functional role in spiders as generalist predators.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; Vogel, Esther; Knop, Eva

    2015-01-01

    The function of a predator within a community is greatly based on its trophic niche, that is the number and the strength of feeding links. In generalist predators, which feed on a wide range of prey, the size and position of the trophic niche is likely determined by traits such as hunting mode, the stratum they occur in, their body size and age. We used stable isotope analyses ((13)C and (15)N) to measure the trophic niche size of nine spider species within a forest hedge community and tested for species traits and individual traits that influence stable isotope enrichment, niche size and resource use. The spiders Enoplognatha, Philodromus, Floronia, and Heliophanus had large isotopic niches, which correspond to a more generalistic feeding behaviour. In contrast, Araneus, Metellina and Agelena, as top predators in the system, had rather narrow niches. We found a negative correlation between trophic position and niche size. Differences in trophic position in spiders were explained by body size, hunting modes and stratum, while niche size was influenced by hunting mode. In Philodromus, the size of the trophic niche increased significantly with age. Fitting spiders to functional groups according to their mean body size, hunting mode and their habitat domain resulted in largely separated niches, which indicates that these traits are meaningful for separating functional entities in spiders. Functional groups based on habitat domain (stratum) caught the essential functional differences between the species with species higher up in the vegetation feeding on flying insects and herb and ground species also preying on forest floor decomposers. Interestingly, we found a gradient from large species using a higher habitat domain and having a smaller niche to smaller species foraging closer to the ground and having a larger niche. This shows that even within generalist predators, such as spiders, there is a gradient of specialism that can be predicted by functional traits.

  19. A new spider species, Heser stoevi sp. nov., from Turkmenistan (Araneae: Gnaphosidae)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The genus Heser (Araneae, Gnaphosidae) belongs to the Zelotes group, and is currently known to comprise 10 species distributed in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The type species is Heser malefactor Tuneva, 2004 from Kazakhstan. New information A new spider species, Heser stoevi sp. nov. (male and female) found in Koytendag Mountains, southeastern Turkmenistan is described and illustrated. It is morphologically close to H. aradensis (Levy, 1998) from Israel but can be readily distinguished by the longer embolus, the smaller and flattened conductor, the lack of retrolateral tibial apophysis, all this coupled with very distinctive female copulatory organs. The new species was found under stones in arid grassland habitats. PMID:27660520

  20. 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

    2012-08-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  2. Spiders (Araneae) of Churchill, Manitoba: DNA barcodes and morphology reveal high species diversity and new Canadian records.

    PubMed

    Blagoev, Gergin A; Nikolova, Nadya I; Sobel, Crystal N; Hebert, Paul D N; Adamowicz, Sarah J

    2013-11-26

    Arctic ecosystems, especially those near transition zones, are expected to be strongly impacted by climate change. Because it is positioned on the ecotone between tundra and boreal forest, the Churchill area is a strategic locality for the analysis of shifts in faunal composition. This fact has motivated the effort to develop a comprehensive biodiversity inventory for the Churchill region by coupling DNA barcoding with morphological studies. The present study represents one element of this effort; it focuses on analysis of the spider fauna at Churchill. 198 species were detected among 2704 spiders analyzed, tripling the count for the Churchill region. Estimates of overall diversity suggest that another 10-20 species await detection. Most species displayed little intraspecific sequence variation (maximum <1%) in the barcode region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, but four species showed considerably higher values (maximum = 4.1-6.2%), suggesting cryptic species. All recognized species possessed a distinct haplotype array at COI with nearest-neighbour interspecific distances averaging 8.57%. Three species new to Canada were detected: Robertus lyrifer (Theridiidae), Baryphyma trifrons (Linyphiidae), and Satilatlas monticola (Linyphiidae). The first two species may represent human-mediated introductions linked to the port in Churchill, but the other species represents a range extension from the USA. The first description of the female of S. monticola was also presented. As well, one probable new species of Alopecosa (Lycosidae) was recognized. This study provides the first comprehensive DNA barcode reference library for the spider fauna of any region. Few cryptic species of spiders were detected, a result contrasting with the prevalence of undescribed species in several other terrestrial arthropod groups at Churchill. Because most (97.5%) sequence clusters at COI corresponded with a named taxon, DNA barcoding reliably identifies spiders in the

  3. New additions to the Honduran fauna of spider wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) with the description of two species.

    PubMed

    Waichert, Cecilia; Rodriguez, Juanita; Pitts, James P

    2014-10-20

    Two new species of pepsine spider wasps, Calopompilus setaerotundus Waichert & Pitts, sp. nov. and Priocnemis (Umbripennis) wasbaueri Waichert & Pitts, sp. nov., are described and illustrated. Calopompilus Ashmead, Priocnemis Schiødte and sixteen additional species are newly reported from Honduras. A new combination is proposed for Ageniella fragilis (Fox), comb. nov., which is transferred from Agenia Schiødte. 

  4. An insecticidal peptide from the theraposid Brachypelma smithi spider venom reveals common molecular features among spider species from different genera.

    PubMed

    Corzo, Gerardo; Diego-García, Elia; Clement, Herlinda; Peigneur, Steve; Odell, George; Tytgat, Jan; Possani, Lourival D; Alagón, Alejandro

    2008-11-01

    The soluble venom of the Mexican theraposid spider Brachypelma smithi was screened for insecticidal peptides based on toxicity to house crickets. An insecticidal peptide, named Bs1 (which stands for Brachypelma smithi toxin 1) was obtained in homogeneous form after the soluble venom was fractionated using reverse-phase and cation-exchange chromatography. It contains 41 amino acids cross-linked by three disulfide bridges. Its sequence is similar to an insecticidal peptide isolated from the theraposid spider Ornithoctonus huwena from China, and another from the hexathelid spider Macrothelegigas from Japan, indicating that they are phylogenetically related. A cDNA library was prepared from the venomous glands of B. smithi and the gene that code for Bs1 was cloned. Sequence analysis of the nucleotides of Bs1 showed similarities to that of the hexathelid spider from Japan proving additional evidence for close genetic relationship between these spider peptides. The mRNAs of these toxins code for signal peptides that are processed at the segment rich in acidic and basic residues. Their C-terminal amino acids are amidated. However, they contain only a glycine residue at the most C-terminal position, without the presence of additional basic amino acid residues, normally required for post-translation processing of other toxins reported in the literature. The possible mechanism of action of Bs1 was investigated using several ion channels as putative receptors. Bs1 had minor, but significant effects on the Para/tipE insect ion channel, which could indirectly correlate with the observed lethal activity to crickets.

  5. Tubuliform silk protein: A protein with unique molecular characteristics and mechanical properties in the spider silk fibroin family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, M.; Lewis, R. V.

    2006-02-01

    Orb-web weavers can produce up to six different types of silk and a glue for various functions. Tubuliform silk is unique among them due to its distinct amino acid composition, specific time of production, and atypical mechanical properties. To study the protein composing this silk, tubuliform gland cDNA libraries were constructed from three orb-weaving spiders Argiope aurantia, Araneus gemmoides, and Nephila clavipes. Amino acid composition comparison between the predicted tubuliform silk protein sequence (TuSp1) and the corresponding gland protein confirms that TuSp1 is the major component in tubuliform gland in three spiders. Sequence analysis suggests that TuSp1 shares no significant similarity with its paralogues, while it has conserved sequence motifs with the most primitive spider, Euagrus chisoseus silk protein. The presence of large side-chain amino acids in TuSp1 sequence is consistent with the frustrated β-sheet crystalline structure of tubuliform silk observed in transmission electron microscopy. Repeat unit comparison within species as well as among three spiders exhibits high sequence conservation. Parsimony analysis based on carboxy terminal sequence shows that Argiope and Araneus are more closely related than either is to Nephila which is consistent with phylogenetic analysis based on morphological evidence.

  6. Temporal Patterns in the Abundance and Species Composition of Spiders on Host Plants of the Invasive Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Hogg, Brian N; Mills, Nicholas J; Daane, Kent M

    2017-06-01

    Generalist predators such as spiders may help mitigate the spread and impact of exotic herbivores. The lack of prey specificity and long generation times of spiders may allow them to persist when pests are scarce, and to limit the growth of pest populations before they reach damaging levels. We examined whether resident spiders are likely to play a role in maintaining populations of the invasive light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), below outbreak levels in California. We surveyed the spider community on two E. postvittana host plants, the ornamental Australian tea tree, Leptospermum laevigatum, and the weed French broom, Genista monspessulana, to characterize spider and larval E. postvittana abundance and spider species composition throughout the year. Spider densities and species composition showed slight seasonal changes. Spiders were present during periods of high and low E. postvittana abundance. Anyphaenid hunting spiders, Anyphaena aperta Banks in Australian tea tree and Anyphaena pacifica Banks in French broom, dominated spider species composition at four of five sampled sites, and underwent only slight seasonal variation in abundance. Adult A. aperta were rare at all times of the year, suggesting that high mortality among juvenile A. aperta limits the potential of this species as a predator of E. postvittana. Nevertheless, the continued presence of spiders throughout the year indicates that the resident spider community is likely to play a key role in reducing E. postvittana populations in California. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  7. 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

  8. New species and distribution records of selenopid spiders of the genus Hovops Benoit in Madagascar (Araneae, Selenopidae).

    PubMed

    Artigas, Sandra Mónica Rodriguez; Corronca, Jose Antonio

    2014-03-24

    Hovops Benoit is a heterogeneous genus of selenopid spiders that was prior to this study represented by seven species that are endemic to Madagascar. Here, we describe four new species: H. antakarana sp. n. (♀), H. ikongo sp. n. (♀), H. menabe sp. n. (♀), and H. vezo sp. n. (♀). A map of the new species is provided as well as new records on two of the known species H. pusillus (Simon, 1897) and H. legrasi (Simon, 1887).

  9. 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

  10. Spider: an R package for the analysis of species identity and evolution, with particular reference to DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Brown, Samuel D J; Collins, Rupert A; Boyer, Stephane; Lefort, Marie-Caroline; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba; Vink, Cor J; Cruickshank, Robert H

    2012-05-01

    Spider: SPecies IDentity and Evolution in R is a new R package implementing a number of useful analyses for DNA barcoding studies and associated research into species delimitation and speciation. Included are functions essential for generating important summary statistics from DNA barcode data, assessing specimen identification efficacy, and for testing and optimizing divergence threshold limits. In terms of investigating evolutionary and taxonomic questions, techniques for assessing diagnostic nucleotides and probability of reciprocal monophyly are also provided. Additionally, a sliding window function offers opportunities to analyse information across a gene, essential for marker design in degraded DNA studies. Spider capitalizes on R's extensible ethos and offers an integrated platform ideal for the analysis of both nucleotide and morphological data. The program can be obtained from the comprehensive R archive network (CRAN, http://cran.r-project.org) and from the R-Forge package development site (http://spider.r-forge.r-project.org/).

  11. Variation in nesting behavior of eight species of spider mites, Stigmaeopsis having sociality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Yutaka; Zhang, Yan-Xuan; Mori, Kotaro; Ito, Katsura; Sato, Yukie; Chittenden, Anthony R.; Lin, Jian-Zhen; Chae, Younghae; Sakagami, Takane; Sahara, Ken

    2016-10-01

    Nesting behavior is considered to be an important element of social living in animals. The spider mites belonging to the genus Stigmaeopsis spend their lives within nests produced from silk threads. Several of these species show cooperative sociality, while the others are subsocial. In order to identify the origins of this social behavior, comparisons of nest sizes, nesting behaviors (making nests continuously or separately), and their associated traits (fecal deposition patterns) were made for eight cogeneric Stigmaeopsis species showing various levels of social development. All of these species inhabit bamboo plants (Poaceae). We initially addressed the proximate factor of nest size variation. The variation in nest size of the eight species corresponded well with the variation in dorsal seta sc1 length, suggesting that nest size variation among species may have a genetic basis. The time spent within a nest (nest duration) increased with nest size on the respective host plants. Nest arrangement patterns varied among species showing different sized nests: Large nest builders continuously extended their nests, while middle and small nest-building species built new separate nests, which resulted in different social interaction times among species, and is thought to be closely related to social development. Fecal deposition behaviors also varied among Stigmaeopsis species, suggesting diversity in anti-predatory adaptations. Finally, we discuss how the variation in sociality observed within this genus is likely the result of nest size variation that initially evolved as anti-predator strategies.

  12. PCR-RFLP analysis for identification of Tetranychus spider mite species (Acari: Tetranychidae).

    PubMed

    Arimoto, Makoto; Satoh, Masaru; Uesugi, Ryuji; Osakabe, Masahiro

    2013-04-01

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-restriction fragment-length polymorphism)-based method for species identification was applied to 14 Tetranychus spider mite species, which were dominant species intercepted at Japanese import plant quarantine. We sequenced the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA), which included the partial ends of the 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA genes, 5.8S ribosomal RNA gene, and two internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) for 15 populations of the 14 species. We analyzed the recognition sites of four restriction endonucleases, which had been proposed for discrimination of Japanese Tetranychus species, and constructed a scheme for Tetranychus species identification by PCR-restriction fragment-length polymorphism. We then applied the scheme to 245 individuals from 199 populations, most of them were from foreign countries. As a result, all 14 species were correctly identified using PCR-restriction fragment-length polymorphism. This demonstrates the usefulness of the PCR-restriction fragment-length polymorphism method for the worldwide identification of Tetranychus species.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Duplication and concerted evolution of MiSp-encoding genes underlie the material properties of minor ampullate silks of cobweb weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Vienneau-Hathaway, Jannelle M; Brassfield, Elizabeth R; Lane, Amanda Kelly; Collin, Matthew A; Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Clarke, Thomas H; Schwager, Evelyn E; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2017-03-14

    Orb-web weaving spiders and their relatives use multiple types of task-specific silks. The majority of spider silk studies have focused on the ultra-tough dragline silk synthesized in major ampullate glands, but other silk types have impressive material properties. For instance, minor ampullate silks of orb-web weaving spiders are as tough as draglines, due to their higher extensibility despite lower strength. Differences in material properties between silk types result from differences in their component proteins, particularly members of the spidroin (spider fibroin) gene family. However, the extent to which variation in material properties within a single silk type can be explained by variation in spidroin sequences is unknown. Here, we compare the minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) of orb-weavers and cobweb weavers. Orb-web weavers use minor ampullate silk to form the auxiliary spiral of the orb-web while cobweb weavers use it to wrap prey, suggesting that selection pressures on minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) may differ between the two groups. We report complete or nearly complete MiSp sequences from five cobweb weaving spider species and measure material properties of minor ampullate silks in a subset of these species. We also compare MiSp sequences and silk properties of our cobweb weavers to published data for orb-web weavers. We demonstrate that all our cobweb weavers possess multiple MiSp loci and that one locus is more highly expressed in at least two species. We also find that the proportion of β-spiral-forming amino acid motifs in MiSp positively correlates with minor ampullate silk extensibility across orb-web and cobweb weavers. MiSp sequences vary dramatically within and among spider species, and have likely been subject to multiple rounds of gene duplication and concerted evolution, which have contributed to the diverse material properties of minor ampullate silks. Our sequences also provide templates for recombinant silk proteins with tailored

  16. New species of Habronattus and Pellenes jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae, Harmochirina)

    PubMed Central

    Maddison, Wayne P.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The harmochirine jumping spiders include the New World Habronattus, notable for their complex courtship displays, and Pellenes, found throughout the Old World and North America. Five new species of Habronattus and one new species of Pellenes are here described from North America: Habronattus aestus, sp. n., Habronattus chamela sp. n., Habronattus empyrus sp. n., Habronattus luminosus sp. n., Habronattus roberti sp. n., and Pellenes canadensis sp. n. For each of the new species, photographs of living specimens are given, as well as notes on habitat. The new subgenus Pellenattus is described for the subgroup of Pellenes restricted to North America, with type species Pellenes peninsularis Emerton, 1925. Species placed in Pellenes (Pellenattus) are Pellenes apacheus Lowrie & Gertsch, 1955, Pellenes canadensis sp. n., Pellenes crandalli Lowrie & Gertsch, 1955, Pellenes dorsalis (Banks, 1898b), Pellenes grammaticus Chamberlin 1925, Pellenes levii Lowrie & Gertsch, 1955, Pellenes limatus Peckham & Peckham, 1901, Pellenes longimanus Emerton, 1913, Pellenes peninsularis Emerton, 1925, Pellenes shoshonensis Gertsch, 1934, and Pellenes washonus Lowrie & Gertsch, 1955. Pellenes wrighti Lowrie & Gertsch, 1955 is synonymized with Pellenes peninsularis. Attention is drawn to an undescribed species of Habronattus from Canada whose only known specimen is apparently lost. PMID:28228675

  17. 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

  18. A comparison of populations of island and adjacent mainland species of Caribbean Selenops (Araneae: Selenopidae) spiders.

    PubMed

    Crews, Sarah C; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R; Rutstein, Elliot; Gillespie, Rosemary G

    2010-03-01

    The role of the landscape in structuring populations has been the focus of numerous studies, in particular, the extent to which islands provide opportunities for isolation, and the consistency of such an effect across lineages. The current study examines this phenomenon using a series of relatively widespread taxa, all within a single genus of spiders, Selenops. We focus on the Caribbean Islands and adjacent Mesoamerican mainland to examine how the islands per se dictate structure across lineages. We use molecular genetic data from mitochondrial and nuclear genes to examine the population structure of seven species of Selenops. Comparisons are made between species found in the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles, and adjacent mainland. Results indicate that geography has little effect on the population structure of mainland species. In contrast, population structure appears to be partitioned by island in the insular Caribbean. Within islands, the amount of population structure for each species is variable and may be dictated more by ecological or demographic parameters, rather than geographic location. The overall conclusion is that the extent to which a given lineage is structured is highly variable across species, with this variability overwhelming any general signal of geographical isolation.

  19. Assessing spider species richness and composition in Mediterranean cork oak forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, Pedro; Gaspar, Clara; Pereira, Luis C.; Silva, Israel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; da Silva, Ricardo R.; Sousa, Pedro

    2008-01-01

    Semi-quantitative sampling protocols have been proposed as the most cost-effective and comprehensive way of sampling spiders in many regions of the world. In the present study, a balanced sampling design with the same number of samples per day, time of day, collector and method, was used to assess the species richness and composition of a Quercus suber woodland in Central Portugal. A total of 475 samples, each corresponding to one hour of effective fieldwork, were taken. One hundred sixty eight species were captured, of which 150 were recorded inside a delimited one-hectare plot; this number corresponds to around 90% of the estimated species richness. We tested the effect of applying different sampling approaches (sampling day, time of day, collector experience and method) on species richness, abundance, and composition. Most sampling approaches were found to influence the species measures, of which method, time of day and the respective interaction had the strongest influence. The data indicated that fauna depletion of the sampled area possibly occurred and that the inventory was reaching a plateau by the end of the sampling process. We advocate the use of the Chao estimators as best for intensive protocols limited in space and time and the use of the asymptotic properties of the Michaelis-Menten curve as a stopping or reliability rule, as it allows the investigator to know when a close-to-complete inventory has been obtained and when reliable non-parametric estimators have been achieved.

  20. New species and records of linyphiid spiders from Laos (Araneae, Linyphiidae).

    PubMed

    Tanasevitch, Andrei V

    2014-07-24

    Recent linyphiid collections from Laos as well as some additional specimens from Thailand and West Malaysia are examined. Six species and two genera are described as new to science: Bathyphantes paracymbialis n. sp., Nematogmus asiaticus n. sp., Theoa hamata n. sp.; Asiagone n. gen. is erected for Asiagone signifera n. sp. (type species) and A. perforata n. sp.; Laogone n. gen. is established for Laogone cephala n. sp. The following new synonyms are proposed: Gorbothorax Tanasevitch, 1998 n. syn. = Nasoona Locket, 1982; Paranasoona Heimer, 1984 n. syn. and Millplophrys Platnick, 1998 n. syn. = Atypena Simon, 1894; Gorbothorax ungibbus Tanasevitch, 1998 n. syn. = Oedothorax asocialis Wunderlich, 1974; Hylyphantes birmanicus (Thorell, 1895) n. syn. = H. graminicola (Sundevall, 1830). The following new combinations are proposed: Atypena cirrifrons (Heimer, 1984) n. comb. ex from Paranasoona; A. pallida (Millidge, 1995) and A. crocatoa (Millidge, 1995) both n. comb. ex Millplophrys; Nasoona asocialis (Wunderlich, 1974) n. comb. ex Oedothorax Bertkau, 1883; N. asocialis (Wunderlich, 1974), N. comata (Tanasevitch, 1998), N. conica (Tanasevitch, 1998), N. setifera (Tanasevitch, 1998) and N. wunderlichi (Brignoli, 1983), all n. comb. ex Gorbothorax. Eight linyphiid species are newly recorded from Laos: A. cirrifrons (Heimer, 1984), Bathyphantes floralis Tu & Li, 2006, Hylyphantes graminicola (Sundevall, 1830), Nasoona asocialis, N. crucifera (Thorell, 1895), Nasoonaria sinensis Wunderlich & Song, 1995, Neriene birmanica (Thorell, 1887), and N. oxycera Tu & Li, 2006. The linyphiid spider fauna of Laos currently contains 15 species and is unusually highly specific. All species, except the Palearctic H. graminicola, are probably represented by Southeastern Asian or Oriental autochthons. 

  1. Spider angioma

    MedlinePlus

    Nevus araneus; Spider telangiectasia; Vascular spider; Spider nevus; Arterial spiders ... The main symptom is a blood vessel spot that: May have a red dot in the center Has reddish extensions that reach out from the center Disappears when ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2016-04-07

    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.

  4. Spiders (Araneae) of Churchill, Manitoba: DNA barcodes and morphology reveal high species diversity and new Canadian records

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Arctic ecosystems, especially those near transition zones, are expected to be strongly impacted by climate change. Because it is positioned on the ecotone between tundra and boreal forest, the Churchill area is a strategic locality for the analysis of shifts in faunal composition. This fact has motivated the effort to develop a comprehensive biodiversity inventory for the Churchill region by coupling DNA barcoding with morphological studies. The present study represents one element of this effort; it focuses on analysis of the spider fauna at Churchill. Results 198 species were detected among 2704 spiders analyzed, tripling the count for the Churchill region. Estimates of overall diversity suggest that another 10–20 species await detection. Most species displayed little intraspecific sequence variation (maximum <1%) in the barcode region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, but four species showed considerably higher values (maximum = 4.1-6.2%), suggesting cryptic species. All recognized species possessed a distinct haplotype array at COI with nearest-neighbour interspecific distances averaging 8.57%. Three species new to Canada were detected: Robertus lyrifer (Theridiidae), Baryphyma trifrons (Linyphiidae), and Satilatlas monticola (Linyphiidae). The first two species may represent human-mediated introductions linked to the port in Churchill, but the other species represents a range extension from the USA. The first description of the female of S. monticola was also presented. As well, one probable new species of Alopecosa (Lycosidae) was recognized. Conclusions This study provides the first comprehensive DNA barcode reference library for the spider fauna of any region. Few cryptic species of spiders were detected, a result contrasting with the prevalence of undescribed species in several other terrestrial arthropod groups at Churchill. Because most (97.5%) sequence clusters at COI corresponded with a named taxon, DNA barcoding

  5. Giant wood spider Nephila pilipes alters silk protein in response to prey variation.

    PubMed

    Tso, I-Min; Wu, Hsuan-Chen; Hwang, In-Ru

    2005-03-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that orb-weaving spiders may alter web structures, foraging localities or silk output in response to prey variations. In this study we conducted field surveys and food manipulations to examine whether orb-weaving spiders may also adjust the protein of silk to prey variations. A comparison of dragline silks collected from nine giant wood spider Nephila pilipes populations in Taiwan showed a spatial variation. The percentage of all amino acids (except alanine and glycine) exhibited significant differences among populations. A survey of prey composition also revealed a significant spatial variation among N. pilipes populations. To determine whether prey variation was responsible for silk protein variation, we fed N. pilipes with different types of prey (dipteran vs orthopteran) then compared the percentage of five major dragline amino acids and secondary structures. The results showed that dragline of N. pilipes fed with orthopteran prey contained significantly higher proline and glutamine but lower alanine. Congruent with this result were those from FTIR spectroscopy, which showed that dragline of N. pilipes fed with crickets exhibited significantly higher percentage of proline- and glutamine-containing beta turns, and lower percentage of alanine-containing beta sheet structures. Since the results of feeding manipulations showed that diet significantly affected the compositions of dragline silks, the observed spatial variation seemed to reflect the different types of prey these spiders had consumed. Results of this study thus indicated that orb-weaving spiders can alter dragline protein in response to prey variations.

  6. A new species of wolf-spider (Alopecosa ogorodica sp.n.) from the Russian Mountain Altai with remarks on Arctosa meitanensis Yin et al., 1993 (Araneae: Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Trilikauskas, Laimonas A; Azarkina, Galina N

    2014-08-25

    Alopecosa ogorodica sp.n. (♂♀), a new wolf-spider species (Lycosidae) from the Russian Mountain Altai is described. New data, diagnosis, description and drawings on Arctosa meitanensis Yin et al., 1993 are provided. 

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Punctuated evolution of viscid silk in spider orb webs supported by mechanical behavior of wet cribellate silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piorkowski, Dakota; Blackledge, Todd A.

    2017-08-01

    The origin of viscid capture silk in orb webs, from cribellate silk-spinning ancestors, is a key innovation correlated with significant diversification of web-building spiders. Ancestral cribellate silk consists of dry nanofibrils surrounding a stiff, axial fiber that adheres to prey through van der Waals interactions, capillary forces, and physical entanglement. In contrast, viscid silk uses chemically adhesive aqueous glue coated onto a highly compliant and extensible flagelliform core silk. The extensibility of the flagelliform fiber accounts for half of the total work of adhesion for viscid silk and is enabled by water in the aqueous coating. Recent cDNA libraries revealed the expression of flagelliform silk proteins in cribellate orb-weaving spiders. We hypothesized that the presence of flagelliform proteins in cribellate silk could have allowed for a gradual shift in mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, whose effect was masked by the dry nature of its adhesive. We measured supercontraction and mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, in wet and dry states, for two species of cribellate orb web-weaving spiders to see if water enabled flagelliform silk-like performance. We found that compliance and extensibility of wet cribellate silk increased compared to dry state as expected. However, when compared to other silk types, the response to water was more similar to other web silks, like major and minor ampullate silk, than to viscid silk. These findings support the punctuated evolution of viscid silk mechanical performance.

