The natural prey of the jumping spider Philaeus chrysops (Poda, 1776) was studied in different microhabitats on Absheron Peninsula, Azerbaijan. The percentage of specimens of P. chrysops found while feeding was low in most microhabitats (<10%). However, on a wall near a food refuse dump the percentage of spiders found in possession of prey was significantly higher than in other microhabitats, probably related to a high abundance of potential prey at this site. Investigation has shown that P. chrysops is a polyphagous predator, with representatives of ten arthropod orders found in its diet. The primary food of P. chrysops was Diptera, which accounted for half of the total prey (50.2%). An especially high proportion of dipterans was recorded in the diet of spiders inhabiting the stone wall, where they were the only significant prey type. Diptera was also among the dominant prey groups of P. chrysops in other types of microhabitat, except for bare ground at Shagan. However, in these microhabitats some other arthropod orders, such as Araneae, Coleoptera, Homoptera, and Hymenoptera, contributed comparable portions to the diet of spiders. The length of prey killed by P. chrysops ranged between 0.65 and 20.00 mm (mean 4.03 mm) and constituted from 8.1 to 266.7% (mean 58.1%) of the length of their captors. The most frequently captured were small arthropods not exceeding half the length of their captors (57.6%), followed by medium-sized prey (from 50–100% of spider body length) (27.2%), and large prey exceeding the length of the spiders (15.2%). This tendency was characteristic of spiders in all microhabitats, except for shrubs, where medium-sized prey predominated.
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Vol. 14 • No. 6