Dinesh Rao

Dinesh Rao
Universidad Veracruzana | UV · Instituto de Biotecnología y Ecología Aplicada (INBIOTECA)

PhD

About

49
Publications
16,539
Reads
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626
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
Universidad Veracruzana
Position
  • Professor
August 2004 - August 2008
Macquarie University
Position
  • PhD Student
January 2002 - October 2003
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Position
  • Master's Student

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
Full-text available
Aim Epiphytic plants are isolated from each other by nonhabitat canopy elements and are thus expected to act as islands, the biodiversity of their inhabitants (e.g., spiders) conforming to island biogeographic predictions of species‐richness patterns. Although it has been shown that arthropod diversity decreases with decreasing epiphyte size, the e...
Article
When an insect is intercepted by a spider web, spiders quickly locate the prey, and run towards it. Once they make contact with the prey, they immobilise the prey and retrieve it to the centre of the web or the retreat for consumption. However, in rare circumstances, the spider can also pull the prey towards itself either while running to the prey...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ambush predators depend on cryptic body colouration, stillness and a suitable hunting location to optimise the probability of prey capture. Detection of cryptic predators, such as crab spiders, by flower seeking wasps may also be hindered by wind induced movement of the flowers themselves. In a beach dune habitat, as Microbembex nigrifrons wasps ap...
Article
Full-text available
Kleptoparasitic spiders live and forage in the webs of other spiders. Using vibratory cues generated by the host spider during prey capture, they leave their resting positions in the upper peripheries of the host web and move towards the centre of the web where they feed along with the host spider or steal small pieces of prey. While the triggers f...
Article
While foraging, it is critical for a predator to detect and recognize its prey quickly in order to optimize its energy investment. In response, prey can use low-cost energy strategies such as crypsis and immobility that operate early in the detection–attack sequence. Mesopredators, such as spiders, are themselves attacked by visually oriented preda...
Article
Full-text available
1. In Mexico, most forest habitats have been lost, leaving mostly agroecosystems such as coffee plantations. In some areas, coffee plants are commonly planted under a closed canopy of shade trees and sometimes these coffee plantations are transformed into cattle pastures, in which scattered and isolated trees remain. 2. Isolated trees (i.e. trees w...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals use visual traits as a predator defence. Understanding these visual traits from the perspective of predators is critical in generating new insights about predator–prey interactions. In this paper, we propose a novel framework to support the study of strategies that exploit the visual system of predators. With spiders as our model taxon...
Article
Search images are perceptual biases acquired through experience that improve an individual’s ability to detect the object of their search (e.g., a predator seeking prey). In hymenopterans, examples include floral search images in bees and acquired sensory biases towards specific prey in wasp predators. Mud dauber wasps exhibit individual specializa...
Article
Full-text available
Ambush predators depend on cryptic body colouration, stillness and a suitable hunting location to optimise the probability of prey capture. Detection of cryptic predators, such as crab spiders, by flower seeking wasps may also be hindered by wind induced movement of the flowers themselves. In a beach dune habitat, Microbembex nigrifrons wasps appro...
Article
Full-text available
Within tree canopies, vascular epiphytes create habitats for other taxa, and their heterogeneous spatial distribution could affect the distribution of organisms associated with them, such as spiders. This study was performed in shade trees of a rustic coffee plantation located within a Tropical Cloud Forest region of Mexico. We used a spatially exp...
Article
Full-text available
Positive relationships between island size and species richness have been found for oceanic and non‐oceanic islands. However, the effect of isolation, also predicted by island‐biogeographical theory, seems challenging to test. Species‐specific mechanisms drive the perception of distance and space for animals, and therefore isolation patterns are ma...
Article
Predation is one of the main interactions between organisms and one of the primary selective agents for their survival. Both prey and predators have developed different strategies and characteristics that allow them to be conspicuous or go undetected. In sit and wait predators, their shape and appearance are important factors that allow them to rem...
Article
Proximate cues for animal dispersal are complex and varied. Multiple cues may provide information about different aspects of habitat quality, and these aspects may interact with each other, as well as with population density in different ways. We examined how individuals incorporate multiple cues in their decisions to emigrate and immigrate in the...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals use body coloration as a strategy to communicate with conspecifics, prey, and predators. Color is a trade-off for some species, since they should be visible to conspecifics but cryptic to predators and prey. Some flower-dwelling predators, such as crab spiders, are capable of choosing the color of flowers where they ambush flower visit...
Article
Less than 0.2% of all spider species live in close associations with conspecifics. Among these, subsocial spiders show characteristics of both solitary spiders (e.g., individuals disperse for breeding) and social spiders (e.g., prolonged cooperative behaviours at least prior to independent reproduction). Dispersing individuals build small webs, usu...
Article
Full-text available
Prey signalling to predators is an attempt to divert or nullify an attack even before it occurs. If these signals are backed up by a potent defence, then the likelihood of the predators learning to avoid them is high. In species that use deceptive signalling, predators could learn to overcome such a display and diminish the efficacy of the display....
Chapter
Spiders can be roughly grouped into four guilds based on their manner of foraging: web builders, ambushers, wandering spiders, and refuge builders. These guilds have different needs that influence the choice of a site when focused on foraging, shelter, or reproduction. The choice of a place to settle is of fundamental importance to spiders, and thi...
Article
Full-text available
Camouflage is used by prey to avoid detection by predators, and by predators to remain unseen by their prey. Effective camouflage can be achieved through background matching, where an animal matches the colours and patterns of the background or through disruptive coloration, where high-contrast markings disrupt the viewer’s ability to detect the an...
Article
Full-text available
Colour variation is frequently observed in spiders. Such variation can impact fitness by affecting the way spiders are perceived by relevant observers such as prey (i.e. by resembling flower signals as visual lures) and predators (i.e. by disrupting search image formation). Verrucosa arenata is an orb-weaving spider that presents colour variation i...
Article
Full-text available
Digital processing and analysis of high resolution images of 30 individuals of the orb web spider Verrucosa arenata were performed to extract and quantify human visible colors present on the dorsal abdomen of this species. Color extraction was performed with minimal user intervention using an unsupervised algorithm to determine groups of colors on...
Article
Full-text available
Spiders that build aerial webs in open areas face the risk of overheating due to incident solar radiation. These spiders can counteract overheating by either moving the web to another site or by adopting behavioural thermoregulation within the web. Since moving can be costly, studies have suggested that a passive but effective method of reducing he...
Article
Full-text available
Tephritid pests controlled through the sterile insect technique (SIT) are mass-reared and subsequently released in affected areas. Several quality parameters are currently used to test adults, but none take into account interactions with a predator. When sterile males are released in the field, they will need to avoid predators until they reach sex...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions between prey and predators are often mediated by signals sent by the prey. Passive signals such as aposematic coloration and active signals such as pursuit deterrence signals are thought to prevent attack from predators. In true fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae), the defensive wing display is called supination, and studies have shown...
Article
Full-text available
La Sabana de Bogotá es la zona más poblada de Colombia y allí también está la mayor concentración de instituciones interesadas en el estudio de la biodiversidad del país. Sin embargo, el conocimiento de grupos como las arañas en la Sabana aún es limitado. Por lo anterior, se realizó un inventario preliminar de las arañas presentes en el campus de l...
Article
Full-text available
Conspicuous body colouration in sedentary predators such as orb web spiders seems paradoxical as potential prey can see and avoid the webs. Several studies have demonstrated that rather than deterring prey, the colours act as sensory traps for flower-seeking insects. In chromatically polymorphic species, the existence of more than one colour morph...
Article
Full-text available
Cloud forests (CF) are disappearing due to anthropogenic causes such as cul- tivation. A characteristic feature of the CF is that a high proportion of its biomass occurs in the form of epiphytes, which are vital microhabitats to canopy dwelling arthropods. Coffee plantations overlap with CF and replace them. Epiphytes are abundant in shade coffee (...
Article
Full-text available
Fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) are major pests worldwide. The sterile insect technique, where millions of flies are reared, sterilized by irradiation and then released, is one of the most successful and ecologically friendly methods of controlling populations of these pests. The mating behaviour of irradiated and non-irradiated flies has been c...
Article
Flies of the family Tephritidae are known to perform a display in front of their salticid spider predators. This display involves extending the wings while the fly moves from side to side. The wings of many of fly species are banded, and in some species, these bands are thought to deter their predators by mimicking the leg patterns of salticids. Ho...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract. Subsocial spiders are located on the continuum between solitary species and social species and are characterized by extended maternal care, some cooperation in foraging and colony activities and dispersal in order to found new colonies. In the genus Anelosimus (Araneae: Theridiidae), up to nine species are thought to be subsocial. One of...
Article
Full-text available
Flies of the family Tephritidae are known to perform a display in front of their salticid spider predators. This display involves extending the wings while the fly moves from side to side. The wings of many of fly species are banded, and in some species, these bands are thought to deter their predators by mimicking the leg patterns of salticids. Ho...
Article
Full-text available
Most orb-web spiders face downwards in the web. A downward orientation has been proposed to be the optimal strategy because spiders run faster downwards and thus can catch prey quicker. Consequently, orb-web spiders also extend their web in the lower part, leading to top-down web asymmetry. Since the majority of orb-web spiders face downwards, it h...
Article
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abstraCt Colonial spiders construct individual capture webs within a matrix of shared supporting frame threads. Cyrtophora citricola is a colonial orb-weaving spider with a complex three-dimensional web. Colonies may contain a few to several hundred individuals, but individuals may also occur solitarily. Local conditions such as food supply and sub...
Article
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The functional significance of web decorations in orb-web spiders has been an area of intense study for well over a hundred years. Two main hypotheses, (prey attraction and predator avoidance) have had intermittent support and criticism. By varying the decoration pattern, spiders minimize the potential predation costs of constructing a highly visib...
Article
Full-text available
Lantana camara is an invasive species that is widespread in India. Using birds as an indicator taxon, we investigated whether Lantana invasion was correlated with changes in ecosystem health of the moist and dry deciduous forests at the Malé Madeshwara Hills, Karnataka. We studied Lantana at four densities, low, medium, and high, and a no-Lantana c...
Article
Full-text available
Stationary predators such as spiders can face competition from conspecifics simply by virtue of the spatial positioning of their webs. Shadow competition, wherein a predator ‘upstream’ restricts access to prey for another individual further ‘downstream’, can affect the foraging success of stationary predators. However, in spiders that build orb-web...
Article
Full-text available
The existence of aggregations in taxa that are normally solitary poses questions regarding the costs and benefits of group living. Most orb-web spiders are solitary and are aggressive to conspecifics, but a few species aggregate in large numbers. These spiders benefit by enhancing the prey interception potential, but also suffer costs of increased...
Article
Full-text available
In the course of their foraging bouts, bees frequently encounter spider webs among the vegetation. The ability to see and avoid these webs is vital for the success of the individual bee’s foraging bout. In this study, we report on the response of stingless bees (Trigona carbonaria) towards the webs of the St. Andrew’s Cross spider (Argiope keyserli...
Article
Full-text available
A long-running debate in the spider literature concerns the function of the extra silk decorations in some spider webs. These decorations are appended to the web and constitute a highly visible signal, which is inconsistent with the trend towards web invisibility. Despite the sustained attention of researchers, the exact function of these decoratio...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals have conspicuous body colour that may serve physiological, camouflage or communicative functions. This study investigated the influence of bright coloration in orb-web spiders on the response of predator and prey using Argiope keyserlingi, the St Andrew's Cross spider. This species has three conspicuous yellow bands on its dorsal abdom...
Article
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Although conservation and management of tropical ecosystems requires that we understand the threats to these areas, there are no standardized methods to quantify threats to ecosystems. We used a geographic information system-based protocol with several physical and socioeconomic attributes to assess the threats to a protected area, a wildlife sanct...
Article
Full-text available
Red lists of taxa are important documents guiding the prioritization of conservation efforts. However the actual process of arriving at red lists has been contentious, because of the paucity of hard ecological data. In this article, we examine the red listing of plant species at two geographical scales: regional and local in the Western Ghats, Indi...
Article
Full-text available
Red lists of taxa are important documents guiding the prioritization of conservation efforts. However the actual process of arriving at red lists has been contentious, because of the paucity of hard ecological data. In this article, we examine the red listing of plant species at two geographical scales: regional and local in the Western Ghats, Indi...
Article
Full-text available
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) constitute the single largest determinant of livelihoods for scores of forest fringe communities and poor people in the tropics. In India over 50 million people are believed to be directly dependent upon NTFPs for their subsistence. However, such human dependence on NTFPs for livelihood gains (win) has most freque...
Article
Full-text available
Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRTWLS) is located in the middle of the bridge between Eastern and Western Ghats. There are about 245 birds in the Sanctuary. The present study was aimed to determine birds in various macrohabitats in BRTWLS. Birds were monitored and censused during different seasons for 18 months using transects that...
Article
Full-text available
Cyrtophora cicatrosa weaves a three-dimensional dome web and is commonly found in thorny bushes and cacti. The factors that could be responsible for this selection were studied, both by field observations and laboratory experiments. Structural requirements in terms of space availability were found to be an important factor in the selection of the w...

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Understand how plant size and spatial position influence the diversity of spider communities inhabiting epiphyte plants (canopy islands). We use the explicite tridimensional distribution of epiphyte plants at a very fine scale (1 x 1 cm) to understand the meaning of isolation for spider communities. Canopy island size is the main driver of spider diversity, but spatial position modulates its affect and influences the similarity patterns between spider communities.
Project
I am currently working in a manuscript on the use of DNA barcodes as tool for matching spider morphs regarding on ontological state or sex. This manuscript also includes a revision of the COI primers that have been used for spiders since 1980s to 2015.