  10. On three endemic species of the linyphiid spider genus Canariphantes Wunderlich, 1992 (Araneae, Linyphiidae) from the Azores archipelago.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Luís Carlos; Bosmans, Robert; Cardoso, Pedro; Borges, Paulo A V

    2014-07-28

    We describe Canariphantes junipericola n. sp. and C. relictus n. sp., new single-island endemic linyphiid spiders from the islands of Flores and Santa Maria (Azorean archipelago, Macaronesia), respectively. The female of the first species was incorrectly assigned to Canariphantes acoreensis (Wunderlich, 1992), a species occurring in four islands in the Central Group of Azores (Faial, Pico, São Jorge and Terceira). The latter species is transferred to Canariphantes, its male redescribed and the female genitalia described for the first time. We discuss the systematic affinities of these new species and comment on their conservation status. 

  11. Analysis of major ampullate silk cDNAs from two non-orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Tian, Maozhen; Liu, Congzhou; Lewis, Randolph

    2004-01-01

    Compared to other arthropods, spiders are unique in their use of silk throughout their life span and the extraordinary mechanical properties of the silk threads they produce. Studies on orb-weaving spider silk proteins have shown that silk proteins are composed of highly repetitive regions, characterized by alanine and glycine-rich units. We have isolated and sequenced four partial cDNA clones representing major ampullate spider silk gene transcripts from two non-orb weavers: three for Kukulcania hibernalis and one for Agelenopsis aperta. These cDNA sequences were compared to each other, as well as to the previously published orb-weaver silk gene sequences. The results indicate that the repeats encoding conserved amino acid motifs such as polyA and polyGA that are characteristic of some orb-weaving spider silks are also found in some of the cDNAs reported in this study. However, we also found other motifs such as polyGS and polyGV in the cDNA sequences from the two non-orb-weaving spiders. The amino acid composition of the silk gland extracts shows that alanine and glycine are the major components of the silk of these two non-orb weavers as is the case in orb-weaver silks. Sequence alignment shows that A. aperta's cDNA displays a C-terminal encoding region that is about 44% similar to the one present in N. clavipes's MaSp1 cDNA. In addition, as previously observed for spider silk sequences, the analysis of the codon usage for these four cDNAs demonstrates a bias for A or T in the wobble base position.

  12. 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.

  13. A physicochemical characterization of fully acetylated chitin structure isolated from two spider species: with new surface morphology.

    PubMed

    Kaya, Murat; Seyyar, Osman; Baran, Talat; Erdoğan, Sevil; Kar, Musa

    2014-04-01

    Spiders are a huge group which includes more than 44,000 species. But there has been no study of the chitin structure of spiders. In this study we physicochemically characterized chitin structure of two common spider species (Geolycosa vultuosa and Hogna radiata). Chitin content was determined as 8-8.5% for G. vultuosa and 6.5-7% for H. radiata. FTIR, TGA and XRD results showed that the chitin structures are in α-form. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) revealed that the surface morphology of each species is different. Chitin yielded from G. vultuosa has two different pore structures. The type one pore is rarely sequenced and its size ranges between 190 and 240 nm, while the type two pore is tightly sequenced and its size ranges between 11 and 32 nm. There is no information in previous studies about the chitin structure with two different pore morphologies. A new chitin surface morphology has been determined in G. vultuosa. The chitin isolated from H. radiata, has classic morphology: nanofibre structures (10-17 nm) and 195-260 nm sized pores. Acetylation degree of the chitin samples was calculated as 97% for G. vultuosa and 99% for H. radiata in accordance with elemental analysis results.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Medical aspects of spider bites.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2008-01-01

    Spiders have been incriminated as causes of human suffering for centuries, but few species worldwide cause medically significant envenomation. Widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.) occur worldwide and cause latrodectism, which is characterized by pain (local and generalized) associated with nonspecific systemic effects, diaphoresis, and less commonly other autonomic and neurological effects. Recluse spiders (Loxosceles spp.) are distributed mostly through the tropical and subtropical Western Hemisphere and can cause severe skin lesions and rarely systemic effects; most bites are unremarkable. Highly dangerous spiders in South America (armed spiders) and Australia (funnel-web spiders) cause rare but severe envenomation requiring medical intervention and sometimes antivenom. Most other spiders involved in verified bites cause minor, transient effects. Many spiders blamed for causing medical mischief have been elevated to medical significance via circumstantial evidence, poor reporting, and repetitive citation in the literature; several species have been shown to be harmless with more stringent scientific evidence involving verified bites in humans.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-07

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Some studies of the oedematogenic action of the venom of funnel-web spiders (Atrax species).

    PubMed

    Atkinson, R K

    1986-10-01

    The ability of the venoms of Atrax infensus and two other funnel-web spider species to induce oedema in rats was investigated and it was found that all Atrax venoms tested caused strong Evans blue leakage from adjacent blood vessels when injected subcutaneously. This dye leakage did not diminish significantly either when the neurotoxin in the venom was first neutralized by pre-mixing with a rat serum protein preparation or when the sensory nerves supplying an area of skin were severed 4 days prior to its envenomation. The pattern and speed of Evans blue extravasation caused by female A. infensus venom resembled that for histamine and for 5-hydroxytryptamine, and pretreatment with an antihistamine-antiserotonin mixture caused essentially complete blockade of the oedematogenic action of this venom, although neither inhibitory drug was very effective when used individually. It was concluded that this venom induces local oedema in rats mainly by causing mast cell degranulation. In confirmation of this, the mast cells in the rat skull periosteal membranes were found to be extensively degranulated by exposure to the venom. Surprisingly, whole-rat envenomation, using very large doses of venom, produced little dye leakage even though obvious symptoms of neurotoxic action were observed.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Phylogeny suggests nondirectional and isometric evolution of sexual size dimorphism in argiopine spiders.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2014-10-01

    Sexual dimorphism describes substantial differences between male and female phenotypes. In spiders, sexual dimorphism research almost exclusively focuses on size, and recent studies have recovered steady evolutionary size increases in females, and independent evolutionary size changes in males. Their discordance is due to negative allometric size patterns caused by different selection pressures on male and female sizes (converse Rensch's rule). Here, we investigated macroevolutionary patterns of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in Argiopinae, a global lineage of orb-weaving spiders with varying degrees of SSD. We devised a Bayesian and maximum-likelihood molecular species-level phylogeny, and then used it to reconstruct sex-specific size evolution, to examine general hypotheses and different models of size evolution, to test for sexual size coevolution, and to examine allometric patterns of SSD. Our results, revealing ancestral moderate sizes and SSD, failed to reject the Brownian motion model, which suggests a nondirectional size evolution. Contrary to predictions, male and female sizes were phylogenetically correlated, and SSD evolution was isometric. We interpret these results to question the classical explanations of female-biased SSD via fecundity, gravity, and differential mortality. In argiopines, SSD evolution may be driven by these or additional selection mechanisms, but perhaps at different phylogenetic scales.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Four new species of the trapdoor spider genus Conothele Thorell, 1878 from Mainland China and Laos (Araneae, Ctenizidae)

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xin; Xu, Chen; Liu, Fengxiang; Zhang, Zengtao; Li, Daiqin

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Here for the first time the presence of the trapdoor spider genus Conothele Thorell, 1878 (Araneae: Ctenizidae) is reported from mainland China and Laos. Four Conothele species collected from the regions are described as new to science, based on the female genital morphology: Conothele baiyunensis Xu, Xu & Liu, sp. n. (Guangdong Province), Conothele daxinensis Xu, Xu & Li, sp. n. (Guangxi Province), Conothele sidiechongensis Xu, Xu & Liu, sp. n. (Yunnan Province, China and Vietnam), Conothele yundingensis Xu, Xu & Li, sp. n. (Yunnan Province). PMID:28144176

  8. Signal complexity and modular organization of the courtship behaviours of two sibling species of wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Chiarle, Alberto; Isaia, Marco

    2013-07-01

    In this study, we compare the courtship behaviours of Pardosa proxima and P. vlijmi, two species of wolf spiders up to now regarded as "ethospecies", by means of motion analysis methodologies. In particular, we investigate the features of the signals, aiming at understanding the evolution of the courtship and its role in species delimitation and speciation processes. In our model, we highlight a modular structure of the behaviours and the presence of recurring units and phases. According to other similar cases concerning animal communication, we observed one highly variable and one stereotyped phase for both species. The stereotyped phase is here regarded as a signal related to species identity or an honest signal linked directly to the quality of the signaler. On the contrary, the variable phase aims to facilitate signal detection and assessment by the female reducing choice costs or errors. Variable phases include cues arisen from Fisherian runaway selection, female sensory exploitation and remaining of past selections.

  9. [Spider bites: araneidism of medical importance].

    PubMed

    Pommier, Philip; Rollard, Christine; De Haro, Luc

    2005-01-15

    LIMITED RISKS: Although most species of spiders are venomous, only ten or so are able to induce human envenomations. From a systematic point of view, it is possible to distinguish the araneomorph spiders - or "true" spiders - from the mygalomorph spiders. Dangerous species for humans can be found in both groups. Regarding "true' spiders, two kinds of envenomation are frequent, ubiquitous and potentially severe: latrodectism (neurotoxic symptomatology) due to the Widow spiders of the Latrodectus species,and loxoscelism (viscero-cutaneous symptomatology). Regarding the mygalomorph spiders, the Australian species responsible for atraxism (neurotoxic symptomatology) are considered as the most dangerous. Most of the other mygalomorph spiders, when they bite, only provoke benign loco regional problems. A supplementary defensive weapon exists in certain South-American species: urticating hairs which may induce severe ocular damage.

  10. Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjorkman-Chiswell, Bojun T.; Kulinski, Melissa M.; Muscat, Robert L.; Nguyen, Kim A.; Norton, Briony A.; Symonds, Matthew R. E.; Westhorpe, Gina E.; Elgar, Mark A.

    The orb-weaving spider Nephila edulis incorporates into its web a band of decaying animal and plant matter. While earlier studies demonstrate that larger spiders utilise these debris bands as caches of food, the presence of plant matter suggests additional functions. When organic and plastic items were placed in the webs of N. edulis, some of the former but none of the latter were incorporated into the debris band. Using an Y-maze olfactometer, we show that sheep blowflies Lucilia cuprina are attracted to recently collected debris bands, but that this attraction does not persist over time. These data reveal an entirely novel foraging strategy, in which a sit-and-wait predator attracts insect prey by utilising the odours of decaying organic material. The spider's habit of replenishing the debris band may be necessary to maintain its efficacy for attracting prey.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Karyotypes of six spider species belonging to the families Gnaphosidae, Salticidae, Thomisidae, and Zodariidae (Araneae) from Turkey.

    PubMed

    Kumbıçak, Zübeyde; Ekiz, Emel; Ciçekli, Serdar

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the karyotypes of six spider species from Turkey belonging to the families Gnaphosidae, Salticidae, Thomisidae, and Zodariidae were analyzed. Male chromosomal features including diploid chromosome numbers and sex chromosome systems were determined as 2n=22, X1X20 in Drassyllus sur Tuneva & Esyunin, 2003, Nomisia exornata (C. L. Koch, 1839), and Nomisia orientalis Dalmas, 1921; 2n=28, X1X20 in Sitticus caricis (Westring, 1861); 2n=23, X0 in Xysticus gallicus Simon, 1875 and 2n=42, X1X20 in Pax islamita (Simon, 1873), respectively. The chromosome morphology of all species was acrocentric. Data obtained contribute to knowledge of the karyotype evolution of araneomorphs.

  14. Karyotypes of six spider species belonging to the families Gnaphosidae, Salticidae, Thomisidae, and Zodariidae (Araneae) from Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Kumbıçak, Zübeyde; Ekiz, Emel; Çiçekli, Serdar

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In this study, the karyotypes of six spider species from Turkey belonging to the families Gnaphosidae, Salticidae, Thomisidae, and Zodariidae were analyzed. Male chromosomal features including diploid chromosome numbers and sex chromosome systems were determined as 2n=22, X1X20 in Drassyllus sur Tuneva & Esyunin, 2003, Nomisia exornata (C. L. Koch, 1839), and Nomisia orientalis Dalmas, 1921; 2n=28, X1X20 in Sitticus caricis (Westring, 1861); 2n=23, X0 in Xysticus gallicus Simon, 1875 and 2n=42, X1X20 in Pax islamita (Simon, 1873), respectively. The chromosome morphology of all species was acrocentric. Data obtained contribute to knowledge of the karyotype evolution of araneomorphs. PMID:25147622

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2016-07-01

    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.

  16. 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

    2016-07-07

    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.

  17. Glyphosate-based herbicide has contrasting effects on prey capture by two co-occurring wolf spider species.

    PubMed

    Rittman, Sandra; Wrinn, Kerri M; Evans, Samuel C; Webb, Alex W; Rypstra, Ann L

    2013-10-01

    Anthropogenic substances have the potential to affect animal behavior either because they present a novel stimulus or because they interfere with natural chemical communication pathways. Such shifts can alter the dynamic between predators and potential prey, which might affect population success as well as the strength of food web linkages. We examined the foraging of two wolf spiders, Tigrosa helluo and Pardosa milvina (Araneae, Lycosidae), that are abundant in agroecosystems where they are routinely exposed to herbicides. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of a commercial formulation of a glyphosate-based herbicide would affect the prey capture behavior of these two wolf spiders. We tested the larger Tigrosa foraging on Pardosa or crickets (Acheta domesticus) and the smaller Pardosa foraging on crickets. Tigrosa subdued crickets more quickly and with fewer lunges than it took them to capture Pardosa. The presence of herbicide allowed Tigrosa to orient toward and capture both prey species more quickly but it did not affect the number of lunges required to subdue either prey. Herbicide did not affect the timing of prey capture for Pardosa but it did cause them to use more lunges in the process. Thus, herbicide had contrasting effects on foraging behavior of these two agrobiont predators, which means that it could shift the direction and strength of food web linkages in complex ways.

  18. 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

  19. Establishing reliable spider (Araneae, Araneidae and Thomisidae) assemblage sampling protocols: estimation of species richness, seasonal coverage and contribution of juvenile data to species richness and composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Valverde, Alberto; Lobo, Jorge M.

    2006-07-01

    The capacity of short-term sampling to provide reliable estimates of annual spider assemblages (Araneidae and Thomisidae) present in a Mediterranean site was analyzed, along with the contribution of juvenile data on estimations of spider species richness. A standardized year-long sampling protocol in a one-square-kilometer plot in central Spain yielded reliable Araneidae and Thomisidae inventories. To compare sampling design efficiencies, the degree of completeness of collected annual inventories was estimated, along with an "optimal sampling" selection of months, i.e. the minimum number of months indicating most accurately the number of species present throughout the year. The completeness of spring-month sampling, as well as that of every month, was also estimated. Calculations both included and excluded immature stages. When multiple localities must be sampled and fieldwork minimized, a 1-month spring sampling protocol reasonably estimates the entire spring fauna, allowing effective comparisons between sites during the richest period. Our results indicate that juveniles must be included in the sample in order to obtain reliable estimates of species richness, and they should be stored apart from adults in order to analyze them separately as advances in their identification are achieved.

  20. Spider Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... warm climates and dark, dry places. Black widow habitat Black widow spiders can be found throughout the ... Unused pots and gardening equipment Woodpiles Brown recluse habitat Brown recluse spiders are found most commonly in ...

  1. 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 ...

  2. More data, fewer shifts: molecular insights into the evolution of the spinning apparatus in non-orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Spagna, Joseph C; Gillespie, Rosemary G

    2008-01-01

    All spiders produce silk and use it for various functions throughout their lives, but not all spiders produce the same silks, or use them for the same functions. These functions may include building shelters, protecting eggs, and trapping prey. The "RTA clade" of spiders (grass spiders, jumping-spiders, wolf spiders, hackled-band weavers, etc.) is an extremely diverse group ( approximately 18,000 species, representing nearly half of all described species), with great variation in ecology and morphology, including variation in the cribellum, a specialized silk-producing organ. The loss of the cribellum, a structure that produces fibers contributing stickiness to prey snares and which is invariably associated with a set of accessory structures, has been studied in orb-web-weavers and shown to have been lost once during the evolutionary history of the group, but never regained. Relative to the orb-weavers, evolution of the structure remains less-thoroughly studied in the RTA clade. As the cribellum is one member of a suite of traits, the combined action of which is essential in prey-capture, its loss should have ecological correlates or physiological trade-offs of evolutionary interest. Using molecular data from nuclear genes (ribosomal DNAs 18S and 28S, and protein-coding Histone H3), as well as mitochondrial data (Cytochrome oxidase I) totaling approximately 3400 base pairs, we developed a phylogenetic hypothesis for three-clawed lineages in this group, focusing on families where taxonomy and previous cladistic analyses suggest multiple losses, or possibly loss and secondary gain, of the cribellum. Results of Bayesian and direct-optimization (POY) analyses agree on a well-resolved and robust agelenid clade that includes the putative subfamilies Ageleninae, Tegenariinae, Textricinae and Coelotinae, but excludes the cribellate New Zealand genus Neoramia. Optimizing the pattern of cribellum evolution onto these trees shows that the cribellate state is conserved in

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular phylogenetics at the population/species interface in cave spiders of the southern Appalachians (Araneae:Nesticidae:Nesticus).

    PubMed

    Hedin, M C

    1997-03-01

    This paper focuses on the relationship between population genetic structure and speciation mechanisms in a monophyletic species group of Appalachian cave spiders (Nesticus). Using mtDNA sequence data gathered from 256 individuals, I analyzed patterns of genetic variation within and between populations for three pairs of closely related sister species. Each sister-pair comparison involves taxa with differing distributional and ecological attributes; if these ecological attributes are reflected in basic demographic differences, then speciation might proceed differently across these sister taxa comparisons. Both frequency-based and gene tree analyses reveal that the genetic structure of the Nesticus species studied is characterized by similar and essentially complete population subdivision, regardless of differences in general ecology. These findings contrast with results of prior genetic studies of cave-dwelling arthropods that have typically revealed variation in population structure corresponding to differences in general ecology. Species fragmentation through both extrinsic and intrinsic evolutionary forces has resulted in discrete, perhaps independent, populations within morphologically defined species. Large sequence divergence values observed between populations suggest that this independence may extend well into the past. These patterns of mtDNA genealogical structure and divergence imply that species as morphological lineages are currently more inclusive than basal evolutionary or phylogenetic units, a suggestion that has important implications for the study of speciation mechanisms.

  5. Spider species richness and sampling effort at Cracraft´S Belém Area of Endemism.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Bruno V B; Aguiar-Neto, Manoel B; Oliveira, Ubirajara DE; Santos, Adalberto J; Brescovit, Antonio D; Martíns, Marlúcia B; Bonaldo, Alexandre B

    2017-01-01

    A list of spider species is presented for the Belém Area of Endemism, the most threatened region in the Amazon Basin, comprising portions of eastern State of Pará and western State of Maranhão, Brazil. The data are based both on records from the taxonomic and biodiversity survey literature and on scientific collection databases. A total of 319 identified species were recorded, with 318 occurring in Pará and only 22 in Maranhão. About 80% of species are recorded at the vicinities of the city of Belém, indicating that sampling effort have been strongly biased. To identify potentially high-diversity areas, discounting the effect of variations in sampling effort, the residues of a linear regression between the number of records and number of species mapped in each 0.25°grid cells were analyzed. One grid, representing the Alto Turiaçu Indigenous land, had the highest deviation from the expected from the linear regression, indicating high expected species richness. Several other grid cells showed intermediate values of the regression residuals, indicating species richness moderately above to the expected from the model.

  6. Spider diversity and endemism in a South American hotspot: 20 new species of Carapoia (Araneae: Pholcidae) from Brazil's Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Huber, Bernhard A

    2016-10-19

    The Atlantic Forest along the eastern South American coast is widely recognized as a hotspot with extreme levels of diversity, endemism, and threat. A megatransect study (2003-2015) focusing on pholcid spiders and covering 48 localities across a large part of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest resulted in 132 morphospecies, of which 81% were new to science. The present paper deals with the species of Carapoia González-Sponga, 1998 collected during this campaign. The endemism level is 100%, i.e. all 26 species of Carapoia in the Atlantic Forest are not known from (and not likely to occur) anywhere else. While few species (all of them with non-overlapping ranges) occur in the most southern and northern regions, the central region (between Rio Doce and Rio Paraguaçu; largely equivalent to what has been called the 'Bahia refuge') is characterized by high diversity and up to five species per locality. The following species are newly described (from South to North): C. voltavelha (Santa Catarina); C. macacu, C. divisa (Rio de Janeiro); C. nairae, C. capixaba, C. mirim, C. patafina (Espírito Santo); C. pau, C. gracilis, C. zumbii, C. dandarae, C. marceloi, C. viridis, C. jiboia, C. carvalhoi, C. carybei (Bahia); C. alagoas (Alagoas); C. saltinho, C. abdita (Pernambuco); C. septentrionalis (Pernambuco to Rio Grande do Norte). New records and amendments are given for most previously described Atlantic Forest species.

  7. Phylogeography of a good Caribbean disperser: Argiope argentata (Araneae, Araneidae) and a new ‘cryptic’ species from Cuba

    PubMed Central

    Agnarsson, Ingi; LeQuier, Stephanie M.; Kuntner, Matjaž; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Binford, Greta

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Caribbean islands harbor rich biodiversity with high levels of single island endemism. Stretches of ocean between islands represent significant barriers to gene-flow. Yet some native species are widespread, indicating dispersal across oceans, even in wingless organisms like spiders. Argiope argentata (Fabricius, 1775) is a large, charismatic, and widespread species of orb-weaving spider ranging from the United States to Argentina and is well known to balloon. Here we explore the phylogeography of Argiope argentata in the Caribbean as a part of the multi-lineage CarBio project, through mtDNA haplotype and multi-locus phylogenetic analyses. The history of the Argiope argentata lineage in the Caribbean goes back 3-5 million years and is characterized by multiple dispersal events and isolation-by-distance. We find a highly genetically distinct lineage on Cuba which we describe as Argiope butchko sp. n. While the argentata lineage seems to readily balloon shorter distances, stretches of ocean still act as filters for among-island gene-flow as evidenced by distinct haplotypes on the more isolated islands, high FST values, and strong correlation between intraspecific (but not interspecific) genetic and geographic distances. The new species described here is clearly genetically diagnosable, but morphologically cryptic, at least with reference to the genitalia that typically diagnose spider species. Our results are consistent with the intermediate dispersal model suggesting that good dispersers, such as our study species, limit the effect of oceanic barriers and thus diversification and endemism. PMID:27833425

  8. On the trapdoor spiders of Mexico: description of the first new species of the spider genus Aptostichus from Mexico and the description of the female of Eucteniza zapatista (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Euctenizidae)

    PubMed Central

    Valdez-Mondragón, Alejandro; Cortez-Roldán, Mayra R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the spider genus Aptostichus Simon, 1891 is described from a cave in Huautla de Jiménez, Oaxaca, Mexico: Aptostichus sabinae sp. n. This species represents the first new species described from Mexico and the southernmost record in North America for the genus so far. Aptostichus sabinae sp. n. represents the forty-first species described for the genus, which has the highest species diversity in the family Euctenizidae. Eucteniza zapatista is redescribed based on five new males and the first known female from the Parque Nacional La Malinche (PNLM), Tlaxcala Mexico. Eucteniza zapatista is the fourth species of the genus where a female is known, and one of fourteen species described for the genus to date. PMID:28138292

  9. On the trapdoor spiders of Mexico: description of the first new species of the spider genus Aptostichus from Mexico and the description of the female of Eucteniza zapatista (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Euctenizidae).

    PubMed

    Valdez-Mondragón, Alejandro; Cortez-Roldán, Mayra R

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the spider genus Aptostichus Simon, 1891 is described from a cave in Huautla de Jiménez, Oaxaca, Mexico: Aptostichus sabinaesp. n. This species represents the first new species described from Mexico and the southernmost record in North America for the genus so far. Aptostichus sabinaesp. n. represents the forty-first species described for the genus, which has the highest species diversity in the family Euctenizidae. Eucteniza zapatista is redescribed based on five new males and the first known female from the Parque Nacional La Malinche (PNLM), Tlaxcala Mexico. Eucteniza zapatista is the fourth species of the genus where a female is known, and one of fourteen species described for the genus to date.

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

    PubMed

    Garcilazo-Cruz, Uriel; Alvarez-Padilla, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    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 Maeotasetastrobilaris sp. n. In addition the taxonomic description of Maeotasetastrobilaris sp. n. is provided and based on our findings the geographic distribution of this genus is extended to the Northern hemisphere.

  11. 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

  12. Spider bites - Assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Braitberg, George; Segal, Leslie

    2009-11-01

    Spider bite is common, but most species cause minimal or no effects. Patients may be misinformed regarding the nature and consequences of a bite. Understanding the current literature can assist the physician in the management of spider bite patients. This article reviews the current literature on spider bites and describes the clinical assessment and management of the medically important spider bites. Most spider bite is minor and causes nothing more than local irritation. Some spiders can cause significant morbidity and rarely, mortality. Lay identification of the spider has not been shown to be reliable. Latrodectism (red back spider envenomation) is characterised by pain (local, radiating, and regional); systemic symptoms occur less commonly. Funnel web spider bite is a medical emergency; a pressure immobilisation bandage should be applied and the patient transferred to a hospital with available antivenom and resuscitation facilities. Clinicians must consider spider bite in the differential diagnosis of unexplained autonomic and neurological dysfunction, particularly in children. In Australia, skin ulceration is more likely to be an infective, inflammatory or traumatic cause than a case of necrotising arachnidism.

  13. 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.

  14. Functional design of spider's silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosline, John; Guerette, Paul; Ortlepp, Christine

    1996-02-01

    The orb-web weaving spiders produce a broad range of high performance structural fibers (i.e. silks) with mechanical properties that are superbly matched to their function. Our interest in these materials stems both from an interest in the biology of the spiders and the design of their webs and also from a desire to discover principles of mechanical design of protein-based structural materials that can guide the development of novel bio-engineered materials. All spiders produce silks, but the orb-web weaving spiders are unique in their ability to produce seven different silks, each from distinct gland/spinneret complexes. Considering the wide diversity of spider species, there is likely to be an enormous range of material properties available in spider silk. However, at present, we only have information on two species of spiders, and only two of their seven silks have been studied in any detail. These are: (1) the silk produced by the major ampullate gland, which forms the safety-line or dragline of the spider and also is used to form the frame of its orb-web, and (2) the viscid silk produced by the flagelliform gland, which forms the glue-covered catching spiral of the web. In this paper we describe several aspects of the mechanical design of the dragline and viscid silks produced by the spider Araneus diadematus.

