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Sample records for martian spider web

  1. Funnel-web spider bite

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002844.htm Funnel-web spider bite To use the sharing features on ... the effects of a bite from the funnel-web spider. Male funnel-web spiders are more poisonous ...

  2. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Wenjin; Liu, Shengjie; Yang, Xiaodong; Li, Daiqin; Lei, Chaoliang

    2015-09-24

    A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjin Gan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

  4. Science Education Resources on the Web--Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirunarayanan, M. O.

    1997-01-01

    Lists Web sites containing information on spiders and offers brief descriptions of the information available at those sites. The 11 sites provide information on taxonomy of spiders, anatomy, different ways spiders use silk, Internet mailing lists, folk literature and art, bibliographies, night collection, and spiders commonly found in the state of…

  5. Application of 3 kinds of practical electromagnetic spiders in electromagnetic spider web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Min

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Electromagnetic spider web the launch circuit has introduced a lot, but in the center position of the utility of the spider generally have 3 kinds of circuits respectively, the use of single-chip microcomputer circuit of the low energy consumption spider by multi-channel transmission, single circuit receiver circuit. Direct use of the 3 channels of the spider and the use of PLC circuit spider, depending on the actual situation were placed.

  6. Application of 3 kinds of practical electromagnetic spiders in electromagnetic spider web

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang Min

    2016-01-01

    Electromagnetic spider web the launch circuit has introduced a lot, but in the center position of the utility of the spider generally have 3 kinds of circuits respectively, the use of single-chip microcomputer circuit of the low energy consumption spider by multi-channel transmission, single circuit receiver circuit. Direct use of the 3 channels of the spider and the use of PLC circuit spider, depending on the actual situation were placed.

  7. Remote monitoring of vibrational information in spider webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortimer, B.; Soler, A.; Siviour, C. R.; Vollrath, F.

    2018-06-01

    Spiders are fascinating model species to study information-acquisition strategies, with the web acting as an extension of the animal's body. Here, we compare the strategies of two orb-weaving spiders that acquire information through vibrations transmitted and filtered in the web. Whereas Araneus diadematus monitors web vibration directly on the web, Zygiella x-notata uses a signal thread to remotely monitor web vibration from a retreat, which gives added protection. We assess the implications of these two information-acquisition strategies on the quality of vibration information transfer, using laser Doppler vibrometry to measure vibrations of real webs and finite element analysis in computer models of webs. We observed that the signal thread imposed no biologically relevant time penalty for vibration propagation. However, loss of energy (attenuation) was a cost associated with remote monitoring via a signal thread. The findings have implications for the biological use of vibrations by spiders, including the mechanisms to locate and discriminate between vibration sources. We show that orb-weaver spiders are fascinating examples of organisms that modify their physical environment to shape their information-acquisition strategy.

  8. Research on Artificial Spider Web Model for Farmland Wireless Sensor Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Through systematic analysis of the structural characteristics and invulnerability of spider web, this paper explores the possibility of combining the advantages of spider web such as network robustness and invulnerability with farmland wireless sensor network. A universally applicable definition and mathematical model of artificial spider web structure are established. The comparison between artificial spider web and traditional networks is discussed in detail. The simulation result shows that the networking structure of artificial spider web is better than that of traditional networks in terms of improving the overall reliability and invulnerability of communication system. A comprehensive study on the advantage characteristics of spider web has important theoretical and practical significance for promoting the invulnerability research of farmland wireless sensor network.

  9. Research on Artificial Spider Web Model for Farmland Wireless Sensor Network

    OpenAIRE

    Jun Wang; Song Gao; Shimin Zhao; Guang Hu; Xiaoli Zhang; Guowang Xie

    2018-01-01

    Through systematic analysis of the structural characteristics and invulnerability of spider web, this paper explores the possibility of combining the advantages of spider web such as network robustness and invulnerability with farmland wireless sensor network. A universally applicable definition and mathematical model of artificial spider web structure are established. The comparison between artificial spider web and traditional networks is discussed in detail. The simulation result shows tha...

  10. Determination of PCDDs in spider webs: preliminary studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybak, Justyna; Rutkowski, Radosław

    2018-01-01

    The application of spider webs for determination of polichlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs) has been studied for the first time. The aim of the studies was to find out if spider webs are suitable for such examinations as it was proved in the previous research they are excellent indicators of air pollutants. Spiders are ubiquitous, thus collection of samples is easy and non-invasive. Studies were conducted within the city of Wrocław and surroundings, one of the biggest and at the same time heaviest polluted city in Poland. Five research sites have been chosen, where spider webs were collected after 60 days of continuous exposure time. Webs belonging to two genera Tegenaria sylvestris and Tegenaria ferruginea (family Agelenidae) have been chosen as they are large and very dense, thus they are very suitable for such examinations. Webs were found to retain dioxins probably mainly by external exposure. These promising results should be continued and expanded in the future research.

