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


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).

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Key words

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