Journal of East African Natural History

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Specialised predation by Palpimanus sp. (Araneae: Palpimanidae) on jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae)

Ana M Cerveira, Robert R Jackson


This is the first detailed report on the natural prey and the prey-capture tactics of a Palpimanus sp. from Entebbe (Uganda). Although this species fed occasionally on insects, its dominant prey in the field was other spiders, especially jumping spiders (Salticidae) and their eggs. Encounters between Palpimanus sp. and salticids were staged in the laboratory under red light (to simulate nocturnal or dimly-lit conditions) and under white light (i.e. full light, to simulate daylight or brightly-lit conditions). Altering ambient lighting had no discernible effect on the palpimanid's predatory tactics, suggesting that eyesight has little, if any role, in governing the palpimanid's prey-capture behaviour. Reliance on stealth appeared to be critical in enabling the palpimanid to avoid detection and to succeed at capturing salticids. The prey-capture tactics of Palpimanus sp. are compared to the tactics used by other araneophagic spiders to capture salticids.

Journal of East African Natural History: a Journal of Biodiversity Vol. 94(2) 2005: 303-317[303:SPBPSA]2.0.CO;2
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