  15. Temporal patterns in the abundance and species composition of spiders on host plants of the invasive moth Epiphyas postvittana

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Generalist predators such as spiders may help mitigate the spread and impact of exotic herbivores. The lack of prey specificity and long generation times of spiders may allow them to persist when pests are scarce, and to limit the growth of pest populations before they reach damaging levels. We exam...

  16. 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

  17. Visual search for tropical web spiders: the influence of plot length, sampling effort, and phase of the day on species richness.

    PubMed

    Pinto-Leite, C M; Rocha, P L B

    2012-12-01

    Empirical studies using visual search methods to investigate spider communities were conducted with different sampling protocols, including a variety of plot sizes, sampling efforts, and diurnal periods for sampling. We sampled 11 plots ranging in size from 5 by 10 m to 5 by 60 m. In each plot, we computed the total number of species detected every 10 min during 1 hr during the daytime and during the nighttime (0630 hours to 1100 hours, both a.m. and p.m.). We measured the influence of time effort on the measurement of species richness by comparing the curves produced by sample-based rarefaction and species richness estimation (first-order jackknife). We used a general linear model with repeated measures to assess whether the phase of the day during which sampling occurred and the differences in the plot lengths influenced the number of species observed and the number of species estimated. To measure the differences in species composition between the phases of the day, we used a multiresponse permutation procedure and a graphical representation based on nonmetric multidimensional scaling. After 50 min of sampling, we noted a decreased rate of species accumulation and a tendency of the estimated richness curves to reach an asymptote. We did not detect an effect of plot size on the number of species sampled. However, differences in observed species richness and species composition were found between phases of the day. Based on these results, we propose guidelines for visual search for tropical web spiders.

  18. On the poorly known haplogynae spiders of the genus Ochyrocera Simon (Araneae, Ochyroceratidae) from Mexico: description of two new species with an updated identification key for Mexican species.

    PubMed

    Valdez-Mondragón, Alejandro

    2017-01-26

    Two new species of the spider genus Ochyrocera Simon 1891 are described from Mexico. Ochyrocera jarocha new species was collected under rotten trunks and hollow trunks in a tropical rainforest, in San Martin Volcano, Veracruz, Mexico. Ochyrocera pojoj new species was collected in a mixed forest, under rotten trunks, in La Trinitaria, Chiapas, Mexico, which represents the third species described from the state of Chiapas. With the description of the two new species herein, six species of Ochyrocera are recorded from Mexico. An updated taxonomic identification key and a distribution map to the Mexican species are provided.

  19. Spider webs designed for rare but life-saving catches.

    PubMed

    Venner, Samuel; Casas, Jérôme

    2005-08-07

    The impact of rare but positive events on the design of organisms has been largely ignored, probably due to the paucity of recordings of such events and to the difficulty of estimating their impact on lifetime reproductive success. In this respect, we investigated the size of spider webs in relation to rare but large prey catches. First, we collected field data on a short time-scale using the common orb-weaving spider Zygiella x-notata to determine the distribution of the size of prey caught and to quantify the relationship between web size and daily capture success. Second, we explored, with an energetic model, the consequences of an increase in web size on spider fitness. Our results showed that (i) the great majority of prey caught are quite small (body length less than 2mm) while large prey (length greater than 10mm) are rare, (ii) spiders cannot survive or produce eggs without catching these large but rare prey and (iii) increasing web size increases the daily number of prey caught and thus long-term survival and fecundity. Spider webs seem, therefore, designed for making the best of the rare but crucial event of catching large prey.

  20. Solubilization of spider silk proteins and its structural analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osbin, K.; Jayan, Manuel; Bhadrakumari, S.; Predeep, P.

    2017-06-01

    This study investigates the presence of various amide bands present in different spider silk species, which provides extraordinary physical properties. Three different spider silks were collected from Western Ghats region. The collected spider silks samples belonging to the spider Heteropoda venatoria (species 1), Hersilia savignyi (species 2) and Pholcus phalangioides (species 3). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra reveals the protein peaks in the amide I, II, and III regions in all the three types of spider silk species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-06

    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.

  2. 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

    2016-04-05

    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.

  3. Protein composition correlates with the mechanical properties of spider ( Argiope trifasciata ) dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Marhabaie, Mohammad; Leeper, Thomas C; Blackledge, Todd A

    2014-01-13

    We investigated the natural variation in silk composition and mechanical performance of the orb-weaving spider Argiope trifasciata at multiple spatial and temporal scales in order to assess how protein composition contributes to the remarkable material properties of spider dragline silk. Major ampullate silk in orb-weaving spiders consists predominantly of two proteins (MaSp1 and MaSp2) with divergent amino acid compositions and functionally different microstructures. Adjusting the expression of these two proteins therefore provides spiders with a simple mechanism to alter the material properties of their silk. We first assessed the reliability and precision of the Waters AccQ-Tag amino acid composition analysis kit for determining the amino acid composition of small quantities of spider silk. We then tested how protein composition varied within single draglines, across draglines spun by the same spider on different days, and finally between spiders. Then, we correlated chemical composition with the material properties of dragline silk. Overall, we found that the chemical composition of major ampullate silk was in general homogeneous among individuals of the same population. Variation in chemical composition was not detectable within silk spun by a single spider on a single day. However, we found that variation within a single spider's silk across different days could, in rare instances, be greater than variation among individual spiders. Most of the variation in silk composition in our investigation resulted from a small number of outliers (three out of sixteen individuals) with a recent history of stress, suggesting stress affects silk production process in orb web spiders. Based on reported sequences for MaSp genes, we developed a gene expression model showing the covariation of the most abundant amino acids in major ampullate silk. Our gene expression model supports that dragline silk composition was mostly determined by the relative abundance of MaSp1 and Ma

  4. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Nesticus baeticus sp. n., a new troglobitic spider species from south-west Europe (Araneae, Nesticidae)

    PubMed Central

    López-Pancorbo, Alberto; Ribera, Carles

    2011-01-01

    Abstract A new troglobitic species, Nesticus baeticus sp. n. (♂♀), inhabiting the karst landscapes of the high part of the Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park (NE Jaén, Spain) where it has been found in 8 caves is diagnosed and described, its distribution and habitat are also analyzed.The new species belongs to the Iberian species group that includes Nesticus luquei, Nesticus lusitanicus and Nesticus murgis. Evolutionary relationships of the Iberian Nesticus species are discussed on the basis of morphological and molecular data (cox1 and rrnL). PMID:21594081

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Biogeography and diversification of hermit spiders on Indian Ocean islands (Nephilidae: Nephilengys).

    PubMed

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2011-05-01

    , throughout the archipelago. Instead, we diagnose three Nephilengys species: Nephilengys livida (Vinson, 1863) from Madagascar and Comoros, N. borbonica (Vinson, 1863) from Réunion, and Nephilengys dodo new species from Mauritius. Nephilengys followed a colonization route to Madagascar from Africa, and on through to the Mascarenes, where it speciated on isolated islands. The related golden orb-weaving spiders, genus Nephila, have followed the same colonization route, but Nephila shows shallower divergencies, implying recent colonization, or a moderate level of gene flow across the archipelago preventing speciation. Unlike their synanthropic congeners, N. borbonica and N. dodo are confined to pristine island forests and their discovery calls for evaluation of their conservation status.

  9. Thirteen new species of the spider genus Karaops (Araneae: Selenopidae) from Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Crews, Sarah C

    2013-01-01

    Thirteen new species of the recently-described genus Karaops Crews and Harvey, 2011 are described from Western Australia, bringing the total number of species of this genus to 37. The new species are K. umiida sp. nov. (female, male), K. nyiyaparli sp. nov. (female), K. kariyarra sp. nov. (female), K. yurlburr sp. nov. (female, male), K. feedtime sp. nov. (female), K. forteyi sp. nov. (female, male), K. yindjibarndi sp. nov. (male), K. jaburrara sp. nov. (male), K. ngarluma sp. nov. (male), K. nyangunarta sp. nov. (female, male), K. nyamal sp. nov. (female), K. banyjima sp. nov. (female) and K. yumbu sp. nov. (male). The male of K. inartamarta Crews and Harvey, 2011 is described for the first time, and new distribution records are given for this species and for K. burbidgei Crews and Harvey, 2011. Finally, a new key' to all of the described species of Karaops is provided.

  10. Swiss prospective study on spider bites.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-04

    Knowledge of spider bites in Central Europe derives mainly from anecdotal case presentations; therefore we aimed to collect cases systematically. From June 2011 to November 2012 we prospectively collected 17 cases of alleged spider bites, and together with two spontaneous notifications later on, our database totaled 19 cases. Among them, eight cases could be verified. The causative species were: Cheiracanthium punctorium (3), Zoropsis spinimana (2), Amaurobius ferox, Tegenaria atrica and Malthonica ferruginea (1 each). Clinical presentation was generally mild, with the exception of Cheiracanthium punctorium, and patients recovered fully without sequelae. In Switzerland, spider bites generally have a benign clinical course, which is characterised by minor effects, with rapid and complete recovery. Since only verified spider bites can be regarded as spider bites, in the case of clinically important arachnidism, the spider should be sent to an expert for identification. Our study may help to diminish spider fear and reassure people who have experienced a bite.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Counterattack success of a social spider mite against two predominant phytoseiid predator species.

    PubMed

    Saito, Yutaka; Chittenden, Anthony R; Kanazawa, Miki

    2011-11-01

    A survey was conducted of the predator fauna occurring in and around the nests of the two forms (LW: low male aggression and HG: high male aggression) of Stigmaeopsis miscanthi (Saito) that occur in Japan. Two phytoseiid species, Neoseiulus womersleyi (Schicha) and Typhlodromus bambusae Ehara predominated in S. miscanthi nests and their respective occurrence frequencies were the same in LW form nests as in HG form nests. We examined the counterattack success of S. miscanthi LW form males against these two phytoseiid predators. It was shown that while LW form male(s) could kill or effectively drive the larvae of both predator species out of their nests, there were no significant differences in the male counterattack success rate between 1-male and 2-male defended nests, or against the two predator species. On the other hand, there was a significant difference between the two predator species' behavioral response to male-defended nests.

  14. 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

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-03

    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.

  20. Two new jumping spider species of the Habronattus clypeatus group (Araneae, Salticidae, Harmochirina)

    PubMed Central

    Maddison, Wayne P.; Maddison, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Two species of the Habronattus clypeatus species group are described, Habronattus arcalorus sp. n. from Texas and Colorado, and Habronattus gilaensis sp. n. from New Mexico. Habronattus arcalorus males have extravagant ornamentation: a green first leg with an unusually dense lateral fringe of orange and white hairs, and a large grey triangular patella on the third leg with blue-white scales nearby. Habronattus gilaensis males are considerably more muted, lacking ornamentation on the third leg’s patella and tibia. Photographs of living specimens are given, as well as notes on habitat. PMID:27833423

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2016-05-17

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Wolf spider bites.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D S; Rees, R S; King, L E

    1987-02-01

    Because of their dark color and hunting habits, wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are often confused with the much more dangerous brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa). Unlike the brown recluse spider, wolf spider envenomation seldom causes cutaneous necrosis or systemic symptoms. In this report, two documented cases of wolf spider bites are described and the pertinent literature reviewed.

  6. 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

    2015-06-12

    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.

  7. Spiders do have melanin after all.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Melanin pigments are broadly distributed in nature - from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals. However, many previous attempts to identify melanins in spiders were unsuccessful, suggesting that these otherwise ubiquitous pigments were lost during spider evolution. Yet, spiders exhibit many dark colours similar to those produced by melanins in other organisms, and the low solubility of melanins makes isolation and characterization difficult. Therefore, whether melanins are truly absent or have simply not yet been detected is an open question. Raman spectroscopy provides a reliable way to detect melanins in situ, without the need for isolation. In this study, we document the presence of eumelanin in diverse species of spiders using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Comparisons of spectra with theoretically calculated data falsify the previous hypothesis that dark colours are produced solely by ommochromes in spiders. Our data indicate that melanins are present in spiders and further supporting that they are present in most living organisms.

  8. Epidemiology of the brown recluse spider bite.

    PubMed

    Rhoads, Jacqueline

    2007-02-01

    The purpose of this article was to provide a comprehensive epidemiological and clinical description of the brown recluse spider bite. Review of evidenced-based scientific literature and practice guidelines. A specific descriptive case study is interwoven through the article to tie in the clinical presenting figure associated with this bite. The brown recluse lives in a circumscribed area of the United States (the south central Midwest) with a few less common recluse species living in the more sparsely populated southwest United States. In these areas, where spider populations may be dense, recluse spiders may be a cause of significant morbidity. Most spider bites are asymptomatic but what makes this bite so devastating is the toxin injected by the brown recluse spider, which can cause considerable systemic symptoms as well as necrotic skin ulcers (necrotic arachnidism). The article presents process for diagnosis and stresses the importance of identifying the spider if at all possible.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Spider Bites: First Aid

    MedlinePlus

    ... stiffness Severe abdominal pain or cramping Excessive sweating Brown recluse spider The brown recluse spider has a violin-shaped marking on ... and southern states. Signs and symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite vary but may include: At ...

  13. Spider Vein Removal

    MedlinePlus

    Spider veins: How are they removed? I have spider veins on my legs. What options are available ... M.D. Several options are available to remove spider veins — thin red lines or weblike networks of ...

  14. Spider Bites (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Your 1- to 2-Year-Old 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 ...

  15. 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

    2016-01-12

    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.

  16. Arboreal spiders in eastern hemlock.

    PubMed

    Mallis, Rachael E; Rieske, Lynne K

    2011-12-01

    Eastern hemlock [Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière] is a foundation species in forests of eastern North America that plays a key role in ecosystem function. It is highly susceptible to the exotic invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand), which is causing widespread hemlock mortality. We surveyed the spider communities of eastern hemlock and deciduous canopies over 2 yr, collecting over 4,000 spiders from 21 families. We found that eastern hemlock canopies harbored a more abundant, rich, and diverse spider community than did deciduous canopies. Five spider families were present in our hemlock collections that were absent from the deciduous collections, including Mysmenidae, Theridiosomatidae, Mimetidae, Lycosidae, and Agelenidae. In hemlock canopies there were 4× the number of web builders, consisting primarily of the Tetragnathidae and Araneidae, than active hunters, consisting primarily of the Anyphaenidae and the Salticidae. Ours is the first in depth study of the spider community in eastern hemlock. Spider abundance in hemlock canopies suggest that they may play a role regulating herbivore populations, and could possibly affect the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, either through direct consumption of the adelgids themselves or through interactions with classical biological control agents.

  17. Optimal foraging, not biogenetic law, predicts spider orb web allometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Kiesbüy, Heine C.; Quiñones Lebrón, Shakira G.; Rozman, Alenka; Agnarsson, Ingi; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2013-03-01

    The biogenetic law posits that the ontogeny of an organism recapitulates the pattern of evolutionary changes. Morphological evidence has offered some support for, but also considerable evidence against, the hypothesis. However, biogenetic law in behavior remains underexplored. As physical manifestation of behavior, spider webs offer an interesting model for the study of ontogenetic behavioral changes. In orb-weaving spiders, web symmetry often gets distorted through ontogeny, and these changes have been interpreted to reflect the biogenetic law. Here, we test the biogenetic law hypothesis against the alternative, the optimal foraging hypothesis, by studying the allometry in Leucauge venusta orb webs. These webs range in inclination from vertical through tilted to horizontal; biogenetic law predicts that allometry relates to ontogenetic stage, whereas optimal foraging predicts that allometry relates to gravity. Specifically, pronounced asymmetry should only be seen in vertical webs under optimal foraging theory. We show that, through ontogeny, vertical webs in L. venusta become more asymmetrical in contrast to tilted and horizontal webs. Biogenetic law thus cannot explain L. venusta web allometry, but our results instead support optimization of foraging area in response to spider size.

  18. Optimal foraging, not biogenetic law, predicts spider orb web allometry.

    PubMed

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Kiesbüy, Heine C; Lebrón, Shakira G Quiñones; Rozman, Alenka; Agnarsson, Ingi; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2013-03-01

    The biogenetic law posits that the ontogeny of an organism recapitulates the pattern of evolutionary changes. Morphological evidence has offered some support for, but also considerable evidence against, the hypothesis. However, biogenetic law in behavior remains underexplored. As physical manifestation of behavior, spider webs offer an interesting model for the study of ontogenetic behavioral changes. In orb-weaving spiders, web symmetry often gets distorted through ontogeny, and these changes have been interpreted to reflect the biogenetic law. Here, we test the biogenetic law hypothesis against the alternative, the optimal foraging hypothesis, by studying the allometry in Leucauge venusta orb webs. These webs range in inclination from vertical through tilted to horizontal; biogenetic law predicts that allometry relates to ontogenetic stage, whereas optimal foraging predicts that allometry relates to gravity. Specifically, pronounced asymmetry should only be seen in vertical webs under optimal foraging theory. We show that, through ontogeny, vertical webs in L. venusta become more asymmetrical in contrast to tilted and horizontal webs. Biogenetic law thus cannot explain L. venusta web allometry, but our results instead support optimization of foraging area in response to spider size.

  19. Ultrastructural and molecular identification of a Wolbachia endosymbiont in a spider, Nephila clavata.

    PubMed

    Oh, H W; Kim, M G; Shin, S W; Bae, K S; Ahn, Y J; Park, H Y

    2000-10-01

    Wolbachia-like bacteria were observed in the egg cells of golden orb-weaving spider, Nephila clavata, by means of transmission electron microscopy. The bacteria exhibited the typical morphology of Wolbachia, including three enveloping membranes. Based on the amplification and sequencing of partial 16S rDNA and ftsZ gene, the bacteria were identified as Wolbachia, intracellular, transovarially inherited alpha-proteobacteria in invertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA and ftsZ gene sequences invariably indicated that the intracellular bacteria from N. clavata belonged to group A Wolbachia, which were found only from insects. Clustering of Wolbachia from N. clavata with group A Wolbachia indicates that the bacteria were probably transferred horizontally between insects and the spider.

  20. The evolution of genital complexity and mating rates in sexually size dimorphic spiders.

    PubMed

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Liao, Chen-Pan; Schneider, Jutta M; Elgar, Mark A

    2016-11-09

    Genital diversity may arise through sexual conflict over polyandry, where male genital features function to manipulate female mating frequency against her interest. Correlated genital evolution across animal groups is consistent with this view, but a link between genital complexity and mating rates remains to be established. In sexually size dimorphic spiders, golden orbweaving spiders (Nephilidae) males mutilate their genitals to form genital plugs, but these plugs do not always prevent female polyandry. In a comparative framework, we test whether male and female genital complexity coevolve, and how these morphologies, as well as sexual cannibalism, relate to the evolution of mating systems. Using a combination of comparative tests, we show that male genital complexity negatively correlates with female mating rates, and that levels of sexual cannibalism negatively correlate with male mating rates. We also confirm a positive correlation between male and female genital complexity. The macroevolutionary trajectory is consistent with a repeated evolution from polyandry to monandry coinciding with the evolution towards more complex male genitals. These results are consistent with the predictions from sexual conflict theory, although sexual conflict may not be the only mechanism responsible for the evolution of genital complexity and mating systems. Nevertheless, our comparative evidence suggests that in golden orbweavers, male genital complexity limits female mating rates, and sexual cannibalism by females coincides with monogyny.

  1. [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.

  2. 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

  3. Spider mechanoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Barth, Friedrich G

    2004-08-01

    Spiders have highly developed mechanosensory systems, some of which provide access to forms of stimulation alien to our own sensations. Studies of hair-shaped air movement detectors (trichobothria) and tactile sensors have uncovered an outstanding refinement of the processes of stimulus uptake and stimulus transformation, which reflect details of both stimulus physics and behavioral significance. They also emphasize the potential contained in the seemingly simple Bauplan of arthropod cuticular hairs. Embedded into the spider exoskeleton are several thousands of strain detectors (slit sensilla) measuring compressive exoskeletal strains induced by various forms of loads and forces. A compound slit sensillum (lyriform organ) on the leg has become an important model system for studies of mechanoreceptor primary processes at the cellular and membrane level.

  4. 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.

  5. Investigating the transverse optical structure of spider silk micro-fibers using quantitative optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Douglas J.; Kane, Deb M.

    2016-10-01

    The transverse optical structure of two orb-weaver (family Araneidae) spider dragline silks was investigated using a variant of the inverse-scattering technique. Immersing the silks in a closely refractive index-matched liquid, the minimum achievable image contrast was greater than expected for an optically homogeneous silk, given what is currently known about the optical absorption of these silks. This "excess contrast" indicated the presence of transverse optical structure within the spider silk. Applying electromagnetic scattering theory to a transparent double cylinder, the minimum achievable irradiance contrast for the Plebs eburnus and Argiope keyserlingi dragline silks was determined to be consistent with step index refractive index contrasts of 1-4×10-4 and 6-7×10-4, respectively, supposing outer-layer thicknesses consistent with previous TEM studies (50 nm and 100 nm, respectively). The possibility of graded index refractive index contrasts within the spider silks is also discussed. This is the strongest evidence, to date, that there is a refractive index contrast associated with the layered morphology of spider silks and/or variation of proportion of nanocrystalline components within the spider silk structure. The method is more generally applicable to optical micro-fibers, including those with refractive index variations on a sub-wavelength scale.

  6. Investigating the transverse optical structure of spider silk micro-fibers using quantitative optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Douglas J.; Kane, Deb M.

    2017-01-01

    The transverse optical structure of two orb-weaver (family Araneidae) spider dragline silks was investigated using a variant of the inverse-scattering technique. Immersing the silks in a closely refractive index-matched liquid, the minimum achievable image contrast was greater than expected for an optically homogeneous silk, given what is currently known about the optical absorption of these silks. This "excess contrast" indicated the presence of transverse optical structure within the spider silk. Applying electromagnetic scattering theory to a transparent double cylinder, the minimum achievable irradiance contrast for the Plebs eburnus and Argiope keyserlingi dragline silks was determined to be consistent with step index refractive index contrasts of 1-4×10-4 and 6-7×10-4, respectively, supposing outer-layer thicknesses consistent with previous TEM studies (50 nm and 100 nm, respectively). The possibility of graded index refractive index contrasts within the spider silks is also discussed. This is the strongest evidence, to date, that there is a refractive index contrast associated with the layered morphology of spider silks and/or variation of proportion of nanocrystalline components within the spider silk structure. The method is more generally applicable to optical micro-fibers, including those with refractive index variations on a sub-wavelength scale.

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. Energetics, scaling and sexual size dimorphism of spiders.

    PubMed

    Grossi, B; Canals, M

    2015-03-01

    The extreme sexual size dimorphism in spiders has motivated studies for many years. In many species the male can be very small relative to the female. There are several hypotheses trying to explain this fact, most of them emphasizing the role of energy in determining spider size. The aim of this paper is to review the role of energy in sexual size dimorphism of spiders, even for those spiders that do not necessarily live in high foliage, using physical and allometric principles. Here we propose that the cost of transport or equivalently energy expenditure and the speed are traits under selection pressure in male spiders, favoring those of smaller size to reduce travel costs. The morphology of the spiders responds to these selective forces depending upon the lifestyle of the spiders. Climbing and bridging spiders must overcome the force of gravity. If bridging allows faster dispersal, small males would have a selective advantage by enjoying more mating opportunities. In wandering spiders with low population density and as a consequence few male-male interactions, high speed and low energy expenditure or cost of transport should be favored by natural selection. Pendulum mechanics show the advantages of long legs in spiders and their relationship with high speed, even in climbing and bridging spiders. Thus small size, compensated by long legs should be the expected morphology for a fast and mobile male spider.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. [The "hornet spider" of Plinius].

    PubMed

    Moog, Ferdinand Peter

    2002-01-01

    Pliny the Elder describes in his 'Natural History' XXIX 86 a species of spider dangerous for human beings and looking like a hornet without wings. This description corresponds to Solipugae of the genus Karschia, living in arid areas of Central Asia. These animals are not venomous but can cause harm by their powerful bite and in some cases by a following inflammation of the wound. On the contrary, an animal called "wasp-like", mentioned by Nikander of Kolophon ('Theriaca', v. 738-746) and often regarded to be the same creature, seems to be a typical venomous spider which causes an acute intoxication by its bite.

  15. Spider silk reduces insect herbivory.

    PubMed

    Rypstra, Ann L; Buddle, Christopher M

    2013-02-23

    The role of predators in food webs extends beyond their ability to kill and consume prey. Such trait-mediated effects occur when signals of the predator influence the behaviour of other animals. Because all spiders are silk-producing carnivores, we hypothesized that silk alone would signal other arthropods and enhance non-lethal effects of spiders. We quantified the herbivory inflicted by two beetle species on green bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the presence of silkworm silk and spider silk along with no silk controls. Single leaflets were treated and enclosed with herbivores in the laboratory and field. Another set of leaflets were treated and left to experience natural herbivory in the field. Entire plants in the field were treated with silk and enclosed with herbivores or left exposed to herbivory. In all cases, the lowest levels of herbivory occurred with spider silk treatments and, in general, silkworm silk produced intermediate levels of leaf damage. These results suggest that silk may be a mechanism for the trait-mediated impacts of spiders and that it might contribute to integrated pest management programmes.

  16. Spider silk reduces insect herbivory

    PubMed Central

    Rypstra, Ann L.; Buddle, Christopher M.

    2013-01-01

    The role of predators in food webs extends beyond their ability to kill and consume prey. Such trait-mediated effects occur when signals of the predator influence the behaviour of other animals. Because all spiders are silk-producing carnivores, we hypothesized that silk alone would signal other arthropods and enhance non-lethal effects of spiders. We quantified the herbivory inflicted by two beetle species on green bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the presence of silkworm silk and spider silk along with no silk controls. Single leaflets were treated and enclosed with herbivores in the laboratory and field. Another set of leaflets were treated and left to experience natural herbivory in the field. Entire plants in the field were treated with silk and enclosed with herbivores or left exposed to herbivory. In all cases, the lowest levels of herbivory occurred with spider silk treatments and, in general, silkworm silk produced intermediate levels of leaf damage. These results suggest that silk may be a mechanism for the trait-mediated impacts of spiders and that it might contribute to integrated pest management programmes. PMID:23193048

  17. Astacin-like metalloproteases are a gene family of toxins present in the venom of different species of the brown spider (genus Loxosceles).

