Cheiracanthium inclusum (Hentz) (Araneae: Miturgidae), a spider that is common in cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., foliage, was tested for the impact of consumption of cotton pollen on its survival and development under conditions of prey limitation. Immature C. inclusum readily consumed cotton pollen grains that were pierced, crushed, and macerated with the mouthparts while being extraorally digested. When reared on a diet of cotton pollen alone, spiderlings survived 178% longer than those given only water (14.45 versus 5.2 d). When provided with a prey-limited diet (Five eggs of Helicoverpa zea, a favored prey) access to cotton pollen improved the likelihood of spiderlings molting to the second instar from 0 to 22%. This increased from 60 to 84% for spiderlings provided with 10 eggs plus access to pollen. Addition of cotton pollen also extended the survival of spiders fed five or 10 eggs. Supplemental consumption of pollen seems adaptive for this spider and may lead to increased survival and retention of spiders in cotton fields.
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