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How does Tarantula Lasiodora parahybena Mello Leitto (Aranea, Theraphosidae) detect its prey

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... Despite their size, tarantulas are generally limited to a "sit-and-wait" predation strategy. While other spiders use a variety of perception traits to detect prey, such as the excellent vision of jumping spiders (Su et al. 2007), tarantulas are much more limited in how they perceive their prey and environment (Blein et al. 1996). Furthermore, although tarantulas detect prey well through vibrations, they have difficulty in detecting smaller organisms; thus, potential prey fall within a specific size and weight range (Dor and Hénaut 2013). ...
... Theraphosids are considered sit-and-wait predators, waiting for prey at the entrance to their burrow or retreat. Few studies have focused on the sensory channels used by those spiders to detect their prey; however, the first account was given by Blein et al. (1996). The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula Lasiodora parahybana Mello-Leitão, 1917 (a burrowing species from Brazil) uses mainly vibrations to detect prey, but this predator also catches prey by using sound or sound with vision, although not odors or odors with vision (Blein et al. 1996). ...
... Few studies have focused on the sensory channels used by those spiders to detect their prey; however, the first account was given by Blein et al. (1996). The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula Lasiodora parahybana Mello-Leitão, 1917 (a burrowing species from Brazil) uses mainly vibrations to detect prey, but this predator also catches prey by using sound or sound with vision, although not odors or odors with vision (Blein et al. 1996). In this context, the silk present in the entrance to a burrow or retreat, together with the quality of the substrate, may play an important role, as the vibrations provoke and facilitate prey detection (Blein et al. 1996). ...
Chapter
The Aviculariinae spiders sensu lato are known as the American arboreal tarantulas. They are characterized mainly by having legs with few or no spines, laterally extended tarsal and metatarsal scopulae, resulting in a spatulate appearance of the appendices, absence of spiniform setae on the prolateral maxillae, females with completely separated spermathecae, males with palpal bulb with subtegulum not extended, and long and thin embolus without keels (except Antillena). Some Aviculariinae, together with all Theraphosinae, are the only spiders that evolutionarily acquired urticating setae as a defense mechanism. The primary mechanism for releasing the urticating setae in Theraphosinae is by the friction of the legs with the abdomen, which throws the urticating setae into the air, in contrast, in most Aviculariinae the releasing mechanism occurs by direct contact. The Aviculariinae tarantulas have received considerable taxonomic and biological attention and the validity as a monophyletic group has been discussed extensively. Some phylogenetic studies suggest at least two subfamilies for the American arboreal tarantulas and their kin: Aviculariinae and Psalmopoeinae. Likewise, the phylogenetic relationships of these groups have been questioned, linking these tarantulas more closely with African or American taxa. Taxonomy, systematics and some aspects of its natural history, behavioral and distribution are addressed in this chapter.
... Despite their size, tarantulas are generally limited to a "sit-and-wait" predation strategy. While other spiders use a variety of perception traits to detect prey, such as the excellent vision of jumping spiders (Su et al. 2007), tarantulas are much more limited in how they perceive their prey and environment (Blein et al. 1996). Furthermore, although tarantulas detect prey well through vibrations, they have difficulty in detecting smaller organisms; thus, potential prey fall within a specific size and weight range (Dor and Hénaut 2013). ...
... Theraphosids are considered sit-and-wait predators, waiting for prey at the entrance to their burrow or retreat. Few studies have focused on the sensory channels used by those spiders to detect their prey; however, the first account was given by Blein et al. (1996). The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula Lasiodora parahybana Mello-Leitão, 1917 (a burrowing species from Brazil) uses mainly vibrations to detect prey, but this predator also catches prey by using sound or sound with vision, although not odors or odors with vision (Blein et al. 1996). ...
... Few studies have focused on the sensory channels used by those spiders to detect their prey; however, the first account was given by Blein et al. (1996). The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula Lasiodora parahybana Mello-Leitão, 1917 (a burrowing species from Brazil) uses mainly vibrations to detect prey, but this predator also catches prey by using sound or sound with vision, although not odors or odors with vision (Blein et al. 1996). In this context, the silk present in the entrance to a burrow or retreat, together with the quality of the substrate, may play an important role, as the vibrations provoke and facilitate prey detection (Blein et al. 1996). ...
Chapter
Theraphosids interact with numerous species from invertebrates to humans. Their diet predominantly consists of insects, spiders and worms; however, their prey cover a wide range of taxa including mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and even the very toxic poison dart frogs. Practically blind, they detect prey by vibrations and may also use odors. Their predatory activity may affect the distribution of other predatory species such as other spiders or scorpions. Furthermore, predation may include cannibalism between females. Despite a variety of anti-predatory strategies that include urticating hairs, burrows, or special coloration, theraphosids are preyed upon by vertebrates such as coatis but also by invertebrates including the giant earthworm and other spiders. Parasitoid hawk wasps hunt tarantulas and they are also parasitized by flies. Tarantulas may be found in commensalistic associations with toads or bromeliads. In their natural range, they also interact with humans and native people from different regions of America who use them for food or as part of traditional medicine. The diversity of these interactions and adaptations may be considered as the result of a long evolutionary history.