    PubMed

    Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Gremski, Luiza H; Chaim, Olga M; da Silveira, Rafael B; Meissner, Gabriel O; Mangili, Oldemir C; Barbaro, Katia C; Gremski, Waldemiro; Veiga, Silvio S; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea

    2010-01-01

    Brown spiders have a worldwide distribution, and their venom has a complex composition containing many different molecules. Herein, we report the existence of a family of astacin-like metalloprotease toxins in Loxosceles intermedia venom, as well as in the venom of different species of Loxosceles. Using a cDNA library from the L. intermedia venom gland, we cloned two novel cDNAs encoding astacin-like metalloprotease toxins, LALP2 and LALP3. Using an anti-serum against the previously described astacin-like toxin in L. intermedia venom (LALP1), we detected the presence of immunologically-related toxins in the venoms of L. intermedia, Loxosceles laeta, and Loxosceles gaucho. Zymographic experiments showed gelatinolytic activity of crude venoms of L. intermedia, L. laeta, and L. gaucho (which could be inhibited by the divalent metal chelator 1,10-phenanthroline) at electrophoretic mobilities identical to those reported for immunological cross-reactivity. Moreover, mRNAs extracted from L. laeta and L. gaucho venom glands were screened for astacin-like metalloproteases, and cDNAs obtained using LALP1-specific primers were sequenced, and their deduced amino acid sequences confirmed they were members of the astacin family with the family signatures (HEXXHXXGXXHE and MXY), LALP4 and LALP5, respectively. Sequence comparison of deduced amino acid sequences revealed that LALP2, LALP3, LALP4, and LALP5 are related to the astacin family. This study identified the existence of gene family of astacin-like toxins in the venoms of brown spiders and raises the possibility that these molecules are involved in the deleterious effects triggered by the venom. 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. THE EXECUTION OF PLANNED DETOURS BY SPIDER-EATING PREDATORS

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Spider Bite in Iran.

    PubMed

    Sanaei-Zadeh, Hossein

    2017-07-01

    Some of the world's most dangerous spiders have been certified in some areas of Iran. Spider bites are common in some geographical areas, and are sporadic in some regions. Spider bites can be classified as latrodectism or loxoscelism. If the patient had not seen the spider, the clinical manifestations of latrodectism could be easily mistaken for other types of bite or sting; or an infectious disease, and withdrawal symptoms, and also loxoscelism could be mistaken for cellulitis, various types of skin infection, or even a sting from a Gadim scorpion (Hemiscorpius lepturus). Given the nonspecific presentation of spider bites, one must keep the diagnosis in mind, and question patients, regarding possible exposure to spiders. Physicians recommend becoming familiar with the geographical distribution of Iranian dangerous spiders, clinical manifestations, and management of their bites. The most useful treatment for spider bite is anti-venom administration. Producing spider bite anti-venom in the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute is under investigation.

  3. A Silurian sea spider.

    PubMed

    Siveter, Derek J; Sutton, Mark D; Briggs, Derek E G; Siveter, David J

    2004-10-21

    Pycnogonids (sea spiders) are marine arthropods numbering some 1,160 extant species. They are globally distributed in depths of up to 6,000 metres, and locally abundant; however, their typically delicate form and non-biomineralized cuticle has resulted in an extremely sparse fossil record that is not accepted universally. There are two opposing views of their phylogenetic position: either within Chelicerata as sister group to the euchelicerates, or as a sister taxon to all other euarthropods. The Silurian Herefordshire Konservat-Lagerstatte in England (approximately 425 million years (Myr) bp) yields exceptionally preserved three-dimensional fossils that provide unrivalled insights into the palaeobiology of a variety of invertebrates. The fossils are preserved as calcitic void in-fills in carbonate concretions within a volcaniclastic horizon, and are reconstructed digitally. Here we describe a new pycnogonid from this deposit, which is the oldest adult sea spider by approximately 35 Myr and the most completely known fossil species. The large chelate first appendage is consistent with a chelicerate affinity for the pycnogonids. Cladistic analyses place the new species near the base of the pycnogonid crown group, implying that the latter had arisen by the Silurian period.

  4. Samadinia longispina, a new genus and species of deep-sea spider crab from the western Pacific, and a new species of Rochinia A. Milne-Edwards, 1875, from Papua New Guinea (Crustacea: Brachyura: Majoidea: Epialtidae).

    PubMed

    Ng, Peter K L; Richer De Forges, Bertrand

    2013-01-01

    A new genus, Samadinia n. gen., and new species, Samadinia longispina n. sp., of deep-water epialtid spider crab is described from French Polynesia and New Caledonia. The new genus is superficially similar to Rochinia A. Milne-Edwards, 1875, but can be distinguished by having the dorsal surface of the carapace covered with small, rounded granules (versus with long spines or strong tubercles), well developed hepatic and lateral branchial spines (versus relatively shorter and weaker), a prominently constricted male thoracic sternite 4 (versus relatively broader with less prominent or without median constriction) and a proportionally broader male abdomen. A new species of Rochinia, R. granulosa n. sp., is also described from Papua New Guinea. It is easily distinguished from congeners its small adult size, the presence of numerous relatively large granules on the carapace and a relatively short hepatic spine.

  5. 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

    2016-05-02

    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.

  6. Ant mimicry lessens predation on a North American jumping spider by larger salticid spiders.

    PubMed

    Durkee, Caitlin A; Weiss, Martha R; Uma, Divya B

    2011-10-01

    Ant-like appearance (myrmecomorphy) has evolved >70 times in insects and spiders, accounting for >2,000 species of myrmecomorphic arthropods. Most myrmecomorphic spiders are considered to be Batesian mimics; that is, a palatable spider avoids predation through resemblance to an unpalatable ant-although this presumption has been tested in relatively few cases. Here we explicitly examined the extent to which Peckhamia picata (Salticidae), a North American ant-mimicking jumping spider, is protected from four species of jumping spider predators, relative to nonmimetic salticids and model ants. In addition, we conducted focused behavioral observations on one salticid predator, Thiodina puerpera, to determine the point at which the predators' behaviors toward model, mimic, and nonmimic diverge. We also examined the behaviors of Peckhamia in the presence of Thiodina. We found that mimetic jumping spiders were consumed less than a third as often as nonmimetic jumping spiders, suggesting that Peckhamia does indeed gain protection as a result of its resemblance to ants, and so can be considered a Batesian mimic. Furthermore, our focal predator did not consume any ant-mimicking spiders, and seemed to categorize Peckhamia with its model ant early in the hunting sequence. Such early determination of prey versus nonprey may be the result of speed-accuracy trade-offs in predator decision-making.

  7. Structure-activity relationship study of spider polyamine toxins as inhibitors of ionotropic glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Xiao-Feng; Poulsen, Mette H; Hussein, Rama A; Nørager, Niels G; Strømgaard, Kristian

    2014-12-01

    The spider polyamine toxins Joro spider toxin-3 (JSTX-3) and Nephila polyamine toxins-1 and -8 (NPTX-1 and NPTX-8) are isolated from the venom of the orb-weaver spider Nephila clavata (Joro spider). They share a high degree of structural resemblance, their aromatic head groups being the only difference, and were recently found to be very potent open-channel blockers of ionotropic glutamate (iGlu) receptors. In this study we designed and synthesized a collection of 24 analogues of these toxins using a recently developed solid-phase synthetic methodology. Systematic variation in two regions of the toxins and subsequent evaluation of biological activity at AMPA and NMDA subtypes of iGlu receptors provided succinct information on structure-activity relationships. In particular, one set of analogues were found to display exquisite selectivity and potency for AMPA receptors relative to the natural products. Thus, this systematic SAR study has provided new pharmacological tools for studies of iGlu receptors.

  8. One-shot genitalia are not an evolutionary dead end - Regained male polygamy in a sperm limited spider species

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Monogynous mating systems with extremely low male mating rates have several independent evolutionary origins and are associated with drastic adaptations involving self-sacrifice, one-shot genitalia, genital damage, and termination of spermatogenesis immediately after maturation. The combination of such extreme traits likely restricts evolutionary potential perhaps up to the point of making low male mating rates irreversible and hence may constitute an evolutionary dead end. Here, we explore the case of a reversion to multiple mating from monogynous ancestry in golden orb-web spiders, Nephila senegalensis. Results Male multiple mating is regained by the loss of genital damage and sexual cannibalism but spermatogenesis is terminated with maturation, restricting males to a single loading of their secondary mating organs and a fixed supply of sperm. However, males re-use their mating organs and by experimentally mating males to many females, we show that the sperm supply is divided between copulations without reloading the pedipalps. Conclusion By portioning their precious sperm supply, males achieve an average mating rate of four females which effectively doubles the maximal mating rate of their ancestors. A heritage of one-shot genitalia does not completely restrict the potential to increase mating rates in Nephila although an upper limit is defined by the available sperm load. Future studies should now investigate how males use this potential in the field and identify selection pressures responsible for a reversal from monogynous to polygynous mating strategies. PMID:21740561

  9. One-shot genitalia are not an evolutionary dead end - regained male polygamy in a sperm limited spider species.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jutta M; Michalik, Peter

    2011-07-08

    Monogynous mating systems with extremely low male mating rates have several independent evolutionary origins and are associated with drastic adaptations involving self-sacrifice, one-shot genitalia, genital damage, and termination of spermatogenesis immediately after maturation. The combination of such extreme traits likely restricts evolutionary potential perhaps up to the point of making low male mating rates irreversible and hence may constitute an evolutionary dead end. Here, we explore the case of a reversion to multiple mating from monogynous ancestry in golden orb-web spiders, Nephila senegalensis. Male multiple mating is regained by the loss of genital damage and sexual cannibalism but spermatogenesis is terminated with maturation, restricting males to a single loading of their secondary mating organs and a fixed supply of sperm. However, males re-use their mating organs and by experimentally mating males to many females, we show that the sperm supply is divided between copulations without reloading the pedipalps. By portioning their precious sperm supply, males achieve an average mating rate of four females which effectively doubles the maximal mating rate of their ancestors. A heritage of one-shot genitalia does not completely restrict the potential to increase mating rates in Nephila although an upper limit is defined by the available sperm load. Future studies should now investigate how males use this potential in the field and identify selection pressures responsible for a reversal from monogynous to polygynous mating strategies.

  10. 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

    2012-04-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  12. Spider Webs

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-10-19

    This image shows a lava channel north of Kuiper Crater in the high southern latitudes just before spring equinox. It was a target suggested by members of the public, using our suggestion tool called HiWish. The channel confluence at the top of the image illustrates interesting volcanic processes that took place long ago. However, it was the mounds on the rim of the channel to the south of the confluence that we initially found alarming. These mounds, up to 400 meters in diameter, are decorated by radial and concentric patterns that resemble spider webs. Radial and concentric fractures are familiar from forces penetrating a brittle layer, such as a rock thrown through a glass window. These particular fractures were evidently produced by something emerging from below the brittle surface of Mars. It seems likely that ice lenses, resulting from the accumulation of ice beneath the surface, created these peculiar mounds. Ice is less dense than rock, so the buried ice rose and pushed upwards on the surface and generated these spider web-like patterns. An analogous process creates similar sized mounds in arctic tundra on Earth that are known as "pingos," an Inuit word. The Martian fractures in this location are nowadays filled with dust instead of ice, so it is unclear how long ago this activity took place. It seems likely that these pingo-forming periglacial processes took place much more recently than the volcanic activity also evident in this region of Mars. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21110

  13. 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 ...

  14. Black widow spider

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002858.htm Black widow spider To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The black widow spider has a shiny black body with a red ...

  15. 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)

  16. Nature Study Tips. Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulaik, Stanley B.

    1990-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Maternal care and subsocial behaviour in spiders.

    PubMed

    Yip, Eric C; Rayor, Linda S

    2014-05-01

    While most spiders are solitary and opportunistically cannibalistic, a variety of social organisations has evolved in a minority of spider species. One form of social organisation is subsociality, in which siblings remain together with their parent for some period of time but disperse prior to independent reproduction. We review the literature on subsocial and maternal behaviour in spiders to highlight areas in which subsocial spiders have informed our understanding of social evolution and to identify promising areas of future research. We show that subsocial behaviour has evolved independently at least 18 times in spiders, across a wide phylogenetic distribution. Subsocial behaviour is diverse in terms of the form of care provided by the mother, the duration of care and sibling association, the degree of interaction and cooperation among siblings, and the use of vibratory and chemical communication. Subsocial spiders are useful model organisms to study various topics in ecology, such as kin recognition and the evolution of cheating and its impact on societies. Further, why social behaviour evolved in some lineages and not others is currently a topic of debate in behavioural ecology, and we argue that spiders offer an opportunity to untangle the ecological causes of parental care, which forms the basis of many other animal societies.

  20. 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…

  1. Parapleisticantha Yokoya, 1933, a valid genus of deep-sea inachid spider crab from Japan and the Philippines (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Majoidea), with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    De Forges, Bertrand Richer; Ng, Peter K L; Ahyong, Shane T

    2013-01-01

    The inachid spider crab genus, Parapleisticantha Yokoya, 1933 [type species: Parapleisticantha japonica Yokoya, 1933] is removed from the synonymy of Pleistacantha Miers, 1879 [type species: Pleistacantha sanctijohannis Miers, 1879], and recognised as a valid genus. Parapleisticantha differs from Pleistacantha sensu stricto primarily by having a less spiny carapace, stouter and more inflated male chelipeds, and by lacking a slender subdistal process on the male first gonopod. We redescribe Parapleisticantha japonica based on the Japanese type material and describe as new a second species, Parapleisticantha ludivinae n. sp., recently discovered in the Philippines.

  2. A review of Solenysa spiders from Japan (Araneae, Linyphiidae), with a comment on the type species S. mellotteei Simon, 1894

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Fang; Ono, Hirotsugu; Tu, Lihong

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The present paper gives a review of Solenysa species from Japan and provides a solution for the species bearing the generotype name Solenysa mellotteei Simon, 1894. A total of six species are recorded, including two new species Solenysa macrodonta sp. n. and Solenysa trunciformis sp. n. The species collected from Kawasaki (NSMT-Ar 11154) and Hachioji should be the generotype Solenysa mellotteei, with Solenysa akihisai Tu, 2011, syn. n. as its junior synonym. To distinguish these congeneric species from each other, their genital characters are provided in detail based on images collected by scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. PMID:25685031

  3. Description of the first cave dwelling species of the spider genus Trilacuna Tong & Li from Iran (Araneae: Oonopidae).

    PubMed

    Hosseini, Mohammad-Javad Malek; Grismado, Cristian J; Sadeghi, Saber; Bakhshi, Yaser

    2015-06-13

    A new species of the hard-bodied oonopid genus Trilacuna Tong & Li is described from a cave in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, southwestern Iran. Trilacuna qarzi sp. nov. is the first troglobiont species known of the genus, and is also the fifth oonopid species to be reported from Iran. Relationships of this new species are briefly discussed in the context of the limits of the genera belonging to the Dysderoides complex.

  4. On the taxonomy of southern South American species of the wolf spider genus Allocosa (Araneae: Lycosidae: Allocosinae).

    PubMed

    Simó, Miguel; Lise, Arno A; Pompozzi, Gabriel; Laborda, Álvaro

    2017-01-06

    Three species of the genus Allocosa Banks, 1900 from southern South America are redescribed: Allocosa alticeps (Mello-Leitão, 1944), A. brasiliensis (Petrunkevitch, 1910) and A. senex (Mello-Leitão, 1945). The female of A. senex is described for the first time and the species is revalidated. A new species, A. marindia sp. nov. from southern Uruguay and southern Brazil is described. The new species is distinguished by the flattened terminal apophysis of the male bulb and the conspicuous pointed projections on the posterior margin of the female epigynum. The species inhabits in sandy estuarine and oceanic coasts with psammophile vegetation.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-06

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Diversity of spiders in Fanjing Mountain Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China,
    III: A new species of Brommella (Dictynidae).

    PubMed

    Lu, Tian; Chen, Hui-Ming; Zhang, Zhi-Sheng

    2015-09-21

    A new Chinese species of the dictynid genus Brommella Tullgren-Brommella digitata sp. nov.-from Fanjing Mountain Nature Reserve of Guizhou Province is photographed, illustrated and described. It can be distinguished from other Brommella species by the complex conductor and finger-like tegular apophysis of the male palp and anteriorly located copulatory openings of the female epigyne. This is the second species of Brommella from China. Additional photos, illustrations and material of B. punctosparsa (Oi 1957) are provided for comparison. The serrated embolus is firstly described for both species on the basis of SEM photos.

  11. 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

  12. Phylogeography of two Australian species of funnel web spider (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Hexathelidae) in Tallaganda State Forest, New South Wales

    Treesearch

    Amber S. Beavis; David M. Rowell

    2006-01-01

    Decomposing logs are habitat for invertebrate species occupying a range of ecological niches. A collaborative research project is examining patterns of genetic endemism among saproxylic (dependent on decaying wood) invertebrates across the Tallaganda region of New South Wales, Australia. An earlier study of an unnamed species of 'giant' Collembolon revealed...

  13. New species and phylogenetic relationships of the spider genus Coptoprepes using morphological and sequence data (Araneae: Anyphaenidae).

    PubMed

    Barone, Mariana L; Werenkraut, Victoria; Ramírez, Martín J

    2016-10-17

    We present evidence from the standard cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) barcoding marker and from new collections, showing that the males and females of C. ecotono Werenkraut & Ramírez were mismatched, and describe the female of that species for the first time. An undescribed male from Chile is assigned to the new species Coptoprepes laudani, together with the female that was previously thought as C. ecotono. The matching of sexes is justified after a dual cladistics analysis of morphological and sequence data in combination. New locality data and barcoding sequences are provided for other species of Coptoprepes, all endemic of the temperate forests of Chile and adjacent Argentina. Although morphology and sequences are not conclusive on the relationships of Coptoprepes species, the sequence data suggests that the species without a retrolateral tibial apophysis may belong to an independent lineage.

  14. 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.

  15. Attending to detail by communal spider-eating spiders.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Robert R; Nelson, Ximena J

    2012-07-01

    Communal predators may often need to make especially intricate foraging decisions, as a predator's success may depend on the actions of its neighbours. Here,we consider the decisions made by Portia africana, a jumping spider (Salticidae) that preys on other spiders, including Oecobius amboseli (Oecobiidae), a small prey spider that lives under small sheets of silk (nests) on the walls of buildings. P. africana juveniles settle near oecobiid nests and then ambush oecobiids as they leave or enter the nest. Two or more P. africana juveniles sometimes settle at the same nest and, when an oecobiid is captured, the P. africana juveniles may share the meal. We investigated the joining decisions made by naïve P. africana juveniles. Experiments were based on using lures (dead spiders positioned in lifelike posture) arranged in a series of 17 different scenes defined by the presence/absence of a nest, the lure types present and the configuration of the lures and the nest. Our findings imply that P. africana juveniles make remarkably precise predatory decisions, with the variables that matter including whether a nest is present, the identity of spiders inside and outside a nest and how spiders are positioned relative to each other and the nest.

  16. The first record of the wolf spider subfamily Zoicinae from China (Araneae: Lycosidae), with the description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Li, Zongxu; Wang, Lu-yu; Zhangi, Zhi-sheng

    2013-01-01

    The subfamily Zoicinae Lehtinen & Hippa, 1979 is here first recorded from China with the description of a new species in the genus Zoica Simon, 1898, Z. unciformis sp. nov. from Wild Elephant Valley (Yunnan) and a new species in the genus Lysania Thorell, 1890, L. deangia sp. nov., from a rubber plantation in Nangsang Village (Yunnan). Lysania pygmaea Thorell, 1890 is recorded for the first time in China, from three localities in Yunnan and Guangxi and is redescribed here.

  17. Secondary Structure Adopted by the Gly-Gly-X Repetitive Regions of Dragline Spider Silk

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Geoffrey M.; van der Vaart, Arjan; Guo, Chengchen; Jones, Justin; Onofrei, David; Cherry, Brian R.; Lewis, Randolph V.; Yarger, Jeffery L.; Holland, Gregory P.

    2016-01-01

    Solid-state NMR and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are presented to help elucidate the molecular secondary structure of poly(Gly-Gly-X), which is one of the most common structural repetitive motifs found in orb-weaving dragline spider silk proteins. The combination of NMR and computational experiments provides insight into the molecular secondary structure of poly(Gly-Gly-X) segments and provides further support that these regions are disordered and primarily non-β-sheet. Furthermore, the combination of NMR and MD simulations illustrate the possibility for several secondary structural elements in the poly(Gly-Gly-X) regions of dragline silks, including β-turns, 310-helicies, and coil structures with a negligible population of α-helix observed. PMID:27918448

  18. On the identity of the Palearctic species of the wolf spider genus Trebacosa (Araneae: Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Szűts, Tamás; Zalai, Béla; Villepoux, Olivier; Buchholz, Sascha; Eichardt, János; Zhukovets, Evgeni; Oger, Pierre; Szinetár, Csaba

    2017-01-09

    In this paper we propose Trebacosa brunhesi Villepoux, 2007 as a junior synonym of Trebacosa europaea Szinetár & Kan-csal, 2007 based on the examination of specimens from all the localities from where those species are known. Illustration of the type species of the genus, Trebacosa marxi (Stone, 1890) and specimens from all known localities of T. europaea are given to show both the inter- and the intraspecific differences of the genus. Scanning electron micrographs were used to illustrate the detailed structure of the female's genitalia.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Spiders in caves

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    World experts of different disciplines, from molecular biology to macro-ecology, recognize the value of cave ecosystems as ideal ecological and evolutionary laboratories. Among other subterranean taxa, spiders stand out as intriguing model organisms for their ecological role of top predators, their unique adaptations to the hypogean medium and their sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance. As the description of the first eyeless spider (Stalita taenaria), an array of papers on subterranean spider biology, ecology and evolution has been published, but a comprehensive review on these topics is still lacking. We provide a general overview of the spider families recorded in hypogean habitats worldwide, we review the different adaptations of hypogean spiders to subterranean life, and we summarize the information gathered so far about their origin, population structure, ecology and conservation status. Finally, we point out the limits of the knowledge we currently have regarding hypogean spiders, aiming to stimulate future research. PMID:28446696

  2. Highly virulent Beauveria bassiana strains against the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, show no pathogenicity against five phytoseiid mite species.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shengyong; Xie, Haicui; Li, Maoye; Xu, Xuenong; Lei, Zhongren

    2016-12-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi and predatory mites can independently contribute to suppressing the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch. It is important to assess the risk of possible fungal infections in predators when a combination of them are being considered as a tandem control strategy for suppressing T. urticae. The first part of this study tested 12 Beauveria bassiana isolates for virulence in T. urticae. Strains SCWJ-2, SDDZ-9, LNSZ-26, GZGY-1-3 and WLMQ-32 were found to be the most potent, causing 37.6-49.5% adult corrected mortality at a concentration of 1 × 10(7) m/L conidia 4 days post-treatment. The second part evaluated the pathogenicity of these five strains in five species of predatory phytoseiid mites. The bioassay results indicated that all adult predatory mite mortalities ranged from 7.5 to 9.1% 4 days post-treatment. No viable fungal hyphae were found on predator cadavers. Observations with scanning electron microscopy revealed that conidia were attached to the cuticle of predatory mites within 2-12 h after spraying with strain LNSZ-26, and had germinated within 24-36 h. After 48 h, conidia had gradually been shed from the mites, after none of the conidia had penetrated the cuticular surfaces. In contrast, the germinated conidia successfully penetrated the cuticle of T. urticae, and within 60 h the fungus colonized the mite's body. Our study demonstrated that although several B. bassiana strains displayed a high virulence in T. urticae there was no evident pathogenicity to phytoseiid mites. These findings support the potential use of entomopathogenic fungus in combination with predatory mites in T. urticae control programs.

  3. Seven new species of Psechrus and additional taxonomic contributions to the knowledge of the spider family Psechridae (Araneae).

    PubMed

    Bayer, Steffen

    2014-01-27

    Seven new Psechrus species are described from South East Asia: P. arietinus sp. nov.(♂♀, Vietnam), P. insulanus sp. nov.(♂, Thailand), P. ampullaceus sp. nov.(♂♀, Vietnam), P. omistes sp. nov.(♂, Indonesia, Sumatra), P. quasillus sp. nov.(♂♀, Malaysia, Borneo), P. huberi sp. nov.(♀, Philippines), and P. wade sp. nov.(♂, Philippines). For the following species, new records are listed and intraspecific variation is discussed and illustrated: P. libelti Kulczyński, 1908, P. norops Bayer, 2012, P. rani Wang & Yin, 2001, P. khammouan Jäger, 2007, P. luangprabang Jäger, 2007, P. jaegeri Bayer, 2012, P. obtectus Bayer, 2012, P. kenting Yoshida, 2009 and P. crepido Bayer, 2012, and Fecenia protensa Thorell, 1891. The latter species is recorded from Vietnam for the first time. P. norops, P. libelti and an unidentified Psechrus species from Baluno, Mindanao are for the first time characterised and illustrated by their pre-epigynes and pre-vulvae.

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

    PubMed

    Zaera, Ramón; Soler, Alejandro; Teus, Jaime

    2014-09-06

    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. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. Spiders (Araneae) in the pesticide world: an ecotoxicological review.

    PubMed

    Pekár, Stano

    2012-11-01

    Being one of the most abundant and species-rich groups of natural enemies occurring in all agroecosystems, spiders are variably affected by pesticide applications. Here, a review is given of research on spider ecotoxicology. More than 40 species of spiders and almost 130 pesticides (acaricides, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides) have been tested so far in the field or under laboratory conditions. Field studies show that the degree of population reduction following pesticide application is a function of a number of factors inherent to pesticides, crops and spider species (guilds). These studies also revealed indirect effects via habitat and prey disruption. Among laboratory studies, a number of papers have investigated only the direct lethal effect. A meta-analysis of these data reveals that spiders are mainly affected by acaricides and insecticides, particularly neurotoxic substances. Currently, ecotoxicological research on spiders is focused more on direct sublethal effects on a variety of behavioural traits (locomotion, predation, web-building, reproduction, development) and physiology. Yet a standardised approach to the evaluation of sublethal effects is lacking. A few studies have provided some evidence for hormesis in spiders. Future research should be more concentrated on sublethal effects and the estimation of long-term changes in spider populations as a result of pesticide treatment. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. '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.

  8. 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.

