Researches on Population Ecology

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 360–374

Decrease in respiratory rate in a wolf spider,Pardosa astrigera (L. Koch), under starvation

  • Koichi Tanaka
  • Yosiaki Itô

DOI: 10.1007/BF02515582

Cite this article as:
Tanaka, K. & Itô, Y. Res Popul Ecol (1982) 24: 360. doi:10.1007/BF02515582


Effects of starvation on the suryival period and the respiratory rate in adults of a wolf spider,Pardosa astrigera (L. Koch), were investigated. The spiders used were divided into four groups: well-fed, starved and two limited food groups; in the latter two, each spider was supplied with one leafhopper every second or third day. Adult males and females ofP. astrigera could survive for a long time; 28.8±2.7 days and 54.4±18.9 days, respectively, without any food. The longevities shown here were 73.8% for males and 78.6% for females of those of well-fed spiders, indicating thatP. astrigera adults have a strong tolerance to starvation. The respiratory rate of well-fed adults showed no tendency to increase or decrease with their aging; the mean respiratory rates were 4.86×10−4 mg CO2/mg f.w. (fresh body weight)/hr for males and 3.80×10−4 mg CO2/mg f.w./hr for females. The respiratory rates of starved spiders increased during the first two days of starvation but decreased markedly from the third to the twelfth day, and thereafter retained an almost constant level for each sex. The mean respiratory rates after the twelfth day of starvation were 2.49×10−4 mg CO2/mg f.w./hr for males and 2.76×10−4 mg CO2/mg f.w./hr for females; these values were respectively 48.4% and 63.0% of those prior to starvation. The fresh body weight of starved spiders decreased linearly with time but the rate was small. The respiratory rates of the limited food groups tended to decline with time and thereby their weight losses were minimized. The decrease in the respiratory rate under starvation was considered not to be due to spider exhaustion or senescence but due to an intrinsic change in behaviour and/or metabolism, because when the spiders were supplied with ample food for five days after starvation, the respiratory rate and the body weight rapidly recovered to near the levels prior to starvation. It is suggested that starved spiders use a higher ratio of fat as catabolic substrate than normally fed or satiated ones. Feeding strategies of poikilo-therm predators are discussed.

Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koichi Tanaka
    • 1
  • Yosiaki Itô
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied Entomology and Nematology, Faculty of AgricultureNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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