... Despite their size, tarantulas are generally limited to a "sit-and-wait" predation strategy. While other spiders use a variety of perception traits to detect prey, such as the excellent vision of jumping spiders (Su et al. 2007), tarantulas are much more limited in how they perceive their prey and environment (Blein et al. 1996). Furthermore, although tarantulas detect prey well through vibrations, they have difficulty in detecting smaller organisms; thus, potential prey fall within a specific size and weight range (Dor and Hénaut 2013). ...
... Theraphosids are considered sit-and-wait predators, waiting for prey at the entrance to their burrow or retreat. Few studies have focused on the sensory channels used by those spiders to detect their prey; however, the first account was given by Blein et al. (1996). The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula Lasiodora parahybana Mello-Leitão, 1917 (a burrowing species from Brazil) uses mainly vibrations to detect prey, but this predator also catches prey by using sound or sound with vision, although not odors or odors with vision (Blein et al. 1996). ...
... Few studies have focused on the sensory channels used by those spiders to detect their prey; however, the first account was given by Blein et al. (1996). The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula Lasiodora parahybana Mello-Leitão, 1917 (a burrowing species from Brazil) uses mainly vibrations to detect prey, but this predator also catches prey by using sound or sound with vision, although not odors or odors with vision (Blein et al. 1996). In this context, the silk present in the entrance to a burrow or retreat, together with the quality of the substrate, may play an important role, as the vibrations provoke and facilitate prey detection (Blein et al. 1996). ...
Chapter
Studying morphology of Theraphosidae spiders can be very challenging, especially if the main objective is assembling characters for systematics. Such spiders present a homogeneous morphology, which, according to some specialists, has driven the attention of systematists to other groups of Araneae. Nevertheless, a great diversity of cuticular structures has been overlooked until the widespread use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in the last years for theraphosids. Among all mygalomorphs, Theraphosidae spiders possess the greatest variety of cuticular features. Data regarding cuticular features are still incipient, but we have been gathering massive quantity of SEM images of all parts of the spider body, revealing interesting structures to be used in systematics and investigated for functional morphology. In addition to the well-known tarsal adhesive setae of theraphosids and the urticating setae of Theraphosinae, we found putative chemosensitive setae, a great variety of stridulating setae, distinct morphologies of leg and palpal structures, including cuticular projections, labial and maxillary cuspules, trichobothria, as well as other enigmatic features. In this chapter, we aim to present a comprehensive revision of cuticular features of New World Theraphosidae spiders, with descriptions and micrographs.
... Theraphosidae now consists of 112 genera (version 15.0, July 2014, N. I. Platnick, http://research.amnh.org/iz/spiders/catalog_15.0/). Ta-rantulas are largely nocturnal ambush predators that reside in retreats or burrows (14) and primarily navigate by chemotactile senses (15). Although tarantulas have eight eyes, like most other spiders, their visual ability is highly limited because they only have a single type of photopigment and have low acuity (16). ...
... After two washes, the ethanol was replaced with fresh 100% ethanol for the last time, and the samples sat for another 24 hours to ensure complete dehydration. Epon resin infiltration was carried out in increasing Epon resin concentrations in acetone (15,50,70, and 100%). In each step, Epon resin was allowed to infiltrate for 24 hours. ...
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Slight shifts in arrangement within biological photonic nanostructures can produce large color differences, and sexual selection often leads to high color diversity in clades with structural colors. We use phylogenetic reconstruction, electron microscopy, spectrophotometry, and optical modeling to show an opposing pattern of nanostructural diversification accompanied by unusual conservation of blue color in tarantulas (Araneae: Theraphosidae). In contrast to other clades, blue coloration in phylogenetically distant tarantulas peaks within a narrow 20-nm region around 450 nm. Both quasi-ordered and multilayer nanostructures found in different tarantulas produce this blue color. Thus, even within monophyletic lineages, tarantulas have evolved strikingly similar blue coloration through divergent mechanisms. The poor color perception and lack of conspicuous display during courtship of tarantulas argue that these colors are not sexually selected. Therefore, our data contrast with sexual selection that typically produces a diverse array of colors with a single structural mechanism by showing that natural selection on structural color in tarantulas resulted in convergence on similar color through diverse structural mechanisms.
... The preference of tarantulas for larger wolf spiders can be explained by their limited detection abilities. Previous works demonstrated the poor vibratory detection of prey by the Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana (Mello-Leitão, 1917)) (Redondo 1994;Blein et al. 1996) and its limited visual abilities (Baerg 1958). For instance, the vibrations created by small prey do not cause attack of the golden orb-web spider (Nephila clavipes (L., 1767)) (Zschokke et al. 2006;Hénaut et al. 2010). ...