  9. Spider Bite in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Sanaei-Zadeh, Hossein

    2017-01-01

    Some of the world’s most dangerous spiders have been certified in some areas of Iran. Spider bites are common in some geographical areas, and are sporadic in some regions. Spider bites can be classified as latrodectism or loxoscelism. If the patient had not seen the spider, the clinical manifestations of latrodectism could be easily mistaken for other types of bite or sting; or an infectious disease, and withdrawal symptoms, and also loxoscelism could be mistaken for cellulitis, various types of skin infection, or even a sting from a Gadim scorpion (Hemiscorpius lepturus). Given the nonspecific presentation of spider bites, one must keep the diagnosis in mind, and question patients, regarding possible exposure to spiders. Physicians recommend becoming familiar with the geographical distribution of Iranian dangerous spiders, clinical manifestations, and management of their bites. The most useful treatment for spider bite is anti-venom administration. Producing spider bite anti-venom in the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute is under investigation. PMID:28894524

  10. Ecosystem services in the face of invasion: the persistence of native and nonnative spiders in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Brian N; Daane, Kent M

    2011-03-01

    The presence of intact natural ecosystems in agricultural landscapes can mitigate losses in the diversity of natural enemies and enhance ecosystem services. However, native natural enemies may fail to persist in agroecosystems if invaders dominate species interactions. In this study, native and nonnative spiders were sampled along transects that extended from oak woodland and riparian zones into surrounding California vineyards, to assess the role of natural habitat as a source for spider biodiversity in the vineyard landscape, and to compare the dominance of exotic Cheiracanthium spiders between habitats. Many spider species were more abundant in natural habitat than in vineyards, and numbers of spiders and spider species within vineyards were higher at the vineyard edge adjacent to oak woodland. These results suggest that natural habitat is a key source for spiders in vineyards. The positive effect of oak woodland on the vineyard spider community extended only to the vineyard edge, however. Proportions of Cheiracanthium spiders increased dramatically in the vineyard, while numbers of native wandering spiders (the native ecological homologues of Cheiracanthium spiders) decreased. Dispersal limitation and strong habitat preferences may have prevented native wandering spiders from establishing far from the vineyard edge. Exotic Cheiracanthium spiders, in contrast, may possess specific adaptations to vineyards or to a wide range of habitats. Results suggest that the ecosystem services provided by intact natural habitat may be limited in agricultural landscapes that are dominated by invasive species.

  11. Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders.

    PubMed

    Wignall, Anne E; Herberstein, Marie E

    2013-12-19

    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.

  12. Three new species and the first known males of the Andean spider genus Orinomana Strand (Araneae, Uloboridae).

    PubMed

    Grismado, Cristian J; Rubio, Gonzalo D

    2015-12-02

    Three new species of the uloborid genus Orinomana Strand, O. penelope n. sp. from Ecuador, O. viracocha n. sp. from Peru, and O. florezi n. sp. from Colombia, are described. Additionally, the male of O. ascha Grismado, from Northwestern Argentina, is described for the first time. This material includes the first males known of the genus, providing diagnostic characters for its recognition; the complex and massive embolus with several branches is proposed as a synapomorphy of the genus.

  13. 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

  14. Quasistatic and continuous dynamic characterization of the mechanical properties of silk from the cobweb of the black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus.

    PubMed

    Blackledge, Todd A; Swindeman, John E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2005-05-01

    Spider silks are among the strongest and toughest known materials, but investigation of these remarkable properties has been confined largely to orb-weaving spiders. We investigated the mechanical performance of silk from the cobweb-weaving spider Latrodectus hesperus. Both silk from the scaffolding region of the web and sticky gumfooted capture lines had material properties similar to the major ampullate silk that orb weavers use as the framework for their orb webs. Major ampullate fibers obtained from anaesthetized Latrodectus spiders were similar, but exhibited increased stiffness and reduced extensibility. Novel continuous dynamic analysis of the silks revealed that the loss tangent (tandelta) increased rapidly during the first 2-3% of extension and reached a maximum near the yield point of fibers. The loss tangent then rapidly declined at an ever-decreasing rate until failure. We suggest that these data support molecular models for the mechanics of spider silk. We also demonstrate that the addition of sticky aggregate glue to the ends of the gumfooted lines modulates their mechanical performance--reducing stiffness and increasing extensibility. The storage modulus of viscid regions of the gumfooted lines was much lower than dry regions. This may be explained by disruption of hydrogen bonding within the amorphous regions of the fibers due to hydration from the glue.

  15. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  17. SPIDER Readied for Launch

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-01-22

    Prior to launch, the team laid out the parachute and hang lines in front of SPIDER, seen in the distance. The long-duration balloon that would carry SPIDER into the sky is attached to the end of the parachute shown here in the foreground. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19177

  18. Spiders as Classroom Pets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Padilla, Michael J.

    1977-01-01

    Tips for raising and caring for spiders are given. Feeding habits, web spinning, and ecological relationships are discussed as possible areas for study during the school year. Directions for catching the spiders and making a home for them are included along with suggestions for food sources. (MA)

  19. Spiders as Classroom Pets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Padilla, Michael J.

    1977-01-01

    Tips for raising and caring for spiders are given. Feeding habits, web spinning, and ecological relationships are discussed as possible areas for study during the school year. Directions for catching the spiders and making a home for them are included along with suggestions for food sources. (MA)

  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. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. Salticid predation as one potential driving force of ant mimicry in jumping spiders

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jin-Nan; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Li, Daiqin; Tso, I-Min

    2011-01-01

    Many spiders possess myrmecomorphy, and species of the jumping spider genus Myrmarachne exhibit nearly perfect ant mimicry. Most salticids are diurnal predators with unusually high visual acuity that prey on various arthropods, including conspecifics. In this study, we tested whether predation pressure from large jumping spiders is one possible driving force of perfect ant mimicry in jumping spiders. The results showed that small non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders were readily treated as prey by large ones (no matter whether heterospecific or conspecific) and suffered high attack and mortality rates. The size difference between small and large jumping spiders significantly affected the outcomes of predatory interactions between them: the smaller the juvenile jumping spiders, the higher the predation risk from large ones. The attack and mortality rates of ant-mimicking jumping spiders were significantly lower than those of non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders, indicating that a resemblance to ants could provide protection against salticid predation. However, results of multivariate behavioural analyses showed that the responses of large jumping spiders to ants and ant-mimicking salticids differed significantly. Results of this study indicate that predation pressure from large jumping spiders might be one selection force driving the evolution of nearly perfect myrmecomorphy in spiders and other arthropods. PMID:20961898

  5. Salticid predation as one potential driving force of ant mimicry in jumping spiders.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jin-Nan; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Li, Daiqin; Tso, I-Min

    2011-05-07

    Many spiders possess myrmecomorphy, and species of the jumping spider genus Myrmarachne exhibit nearly perfect ant mimicry. Most salticids are diurnal predators with unusually high visual acuity that prey on various arthropods, including conspecifics. In this study, we tested whether predation pressure from large jumping spiders is one possible driving force of perfect ant mimicry in jumping spiders. The results showed that small non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders were readily treated as prey by large ones (no matter whether heterospecific or conspecific) and suffered high attack and mortality rates. The size difference between small and large jumping spiders significantly affected the outcomes of predatory interactions between them: the smaller the juvenile jumping spiders, the higher the predation risk from large ones. The attack and mortality rates of ant-mimicking jumping spiders were significantly lower than those of non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders, indicating that a resemblance to ants could provide protection against salticid predation. However, results of multivariate behavioural analyses showed that the responses of large jumping spiders to ants and ant-mimicking salticids differed significantly. Results of this study indicate that predation pressure from large jumping spiders might be one selection force driving the evolution of nearly perfect myrmecomorphy in spiders and other arthropods.

  6. On the endemic spider species of the genus Savigniorrhipis Wunderlich, 1992 (Araneae: Linyphiidae) in the Azores (Portugal), with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Luís Carlos; Bosmans, Robert; Cardoso, Pedro; Borges, Paulo A V

    2013-12-05

    Savigniorrhipis topographicus new species is described from the Azores. The synapomorphies of Savigniorrhipis are discussed along with the affinities of the genus within the Savignia-group. Given the extremely restricted and increasingly disturbed habitat, S. topographicus new species should be classified as Critically Endangered and its single forest habitat at Topo (São Jorge Island) should increase its current protection level to a strict nature reserve.

  7. Wolf spider envenomation.

    PubMed

    Livshits, Zhanna; Bernstein, Benjamin; Sorkin, Louis N; Smith, Silas W; Hoffman, Robert S

    2012-03-01

    Although wolf spider venom has been implicated in necrotic arachnidism without acceptably documented verification, limited, prospectively collected data demonstrate a lack of cutaneous necrosis. The infrequent nature of exposure and inherent difficulty in confirming wolf spider bites in humans makes it challenging to study such envenomations. We present the case of a 20 year-old man with confirmed exposure to the wolf spider who developed cutaneous erythema with ulceration following the bite. There was no evidence of skin necrosis. He was treated with aggressive wound care and systemic antibiotics for wound infection, with subsequent resolution of symptoms. This case adds to the limited knowledge regarding wolf spider envenomations and describes the clinical effects and management of wolf spider envenomation.

  8. 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.

  9. Purification and characterization of biologically active peptides from spider venoms.

    PubMed

    Vassilevski, Alexander A; Kozlov, Sergey A; Egorov, Tsezi A; Grishin, Eugene V

    2010-01-01

    Spider venoms represent invaluable sources of biologically active compounds suitable for use in life science research and also having a significant potential for biotechnology and therapeutic applications. The methods reported herewith are based on our long experience of spider venom fractionation and peptides purification. We routinely screen new peptides for antimicrobial and insecticidal activities and our detailed protocols are also reported here. So far these have been tested on species of Central Asian and European spiders from the families Agelenidae, Eresidae, Gnaphosidae, Lycosidae, Miturgidae, Oxyopidae, Philodromidae, Pisauridae, Segestriidae, Theridiidae, Thomisidae, and Zodariidae. The reported protocols should be easily adaptable for use with other arthropod species.

  10. Signal conflict in spider webs driven by predators and prey

    PubMed Central

    Blackledge, T. A.

    1998-01-01

    Variation in the sensory physiologies of organisms can bias the receptions of signals, driving the direction of signal evolution. Sensory drive in the evolution of signals may be particularly important for organisms that confront trade-offs in signal design between the need for conspicuousness to allow effective transfer of information and the need for crypsis of the signal to unintended receivers. Several genera of orb-weaving spiders include conspicuous silk designs, stabilimenta, in the centre of their webs. Stabilimenta can be highly visible signals to predators, warning them of the presence of a noxious, sticky silk web. However, stabilimenta can also be used by prey as a signal in avoidance of webs, creating a trade-off in signal visibility. I argue that the derived spectral properties of stabilimentum silk have resulted in part from this conflict. The innate colour preferences of insects, their ability to learn colours, and the spectral properties of flowers all suggest that the reflectance spectra of stabilimenta renders them relatively cryptic to many insect prey, while maintaining their visibility to vertebrate predators.

  11. The first account of a bite by the New Zealand native spider Trite planiceps (Araneae: Salticidae).

    PubMed

    Derraik, José G B; Sirvid, Phil J; Rademaker, Marius

    2010-05-14

    New Zealand has very few arthropods that pose a threat to human health. While most New Zealand spiders are considered harmless, the bite effects of most species are unknown. Here, we describe a case of a bite by a native spider, in which a young man was bitten after rolling over in his bed. The spider was collected and identified as Trite planiceps (Salticidae, black headed jumping spider), a native species commonly encountered around homes. The initial reaction was a relatively painful, sting-like, sensation, followed by the appearance of two red puncture marks and an urticarial wheal. Symptoms eventually disappeared after 72 hours, and he has had no further dermatological problems. Trite planiceps is considered to be a rather docile spider with regard to humans, but even a docile species may still bite defensively as a last resort. Notes on this species and on treatment of spider bites are provided.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-23

    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.

  15. A comparison of spider communities in Bt and non-Bt rice fields.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sue Yeon; Kim, Seung Tae; Jung, Jong Kook; Lee, Joon-Ho

    2014-06-01

    To assess the potential adverse effects of a Bt rice line (Japonica rice cultivar, Nakdong) expressing a synthetic cry1Ac1 gene, C7-1-9-1-B, which was highly active against all larval stages of Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), we investigated the community structure of spiders in Bt and non-Bt rice fields during the rice-growing season in 2007 and 2008 in Chungcheongnam-do, Korea. Spiders were surveyed with a sweep net and suction device. Suction sampling captured more spiders, measured in terms of species level and abundance, than sweeping. Araneidae and Thomisidae were captured more by sweeping, and certain species were captured only by sweeping. These findings show that both suction and sweep sampling methods should be used because these methods are most likely complementary. In total, 29 species in 23 genera and nine families were identified from the 4,937 spiders collected, and both Bt and non-Bt rice fields showed a typical Korean spider assemblage. The temporal patterns of spider species richness and spider abundance were very similar between Bt and non-Bt rice, although significant differences in species richness were observed on a few occasions. Overall, spider community structure, including diversity, the dominant species, and abundance did not differ between Bt and non-Bt rice. The results of the study indicated that the transgenic Cry1Ac rice lines tested in this study had no adverse effects on the spider community structure of the rice fields.

  16. Comparing rates of springtail predation by web-building spiders using Bayesian inference.

    PubMed

    Welch, Kelton D; Schofield, Matthew R; Chapman, Eric G; Harwood, James D

    2014-08-01

    A major goal of gut-content analysis is to quantify predation rates by predators in the field, which could provide insights into the mechanisms behind ecosystem structure and function, as well as quantification of ecosystem services provided. However, percentage-positive results from molecular assays are strongly influenced by factors other than predation rate, and thus can only be reliably used to quantify predation rates under very restrictive conditions. Here, we develop two statistical approaches, one using a parametric bootstrap and the other in terms of Bayesian inference, to build upon previous techniques that use DNA decay rates to rank predators by their rate of prey consumption, by allowing a statistical assessment of confidence in the inferred ranking. To demonstrate the utility of this technique in evaluating ecological data, we test web-building spiders for predation on a primary prey item, springtails. Using these approaches we found that an orb-weaving spider consumes springtail prey at a higher rate than a syntopic sheet-weaving spider, despite occupying microhabitats where springtails are less frequently encountered. We suggest that spider-web architecture (orb web vs. sheet web) is a primary determinant of prey-consumption rates within this assemblage of predators, which demonstrates the potential influence of predator foraging behaviour on trophic web structure. We also discuss how additional assumptions can be incorporated into the same analysis to allow broader application of the technique beyond the specific example presented. We believe that such modelling techniques can greatly advance the field of molecular gut-content analysis.

  17. Silk elasticity as a potential constraint on spider body size.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi

    2010-10-07

    Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Group living and inbreeding depression in a subsocial spider

    PubMed Central

    Avilés, Leticia; Bukowski, Todd C

    2005-01-01

    Social spiders are unusual among social organisms in being highly inbred—males and females mature within their natal nest and mate with each other to produce successive generations. Several lines of evidence suggest that in spiders inbred social species originated from outbred subsocial ancestors, a transition expected to have been hindered by inbreeding depression. As a window into this transition, we examined the fitness consequences of artificially imposed inbreeding in the naturally outbred subsocial spider Anelosimus cf. jucundus. Subsocial spiders alternate periods of solitary and social living and are thought to resemble the ancestral system from which the inbred social species originated. We found that inbreeding depression in this subsocial spider only becomes evident in spiders raised individually following the end of their social phase and that ecological and demographic factors such as eclosion date, number of siblings in the group and mother's persistence are more powerful determinants of fitness during the social phase. A potential explanation for this pattern is that maternal care and group living provide a buffer against inbreeding depression, a possibility that may help explain the repeated origin of inbred social systems in spiders and shed light on the origin of other systems involving regular inbreeding. PMID:16555782

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Spider fauna of semiarid eastern Colorado agroecosystems: diversity, abundance, and effects of crop intensification.

    PubMed

    Kerzicnik, Lauren M; Peairs, Frank B; Cushing, Paula E; Draney, Michael L; Merrill, Scott C

    2013-02-01

    Spiders are critical predators in agroecosystems. Crop management practices can influence predator density and diversity, which, in turn, can influence pest management strategies. Crop intensification is a sustainable agricultural technique that can enhance crop production although optimizing soil moisture. To date, there is no information on how crop intensification affects natural enemy populations, particularly spiders. This study had two objectives: to characterize the abundance and diversity of spiders in eastern Colorado agroecosystems, and to test the hypothesis that spider diversity and density would be higher in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in crop-intensified rotations compared with wheat in conventional rotations. We collected spiders through pitfall, vacuum, and lookdown sampling from 2002 to 2007 to test these objectives. Over 11,000 spiders in 19 families from 119 species were captured from all sampling techniques. Interestingly, the hunting spider guild represented 89% of the spider fauna captured from all sites with the families Gnaphosidae and Lycosidae representing 75% of these spiders. Compared with European agroecosystems, these agroecosystems had greater diversity, which can be beneficial for the biological control of pests. Overall, spider densities were low in these semiarid cropping systems, and crop intensification effects on spider densities were not evident at this scale.

  2. 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.

  3. Brown recluse spider (image)

    MedlinePlus

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

  4. Black widow spider (image)

    MedlinePlus

    This is a black widow spider. Note the red "hour glass" on the abdomen. The bite of the black widow can produce severe symptoms but is seldom fatal, except in young children and older adults. (Image courtesy ...

  5. 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.

  6. Brown spiders and loxoscelism.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Paulo Henrique; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Appel, Márcia Helena; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2004-12-01

    Accidents caused by brown spiders (Loxosceles genus) are classically associated with dermonecrotic lesions and systemic manifestations including intravascular haemolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation and acute renal failure. Systemic reactions occur in a minority of cases, but may be severe in some patients and occasionally fatal. The mechanisms by which Loxosceles venom exerts these noxious effects are currently under investigation. The venom contains several toxins, some of which have been well-characterised biochemically and biologically. The purpose of the present review is to describe some insights into loxoscelism obtained over the last ten years. The biology and epidemiology of the brown spider, the histopathology of envenomation and the immunogenicity of Loxosceles venom are reviewed, as are the clinical features, diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. The identification and characterisation of some toxins and the mechanism of induction of local and systemic lesions caused by brown spider venom are also discussed. Finally, the biotechnological application of some venom toxins are covered.

  7. Spider Spinning for Dummies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bird, Richard S.

    Spider spinning is a snappy name for the problem of listing the ideals of a totally acyclic poset in such a way that each ideal is computed from its predecessor in constant time. Such an algorithm is said to be loopless. Our aim in these lectures is to show how to calculate a loopless algorithm for spider spinning. The calculation makes use of the fundamental laws of functional programming and the real purpose of the exercise is to show these laws in action.

  8. Spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) Of Milbridge, Washington County, Maine

    Treesearch

    Daniel T. Jennings; Frank Jr. Graham

    2007-01-01

    An inventory or spiders associated with diverse habitats of Milbridge, a 6,290-ha area of the East Coastal BioPhysical Region, yielded 6,979 individuals of 19 families, 145 genera, and 302 species (4 unknown). Species richness per genus ranged from 1 to 13, with 88 genera represented by a single species. Total species composition favored web spinners over hunters;...

  9. Attentional bias to moving spiders in spider fearful individuals.

    PubMed

    Vrijsen, Janna N; Fleurkens, Pascal; Nieuwboer, Wieteke; Rinck, Mike

    2009-05-01

    We investigated if an attentional bias for spiders in spider fearful individuals (SFs) can also be found for moving spiders, rather than static images. In Study 1, 28 SFs and 33 non-anxious controls (NACs) participated in a modified version of the dot probe paradigm: they had to react to a probe that appeared either in the next, previous, or side position of a spider's or a wheel's path. 24 SFs and 29 NACs participated in Study 2, in which a fourth, highly predictable, probe position was added. We expected that moving spiders would capture the attention of SFs. In addition, we tested whether SFs try to predict the movement of the spider to make it less threatening. As expected, SFs showed an attentional bias towards moving spiders. However, both groups reacted fastest to unpredictable movements, indicating that SFs and NACs alike anticipate unpredictable spider movements.

  10. Endosymbiont dominated bacterial communities in a dwarf spider.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. The Jean Gutierrez spider mite collection

    PubMed Central

    Migeon, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The family Tetranychidae (spider mites) currently comprises 1,275 species and represents one of the most important agricultural pest families among the Acari with approximately one hundred pest species, ten of which considered major pests. The dataset presented in this document includes all the identified spider mites composing the Jean Gutierrez Collection hosted at the CBGP (Montferrier-sur-Lez, France), gathered from 1963 to 1999 during his career at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). It consists of 5,262 specimens corresponding to 1,564 occurrences (combination species/host plant/date/location) of 175 species. Most specimens were collected in Madagascar and other islands of the Western Indian Ocean, New Caledonia and other islands of the South Pacific and Papuasia. The dataset constitutes today the most important one available on Tetranychidae worldwide. PMID:25878529

  13. 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.

  14. An LED-based UV-B irradiation system for tiny organisms: System description and demonstration experiment to determine the hatchability of eggs from four Tetranychus spider mite species from Okinawa.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takeshi; Yoshioka, Yoshio; Tsarsitalidou, Olga; Ntalia, Vivi; Ohno, Suguru; Ohyama, Katsumi; Kitashima, Yasuki; Gotoh, Tetsuo; Takeda, Makio; Koveos, Dimitris S

    2014-03-01

    We developed a computer-based system for controlling the photoperiod and irradiance of UV-B and white light from a 5×5 light-emitting diode (LED) matrix (100×100mm). In this system, the LED matrix was installed in each of four irradiation boxes and controlled by pulse-width modulators so that each box can independently emit UV-B and white light at irradiances of up to 1.5 and 4.0Wm(-2), respectively, or a combination of both light types. We used this system to examine the hatchabilities of the eggs of four Tetranychus spider mite species (T. urticae, T. kanzawai, T. piercei and T. okinawanus) collected from Okinawa Island under UV-B irradiation alone or simultaneous irradiation with white light for 12hd(-1) at 25°C. Although no eggs of any species hatched under the UV-B irradiation, even when the irradiance was as low as 0.02Wm(-2), the hatchabilities increased to >90% under simultaneous irradiation with 4.0Wm(-2) white light. At 0.06Wm(-2) UV-B, T. okinawanus eggs hatched (15% hatchability) under simultaneous irradiation with white light, whereas other species showed hatchabilities <1%. These results suggest that photolyases activated by white light may reduce UV-B-induced DNA damage in spider mite eggs and that the greater UV-B tolerance of T. okinawanus may explain its dominance on plants in seashore environments, which have a higher risk of exposure to reflected UV-B even on the undersurface of leaves. Our system will be useful for further examination of photophysiological responses of tiny organisms because of its ability to precisely control radiation conditions.

  15. Silken toolkits: biomechanics of silk fibers spun by the orb web spider Argiope argentata (Fabricius 1775).

    PubMed

    Blackledge, Todd A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2006-07-01

    Orb-weaving spiders spin five fibrous silks from differentiated glands that contain unique sets of proteins. Despite diverse ecological functions, the mechanical properties of most of these silks are not well characterized. Here, we quantify the mechanical performance of this toolkit of silks for the silver garden spider Argiope argentata. Four silks exhibit viscoelastic behaviour typical of polymers, but differ statistically from each other by up to 250% in performance, giving each silk a distinctive suite of material properties. Major ampullate silk is 50% stronger than other fibers, but also less extensible. Aciniform silk is almost twice as tough as other silks because of high strength and extensibility. Capture spiral silk, coated with aqueous glue, is an order of magnitude stretchier than other silks. Dynamic mechanical properties are qualitatively similar, but quantitatively vary by up to 300% among silks. Storage moduli are initially nearly constant and increase after fiber yield, whereas loss tangents reach maxima of 0.1-0.2 at the yield. The remarkable mechanical diversity of Argiope argentata silks probably results in part from the different molecular structures of fibers and can be related to the specific ecological role of each silk. Our study indicates substantial potential to customize the mechanics of bioengineered silks.

  16. 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.

  17. Myocarditis following katipo spider bite.

    PubMed

    Crook, Ruth; Harrison, Nigel; Gibbons, Derek

    2010-05-14

    We report the case of a 22-year-old man who developed severe myocarditis following a presumed katipo spider bite. Katipo spiders are thought to be one of the most poisonous native creatures in New Zealand. No deaths from katipo spider bites have been reported since the 19th Century. A literature search reveals no previously reported cases of myocarditis following a bite from a katipo spider. The clinical presentation of latrodectism is discussed.

  18. Molecular Spiders in One Dimension

    PubMed Central

    Antal, Tibor; Krapivsky, P. L.; Mallick, Kirone

    2008-01-01

    Molecular spiders are synthetic bio-molecular systems which have “legs” made of short single-stranded segments of DNA. Spiders move on a surface covered with single-stranded DNA segments complementary to legs. Different mappings are established between various models of spiders and simple exclusion processes. For spiders with simple gait and varying number of legs we compute the diffusion coefficient; when the hopping is biased we also compute their velocity. PMID:19079565

  19. Cuticular antifungals in spiders: density- and condition dependence.

    PubMed

    González-Tokman, Daniel; Ruch, Jasmin; Pulpitel, Tamara; Ponton, Fleur

    2014-01-01

    Animals living in groups face a high risk of disease contagion. In many arthropod species, cuticular antimicrobials constitute the first protective barrier that prevents infections. Here we report that group-living spiders produce cuticular chemicals which inhibit fungal growth. Given that cuticular antifungals may be costly to produce, we explored whether they can be modulated according to the risk of contagion (i.e. under high densities). For this purpose, we quantified cuticular antifungal activity in the subsocial crab spider Diaea ergandros in both natural nests and experimentally manipulated nests of varying density. We quantified the body-condition of spiders to test whether antifungal activity is condition dependent, as well as the effect of spider density on body-condition. We predicted cuticular antifungal activity to increase and body-condition to decrease with high spider densities, and that antifungal activity would be inversely related to body-condition. Contrary to our predictions, antifungal activity was neither density- nor condition-dependent. However, body-condition decreased with density in natural nests, but increased in experimental nests. We suggest that pathogen pressure is so important in nature that it maintains high levels of cuticular antifungal activity in spiders, impacting negatively on individual energetic condition. Future studies should identify the chemical structure of the isolated antifungal compounds in order to understand the physiological basis of a trade-off between disease prevention and energetic condition caused by group living, and its consequences in the evolution of sociality in spiders.

