Intricate predatory decisions by amosquito-specialist spider from Malaysia
Jackson, Robert R.
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Paracyrba wanlessiis a southeast Asian jumping spider (Salticidae) that lives in the hollow internodes of fallen bamboo and preys on the larvae, pupae and adults of mosquitoes. In contrast to Evarcha culicivora, an East African salticid that is also known for actively targeting mosquitoes as preferred prey, there was no evidence ofP. wanlessichoosing mosquitoes on the basis of species, sex or diet. However, our findings show thatP. wanlessi chooses mosquitoes significantly more often than a variety of other prey types, regardless of whether the prey are in or away from water, and regardless of whether the mosquitoes are adults or juveniles. Moreover, a preference for mosquito larvae, pupae and adults is expressed regardless of whether test spiders are maintained on a diet of terrestrial or aquatic prey and regardless of whether the diet includes or excludes mosquitoes. Congruence of an environmental factor (in water versus away from water) with prey type (aquatic versus terrestrial mosquitoes) appeared to be important and yet, even when the prey were in the incongruent envionment,P. wanlessicontinued to choose mosquitoes more often than other prey.
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