, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 737-752

The effect of prey movement on attack behavior and patch residence decision rules of wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae)

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We used a video imaging technique to test the effects of prey movement on attack behavior and foraging patch residence time decision rules of wolf spiders. TwelveSchizocosa ocreata (Hentz) (Lycosidae) were tested in an artificial foraging patch stimulus chamber consisting of a microscreen television displaying a computer digitized, animated image of a cricket. Four prey movement treatments were used: (1) a blank screen, (2) a stationary cricket control, (3) a cricket moving for 1 min, and (4) a cricket moving for 10 min. Spiders stayed significantly longer in treatments with higher cricket activity. Spiders also stayed longer when they attacked the stimulus than when they did not. The distribution of patch residence times of spiders indicates a decision rule based on a fixed probability of leaving.