Atrazine exposure shifts activity but has minimal effects on courtship in an agrobiont spider
The behavior of many animals relies upon the input of chemical signals throughout the environment. Those animals that live in close proximity to humans may then be at risk, as the input of anthropogenic chemicals can have significant sublethal effects by masking or altering these naturally occurring signals. While the herbicide atrazine has been found to have the potential to alter such chemical information, research is lacking on how it may impact agrobiont arthropods which are the first and most direct line of exposure. Here we investigated the sublethal effects atrazine may be playing on an agrobiont wolf spider that makes up a major component of agricultural spider communities in the Eastern United States. We exposed spiders to ecologically relevant doses of atrazine and monitored general activity patterns as well as mating behaviors. We found that while sex determined a large portion of activity variation in these predators, both males and females spent more time mobile but at lower speeds in the presence of atrazine. We did not find any evidence for info-disruption based on male courtship rate and mating success, but with increasing dosage of atrazine came shortened bouts of courtship leading to copulation. These results suggest that atrazine changed activity patterns of a wolf spider, which may result in altered foraging, survival, and reproduction.
KeywordsPesticide Beneficial arthropods Pardosa Sublethal
We are grateful to the members of the lab including P. Bissmeyer, J. Behrend, L. Campbell, K. Culbertson, A. Davisson, L. Erickson, S. Hankins, L. Latham, M. Stanley, and J. Werts who provided support and advice through this study. We would also like to acknowledge the amazing feedback from M. D. Boone and A. B. Cady during the planning and writeup of the study. All funding was provided by Miami University’s Department of Biology and Hamilton Campus.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not describe any studies involving human participants performed by the authors. All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
- Ali JM, Knight LA, D’Souza DL, Kolok AS (2018) Comparing the effects of atrazine and an environmentally relevant mixture on estrogen-responsive gene expression in the northern leopard frog and the fathead minnow. Environ Toxicol Chem 37:1182–1188. https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.4069
- Breckenridge CB, Sawhney Coder P, Tisdel MO, Simpkins JW, Yi KD, Foradori CD, Handa RJ (2015) Effect of age, duration of exposure, and dose of atrazine on sexual maturation and the luteinizing hormone surge in the female sprague-dawley rat. Birth Defects Res Part B 104:204–217. https://doi.org/10.1002/bdrb.21154 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Desneux N, Decourtye A, Delpuech J-M (2007) The sublethal effects of pesticides on beneficial arthropods. Annu Rev Entomol 52:81–106. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ento.52.110405.091440 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grube A, Donaldson D, Kiely T, Wu L (2011) Pesticides industry sales and usage: 2006 and 2007 market estimates. U.S. Environ Prot Agency 1–41Google Scholar
- Hayes TB, Anderson LL, Beasley VR, de Solla SR, Iguchi T, Ingraham H, Willingham E (2011) Demasculinization and feminization of male gonads by atrazine: consistent effects across vertebrate classes. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 127:64–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2011.03.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kaston BJ (1936) The senses involved in the courtship of some vagabond spiders. Entomol Am 16:97–166Google Scholar
- Li Z, Li B, Hu Z, Michaud JP, Dong J, Zhang Q, Liu X (2015) The ectoparasitoid Scleroderma guani (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) uses innate and learned chemical cues to locate its host, larvae of the Pine Sawyer Monochamus alternatus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Florida Entomol 98:1182–1187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Montgomery TH (1903) Studies on the habits of spiders, particularly those of the mating period. Acad Nat Sci 55:59–149Google Scholar
- Nentwig W (2013) Spider ecophysiology. In: Nentwig W (ed.) Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
- Palma P, Palma VL, Matos C, Fernandes RM, Bohn A, Soares AMVM, Barbosa IR (2009) Assessment of the pesticides atrazine, endosulfan sulphate and chlorpyrifos for juvenoid-related endocrine activity using Daphnia magna. Chemosphere 76:335–340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.03.059 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Qin L, Du ZH, Zhu SY, Li XN, Li N, Guo JA, Zhang Y (2015) Atrazine triggers developmental abnormality of ovary and oviduct inCoturnix Coturnix coturnix) via disruption of hypothalamo-pituitary-ovarian axis. Environ Pollut 207:299–307. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.09.044 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schmitt A, Schuster M, Barth FG (1990) Daily locomotor activity patterns in three species of Cupiennius (Araneae, Ctenidae): the males are the wandering spiders. J Arachnol 18:249–255Google Scholar
- Wyatt TD (2014) Pheromones and animal behavior chemical signals and signatures (Second). Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar