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1 August 2006 OBSERVATIONS ON LOXOSCELES RECLUSA (ARANEAE, SICARIIDAE) FEEDING ON SHORT-HORNED GRASSHOPPERS
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Abstract

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.

Jennifer Parks, William V. Stoecker, and Charles Kristensen "OBSERVATIONS ON LOXOSCELES RECLUSA (ARANEAE, SICARIIDAE) FEEDING ON SHORT-HORNED GRASSHOPPERS," The Journal of Arachnology 34(1), (1 August 2006). https://doi.org/10.1636/S04-32.1
Received: 15 May 2004; Published: 1 August 2006
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