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:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ... the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief ... to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... firm is utilizing its extensive experience with Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) ... Health Record data. In 2014, US healthcare spending exceeded $3.0 trillion with nearly ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 , ... Today Aether ... a project, funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant, to ... Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also known as the Gates Foundation, is said to ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... OAI, a ... MEMS, and Microfluidics Industries, announces the new Model 800E front and backside, semi-automatic ... automated production mask aligners. OAI has already received and installed several orders ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 17, 2017 , ... ... cancer research and personalized medicine, today announced the launch of a new breast ... Missouri. The study’s goal is to evaluate the potential for early detection of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: