Agelenids of the World

Systematics and Taxonomy of Agelenidae, a Worldwide distributed Spider Family

Host-dependent differences in prey acquisition between populations of a kleptoparasitic spider Argyrodes kumadai (Araneae: Theridiidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:Y. G. Baba, Walters, R. J., Miyashita, T.
Journal:Ecological Entomology
Date Published:2007
ISBN Number:0307-6946
Keywords:acquisition] [Food robbing / Kleptoparasitism / ] [Japan / North east &, Argyrodes kumadai (Araneae): [Predator]., Argyrodes kumadai [Insect prey / / host dependent differences in prey, Asia, Diet, Ecology, Eurasia, Feeding behaviour, Foraging, Insecta (Arthropoda): [Prey]., Insecta [Arachnid predators / Argyrodes kumadai / Predators, kleptoparasitic behaviour] [Japan / North east & south west / Arachnid, Land zones, Nutrition, Palaearctic region, Predators, predators kleptoparasitic behaviour]., Prey, south west / ].

1. A kleptoparasitic spider, Argyrodes kumadai, is known to use phylogenetically unrelated host species in different regions - Cyrtophora moluccensis (Araneidae) in south-west Japan and Agelena silvatica (Agelenidae) in north-east Japan. The work reported here examined whether differences in host characters affect prey acquisition of A. kumadai.2. Field surveys showed that prey-biomass capture rate of Argyrodes was significantly higher in populations parasitising Cyrtophora than in populations parasitising Agelena. Although Argyrodes appeared to catch fewer prey within Cyrtophora webs, they were able to feed upon substantially larger prey.3. Differences in prey-biomass capture rate were found to reflect differences in host traits rather than regional differences in potential prey availability. Individuals in populations parasitising Cyrtophora were observed to acquire prey via a number of foraging tactics that included stealing wrapped food bundles, feeding upon prey remains and, in the case of large prey items, feeding together with the host. In contrast, individuals in populations parasitising Agelena were only ever observed to feed upon small prey items ignored by its host.4. This variability in prey acquisition between kleptoparasite populations reflected different opportunities for feeding within their respective host webs - opportunities that were primarily determined by the foraging behaviour of the host. One key trait associated with host foraging behaviour was host-web structure, namely the presence/absence of a retreat.

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