Survival strategies of the crab spider Thomisus onustus Walckenaer 1806 (Chelicerata, Arachnida, Thomisidae)
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- Vogelei, A. & Greissl, R. Oecologia (1989) 80: 513. doi:10.1007/BF00380075
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The initial energy supply of emerging spiderlings is relatively meagre, so survival without feeding on insects during a spell of bad weather is limited to a period of a few days or weeks. During our investigations, spiderlings of Thomisus onustus (Arachnida, Thomisidae) were kept on different diets. There was a significant difference in survival rate between spiderlings that were starved or fed on pollen, “nectar”, or Drosophila. The results showed that pollen and nectar can be a source of energy for spiders for an extensive period. This demonstrates another way in which spiders may survive starvation when insect prey is lacking and thus ensure the survival of a whole population.