Observations on Loxosceles Reclusa (araneae, Sicariidae) Feeding on Short-horned Grasshoppers
Observations on Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch & Mulaik 1940, feeding on various species of short-horned grasshoppers are presented. In this paper, prey attack strategy, duration of feeding, and behaviors surrounding feeding are reported. The spiders routinely fed on prey larger than themselves. Lightly touching prey with palps prior to feeding was always observed. The first quick bites and the first attachment sites were mostly peripheral, with later attachment sites central, on the head, thorax or abdomen. Feeding times, typically 3-10 hours, ranged up to 23 hours 38 minutes. The first long attachment was usually on a peripheral location of the prey (antenna or leg), but subsequent long attachments were more often central. Overall, 39.5% of long attachments were on the main body of the prey (not antenna or leg). Long attachments were then frequently followed by web spinning, or uncommonly, bradykinesia. Rocking, tugging or pulling at prey between attachments was common. The slow feeding from multiple sites on the prey appears to be an efficient strategy for this sit-and-wait predator to extract maximum nourishment from the large prey.
J. Parks et al., "Observations on Loxosceles Reclusa (araneae, Sicariidae) Feeding on Short-horned Grasshoppers," Journal of Arachnology, American Arachnological Society, Aug 2006.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1636/S04-32.1
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