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1 April 2011 Impacts of temperature, hunger and reproductive condition on metabolic rates of flower-dwelling crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae)
Victoria R. Schmalhofer
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Temperature strongly affects spider metabolic rate. Consequently, quantifying a species' temperature-metabolism relationship is useful in evaluating consequences of choices that affect body temperature. Body size also influences metabolic rate, and body size in spiders is strongly impacted by feeding and reproductive condition. Using adult female crab spiders, Misumenoides formosipes Walckenaer 1837 and Mecaphesa asperata (Hentz 1847) (formerly Misumenops asperatus) acclimated to field ambient conditions, I measured standard metabolic rates (SMR) over an ecologically relevant temperature range (10–40° C). I controlled hunger and reproductive condition of M. formosipes using starved (25 days post-feeding) or fed (7 days post-feeding) spiders, and virgin or mated spiders; in experiments with M. asperata, I used fed spiders of unknown reproductive status. Temperature strongly affected crab spider SMR, and both species showed similar temperature-SMR relationships. Mecaphesa asperata displayed equivalent temperature coefficients (Q10s – the factor by which a physiologic process changes with temperature) for SMR across the experimental temperature range, while M. formosipes had significantly higher Q10 at low temperature than at mid-range or high temperature; Q10s of the two species reflected previously determined impacts of temperature on hunting performance. Influence of hunger-reproductive condition on SMR of M. formosipes depended on how I accounted for body size; regardless of method, gravid spiders did not show elevated metabolic rate. Lastly, I combined crab spider SMR data with published SMR data to generate mass-metabolism equations for spiders; mass-scaling exponents approximated 0.67.

Victoria R. Schmalhofer "Impacts of temperature, hunger and reproductive condition on metabolic rates of flower-dwelling crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae)," The Journal of Arachnology 39(1), 41-52, (1 April 2011).
Received: 19 November 2009; Published: 1 April 2011
body size
mass scaling
SMR, starvation
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