Survival strategies of the crab spider Thomisus onustus Walckenaer 1806 (Chelicerata, Arachnida, Thomisidae)

Summary

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.

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Correspondence to A. Vogelei.

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Vogelei, A., Greissl, R. Survival strategies of the crab spider Thomisus onustus Walckenaer 1806 (Chelicerata, Arachnida, Thomisidae). Oecologia 80, 513–515 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00380075

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Key words

  • Thomisus onustus spiderlings
  • Nutrition
  • Pollen
  • Nectar
  • Survival rate