Field observations suggested that the spider Enoploctenus cyclothorax (Bertkau 1880) avoids preying on the harvestman Mischonyx cuspidatus (Roewer 1913). The objectives of this study were to test the degree to which this prey avoidance occurred, and to test the effects of starvation on predation rates. Laboratory prey-predator encounters showed that 77.8% of the spiders rejected the harvestmen even after severe starvation, dying after sharing the same terrarium with a harvestman for 68.6 ± 21.8 days. Two spiders fed on the harvestmen, but only after one week. In comparison, crickets given to the control group were all consumed after 13 hours. Prey recognition and subsequent avoidance, without conspicuous exudation of the scent glands (92.9% of the cases), occurred only after the harvestman was touched. We conclude that adult E. cyclothorax do avoid preying on M. cuspidatus, even after severe starvation, suggesting that the latter is recognized by the former by its chemical properties.
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