Phidippus audax (Hentz 1845), a common North American jumping spider, is a visual predator that uses its highly developed eyesight to detect and forage actively for prey. We demonstrate that P. audax can survive throughout its life cycle as a scavenger. We separated 600 spiderlings into eight treatments examining all combinations of three different variables: live versus dead prey, substrate present versus substrate absent, and large versus small arenas. Over the course of the study, we recorded survival rates, instar durations, and carapace widths. Our results indicate that P. audax can survive solely on a diet of dead prey, but at significantly lower survival rates and with longer instar durations than spiders fed on live prey. Scavenging spiders, however, exhibited no significant difference in carapace widths when compared to predators. Choice tests conducted on adults indicate that spiders raised as either predators or scavengers exhibit no significant differences in prey choice when given the option of live or dead prey.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3