Navigation Links
Spiders partial to a side order of pollen with their flies
Date:12/17/2013

Spiders may not be the pure predators we generally believe, after a study found that some make up a quarter of their diet by eating pollen.

Dr Dirk Sanders of the University of Exeter demonstrated that orb web spiders like the common garden variety choose to eat pollen even when insects are available.

Spider webs snare insect prey, but can also trap aerial plankton like pollen and fungal spores.

Dr Sanders, alongside Mr Benjamin Eggs from the University of Bern, conducted feeding experiments and a stable isotope analysis on juvenile spiders to see whether they incorporate plant resources into their diet.

They discovered that 25 per cent of the spiders' food intake was made up of pollen, with the remaining 75 per cent consisting of flying insects.

The spiders that ate both pollen and flies gained optimal nourishment, with all essential nutrients delivered by the combination.

Dr Sanders, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus, said: "Most people and researchers think of spiders as pure carnivores, but in this family of orb web spiders that is not the case. We have demonstrated that the spiders feed on pollen caught in their webs, even if they have additional food, and that it forms an important part of their nourishment.

"The proportion of pollen in the spiders' diet in the wild was high, so we need to classify them as omnivores rather than carnivores."

Orb web spiders regularly take down and eat their webs to recycle the silk proteins, and it had been suggested they may 'accidentally' consume the pollen during this process.

But the study found this to be impossible due to the size of the grains ingested, indicating that they were actively consumed by the spider coating them in a digestive enzyme before sucking up the nutrients.


'/>"/>

Contact: Eleanor Gaskarth
e.f.gaskarth@exeter.ac.uk
07-827-309-332
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. 3 new wafer trapdoor spiders from Brazil
2. UF study shows spiders, not birds, may drive evolution of some butterflies
3. Snakes minus birds equals more spiders for Guam
4. Aussie wasp on the hunt for redback spiders
5. Are brown widows displacing black widow spiders around southern California homes?
6. Vampire jumping spiders identify victims by their antennae
7. Velvet spiders emerge from underground in new cybertaxonomic monograph
8. Crabs, insects and spiders vulnerable to oil spill, but also resilient
9. Flying jewels spell death for baby spiders
10. Discovery of partial skeleton suggests ruggedly built, tree-climbing human ancestor
11. Quadriplegics at risk for serious sleep breathing disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Spiders partial to a side order of pollen with their flies
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions ... serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of ... director of public safety business development. Mr. ... enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation ... most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... HAMBURG, Germany , March 13, 2017 Future of ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match ... characteristics forms the basis to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... SALT LAKE CITY , March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... solutions that help top global companies identify the best ... Leonard as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and ... and Kucer,s appointments round out a seasoned executive team poised ... year and beyond, building on a year of record ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having ... than a year, Formaspace is pleased to introduce it to top lab design architects ... Formaspace CEO Jeff Turk and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ANAHEIM, California, and BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... of photonics technologies for sensing, imaging, and related applications were the focus of ... Defense and Commercial Sensing 2017 in Anaheim. , Sponsored by SPIE, ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), ... and technology start-ups, is hosting “Celebration Friday” (a festive gathering highlighting client success ... libations and networking at 3:30 p.m. at FITCI’s 4539 Metropolitan Court location, off ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 ... ... University Virtual Event , this new webinar will explore challenging patient cases when ... admitted to the hospital, there may be a need for bridging parental anticoagulation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: