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Spiders as Potential Ecofriendly Predators Against Pests

  • Y. Norma-RashidEmail author
  • Wan Mohammad Azizi Wan Zainudin
  • M. N. Dzulhelmi
  • Noraina Masduki
Chapter

Abstract

Biological control has come a long way towards adapting to the changing needs of agricultural pest suppression. Current trends in agriculture towards reduced pesticide use and ecological sustainability have led to surge of interest in spiders as potential biological control agents. This is because spiders have the capacity to exist in various conditions, with wide-ranging food webs, and are able to exploit the various stages of their prey life cycles. These habit diversifications portray them as efficient predators; the web weavers skewed towards phytophagous pests mainly from Diptera and Hymenoptera, whereas the non-web weavers foraged for foliage-dwelling pests such as Coleoptera and Homoptera. Since different spider species play different predating roles for a specific pest in its life cycle, it may be reliable to sustain the diversity of spider species within the specific area. This will be further discussed in this chapter together with our current results obtained from the botanical garden, dragon fruit, and herbal garden plantations which are suggesting some potential biocontrol agents for agricultural ecosystems belonging to the family groups of Araneidae, Lycosidae, Oxyopidae, Tetragnathidae, Thomisidae, and Salticidae. We further discussed the correlation of spider existence with the crop vegetation structures and architectural features.

Keywords

Spiders Biocontrol Behavior Diversity Agricultural ecosystems 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Norma-Rashid would like to acknowledge the financial aids from the Malaysian Higher Education Ministry (FP045-2013A) and the University of Malaya (PG096-2012B and RP001G-13SUS).

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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Norma-Rashid
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wan Mohammad Azizi Wan Zainudin
    • 1
  • M. N. Dzulhelmi
    • 1
  • Noraina Masduki
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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