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1 December 2008 Snatching prey from the mandibles of ants, a feeding tactic adopted by East African jumping spiders
Robert R. Jackson, Kathryn Salm, Simon D. Pollard
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Instances are documented of salticids robbing ants by adopting a specialized behavior pattern, “snatching.” The salticid positioned itself beside an ant column on the wall of a building, repeatedly fixating its gaze on different individual ants in the column and maintaining fixation on the ant by turning its body while the ant walked by. When close to an ant that was carrying prey, the salticid maneuvered about so that it was head on, grabbed hold of the prey using its chelicerae, and then rapidly pulled the prey out of the ant's mandibles. Having secured the prey, the salticid moved away from the ant column to feed. All observations were made at Mbita Point, by the shore of Lake Victoria in western Kenya. The salticids were three species of Menemerus (Simon 1868): M. bivittatus (Dufour 1831), M. congoensis Lessert 1927 and an undescribed species, Menemerus sp. n. The ant species were from the genera Crematogaster (Lund 1831) and Camponotus (Mayr 1861). In all instances, the salticid was 2–6 mm in body length (juveniles of all three Menemerus species and adults of Menemerus sp. n). Prey items taken from ants were, in most instances, “lake flies” (adults of Chaoboridae and Chironomidae).

Robert R. Jackson, Kathryn Salm, and Simon D. Pollard "Snatching prey from the mandibles of ants, a feeding tactic adopted by East African jumping spiders," The Journal of Arachnology 36(3), 609-611, (1 December 2008).
Received: 8 August 2007; Published: 1 December 2008
stealing prey
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