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Excretion Behavior of Adult Female Crab Spiders Misumena Vatia (Araneae, Thomisidae) (Short Communication) (Report)

The Journal of Arachnology 2008, Sept, 36, 3

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Many animals may experience risks in voiding excretory material, which likely enhance the possibility of alerting predators and parasites to their presence and increase the danger of disease. Alternatively or additionally, the presence of excreta could forewarn potential prey to a predator's presence. Considering the importance of these factors, surprisingly little attention has focused on studies examining the responses of predatory invertebrates to host or prey waste products (Weiss 2006). In particular, workers have written little about excretion in spiders (Curtis & Carrel 2000) or other arachnids (Sato et al. 2003; Sato & Saito 2006). In fact, Curtis & Carrel (2000) believed their paper on excretion behavior by garden spiders Argiope aurantia Lucas 1833 (Araneidae) (referred to as defecation behavior by the authors) to be the first explicit study of its sort on a spider, although Tietjen (1980) reported on the nonrandom distribution of excreta under laboratory conditions in Mallos gregalis (Simon 1909) (Dictynidae). Throughout this paper I use the term "excretion" (excreta, excrete, etc.) to identify the materials passing through a spider's anus, since the majority of this material consists of the products of post-assimilatory metabolic processes from the Malpighian tubules, rather than undigested matter. In response to the risk of this material providing cues to their presence, potential prey or hosts might develop behavioral responses that minimize this threat, such as excreting away from their normal activities or retaining excreta indefinitely until they can safely void them. Taxa that show high fidelity to a site should experience particularly strong pressure to develop such tactics, as demonstrated by Weiss (2003, 2006) for caterpillars.

Excretion Behavior of Adult Female Crab Spiders Misumena Vatia (Araneae, Thomisidae) (Short Communication) (Report)
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Life Sciences
  • Published: 01 September 2008
  • Publisher: The American Arachnological Society
  • Print Length: 12 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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