, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 333-340

Metabolic costs of the predation strategy of the spider Pardosa amentata (Clerck) (Lycosidae)

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Summary

Pardosa amentata adopts a “sit-and-wait” predation strategy with periodic changes of site. The metabolic costs of this strategy were evaluated using a Gilson respirometer. The respirometer was run at the mean temperatures prevailing month by month in the litter layer from which the experimental animals were collected and equations relating standard respiration rate to spider weight were established for each temperature. The mean value of b, the exponent relating weight to respiration rate, was 0.8011. Active respiration rate was determined at each temperature by using larger experimental flasks containing small glass beads which, in conjunction with the shaker mechanism on the respirometer, ensured that the spiders in the respirometer flasks maintained a fairly consistent level of locomotory activity. It was found that the measured active respiration rate was on average 3.17 times the standard rate. The two respiration rates were combined in the appropriate proportions to calculate the daily energy expenditure of an adult spider exhibiting its normal pattern of activity at different temperatures. It is shown that as locomotory activity is very limited in duration in P. amentata, the associated active respiration rate accounts for only a small proportion of daily respiratory energy losses, 0.36% at 5°C, 0.69% at 10°C, and 1.01% at 15°C.