  20. Cuticular Antifungals in Spiders: Density- and Condition Dependence

    PubMed Central

    González-Tokman, Daniel; Ruch, Jasmin; Pulpitel, Tamara; Ponton, Fleur

    2014-01-01

    Animals living in groups face a high risk of disease contagion. In many arthropod species, cuticular antimicrobials constitute the first protective barrier that prevents infections. Here we report that group-living spiders produce cuticular chemicals which inhibit fungal growth. Given that cuticular antifungals may be costly to produce, we explored whether they can be modulated according to the risk of contagion (i.e. under high densities). For this purpose, we quantified cuticular antifungal activity in the subsocial crab spider Diaea ergandros in both natural nests and experimentally manipulated nests of varying density. We quantified the body-condition of spiders to test whether antifungal activity is condition dependent, as well as the effect of spider density on body-condition. We predicted cuticular antifungal activity to increase and body-condition to decrease with high spider densities, and that antifungal activity would be inversely related to body-condition. Contrary to our predictions, antifungal activity was neither density- nor condition-dependent. However, body-condition decreased with density in natural nests, but increased in experimental nests. We suggest that pathogen pressure is so important in nature that it maintains high levels of cuticular antifungal activity in spiders, impacting negatively on individual energetic condition. Future studies should identify the chemical structure of the isolated antifungal compounds in order to understand the physiological basis of a trade-off between disease prevention and energetic condition caused by group living, and its consequences in the evolution of sociality in spiders. PMID:24637563

  1. 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

    2017-01-05

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  3. Crab spiders (Araeneae: Philodromidae, Thomisidae) of Ramsey County, Minnesota.

    Treesearch

    Daniel. T. Jennings; Bruce Cutler

    1996-01-01

    Crab spiders of 2 families, 10 genera, and 35 species were collected over a 31-year period in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Rarely collected species included Philodromus keyserlingi, Xysticus pellax, X. chippewa, X. banksi and X. alboniger. Identification source(s), season and collection frequency, and biology are summarized for each species.

  4. Relationship between colouration and body condition in a crab spider that lures pollinators.

    PubMed

    Gawryszewski, Felipe M; Llandres, Ana L; Herberstein, Marie E

    2012-04-01

    Sit-and-wait predators have evolved several traits that increase the probability of encountering prey, including lures that attract prey. Although most crab spiders (Thomisidae) are known by their ability to change colour in order to match the background, a few use a different strategy. They are UV-reflective, creating a colour contrast against UV-absorbing flowers that is attractive for pollinators. The nature of the relationship between colour contrast and foraging success is unknown, as is how spiders trade off the potential costs and benefits of strong colour contrast. Therefore, this study investigated the relationship between spider colouration, foraging success and background colouration in a crab spider species known to lure pollinators via UV reflectance (Thomisus spectabilis). Field data revealed that spider body condition - a proxy of past foraging success - is positively related to overall colour contrast. We experimentally tested the effect of satiation and background colour on spider colour change. Throughout the experiment, spiders changed their colour contrast regardless of their food intake, suggesting that colour contrast and the UV component contributing to overall contrast are not caused by spider condition. Although spiders responded to different backgrounds by subtly changing their body colour, this did not result in colour matching. We believe that the observed variation in colour contrast and hence conspicuousness in the field, coupled with the spiders' reaction to our manipulation, could be the result of plasticity in response to prey.

  5. Spider diversity in coffee agroecosystems: the influence of agricultural intensification and aggressive ants.

    PubMed

    Marín, Linda; Perfecto, Ivette

    2013-04-01

    Spiders are a very diverse group of invertebrate predators found in agroecosystems and natural systems. However, spider distribution, abundance, and eventually their ecological function in ecosystems can be influenced by abiotic and biotic factors such as agricultural intensification and dominant ants. Here we explore the influence of both agricultural intensification and the dominant arboreal ant Azteca instabilis on the spider community in coffee agroecosystems in southern Mexico. To measure the influence of the arboreal ant Azteca instabilis (F. Smith) on the spider community inhabiting the coffee layer of coffee agroecosystems, spiders were collected from coffee plants that were and were not patrolled by the ant in sites differing in agricultural intensification. For 2008, generalized linear mixed models showed that spider diversity was affected positively by agricultural intensification but not by the ant. However, results suggested that some spider species were associated with A. instabilis. Therefore, in 2009 we concentrated our research on the effect of A. instabilis on spider diversity and composition. For 2009, generalized linear mixed models show that spider richness and abundance per plant were significantly higher in the presence of A. instabilis. In addition, analyses of visual counts of insects and sticky traps data show that more resources were present in plants patrolled by the ant. The positive effect of A. instabilis on spiders seems to be caused by at least two mechanisms: high abundance of insects and protection against predators.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vandergast, Amy; Gillespie, Rosemary 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.

  7. Spider Anita - Skylab (SL)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1973-08-27

    S73-33164 (27 Aug. 1973) --- A close-up view of Anita, one of the two common cross spiders “Araneus diadematus” aboard Skylab, is seen in this photographic reproduction of a color television transmission made by a TV camera aboard the Skylab space station in Earth orbit. A finger of one of the Skylab 3 crewmen points to Anita. The two spiders are housed in an enclosure onto which a motion picture and still camera are attached to record the spider’s attempt to build a web in the zero-gravity of space. The spider experiment (ED52) is one of 25 experiments selected by NASA for Skylab from more than 3,400 experiment proposals submitted by high school students throughout the nation. ED52 was submitted by 17-year old Judith S. Miles of Lexington, Mass. Photo credit: NASA

  8. Water-driven actuation of Ornithoctonus huwena spider silk fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shuyuan; Zhu, Jia; Li, Xinming; Guo, Yang; Fang, Yaopeng; Cheng, Huanyu; Zhu, Hongwei

    2017-01-01

    Spider silk possesses remarkable mechanical properties and can lift weight effectively. Certain kinds of spider silk have unique response to liquid, especially water, because of their hydrophilic proteins, β-sheet characters, and surface structure. The Ornithoctonus huwena (O. huwena) spider is a unique species because it can be bred artificially and it spins silk whose diameter is in nanometer scale. In this work, we report the "shrink-stretch" behavior of the O. huwena spider silk fibers and show how they can be actuated by water to lift weight over long distance, at a fast speed, and with high efficiency. We further rationalize this behavior by analyzing the mechanical energy of the system. The lifting process is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, allowing applications in actuators, biomimetic muscles, or hoisting devices.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  12. 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.

  13. Acute kidney injury with pigment nephropathy following spider bite: a rarely reported entity in India.

    PubMed

    Golay, Vishal; Desai, Atul; Hossain, Aref; Roychowdhary, Arpita; Pandey, Rajendra

    2013-01-01

    Acute kidney injury (AKI) can be seen in tropical regions following bites of various venomous animals and insects. Renal failure is seen most commonly following the bite of spiders of the Loxosceles spp. Dermonecrosis, systemic inflammatory response, hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, and direct venom-related effects are postulated as causes of AKI. We report a documented case of AKI with pigment nephropathy following the bite of a brown spider from a tropical region which is known to have many venomous animals but has no previous reports of AKI following spider bite. Whether this is due to absence of toxic spider species or underreporting needs to be determined.

  14. Comparative quantitative aspects of putative neurotransmitters in the central nervous system of spiders (Arachnida: Araneida).

    PubMed

    Meyer, W; Schlesinger, C; Poehling, H M; Ruge, W

    1984-01-01

    The amounts of eight putative neurotransmitters or modulators (acetylcholine, dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline, GABA, taurine, glutamic acid, glycine) were determined from the CNS of 12 species of five different spider families (Theraphosidae, Agelenidae, Araneidae, Lycosidae, Salticidae). Comparatively high contents of acetylcholine and noradrenaline could be found in the CNS of hunting spiders, higher contents of GABA and taurine were visible in the web-building spider families, while extraordinarily high amounts of glutamic acid were confined to the Theraphosidae. The results obtained are compared with findings from other arthropod groups and the role of putative transmitters or modulators in the spider CNS is discussed in relation to behavioural differences within the families investigated.

  15. Company profile: Spider stories.

    PubMed

    Giuliani, Andrea

    2008-06-01

    SpiderBiotech is a biotech company that has carried out extensive research and development on peptide-based anti-infectives, with five people involved in R&D activities and a strong network of industrial and academic partners experienced in the field of anti-infectives. SpiderBiotech has also created a proprietary library of bioactive peptides and lipopeptides (both linear and dendrimeric) active against bacterial and viral infections. At the moment they have two ongoing projects: the most advanced is focused on the development of a panel of peptide based antibiotics. The second project is related to novel antiviral drugs to treat acyclovir resistant Herpes virus infections.

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

    PubMed

    Castanheira, Pedro; Pérez-González, Abel; Baptista, Renner L C

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2015-06-08

    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). © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  19. Hey! A Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... in the Operating Room? Hey! A Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me! KidsHealth > For Kids > Hey! A Brown ... picó una reclusa parda! What's a Brown Recluse Spider? The brown recluse spider is one of the ...

  20. Linking native and invader traits explains native spider population responses to plant invasion

    Treesearch

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

    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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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).

  3. 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…

  4. Brown recluse spider bites.

    PubMed

    Forks, T P

    2000-01-01

    Brown recluse spider bites are a serious medical problem in the southeastern United States. Although most bites are asymptomatic, envenomation can result in a constellation of systemic symptoms referred to as loxoscelism. Patients can also develop necrotic skin ulcers (necrotic arachnidism). These ulcers are often difficult to heal and can require skin grafting or amputation of the bitten appendage. A search of the literature was performed using the search words "spider envenomation," "brown recluse spider bites," and "arachnid envenomation." Most brown recluse spider bites are asymptomatic. All bites should be thoroughly cleansed and tetanus status updated as needed. Patients who develop systemic symptoms require hospitalization. Surgical excision of skin lesions is indicated only for lesions that have stabilized and are no longer enlarging. Steroids are indicated in bites that are associated with severe skin lesions, loxoscelism, and in small children. Dapsone should be used only in adult patients who experience necrotic arachnidism and who have been screened for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Topical nitroglycerin can be of value in decreasing the enlargement of necrotic skin ulcers.

  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 minor ampullate silk proteins are constituents of prey wrapping silk in the cob weaver Latrodectus hesperus.

    PubMed

    La Mattina, Coby; Reza, Ryan; Hu, Xiaoyi; Falick, Arnold M; Vasanthavada, Keshav; McNary, Shannon; Yee, Russell; Vierra, Craig A

    2008-04-22

    Spiders spin high performance fibers with diverse biological functions and mechanical properties. Molecular and biochemical studies of spider prey wrapping silks have revealed the presence of the aciniform silk fibroin AcSp1-like. In our studies we demonstrate the presence of a second distinct polypeptide present within prey wrapping silk. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and reverse genetics, we have isolated a novel gene called MiSp1-like and demonstrate that its protein product is a constituent of prey wrap silks from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. BLAST searches of the NCBInr protein database using the amino acid sequence of MiSp1-like revealed similarity to the conserved C-terminal domain of silk family members. In particular, MiSp1-like showed the highest degree of sequence similarity to the nonrepetitive C-termini of published orb-weaver minor ampullate fibroin molecules. Analysis of the internal amino acid sequence of the black widow MiSp1-like revealed polyalanine stretches interrupted by glycine residues and glycine-alanine couplets within MiSp1-like as well as repeats of the heptameric sequence AGGYGQG. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis demonstrates that the MiSp1-like gene displays a minor ampullate gland-restricted pattern of expression. Furthermore, amino acid composition analysis, coupled with scanning electron microscopy of raw wrapping silk, supports the assertion that minor ampullate silks are important constituents of black widow spider prey wrap silk. Collectively, our findings provide direct molecular evidence for the involvement of minor ampullate fibroins in swathing silks and suggest composite materials play an important role in the wrap attack process for cob-weavers.

  7. Impacts of spinosad and λ-cyhalothrin on spider communities in cabbage fields in south Texas.

    PubMed

    Liu, T-X; Irungu, R W; Dean, D A; Harris, M K

    2013-04-01

    Spiders are a principal arthropod group that preys on numerous pests of vegetables and other crops. In this study, we determined the effects of the two most commonly used insecticides, spinosad and λ-cyhalothrin, on diversity of spiders on cabbage in south Texas. In two seasons (fall 2008 and spring 2009), we collected a total of 588 spiders belonging to 53 species in 11 families from spinosad and λ-cyhalothrin-treated cabbages and the untreated control plants. A great majority of spiders were collected from the pitfall traps (554) where only a few (34) were collected from the blower/vacuum sampling. In the insecticide-treated plots, there were significantly fewer spider individuals, species and families than in untreated fields. Spinosad had significantly less effect on spiders in total individuals, number of species and families than λ-cyhalothrin. The effects of the two insecticides were further demonstrated by the Shannon-Weiner index (H') and the hierarchical richness index (HRI). Spider diversity in the spinosad-treated plots were not significantly different from that in the untreated fields but were greater than those in λ-cyhalothrin-treated plots in both seasons when measured by H' values. In contrast, the H' values of spider's diversity in the λ-cyhalothrin-treated plots were significantly lower than spinosad-treated and untreated plots. High values of HRI for spider richness in the spinosad-treated plots suggested that spinosad had less effect on spiders than λ-cyhalothrin. We concluded that spinosad was more compatible with spiders on cabbage compared to λ-cyhalothrin and that this information should be used when developing insecticide resistance management strategies.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  10. Spiders of medical importance in the Asia-Pacific: atracotoxin, latrotoxin and related spider neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Graham M; Graudins, Andis

    2002-09-01

    1. The spiders of medical importance in the Asia-Pacific region include widow (family Theridiidae) and Australian funnel-web spiders (subfamily Atracinae). In addition, cupboard (family Theridiidae) and Australian mouse spiders (family Actinopodidae) may contain neurotoxins responsible for serious systemic envenomation. Fortunately, there appears to be extensive cross-reactivity of species-specific widow spider antivenom within the family Theridiidae. Moreover, Sydney funnel-web antivenom has been shown to be effective in the treatment of mouse spider envenomation. 2. alpha-Latrotoxin (alpha-LTx) appears to be the main neurotoxin responsible for the envenomation syndrome known as "latrodectism" following bites from widow spiders. This 120 kDa protein binds to distinct receptors (latrophilin 1 and neurexins) to induce neurotransmitter vesicle exocytosis via both Ca2+-dependent and -independent mechanisms, resulting in vesicle depletion. This appears to involve disruption to a process that normally inhibits vesicle fusion in the absence of Ca2+. Precise elucidation of the mechanism of action of alpha-LTx will lead to a major advancement in our understanding of vesicle exocytosis. 3. delta-Atracotoxins (delta-ACTX) are responsible for the primate-specific envenomation syndrome seen following funnel-web spider envenomation. These peptides induce spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials in excitable cells. This results from a hyperpolarizing shift of the voltage-dependence of activation and a slowing of voltage-gated Na+ channel inactivation. This action is due to voltage-dependent binding to neurotoxin receptor site-3 on insect and mammalian voltage-gated Na+ channels in a manner similar, but not identical, to scorpion alpha-toxins and sea anemone toxins. delta-Atracotoxins provide us with highly specific tools to study Na+ channel structure and function 4. omega- and Janus-faced ACTX, from funnel-web spider venom, are novel neurotoxins that

  11. Observations on germ band development in the cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides.

    PubMed

    Turetzek, Natascha; Prpic, Nikola-Michael

    2016-11-01

    Most recent studies of spider embryonic development have focused on representatives of the species-rich group of entelegyne spiders (over 80 % of all extant species). Embryogenesis in the smaller spider groups, however, is less well studied. Here, we describe the development of the germ band in the spider species Pholcus phalangioides, a representative of the haplogyne spiders that are phylogenetically the sister group of the entelegyne spiders. We show that the transition from radially symmetric embryonic anlage to the bilaterally symmetric germ band involves the accumulation of cells in the centre of the embryonic anlage (primary thickening). These cells then disperse all across the embryonic anlage. A secondary thickening of cells then appears in the centre of the embryonic anlage, and this thickening expands and forms the segment addition zone. We also confirm that the major part of the opisthosoma initially develops as a tube shaped structure, and its segments are then sequentially folded down on the yolk during inversion. This special mode of opisthosoma formation has not been reported for entelegyne spiders, but a more comprehensive sampling of this diverse group is necessary to decide whether this peculiarity is indeed lacking in the entelegyne spiders.

  12. Direct solvation of glycoproteins by salts in spider silk glues enhances adhesion and helps to explain the evolution of modern spider orb webs.

    PubMed

    Sahni, Vasav; Miyoshi, Toshikazu; Chen, Kelley; Jain, Dharamdeep; Blamires, Sean J; Blackledge, Todd A; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-04-14

    The evolutionary origin of modern viscid silk orb webs from ancient cribellate silk ancestors is associated with a 95% increase in diversity of orb-weaving spiders, and their dominance as predators of flying insects, yet the transition's mechanistic basis is an evolutionary puzzle. Ancient cribellate silk is a dry adhesive that functions through van der Waals interactions. Viscid threads adhere more effectively than cribellate threads because of the high extensibility of their axial silk fibers, recruitment of multiple glue droplets, and firm adhesion of the viscid glue droplets. Viscid silk's extensibility is permitted by the glue's high water content, so that organic and inorganic salts present in viscid glue droplets play an essential role in contributing to adhesion by sequestering the atmospheric water that plasticizes the axial silk fibers. Here, we provide direct molecular and macro-scale evidence to show that salts also cause adhesion by directly solvating the glycoproteins, regardless of water content, thus imparting viscoelasticity and allowing the glue droplets to establish good contact. This "dual role" of salts, plasticizing the axial silk indirectly through water sequestration and directly solvating the glycoproteins, provides a crucial link to the evolutionary transition from cribellate silk to viscid silk. In addition, salts also provide a simple mechanism for adhering even at the extremes of relative humidity, a feat eluding most synthetic adhesives.

  13. 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.

  14. Evolution of stenophagy in spiders (Araneae): evidence based on the comparative analysis of spider diets.

    PubMed

    Pekár, Stano; Coddington, Jonathan A; Blackledge, Todd A

    2012-03-01

    Stenophagy (narrow diet breadth) represents an extreme of trophic specialization in carnivores, but little is known about the forces driving its evolution. We used spiders, the most diversified group of terrestrial predators, to investigate whether stenophagy (1) promoted diversification; (2) was phylogenetically conserved and evolutionarily derived state; and (3) was determined either by geographical distribution and foraging guild. We used published data on the prey of almost 600 species. Six categories of stenophagy were found: myrmecophagy, araneophagy, lepidopterophagy, termitophagy, dipterophagy, and crustaceophagy. We found that the species diversity of euryphagous genera and families was similar to stenophagous genera and families. At the family level, stenophagy evolved repeatedly and independently. Within families, the basal condition was oligophagy or euryphagy. Most types of stenophagy were clearly derived: myrmecophagy in Zodariidae; lepidopterophagy in Araneidae; dipterophagy in Theridiidae. In contrast, araneophagy was confined to basal and intermediate lineages, suggesting its ancestral condition. The diet breadth of species from the tropics and subtropics was less diverse than species from the temperate zone. Diet breadth was lower in cursorial spiders compared to web-building species. Thus, the evolution of stenophagy in spiders appears to be complex and governed by phylogeny as well as by ecological determinants.

  15. 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.

  16. Spider-venom peptides as bioinsecticides.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Metal body burdens and detoxifying enzymes in spiders from industrially polluted areas.

    PubMed

    Wilczek, G; Migula, P

    1996-03-01

    Detoxifying enzymes have been assayed and metal concentrations have been monitored in four species of spiders from differently contaminated localities in Southern Poland. A behavioural feeding activity and the life style decide on sensitivity and vulnerability of spiders. Wolf-spiders, more active than the web-spinners, cumulate higher amounts of metals, reflecting quantitatively and qualitatively the pollution level in their environment. Detoxifying systems in spiders appeared inducible and efficient to maintain normal physiological responses. Within web-spinning spiders the linyphiids seem to be the most effective regulators of metal burdens. Their detoxifying capabilities correlate well with increased industrial contaminants. The analysis of biochemical biomarkers of exposure confirmed earlier ecological findings that species of the family Linyphiidae are more favoured than the Araneidae. Differences in their feeding activity, behaviour of web-spinning and the size of animals would explain alterations in detoxifying abilities between Meta segmentata and Araneus diadematus.

  19. Comparative analysis of passive defences in spiders (Araneae).

    PubMed

    Pekár, Stano

    2014-07-01

    Being frequent prey of many predators, including especially wasps and birds, spiders have evolved a variety of defence mechanisms. Here I studied patterns of passive defences, namely anachoresis, crypsis, masquerade, aposematism and Batesian mimicry, in spiders. Using published information pertaining more than 1000 spider species, the phylogenetic pattern of different passive defences (i.e. defences that decrease the risk of an encounter with the predator) was investigated. Furthermore, I studied the effect of foraging guild, geographical distribution and diel activity on the frequency of defences as these determine the predators diversity, presence and perception. I found that crypsis (background matching) combined with anachoresis (hiding) was the most frequent defence confined mainly to families/genera at the base of the tree. Aposematism (warning coloration) and Batesian mimicry (imitation of noxious/dangerous model) were found in taxa that branched later in the tree, and masquerade (imitation of inedible objects) was confined to families at intermediate positions of the tree. Aposematism and Batesian mimicry were restricted to a few lineages. Masquerade was used particularly by web-building species with nocturnal activity. Aposematism was rare but mainly used by web-building diurnal species. Batesian mimicry was frequently observed in cursorial species with diurnal activity. Cryptic species were more common in temperate zones, whereas aposematic and mimetic species were more common in the tropics. Here I show that the evolution of passive defences in spiders was influenced by the ecology of species. Then, I discuss the evolutionary significance of the particularly defences.

  20. Cobweb management and control of the spider Holocnemus pluchei (Araneae: Pholcidae) on buildings.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S; Reierson, Donald A; Rust, Michael K

    2011-04-01

    The spider Holocnemus pluchei (Scopoli) (Araneae: Pholcidae) is a nonnative species commonly found in the southwestern United States. In urban areas around homes and other structures, it is often the dominant spider species on outside surfaces; requests for control of spiders and their cobwebs are common for the commercial pest management industry. We tested two physical (brushing and vacuuming) and two low-impact chemical (permethrin and botanical insecticide) spray control methods for H. pluchei on outbuildings on the University of California-Riverside campus. Forty sites containing at least two H. pluchei spiders along a 5-m section of eave or overhang were chosen for treatment. Treatment was applied within 2 d of a pretreatment census. The number of spiders per section was counted at 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 52 wk posttreatment. Untreated sections showed an increase in spiders through summer and a decrease in autumn. Sites treated with permethrin significantly reduced spiders >95% and had strong residual effect throughout the remainder of the sampling period. Compared with untreated controls, the three other treatments did not significantly reduce spiders; these three were similar throughout the season and were intermediate between untreated and permethrin-treated sites. In comparison with the before and 2-wk posttreatments, spiders at the untreated sites showed no difference in body sizes, whereas those in the nonpermethrin treatments showed a decrease, indicating that larger spiders were eliminated. We also tested H. pluchei spiders in the laboratory against the two insecticides used in the field studies to determine the minimum lethal concentrations for controlling H. pluchei.

  1. Influence of spider silk on refugia preferences of the recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa and Loxosceles laeta (Araneae: Sicariidae).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-06-01

    In a previous experimental study, recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae) preferred small cardboard refugia covered with conspecific silk compared with never-occupied refugia. Herein, we investigated some factors that might be responsible for this preference using similar cardboard refugia. When the two Loxosceles species were given choices between refugia previously occupied by their own and by the congeneric species, neither showed a species-specific preference; however, each chose refugia coated with conspecific silk rather than those previously inhabited by a distantly related cribellate spider, Metaltella simoni (Keyserling). When L. laeta spiders were offered refugia that were freshly removed from silk donors compared with heated, aged refugia from the same silk donor, older refugia were preferred. Solvent extracts of L. laeta silk were chosen approximately as often as control refugia when a range of solvents (methylene chloride:methanol, water, and hexane) were used. However, when acetone was used on similar silk, there was a statistical preference for the control, indicating that there might be a mildly repellent aspect to acetone-washed silk. Considering the inability to show attraction to chemical aspects of fresh silk, it seems that physical attributes may be more important for selection and that there might be repellency to silk of a recently vacated spider. These findings are discussed in regard to pest management strategies to control recluse spiders.

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

    PubMed

    Framenau, Volker W; Lehtinen, Pekka T

    2015-10-07

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Extended spider cognition.

    PubMed

    Japyassú, Hilton F; Laland, Kevin N

    2017-05-01

    There is a tension between the conception of cognition as a central nervous system (CNS) process and a view of cognition as extending towards the body or the contiguous environment. The centralised conception requires large or complex nervous systems to cope with complex environments. Conversely, the extended conception involves the outsourcing of information processing to the body or environment, thus making fewer demands on the processing power of the CNS. The evolution of extended cognition should be particularly favoured among small, generalist predators such as spiders, and here, we review the literature to evaluate the fit of empirical data with these contrasting models of cognition. Spiders do not seem to be cognitively limited, displaying a large diversity of learning processes, from habituation to contextual learning, including a sense of numerosity. To tease apart the central from the extended cognition, we apply the mutual manipulability criterion, testing the existence of reciprocal causal links between the putative elements of the system. We conclude that the web threads and configurations are integral parts of the cognitive systems. The extension of cognition to the web helps to explain some puzzling features of spider behaviour and seems to promote evolvability within the group, enhancing innovation through cognitive connectivity to variable habitat features. Graded changes in relative brain size could also be explained by outsourcing information processing to environmental features. More generally, niche-constructed structures emerge as prime candidates for extending animal cognition, generating the selective pressures that help to shape the evolving cognitive system.

  6. Jerzego, a new hisponine jumping spider from Borneo (Araneae: Salticidae).

    PubMed

    Maddison, Wayne P; Piascik, Edyta K

    2014-08-19

    A new genus and species of hisponine jumping spider from Sarawak, Jerzego corticicola Maddison sp. nov. are described, representing one of the few hisponine jumping spiders known from Asia, and the only whose male is known. Although similar to the primarily-Madagascan genus Hispo in having an elongate and flat body, sequences of 28s and 16sND1 genes indicate that Jerzego is most closely related to Massagris and Tomomingi, a result consistent with morphology. Females of Jerzego and other genera of Hisponinae were found to have an unusual double copulatory duct, which appears to be a synapomorphy of the subfamily. Two species are transferred from Hispo, Jerzego bipartitus (Simon) comb. nov. and Jerzego alboguttatus (Simon) comb. nov. Diagnostic illustrations and photographs of living spiders are provided. 

  7. The spectral transmission of non-salticid spider corneas.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhiyong; Xu, Xin; Chen, Zhanqi; Li, Hongze; Wang, Xiaoyan; Wu, Lingbing; Liu, Fengxiang; Chen, Jian; Li, Daiqin

    2014-08-01

    Although many salticid spiders have been shown to have corneas that transmit ultraviolet (UV) light, whether the corneas of non-salticid spiders transmit UV has not been previously investigated. In this study, we determined the spectral corneal transmission properties of 38 species belonging to 13 non-salticid families. We used these data to estimate the T50 transmission cut-off value, the wavelength corresponding to 50% maximal transmission for each species. The corneas of almost all species from the families Deinopidae, Lycosidae, Oxyopidae, Pisauridae, Sparassidae and Thomisidae, all of which have been reported to rely to a substantial extent on vision, transmitted short wavelength light below 400 nm, ranging from 306 to 381 nm. However, species from the families Atypidae and Ctenizidae are not known to rely substantially on vision, and the corneas of these species tended to absorb light of wavelengths below 380 nm, which may not allow UV sensitivity in these spiders. Liphistiidae, the family widely regarded as most basal among spiders, is of particular interest. The species in this family are not known to make substantial use of vision, and yet we found that liphistiid corneas transmitted UV light with a low T50 value (359 nm). T50 values of non-salticid spider corneas also varied with light habitat. Species living in dim environments tended to have UV-opaque corneas, but species inhabiting open areas had UV-transmitting corneas. However, there was no evidence of corneal transmission properties being related to whether a species is diurnal or nocturnal. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Spider movement, UV reflectance and size, but not spider crypsis, affect the response of honeybees to Australian crab spiders.

    PubMed

    Llandres, Ana L; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A

    2011-02-16

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Molecular spiders on a plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antal, Tibor; Krapivsky, P. L.

    2012-06-01

    Synthetic biomolecular spiders with “legs” made of single-stranded segments of DNA can move on a surface covered by single-stranded segments of DNA called substrates when the substrate DNA is complementary to the leg DNA. If the motion of a spider does not affect the substrates, the spider behaves asymptotically as a random walk. We study the diffusion coefficient and the number of visited sites for spiders moving on the square lattice with a substrate in each lattice site. The spider's legs hop to nearest-neighbor sites with the constraint that the distance between any two legs cannot exceed a maximal span. We establish analytic results for bipedal spiders, and investigate multileg spiders numerically. In experimental realizations legs usually convert substrates into products (visited sites). The binding of legs to products is weaker, so the hopping rate from the substrates is smaller. This makes the problem non-Markovian and we investigate it numerically. We demonstrate the emergence of a counterintuitive behavior—the more spiders are slowed down on unvisited sites, the more motile they become.

  11. Cross-reactivity of Sydney funnel-web spider antivenom: neutralization of the in vitro toxicity of other Australian funnel-web (Atrax and Hadronyche) spider venoms.

    PubMed

    Graudins, A; Wilson, D; Alewood, P F; Broady, K W; Nicholson, G M

    2002-03-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are recognized as one of the most venomous spiders to humans world-wide. Funnel-web spider antivenom (FWS AV) reverses clinical effects of envenomation from the bite of Atrax robustus and a small number of related Hadronyche species. This study assessed the in vitro efficacy of FWS AV in neutralization of the effects of funnel-web spider venoms, collected from various locations along the eastern seaboard of Australia, in an isolated chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. Venoms were separated by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis to compare protein composition and transblotted for Western blotting and incubation with FWS AV.SDS-PAGE of venoms revealed similar low and high molecular weight protein bands. Western blotting with FWS AV showed similar antivenom binding with protein bands in all the venoms tested. Male funnel-web spider venoms (7/7) and female venoms (5/10) produced muscle contracture and fasciculation when applied to the nerve-muscle preparation. Venom effects were reversed by subsequent application of FWS AV or prevented by pretreatment of the preparation with antivenom.FWS AV appears to reverse the in vitro toxicity of a number of funnel-web spider venoms from the eastern seaboard of Australia. FWS AV should be effective in the treatment of envenomation from most, if not all, species of Australian funnel-web spiders.

  12. 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.

  13. Reversible myocarditis after spider bite.

    PubMed

    Kara, Hasan; Ak, Ahmet; Bayir, Aysegul; Avci, Ahmet

    2013-04-08

    Black widow spiders (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus) are poisonous spiders endemic in Turkey. Latrodectus bites may cause myocarditis with increased cardiac enzymes. We treated two men (aged 20 and 33 years) who had myocarditis after black spider bites with leucocytosis and elevated levels of troponin I, creatine kinase and creatine kinase-MB fraction. Both patients had normal results on an ECG, and one patient had abnormal echocardiography with minimal left ventricular wall movement disorder. Both patients were hospitalised in the intensive care unit and treated with intravenous fluids, analgesics, spasmolytic drugs, tetanus prophylaxis and cardiac monitoring. The levels of troponin I, creatine kinase and creatine kinase-MB fraction improved, and the patients were discharged home on the third and fifth hospital day without complications. Myocarditis after a Latrodectus bite is rare, but may be associated with serious complications. Therefore, in regions endemic with Latrodectus spiders, prudent treatment of spider bites may include cardiac evaluation and monitoring.

  14. Reversible myocarditis after spider bite

    PubMed Central

    Kara, Hasan; Ak, Ahmet; Bayir, Aysegul; Avci, Ahmet

    2013-01-01

    Black widow spiders (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus) are poisonous spiders endemic in Turkey. Latrodectus bites may cause myocarditis with increased cardiac enzymes. We treated two men (aged 20 and 33 years) who had myocarditis after black spider bites with leucocytosis and elevated levels of troponin I, creatine kinase and creatine kinase-MB fraction. Both patients had normal results on an ECG, and one patient had abnormal echocardiography with minimal left ventricular wall movement disorder. Both patients were hospitalised in the intensive care unit and treated with intravenous fluids, analgesics, spasmolytic drugs, tetanus prophylaxis and cardiac monitoring. The levels of troponin I, creatine kinase and creatine kinase-MB fraction improved, and the patients were discharged home on the third and fifth hospital day without complications. Myocarditis after a Latrodectus bite is rare, but may be associated with serious complications. Therefore, in regions endemic with Latrodectus spiders, prudent treatment of spider bites may include cardiac evaluation and monitoring. PMID:23572268

  15. The impact of management strategies in apple orchards on the structural and functional diversity of epigeal spiders.

    PubMed

    Mazzia, Christophe; Pasquet, Alain; Caro, Gaël; Thénard, Jodie; Cornic, Jean-François; Hedde, Mickaël; Capowiez, Yvan

    2015-04-01

    Apple orchards are agro-ecosystems managed with high levels of inputs and especially pesticides. Epigeal spider communities were sampled in three seasons using pitfall traps in 19 apple orchards with four different management strategies (abandoned, under organic, Integrated Pest Management or conventional protection) and thus significantly different pesticide usage. The abundance and diversity of the spider communities was the highest in abandoned orchards. Higher diversity and evenness values were the only difference in spider communities from the organic orchards compared to the other commercial orchards. The analysis of five ecological traits (proportion of aeronauts, type of diet, overwintering stages, body size and maternal care), however, clearly showed differences in the spiders from the organic orchards. The spider species in the other commercial orchards were smaller and have higher dispersal abilities. Seven bioindicator species were identified in abandoned orchards, two species in organic ones (only Lycosidae) and one species in conventional orchards (Linyphiidae).

  16. Investigating the influence of farm-scape geospatial characteristics on spider diversity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Biodiversity is an important aspect of sustainable crop management and agricultural production. Maintaining biodiversity within agricultural ecosystems, especially in regards to predator species, promotes natural pest control and many other ecosystem services. Spiders (Araneae) often prey upon commo...

  17. 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".

  18. 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.

  19. When spiders appear suddenly: spider-phobic patients are distracted by task-irrelevant spiders.

    PubMed

    Gerdes, Antje B M; Alpers, Georg W; Pauli, Paul

    2008-02-01

    Fear is thought to facilitate the detection of threatening stimuli. Few studies have examined the effects of task-irrelevant phobic cues in search tasks that do not involve semantic categorization. In a combined reaction time and eye-tracking experiment we investigated whether peripheral visual cues capture initial attention and distract from the execution of goal-directed eye movements. Twenty-one spider-phobic patients and 21 control participants were instructed to search for a color singleton while ignoring task-irrelevant abrupt-onset distractors which contained either a small picture of a spider (phobic), a flower (non-phobic, but similar to spiders in shape), a mushroom (non-phobic, and not similar to spiders in shape), or no picture. As expected, patients' reaction times were longer on trials with spider distractors. However, eye movements revealed that this was not due to attentional capture by spider distractors; patients more often fixated on all distractors with pictures, but their reaction times were delayed by longer fixation durations on spider distractors. These data do not support automatic capture of attention by phobic cues but suggest that phobic patients fail to disengage attention from spiders.

  20. Scrutinizing the datasets obtained from nanoscale features of spider silk fibres.

    PubMed

    Silva, Luciano P; Rech, Elibio L

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibres share unprecedented structural and mechanical properties which span from the macroscale to nanoscale and beyond. This is possible due to the molecular features of modular proteins termed spidroins. Thus, the investigation of the organizational scaffolds observed for spidroins in spider silk fibres is of paramount importance for reverse bioengineering. This dataset consists in describing a rational screening procedure to identify the nanoscale features of spider silk fibres. Using atomic force microscopy operated in multiple acquisition modes, we evaluated silk fibres from nine spider species. Here we present the complete results of the analyses and decrypted a number of novel features that could even rank the silk fibres according to desired mechanostructural features. This dataset will allow other researchers to select the most appropriate models for synthetic biology and also lead to better understanding of spider silk fibres extraordinary performance that is comparable to the best manmade materials.

  1. Can field-scale habitat diversification enhance the biocontrol potential of spiders?

    PubMed

    Samu, Ferenc

    2003-04-01

    The study investigated the effect of strip management in alfalfa on the abundance and diversity of spiders. In strip management, narrow strips were left unmown in the crop, which were then shifted at next mowing. In an experimental field, out of the six 50 x 50-m blocks, three received strip management and three were managed traditionally (ie the whole block was mown). Our main hypothesis was that unmown strips will contain a more diverse and abundant spider assemblage, which will increase spider numbers in the mown parts of the crop. Over the 3 years of the study, unmown strips contained a spider assemblage of more than 50% higher abundance than in control alfalfa. Species diversity was also greater in the strips, and the presence of specific indicator species could be shown. We found that five dominant species comprised over 75% of spiders in the strips, and they were the same species as those that are dominant in alfalfa, where they represent 85% of all spiders. In contrast, a neighbouring meadow, which was a control in the study, also had high diversity, but different dominant species. The main result of the experiment was negative in that elevated abundance of spiders in unmown strips did not raise spider numbers in the mown strips of alfalfa, where abundance was only marginally higher than in the control alfalfa. We can speculate that better ecological conditions in unmown strips attract and conserve spiders from neighbouring areas and from the crop at mowing. We suggest that if diversification is more interspersed within the crop, we have a higher chance of increasing the number of natural enemies and bringing them closer to pests, so that they can interact more intensively.

  2. Candidate egg case silk genes for the spider Argiope argentata from differential gene expression analyses.

    PubMed

    Chaw, R C; Arensburger, P; Clarke, T H; Ayoub, N A; Hayashi, C Y

    2016-12-01

    Orb-web weaving spiders produce a variety of task-specific silks from specialized silk glands. The genetics underlying the synthesis of specific silk types are largely unknown, and transcriptome analysis could be a powerful approach for identifying candidate genes. However, de novo assembly and expression profiling of silk glands with RNA-sequencing (RNAseq) are problematic because the few known gene transcripts for silk proteins are extremely long and highly repetitive. To identify candidate genes for tubuliform (egg case) silk synthesis by the orb-weaver Argiope argentata (Araneidae), we estimated transcript abundance using two sequencing methods: RNAseq reads from throughout the length of mRNA molecules, and 3' digital gene expression reads from the 3' region of mRNA molecules. Both analyses identified similar sets of genes as differentially expressed when comparing tubuliform and nonsilk gland tissue. However, incompletely assembled silk gene transcripts were identified as differentially expressed because of RNAseq read alignments to highly repetitive regions, confounding interpretation of RNAseq results. Homologues of egg case silk protein (ECP) genes were upregulated in tubuliform glands. This discovery is the first description of ECP homologues in an araneid. We also propose additional candidate genes involved in synthesis of tubuliform or other silk types. © 2016 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Entomological Society.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2016-06-22

    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.

  5. An investigation of spider fauna of olive orchards in northern part of Iran.

    PubMed

    Ghavami, Sahra; Mohammad, Ahmadi Damghan; Saeid, Soody; Saeid, Ghanad amooz; Saeb, Javadi

    2007-08-01

    The current study investigates spider fauna of olive orchards in Guilan, Ghazvin, Mazandaran, Zanjan and Golestan provinces during 2002-2003. Spiders were collected from branches, leaves, trunks, on the ground and under the stones and grasses by Steiner and Baggiolini method, bottle, aspirator, pitfall trap, pans and insect net and transfered to laboratory and classified in 45 species and 46 genera belonged to 18 families. Twenty five species, 9 genera and 2 families are reported for the first time of olive orchards.

  6. Hymenopteran parasitoids of the ant-eating spider Zodarion styliferum (Simon) (Araneae, Zodariidae)

    PubMed Central

    Korenko, Stanislav; Schmidt, Stefan; Schwarz, Martin; Gibson, Gary A.P.; Pekár, Stano

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Calymmochilus dispar Bouček & Andriescu (Hymenoptera, Eupelmidae) and Gelis apterus (Pontoppidan) (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) are newly recorded as parasitoids of the ant-eating spider Zodarion styliferum (Simon) (Araneae, Zodariidae). The larvae of both parasitoid species fed on juvenile spiders. The final instar larva and pupa of Calymmochilus dispar and the male of Gelis apterus are described for the first time. Both species represent new distribution records for Portugal. The biology and host associations of the parasitoids are discussed. PMID:23653512

  7. Reverse positional orientation in a neotropical orb-web spider, Verrucosa arenata.

    PubMed

    Rao, Dinesh; Ceballos Fernandez, Oscar; Castañeda-Barbosa, Ernesto; Díaz-Fleischer, Francisco

    2011-08-01

    Most orb-web spiders face downwards in the web. A downward orientation has been proposed to be the optimal strategy because spiders run faster downwards and thus can catch prey quicker. Consequently, orb-web spiders also extend their web in the lower part, leading to top-down web asymmetry. Since the majority of orb-web spiders face downwards, it has been difficult to test the effect of orientation on prey capture and web asymmetry. In this study, we explored the influence of reverse orientation on foraging efficiency and web asymmetry in Verrucosa arenata, a neotropical orb-web spider that faces upwards in the web. We show that reverse orientation does not imply reverse web asymmetry in this species. V. arenata spiders captured more prey in the lower part of the web but more prey per area on the upper part. The average running speeds of spiders did not differ between upward and downward running, but heavier spiders took longer to capture prey while running upwards. We discuss these findings in the context of foraging efficiency and web asymmetry.

  8. Reverse positional orientation in a neotropical orb-web spider, Verrucosa arenata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Dinesh; Fernandez, Oscar Ceballos; Castañeda-Barbosa, Ernesto; Díaz-Fleischer, Francisco

    2011-08-01

    Most orb-web spiders face downwards in the web. A downward orientation has been proposed to be the optimal strategy because spiders run faster downwards and thus can catch prey quicker. Consequently, orb-web spiders also extend their web in the lower part, leading to top-down web asymmetry. Since the majority of orb-web spiders face downwards, it has been difficult to test the effect of orientation on prey capture and web asymmetry. In this study, we explored the influence of reverse orientation on foraging efficiency and web asymmetry in Verrucosa arenata, a neotropical orb-web spider that faces upwards in the web. We show that reverse orientation does not imply reverse web asymmetry in this species. V. arenata spiders captured more prey in the lower part of the web but more prey per area on the upper part. The average running speeds of spiders did not differ between upward and downward running, but heavier spiders took longer to capture prey while running upwards. We discuss these findings in the context of foraging efficiency and web asymmetry.

  9. Ant exclusion in citrus over an 8-year period reveals a pervasive yet changing effect of ants on a Mediterranean spider assemblage.

    PubMed

    Mestre, L; Piñol, J; Barrientos, J A; Espadaler, X

    2013-09-01

    Ants and spiders are ubiquitous generalist predators that exert top-down control on herbivore populations. Research shows that intraguild interactions between ants and spiders can negatively affect spider populations, but there is a lack of long-term research documenting the strength of such interactions and the potentially different effects of ants on the diverse array of species in a spider assemblage. Similarly, the suitability of family-level surrogates for finding patterns revealed by species-level data (taxonomic sufficiency) has almost never been tested in spider assemblages. We present a long-term study in which we tested the impact of ants on the spider assemblage of a Mediterranean citrus grove by performing sequential 1-year experimental exclusions on tree canopies for 8 years. We found that ants had a widespread influence on the spider assemblage, although the effect was only evident in the last 5 years of the study. During those years, ants negatively affected many spiders, and effects were especially strong for sedentary spiders. Analyses at the family level also detected assemblage differences between treatments, but they concealed the different responses to ant exclusion shown by some related spider species. Our findings show that the effects of experimental manipulations in ecology can vary greatly over time and highlight the need for long-term studies to document species interactions.

  10. Taxonomy and ecology of the Cape Town Spider Crab, Macropodia falcifera (Stimpson, 1858) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Inachidae).

    PubMed

    Ng, Peter K L; Richer De Forges, Bertrand; Jones, Georgina

    2013-01-01

    The nomenclature and taxonomy of the Cape Town Spider Crab, Macropodia falcifera Stimpson, 1858, is treated. The species is rediagnosed and figured, and its ecology discussed. A key is also provided of the Indo-West Pacific species of Macropodia.

  11. The influence of variation in litter habitats on spider communities.

    PubMed

    Uetz, George W

    1979-01-01

    Spider communities were sampled over an artificial gradient of litter depth (created by raking) and compared to those of two other forests exhibiting natural variation in litter depth. More species of spiders were present in areas of greater depth and/or complexity in all sites. Relative abundance of Lycosidae decreased, while relative abundance of Clubionidae, Thomisidae and Gnaphosidae increased over gradients of increasing depth and complexity. Similarity of species composition between areas within a forest was related to site differences in litter depth and structure.As litter depth increased, there were significant changes in prey species richness, litter complexity, and microclimate. Partial correlation analysis of grouped data from early-, mid-, and late season suggests that influential factors change with season. In the early season, prey abundance and temperature variation account for most of the variation in spider species richness. In mid-season, litter complexity and moisture fluctuations appear to influence richness, with complexity relatively more important. In late season, complexity and temperature range were the primary factors, with temperature relatively more influential. The relative importance of these factors in influencing community structure of spiders is discussed.

  12. A new species of false spider crab of the genus Elamena H. Milne Edwards, 1837 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Hymenosomatidae), from Davao Gulf, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Husana, Daniel Edison M; Kase, Tomoki; Mendoza, Jose Christopher E

    2013-02-22

    A new species of hymenosomatid crab of the genus Elamena H. Milne Edwards, 1837, is described from the island of Samal, in the Davao Gulf, Mindanao, southern Philippines. Elamena samalensis sp. nov. belongs to the Elamena truncata species-group and is most similar to E. simplidenta Ng & Chuang, 1996, in the general form of the carapace and in the presence of only one subdistal tooth on the ambulatory dactyli. It can be distinguished from this species, however, by its more projecting rostrum, relatively longer and more slender ambulatory legs, and by the pointed apex of the female pleotelson.

  13. A troglomorphic spider from Java (Araneae, Ctenidae, Amauropelma)

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Jeremy; Rahmadi, Cahyo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A new troglomorphic spider from caves in Central Java, Indonesia, is described and placed in the ctenid genus Amauropelma Raven, Stumkat & Gray, until now containing only species from Queensland, Australia. Only juveniles and mature females of the new species are known. We give our reasons for placing the new species in Amauropelma, discuss conflicting characters, and make predictions about the morphology of the as yet undiscovered male that will test our taxonomic hypothesis. The description includes DNA barcode sequence data. PMID:22303127

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. '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.

  19. '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.

  20. A new species of spider fly in the genus Sabroskya Schlinger from Malawi, with a key to Acrocerinae world genera (Diptera, Acroceridae).

    PubMed

    Winterton, Shaun L; Gillung, Jéssica P

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we diagnose the genus Sabroskya Schlinger, 1960 and describe Sabroskya schlingerisp. n. from Malawi. We also provide dichotomous keys to species of Sabroskya and to world genera of the subfamily Acrocerinae, both extant and extinct.

  1. Small molecules from spiders used as chemical probes.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Christian A; Kristensen, Anders S; Strømgaard, Kristian

    2011-11-25

    Spiders are important species in ecological systems and as major predators of insects they are endowed with a plethora of low-molecular-weight natural products having intriguing biological activities. The isolation and biological characterization of these entities are well established, however, only very recently have these compounds been used as templates for the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of synthetic analogues. In contrast, the investigation of compounds responsible for chemical communication between spiders is far less developed, but recently new light has been shed onto the area of pheromones and allomones from spiders. Herein, we recapitulate these recent results, put them into perspective with previous findings, and provide an outlook for future studies of these chemotypes.

  2. Association and reversal learning abilities in a jumping spider.

    PubMed

    Liedtke, Jannis; Schneider, Jutta M

    2014-03-01

    The ability to learn and overwrite learned associations allows animals to respond adaptively to changes in their environment. However, such behavioural plasticity is presumed to be costly and the question arises to which extent animals with restricted neuronal capacity are capable of such flexible behaviour. In this study, we investigated the learning and reversal learning abilities of a jumping spider (Marpissa muscosa). In two discrimination tasks spiders had to associate colour in the first task and colour or location in the second task as a predictor of a food reward. Results show that spiders were able to quickly form and reverse associations. Individuals show differences in their learning success and in their preference of which cues they used (colour vs. location) as a reward's predictor. These results highlight the potential for flexible behaviour in species with small neuronal capacities and short life spans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Adhesion modulation using glue droplet spreading in spider capture silk.

    PubMed

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Zhang, Ci; Blackledge, Todd A; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2017-05-01

    Orb web spiders use sticky capture spiral silk to retain prey in webs. Capture spiral silk is composed of an axial fibre of flagelliform silk covered with glue droplets that are arranged in a beads-on-a-string morphology that allows multiple droplets to simultaneously extend and resist pull off. Previous studies showed that the adhesion of capture silk is responsive to environmental humidity, increasing up to an optimum humidity that varied among different spider species. The maximum adhesion was hypothesized to occur when the viscoelasticity of the glue optimized contributions from glue spreading and bulk cohesion. In this study, we show how glue droplet shape during peeling contributes significantly to capture silk adhesion. Both overspreading and underspreading of glue droplets reduces adhesion through changes in crack propagation and failure regime. Understanding the mechanism of stimuli-responsive adhesion of spider capture silk will lead to new designs for smarter adhesives. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-09-24

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Host specificity and temporal and seasonal shifts in host preference of a web-spider parasitoid Zatypota percontatoria.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pétillon, Julien; Montaigne, William; Renault, David

    2009-08-23

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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

  14. Mechanical behavior of silk during the evolution of orb-web spinning spiders.

    PubMed

    Elices, Manuel; Plaza, Gustavo R; Arnedo, Miquel A; Pérez-Rigueiro, José; Torres, Fernando G; Guinea, Gustavo V

    2009-07-13

    The development of an accurate and reproducible approach to measuring the tensile behavior of spider silk has allowed characterizing and comparing the range of mechanical properties exhibited by different spider species with unprecedented detail. The comparison of silks spun by spiders belonging to different phylogenetic groups has revealed that evolution locked in many of the important properties of spider silks very early in the history of orb-web weaving spiders, despite the fact that the silk gland system is relatively isolated in physiological terms from the rest of the organism and should thus mutate quickly. The variations observed between species may be grouped in at least two patterns that are shown not to be related to phylogeny. Beyond the relevance of these results for the evolutionary biology of spiders and silks, the conservation of the basic traits observed in the mechanical behavior of spider silks is likely to set a limit to the range of properties that can be expected from artificial fibers bioinspired in natural silks.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Molecular characterization and evolutionary study of spider tubuliform (eggcase) silk protein.

    PubMed

    Tian, Maozhen; Lewis, Randolph V

    2005-06-07

    As a result of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, orb-web-weaving spiders have developed the use of seven different silks produced by different abdominal glands for various functions. Tubuliform silk (eggcase silk) is unique among these spider silks due to its high serine and very low glycine content. In addition, tubuliform silk is the only silk produced just during a short period of time, the reproductive season, in the spider's life. To understand the molecular characteristics of the proteins composing this silk, we constructed tubuliform-gland-specific cDNA libraries from three different spider families, Nephila clavipes, Argiope aurantia, and Araneus gemmoides. Sequencing of tubuliform silk cDNAs reveals the repetitive architecture of its coding sequence and novel amino acid motifs. The inferred protein, tubuliform spidroin 1 (TuSp1), contains highly homogenized repeats in all three spiders. Amino acid composition comparison of the predicted tubuliform silk protein sequence to tubuliform silk indicates that TuSp1 is the major component of tubuliform silk. Repeat unit alignment of TuSp1 among three spider species shows high sequence conservation among tubuliform silk protein orthologue groups. Sequence comparison among TuSp1 repetitive units within species suggests intragenic concerted evolution, presumably through gene conversion and unequal crossover events. Comparative analysis demonstrates that TuSp1 represents a new orthologue in the spider silk gene family.

  18. 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

  19. Comparative growth and development of spiders reared on live and dead prey.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. A new species of spider fly in the genus Sabroskya Schlinger from Malawi, with a key to Acrocerinae world genera (Diptera, Acroceridae)

    PubMed Central

    Winterton, Shaun L.; Gillung, Jéssica P.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract In this paper we diagnose the genus Sabroskya Schlinger, 1960 and describe Sabroskya schlingeri sp. n. from Malawi. We also provide dichotomous keys to species of Sabroskya and to world genera of the subfamily Acrocerinae, both extant and extinct. PMID:22423193

  1. On the synonymy of two wolf spider species of the genus Alopecosa (Araneae, Lycosidae) from the steppe zone of Russia.

    PubMed

    Azarkina, Galina N; Esyunin, Sergei L; Kuz'min, Evgeniy A; Marusik, Yuri M

    2016-12-07

    Alopecosa atypica Ponomarev, 2008 is known from the holotype male collected in Western Kazakhstan. Here we synonymize it with A. cronebergi (Thorell, 1875), which was described from two syntype females from the Volga River and Daghestan. This species is redescribed in detail and its distribution is shown to be restricted to Russia and Ukraine, and previous records from Hungary are probably mistaken.