... For instance, the vibrations created by small prey do not cause attack of the golden orb-web spider (Nephila clavipes (L., 1767)) (Zschokke et al. 2006;Hénaut et al. 2010). Thus, because the tarantula uses vibration to detect prey (Blein et al. 1996), it is probable that the vibrations created by the slow small wolf spiders were not detected by the tarantula, whereas the constantly moving cockroaches were easily detected . A second reason could be that the small wolf spiders provide fewer nutrients than larger cockroaches when predated. ...
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Behavioural adaptation helps animals to maximize their ability to obtain food and to avoid being eaten, increasing fitness. To achieve this, they must assess predation risk and evaluate foraging needs simultaneously. In two sympatric spider species, the wandering wolf spider Lycosa subfusca F. O. P. Cambridge, 1902 and the sit-and-wait tarantula Brachypelma vagans Ausserer, 1875, we studied the relationship between predatory behaviour and antipredatory behaviour at different life stages. In the laboratory, encounters were organized between one wolf spider (small, medium or large) and one tarantula (spiderling, small, medium or large). Attack latencies and behaviours were recorded. The results showed that wolf spiders attacked and successfully captured younger tarantulas, while they avoided or retreated from older ones. Tarantulas preferentially attacked and captured older wolf spiders. On other hand, younger wolf spiders were more cautious than older ones, which waited until for the tarantulas to attack before retreating. Younger tarantulas were also more cautious than adults which never retreated from attack and increased their success in attacks with age. Finally, we discuss the relationship between the predatory strategies of both spiders with their perception abilities and life history.
... Many species of spiders are wanderers that pursue their prey using visual information or the vibrations produced by prey as they move through the air or upon soil [54]. They often build silken retreats in vegetation, or under bark or stones, but may move frequently. ...
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Full-text available
This article describes the links between the production of silk by spiders and their behaviour. Silk allows the spider to change its physical environment, which in turn leads to behavioural changes and impacts in the new environment. The feedback between silk and the animal producer can explain the architecture of spider webs and their adaptation to the environment, by referring only to stereotypic stimulus-response reactions without necessarily resorting to a “representation” by the animal of the structure it builds. Silk can act as a means of protection against environmental stress, a snare for prey, a means of locomotion, and also as support for chemical signals or to act as a vector of vibratory signals. These last two functions have undoubtedly played a key role in spider socialization and explains the phenomena of group cohesion, collective decision making, and the coordination of activities, without resorting to mental “representations” for the overall situation. The bulk of this review describes silk as the chief agent directing the construction of traps, communication, social cohesion, and cooperation amongst its producers.
... Journal of Natural History, 2005; 39(27): 2515–2523 this genus are particularly attractive for people who rear these spiders as pets because they are colourful, large, and docile (Locht et al. 1999). Even if these tarantulas are officially protected, few efforts have been done to increase knowledge about their ecology (Yáñ ez and Floater 2000) and behaviour (Blein et al. 1996; Locht et al. 1999; Reichling 2000). In fact, most studies about Brachypelma tarantulas concern their geographic distribution (Valerio 1980; Smith 1986 Smith , 1994 Baxter 1993; Edwards and Hibbard 1999; Locht et al. 1999) and their systematics (Coddington and Levi 1991; Pérez-Miles 1992; Pérez-Miles et al. 1996). ...
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We describe the structure of a population ofBrachypelma vagans(Ausserer, 1875) in relation to the intensity of human activity and report characteristics of the burrows in Campeche, Mexico. During September and October 2003, we established sampling areas in five different classes of vegetation type/land use: mature forest (MF), secondary forest (SF), backyard (BY), and a football field divided into corner area (FC) and goal area (FG). The densities of spiders and the proportion of different age/ gender classes of individuals on the sites were compared. Morphological data among adults and juveniles were contrasted, and differences in morphology between juveniles were tested according to land use class. We compared the nearest distances between neighbouring burrows and between burrows and trees. Also, we studied the orientation of the burrows, and compared the diameter of the burrow entrance.Brachypelma vaganswas found exclusively in the open areas with densities that ranked from 0.02 to 0.1 individuals per square metre, being among the highest ever reported for Theraphosidae. However, there was a negative relationship between density and intensity of human activity. The population of this tarantula shows segregation in occupation of space. Females occupied exclusively the backyards, whereas juveniles occupied sites according to their stage of development. The youngest juveniles occupied the backyards, while the pre-adults occupied the football field. The distance between burrows was highly variable at all the sites. However it tended to be shorter in the backyards. The orientation of burrows was in all sites preferentially directed northwards. The diameter of the burrow entrances was a relatively good indicator of the sex and age of its occupier, and related almost directly to the dimension of the body. This study provides better knowledge of the structure ofB. vaganspopulations in a human-modified environment and gives new information on the natural history of these spiders.
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