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12 July 2023 Importance of spider prey for development of a specialized araneophagous predator (Araneae: Palpimanidae)
Stano Pekár, Eva Líznarová
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Specialists possess specialized trophic adaptations. Spiders of the genus Palpimanus Dufour, 1820 are araneophagous spiders which also catch alternative prey. They have morphological, behavioral, and venomic adaptations tuned to higher efficacy in the capture and processing of other spiders. Here, we tested the hypothesis whether Palpimanus can develop on two prey types. We reared spiderlings of Palpimanus spp. on a diet composed of spiders and of insects, and recorded their performance. We found that Palpimanus exhibited significantly higher mortality on the insect diet. In fact, only spiderlings on the spider diet were able to develop. The developmental rate was slow, as one instar lasted on average more than 60 days. On the basis of this finding, we estimated that the life cycle is at least biennial. We conclude that Palpimanus spiders possess specialized prey-capture adaptations towards spider prey which prevent them to utilize alternative prey.

Stano Pekár and Eva Líznarová "Importance of spider prey for development of a specialized araneophagous predator (Araneae: Palpimanidae)," The Journal of Arachnology 51(2), 114-117, (12 July 2023).
Received: 18 March 2022; Accepted: 8 June 2022; Published: 12 July 2023
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