  2. 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

  3. South Polar Spiders on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-04-27

    NASA Mars Reconnaissance Rover spied these spider-like formations, likely caused as carbon dioxide ice changes from a solid to a gas; the gas moves through channels until it reaches the surface and vents out.

  4. 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.

  5. Cell culture's spider silk road.

    PubMed

    Perkel, Jeffrey

    2014-06-01

    A number of synthetic and natural materials have been tried in cell culture and tissue engineering applications in recent years. Now Jeffrey Perkel takes a look at one new culture component that might surprise you-spider silk.

  6. 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.

  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.

  9. Morphology of the tracheal system of camel spiders (Chelicerata: Solifugae) based on micro-CT and 3D-reconstruction in exemplar species from three families.

    PubMed

    Franz-Guess, Sandra; Klußmann-Fricke, Bastian-Jesper; Wirkner, Christian S; Prendini, Lorenzo; Starck, J Matthias

    2016-09-01

    We studied the tracheal system of exemplar species representing three families of Solifugae Sundevall, 1833, i.e., Galeodes granti Pocock, 1903, Ammotrechula wasbaueri Muma, 1962 and Eremobates sp., using μCT-imaging and 3D-reconstruction. This is the first comparative study of the tracheal system of Solifugae in 85 years and the first using high-resolution nondestructive methods. The tracheal system was found to be structurally similar in all three species, with broad major tracheae predominantly in the prosoma as well as anastomoses (i.e., connections between tracheal branches from different stigmata) in the prosoma and opisthosoma. Differences among the three species were observed in the presence or absence of cheliceral air sacs, the number of tracheae supplying the heart, and the ramification of major tracheae in the opisthosoma. The structure of the tracheal system with its extensive branches and some anastomoses is assumed to aid rapid and efficient gas exchange in the respiratory tissues of these active predators. The large diameter of cheliceral tracheae (air sacs) of taxa with disproportionally heavier chelicerae suggests a role in weight reduction, enabling solifuges to reach greater speeds during predation. The air sacs may also permit more rapid and efficient gaseous exchange, necessary to operate the musculature of these structures, thereby improving their use for predation in an environment where prey is scarce.

  10. Multiple model mimicry and feeding behavior of the spider web-inhabiting damsel bug, Arachnocoris berytoides Uhler (Hemiptera: Nabidae), from Puerto Rico

    Treesearch

    Javier E. Mercado; Jorge A. Santiago-Blay

    2015-01-01

    The Neotropical genus, Arachnocoris Scott groups thirteen species of specialized spider web-inhabiting damsel bugs (Nabidae) distributed from Panama to Brazil and the West Indies. We present new information on the web behavior of A. berytoides Uhler from Puerto Rico. Three different life stages were observed on the spider webs, suggesting this species likely depends on...

  11. A survey of the spider family Nesticidae (Arachnida, Araneae) in Asia and Madagascar, with the description of forty-three new species

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yucheng; Ballarin, Francesco; Li, Shuqiang

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Forty-three new species of Nesticidae are described from China, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Madagascar, and two new junior synonyms are suggested. A new genus, Speleoticus gen. n., is described with Nesticus navicellatus Liu & Li, 2013 as the type species, and four species are transferfed from Nesticus, i.e., Speleoticus globosus (Liu & Li, 2013), comb. n., Speleoticus libo (Chen & Zhu, 2005), comb. n., Speleoticus navicellatus (Liu & Li, 2015), comb. n. and Speleoticus uenoi (Yaginuma, 1972), comb. n. The new species described in this paper belong to four genera and are: Hamus cornutus sp. n. (♂♀), Hamus kangdingensis sp. n. (♂), Hamus luzon sp. n. (♀), Hamus mangunensis sp. n. (♂), Nescina kohi sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella baiseensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella baobab sp. n. (♂), Nesticella caeca sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella chongqing sp. n. (♀), Nesticella dazhuangensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella fuliangensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella gazuida sp. n. (♀), Nesticella gongshanensis sp. n. (♀), Nesticella griswoldi sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella hongheensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella huomachongensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella jingpo sp. n. (♀), Nesticella kaohsiungensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella lisu sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella liuzhaiensis sp. n. (♀), Nesticella nandanensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella phami sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella potala sp. n. (♀), Nesticella qiaoqiensis sp. n. (♀), Nesticella qiongensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella robusta sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella rongtangensis sp. n. (♂), Nesticella sanchaheensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella sulawesi sp. n. (♀), Nesticella sumatrana sp. n. (♂), Nesticella tibetana sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella vanlang sp. n. (♀), Nesticella wanzaiensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella xiongmao sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella xixia sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella yanbeiensis sp. n. (♂♀), Nesticella yao sp. n. (♀), Nesticella zhiyuani sp. n. (

  12. The Effect of Wind Exposure on the Web Characteristics of a Tetragnathid Orb Spider.

    PubMed

    Tew, Nicholas; Hesselberg, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Studies on spiders in their natural habitats are necessary for determining the full range of plasticity in their web-building behaviour. Plasticity in web design is hypothesised to be important for spiders building in habitats where environmental conditions cause considerable web damage. Here we compared web characteristics of the orb spider Metellina mengei (Araneae, Tetragnathidae) in two different forest habitats differing in their wind exposure. We found a notable lack of differences in web geometry, orientation and inclination between webs built along an exposed forest edge and those built inside the forest, despite marked differences in wind speed. This suggests that M. mengei did not exhibit web-building plasticity in response to wind in the field, contrasting with the findings of laboratory studies on other species of orb spiders. Instead, differences in prey capture and wind damage trade-offs between habitats may provide an explanation for our results, indicating that different species employ different strategies to cope with environmental constraints.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure.

    PubMed

    Roberson, Elizabeth J; Chips, Michael J; Carson, Walter P; Rooney, Thomas P

    2016-01-01

    Indirect ecological effects are a common feature of ecological systems, arising when one species affects interactions among two or more other species. We examined how browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) indirectly affected the abundance and composition of a web-building spider guild through their effects on the structure of the ground and shrub layers of northern hardwood forests. We examined paired plots consisting of deer-free and control plots in the Allegheny Plateau region Pennsylvania and Northern Highlands region of Wisconsin. We recorded the abundance of seven types of webs, each corresponding to a family of web-building spiders. We quantified vegetation structure and habitat suitability for the spiders by computing a web scaffold availability index (WSAI) at 0.5 m and 1.0 m above the ground. At Northern Highlands sites, we recorded prey availability. Spider webs were twice as abundant in deer-free plots compared to control plots, while WSAI was 7-12 times greater in deerfree plots. Prey availability was lower in deer-free plots. With the exception of funnel web-builders, all spider web types were significantly more abundant in deer-free plots. Both deer exclusion and the geographic region of plots were significant predictors of spider community structure. In closed canopy forests with high browsing pressure, the low density of tree saplings and shrubs provides few locations for web-building spiders to anchor webs. Recruitment of these spiders may become coupled with forest disturbance events that increase tree and shrub recruitment. By modifying habitat structure, deer appear to indirectly modify arthropod food web interactions. As deer populations have increased in eastern North America over the past several decades, the effects of deer on web-building spiders may be widespread.

  16. Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure

    PubMed Central

    Chips, Michael J.; Carson, Walter P.

    2016-01-01

    Indirect ecological effects are a common feature of ecological systems, arising when one species affects interactions among two or more other species. We examined how browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) indirectly affected the abundance and composition of a web-building spider guild through their effects on the structure of the ground and shrub layers of northern hardwood forests. We examined paired plots consisting of deer-free and control plots in the Allegheny Plateau region Pennsylvania and Northern Highlands region of Wisconsin. We recorded the abundance of seven types of webs, each corresponding to a family of web-building spiders. We quantified vegetation structure and habitat suitability for the spiders by computing a web scaffold availability index (WSAI) at 0.5 m and 1.0 m above the ground. At Northern Highlands sites, we recorded prey availability. Spider webs were twice as abundant in deer-free plots compared to control plots, while WSAI was 7–12 times greater in deerfree plots. Prey availability was lower in deer-free plots. With the exception of funnel web-builders, all spider web types were significantly more abundant in deer-free plots. Both deer exclusion and the geographic region of plots were significant predictors of spider community structure. In closed canopy forests with high browsing pressure, the low density of tree saplings and shrubs provides few locations for web-building spiders to anchor webs. Recruitment of these spiders may become coupled with forest disturbance events that increase tree and shrub recruitment. By modifying habitat structure, deer appear to indirectly modify arthropod food web interactions. As deer populations have increased in eastern North America over the past several decades, the effects of deer on web-building spiders may be widespread. PMID:27703868

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

    MedlinePlus

    ... Index A-Z Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Sclerotherapy uses injections from a very fine, ... Sclerotherapy? What is Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins? Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment used ...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Clinical consequences of spider bites: recent advances in our understanding.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; White, Julian

    2004-04-01

    Spider bite continues to be a controversial subject worldwide and attribution of clinical effects to different spiders is problematic because of poor case definition and paucity of clinical evidence. The effects of medically important spiders are sometimes underestimated and simultaneously there is misattribution of effects to harmless spider groups. The majority of suspected spider bites present as skin lesions or necrotic ulcers where the history of a spider bite must be confirmed. To be a definite spider bite, the patient must immediately observe the spider and there be evidence of the bite, such as pain. Important groups of spiders worldwide include the widow spiders (latrodectism), recluse spiders (loxoscelism) and some mygalomorph spiders including the Australian Funnel web spider. Most spiders only cause minor effects, including a large number of groups that have been implicated in necrotic arachnidism.

  3. Optics of Spider Sticky Orb Webs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    silks of Australian orb web weaving spiders . Studies of both 1. REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 06-10-2011 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES The...thin film effects as the primary causes. We report systematic studies carried out using the silks of Australian orb web weaving spiders . Studies of... spiders . Studies of both white light and laser light scattering/propagation by natural spider silks have definitively determined the primary cause

  4. Contribution to the knowledge of pathogenic fungi of spiders in Argentina. Southernmost record in the world.

    PubMed

    Manfrino, Romina G; González, Alda; Barneche, Jorge; Tornesello Galván, Julieta; Hywell-Jones, Nigel; López Lastra, Claudia C

    2017-03-23

    The aim of this study was to identify entomopathogenic fungi infecting spiders (Araneae) in a protected area of Buenos Aires province, Argentina. The Araneae species identified was Stenoterommata platensis. The pathogens identified were Lecanicillium aphanocladii Zare & W. Gams, Purpureocillium lilacinum (Thom) Luangsa-ard, Houbraken, Hywel Jones & Samson and Ophiocordyceps caloceroides (Berk & M.A. Curtis). This study constitutes the southernmost records in the world and contributes to expanding the knowledge of the biodiversity of pathogenic fungi of spiders in Argentina.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Armendano, Andrea; González, Alda

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Environmental response and adaptation of glycoprotein glue within the droplets of viscous prey capture threads from araneoid spider orb-webs.

    PubMed

    Opell, Brent D; Karinshak, Shannon E; Sigler, Mary A

    2013-08-15

    Viscous threads that form the prey capture spiral of araneoid orb-webs retain insects that strike the web, giving a spider more time to locate and subdue them. The viscoelastic glycoprotein glue responsible for this adhesion forms the core of regularly spaced aqueous droplets, which are supported by protein axial fibers. Glycoprotein extensibility both facilitates the recruitment of adhesion from multiple droplets and dissipates the energy generated by insects struggling to free themselves from the web. Compounds in the aqueous material make the droplets hygroscopic, causing an increase in both droplet volume and extensibility as humidity (RH) rises. We characterized these humidity-mediated responses at 20%, 37%, 55%, 72% and 90% RH in two large orb-weavers, Argiope aurantia, which is found in exposed habitats, and Neoscona crucifera, which occupies forests and forest edges. The volume-specific extension of A. aurantia glycoprotein reached a maximum value at 55% RH and then declined, whereas that of N. crucifera increased exponentially through the RH range. As RH increased, the relative stress on droplet filaments at maximum extension, as gauged by axial line deflection, decreased in a linear fashion in A. aurantia, but in N. crucifer increased logarithmically, indicating that N. crucifera threads are better equipped to dissipate energy through droplet elongation. The greater hygroscopicity of A. aurantia threads equips them to function in lower RH environments and during the afternoon when RH drops, but their performance is diminished during the high RH of the morning hours. In contrast, the lower hygroscopicity of N. crucifera threads optimizes their performance for intermediate and high RH environments and during the night and morning. These interspecific differences support the hypothesis that viscous capture threads are adapted to the humidity regime of an orb-weaver's habitat.

  11. Brown recluse spider bite on the breast.

    PubMed

    Norris, Kori; Misra, Subhasis

    2014-05-01

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

  12. Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... dientes Video: Getting an X-ray Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me! KidsHealth > For Kids > Hey! A Black ... Me picó una araña viuda negra! What's a Black Widow Spider? The black widow spider is one of the ...

  13. First report of brown widow spider sightings in Peninsular Malaysia and notes on its global distribution.

    PubMed

    Muslimin, Mustakiza; Wilson, John-James; Ghazali, Amir-Ridhwan M; Braima, Kamil A; Jeffery, John; Wan-Nor, Fitri; Alaa-Eldin, Mohamed E; Mohd-Zin, Siti-Waheeda; Wan-Yusoff, Wan S; Norma-Rashid, Yusoff; Lau, Yee L; Rohela, Mahmud; Abdul-Aziz, Noraishah M

    2015-01-01

    The brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus Koch, 1841) has colonised many parts of the world from its continent of origin, Africa. By at least 1841, the species had successfully established populations in South America and has more recently expanded its range to the southern states of North America. This highly adaptable spider has been far more successful in finding its niche around the world than its famous cousins, the black widow, Latrodectus mactans, found in the south-eastern states of North America, and the red-back, Latrodectus hasselti, found mostly in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. We performed an extensive web search of brown widow sightings and mapped the location of each sighting using ArcGIS. Specimens reputedly of the species L. geometricus were collected at three localities in Peninsular Malaysia. The spiders were identified and documented based on an examination of morphological characteristics and DNA barcoding. The spiders found in Peninsular Malaysia were confirmed to be Latrodectus geometricus based on their morphological characteristics and DNA barcodes. We recorded 354 sightings of the brown widow in 58 countries, including Peninsular Malaysia. Reports from the Americas and the Far East suggest a global-wide invasion of the brown widow spider. Herein we report the arrival of the brown widow spider in Peninsular Malaysia and provide notes on the identification of the species and its recently expanded range.

  14. Task specialization in two social spiders, Stegodyphus sarasinorum (Eresidae) and Anelosimus eximius (Theridiidae).

    PubMed

    Settepani, V; Grinsted, L; Granfeldt, J; Jensen, J L; Bilde, T

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the social organization of group-living organisms is crucial for the comprehension of the underlying selective mechanisms involved in the evolution of cooperation. Division of labour and caste formation is restricted to eusocial organisms, but behavioural asymmetries and reproductive skew is common in other group-living animals. Permanently, social spiders form highly related groups with reproductive skew and communal brood care. We investigated task differentiation in nonreproductive tasks in two permanently and independently derived social spider species asking the following questions: Do individual spiders vary consistently in their propensity to engage in prey attack? Are individual spiders' propensities to engage in web maintenance behaviour influenced by their previous engagement in prey attack? Interestingly, we found that both species showed some degree of task specialization, but in distinctly different ways: Stegodyphus sarasinorum showed behavioural asymmetries at the individual level, that is, individual spiders that had attacked prey once were more likely to attack prey again, independent of their body size or hunger level. In contrast, Anelosimus eximius showed no individual specialization, but showed differentiation according to instar, where adult and subadult females were more likely to engage in prey attack than were juveniles. We found no evidence for division of labour between prey attack and web maintenance. Different solutions to achieve task differentiation in prey attack for the two species studied here suggest an adaptive value of task specialization in foraging for social spiders.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oedekoven, Mark A.; Joern, Anthony

    1998-12-01

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

  16. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  17. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  18. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  19. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  20. One species or several? Discordant patterns of geographic variation between allozymes and mtDNA sequences among spiders in the genus Metepeira (Araneae: Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Piel, W H; Nutt, K J

    2000-06-01

    Paradoxically, an allozyme study of Metepeira "spinipes" (sensu lato) demonstrated extensive gene flow among four populations whose members are nevertheless morphologically and behaviorally distinct. Initially, the authors tentatively concluded that the populations exhibited panmixis and suggested that local environmental effects accounted for the apparent morphological and behavioral differences. However, they later concluded that such differences were too great to be accounted for by the environment alone and that the four populations actually represented three different species. To confirm that the allozyme results were, in fact, artifactual, we reexamined the relationships among these populations by sequencing a portion of the 12S mtDNA ribosomal subunit. In contrast to the allozyme result, our results demonstrate good agreement between patterns of genetic and morphological/behavioral variation. We suggest (1) that the allozyme allele frequencies are homogenized by balancing selection, not gene flow as was previously concluded, and therefore (2) that this study provides another instance in which inferences about population structures from allozyme data are misleading.

  1. Comparative morphology of pretarsal scopulae in eleven spider families.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Jonas O; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2012-09-01

    Many wandering spiders bear attachment pads (scopulae) on their tarsi, consisting of hierarchically-branching adhesive setae. Amongst spider families and even species, these show remarkable differences in morphology. Using scanning electron microscopy, the scopula microstructure of sixteen spider species was described, with the focus on pretarsal scopulae (claw tufts). Area and shape of the claw tuft, seta and setule density, as well as seta and spatula dimensions were analysed and compared. Claw tufts of the majority of species studied show a similar gradient in size and shape from anterior to posterior legs: the dimension of pads increases, while setal density decreases. Commonly, there is also a gradient of both the seta and spatula size within the claw tuft: Setae become larger from the proximal to the distal part of the pad, and spatulae size increases in the same direction at the level of individual seta. Often, different hierarchical levels of claw tuft organisation are differently expressed in different species: Species with lower setal density usually have broader setae. Smaller spatula size often implicates higher setule density. Evolutionary and ecological aspects of the scopula origin are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Polarized light detection in spiders.

    PubMed

    Dacke, M; Doan, T A; O'Carroll, D C

    2001-07-01

    We describe here the detection of polarized light by the simple eyes of spiders. Using behavioural, morphological, electrophysiological and optical studies, we show that spiders have evolved two different mechanisms to resolve the e-vector of light. Wolf spiders (Lycosidae), are able to turn in response to rotation of a polarized pattern at the zenith of their visual fields, and we also describe a strip in the ventral retina of the principal (anterio-median) eyes that views this location and has receptors tiered into two layers. This provides each pair of receptors with a similar optical solution to that provided by the 'dorsal rim area' of the insect compound eye. In contrast, gnaphosid spiders have evolved a pair of lensless secondary eyes for the detection of polarized light. These two eyes, each sensitive to orthogonal directions of polarization, are perfectly designed to integrate signals from the larger part of the sky and cooperate to analyse the polarization of light. Built-in polarizers help to improve signal purity. Similar organisation in the eyes of several other spider families suggests that these two mechanisms are not restricted to only a few families.

  3. "Spider bite" lesions are usually diagnosed as skin and soft-tissue infections.

    PubMed

    Suchard, Jeffrey Ross

    2011-11-01

    Many people seek medical attention for skin lesions and other conditions they attribute to spider bites. Prior experience suggests that many of these lesions have alternate causes, especially infections with community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). This study determined the percentage of emergency department (ED) patients reporting a "spider bite" who received a clinical diagnosis of spider bite by their physician vs. other etiologies, and if the diagnoses correlated with demographic risk factors for developing CA-MRSA infections. ED patients who reported that their condition was caused by a "spider bite" were prospectively enrolled in an anonymous, voluntary survey regarding details of their illness and demographic information. Discharge diagnoses were also collected and categorized as: spider bite, bite from other animal (including unknown arthropod), infection, or other diagnosis. There were 182 patients enrolled over 23 months. Seven patients (3.8%) were diagnosed with actual spider bites, 9 patients (4.9%) with bites from other animals, 156 patients (85.7%) with infections, and 6 patients (3.3%) were given other diagnoses. Four patients were given concurrent diagnoses in two categories, and 8 (4.4%) did not have the diagnosis recorded on the data collection instrument. No statistically significant associations were found between the patients' diagnostic categories and the demographic risk factors for CA-MRSA assessed. ED patients reporting a "spider bite" were most frequently diagnosed with skin and soft-tissue infections. Clinically confirmed spider bites were rare, and were caused by black widow spiders when the species could be identified. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Resistance status of the carmine spider mite, Tetranychus cinnabarinus and the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae to selected acaricides on strawberries.

    PubMed

    Bi, Jian-Long; Niu, Zi-Mian; Yu, Lu; Toscano, Nick C

    2016-02-01

    The carmine spider mite, Tetranychus cinnabarinus (Boisduval) and the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, are serious pests of strawberries and many other horticultural crops. Control of these pests has been heavily dependent upon chemical acaricides. Objectives of this study were to determine the resistance status of these two pest species to commonly used acaricides on strawberries in a year-round intensive horticultural production region. LC90 of abamectin for adult carmine spider mites was 4% whereas that for adult twospotted spider mites was 24% of the top label rate. LC90s of spiromesifen, etoxazole, hexythiazox and bifenazate were 0.5%, 0.5%, 1.4% and 83% of their respective highest label rates for carmine spider mite eggs, 0.7%, 2.7%, 12.1% and 347% of their respective highest label rates for the nymphs. LC90s of spiromesifen, etoxazole, hexythiazox and bifenazate were 4.6%, 11.1%, 310% and 62% of their respective highest label rates for twospotted spider mite eggs, 3%, 13%, 432,214% and 15% of their respective highest label rates for the nymphs. Our results suggest that T. cinnabarinus have developed resistance to bifenazate and that the T. urticae have developed resistance to hexythiazox. These results strongly emphasize the need to develop resistance management strategies in the region. © 2014 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  5. Molecular phylogeny of moth-specialized spider sub-family Cyrtarachninae, which includes bolas spiders.

    PubMed

    Tanikawa, Akio; Shinkai, Akira; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-11-01

    The evolutionary process of the unique web architectures of spiders of the sub-family Cyrtarachninae, which includes the triangular web weaver, bolas spider, and webless spider, is thought to be derived from reduction of orbicular 'spanning-thread webs' resembling ordinal orb webs. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted to explore this hypothesis using orbicular web spiders Cyrtarachne, Paraplectana, Poecilopachys, triangular web spider Pasilobus, bolas spiders Ordgarius and Mastophora, and webless spider Celaenia. The phylogeny inferred from partial sequences of mt-COI, nuclear 18S-rRNA and 28S-rRNA showed that the common ancestor of these spiders diverged into two clades: a spanning-thread web clade and a bolas or webless clade. This finding suggests that the triangular web evolved by reduction of an orbicular spanning web, but that bolas spiders evolved in the early stage, which does not support the gradual web reduction hypothesis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Infanticide by a solitary koinobiont ichneumonid ectoparasitoid of spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takasuka, Keizo; Matsumoto, Rikio

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Olives, Olea europaea L., are one of the most important crops in Spain. They are currently produced under three management systems that involve different aspects of soil and pest management, productivity, and crop economy: organic, (integrated pest management-IPM), and conventional. Here, we studied how these systems affect the spiders, the natural enemies of olive grove pests, and performed a detailed analysis of their assemblage. The study was performed during one season in 18 olive groves in Andalusia, Spain, and included both ground-dwelling and canopy species. We found that the organic system supported a significantly higher level of abundance and diversity of canopy spiders than the IPM and conventional systems. Plowing had a negative effect on spider abundance and diversity. However, the presence of hedge vegetation had a positive effect on the spiders. The practices affected the guild structure differently, with some guilds supported by organic and others by IPM. It is suggested that sustainability (in terms of pest control) in olive grove agroecosystems may be obtained by maintaining hedge vegetation regardless of the management system. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  11. Vibration Propagation in Spider Webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatton, Ross; Otto, Andrew; Elias, Damian

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

  12. Spectral sensitivity of a colour changing spider.

    PubMed

    Defrize, Jérémy; Lazzari, Claudio R; Warrant, Eric J; Casas, Jérôme

    2011-04-01

    Vision plays a paramount role in some spider families such as the Salticidae, Lycosidae and Thomisidae, as it is involved in prey hunting, orientation or choice of substrate. In the thomisid Misumena vatia, for which the substrate colour affects the body colour, vision seems to mediate morphological colour changes. However, nothing is known about which component of visual signals from the substrate might be perceived, nor whether M. vatia possesses the physiological basis for colour vision. The aim of this study is thus to investigate the vision of this spider species by measuring the spectral sensitivities of the different pairs of eyes using electrophysiological methods. Extra- and intracellular electrophysiological recordings combined with selective adaptation revealed the presence of two classes of photoreceptor cells, one sensitive in the UV region of the spectrum (around 340 nm) and one sensitive in the green (around 520 nm) regions in the four pairs of eyes. We conclude that M. vatia possesses the physiological potential to perceive both chromatic and achromatic components of the environment. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    On 22 December 2008, a dike containing coal fly ash from the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant (TN, USA) failed, resulting in the largest coal ash spill in US history. The present study was designed to determine sediment metal concentrations at multiple site locations and to determine whether site-specific bioaccumulation of metals existed in tetragnathid spiders. Selenium and nickel were the only 2 metals to exceed the US Environmental Protection Agency sediment screening levels. Selenium concentrations in spiders were significantly higher at ash-affected sites than in those from reference sites. The ratio of methylmercury to total mercury in spiders was found to be similar to that in other organisms (65-75%), which highlights the potential use of tetragnathid spiders as an indicator species for tracing contaminant transfer between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peck, R.; Niwa, C.G.

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Miocene spider Maevia eureka nov. sp. (Araneae: Salticidae).

    PubMed

    Riquelme, Francisco; Menéndez-Acuña, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    A new fossil species of salticid spider (Araneae: Salticidae) is described based on an amber-embedded specimen. The specimen was collected from lignite-sandstone early-mid Miocene sediments near the town of Totolapa in Chiapas, southwestern Mexico. The diagnosis and description is supported by key characters that best match the genus Maevia Koch, 1846. Thus, this new fossil species has been named Maevia eureka nov. sp. This fossil shows closer affinities in epygine traits with extant specimens grouped around the species Maevia poultoni Peckham & Peckham, 1901. This represents the first known fossil species within Maevia and the southernmost record of the genus in North America that shows Nearctic relationships.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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