  11. Vibration transmission through sheet webs of hobo spiders (Eratigena agrestis) and tangle webs of western black widow spiders (Latrodectus hesperus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vibert, Samantha; Scott, Catherine; Gries, Gerhard

    2016-11-01

    Web-building spiders construct their own vibratory signaling environments. Web architecture should affect signal design, and vice versa, such that vibratory signals are transmitted with a minimum of attenuation and degradation. However, the web is the medium through which a spider senses both vibratory signals from courting males and cues produced by captured prey. Moreover, webs function not only in vibration transmission, but also in defense from predators and the elements. These multiple functions may impose conflicting selection pressures on web design. We investigated vibration transmission efficiency and accuracy through two web types with contrasting architectures: sheet webs of Eratigena agrestis (Agelenidae) and tangle webs of Latrodectus hesperus (Theridiidae). We measured vibration transmission efficiencies by playing frequency sweeps through webs with a piezoelectric vibrator and a loudspeaker, recording the resulting web vibrations at several locations on each web using a laser Doppler vibrometer. Transmission efficiencies through both web types were highly variable, with within-web variation greater than among-web variation. There was little difference in transmission efficiencies of longitudinal and transverse vibrations. The inconsistent transmission of specific frequencies through webs suggests that parameters other than frequency are most important in allowing these spiders to distinguish between vibrations of prey and courting males.

  12. Tangled in a sparse spider web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dimitrov, Dimitar Stefanov; Lopardo, Lara; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2012-01-01

    In order to study the tempo and the mode of spider orb web evolution and diversification, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis using six genetic markers along with a comprehensive taxon sample. The present analyses are the first to recover the monophyly of orb-weaving spiders based solely on DNA ...

  13. Web building and silk properties functionally covary among species of wolf spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacava, Mariángeles; Camargo, Arley; Garcia, Luis F; Benamú, Marco A; Santana, Martin; Fang, Jian; Wang, Xungai; Blamires, Sean J

    2018-04-15

    Although phylogenetic studies have shown covariation between the properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silk and web building, both spider webs and silks are highly plastic so we cannot be sure whether these traits functionally covary or just vary across environments that the spiders occupy. As MaSp2-like proteins provide MA silk with greater extensibility, their presence is considered necessary for spider webs to effectively capture prey. Wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are predominantly non-web building, but a select few species build webs. We accordingly collected MA silk from two web-building and six non-web-building species found in semirural ecosystems in Uruguay to test whether the presence of MaSp2-like proteins (indicated by amino acid composition, silk mechanical properties and silk nanostructures) was associated with web building across the group. The web-building and non-web-building species were from disparate subfamilies so we estimated a genetic phylogeny to perform appropriate comparisons. For all of the properties measured, we found differences between web-building and non-web-building species. A phylogenetic regression model confirmed that web building and not phylogenetic inertia influences silk properties. Our study definitively showed an ecological influence over spider silk properties. We expect that the presence of the MaSp2-like proteins and the subsequent nanostructures improves the mechanical performance of silks within the webs. Our study furthers our understanding of spider web and silk co-evolution and the ecological implications of spider silk properties. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. Spider Web Pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    A delicate pattern, like that of a spider web, appears on top of the Mars residual polar cap, after the seasonal carbon-dioxide ice slab has disappeared. Next spring, these will likely mark the sites of vents when the carbon-dioxide ice cap returns. This Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Orbiter Camera image is about 3-kilometers wide (2-miles).

  15. Science 101: Why Don't Spiders Stick to Their Own Webs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bill

    2011-01-01

    This article explains why spiders don't stick to their webs. Spiders don't get stuck in their own webs (and they aren't immune to their own glue) because they use a combination of sticky and nonsticky threads (different glands for producing those), and the glue is in droplets that the spider can avoid but the prey can't. The spider's nervous…

  16. Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth J. Roberson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Indirect ecological effects are a common feature of ecological systems, arising when one species affects interactions among two or more other species. We examined how browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus indirectly affected the abundance and composition of a web-building spider guild through their effects on the structure of the ground and shrub layers of northern hardwood forests. We examined paired plots consisting of deer-free and control plots in the Allegheny Plateau region Pennsylvania and Northern Highlands region of Wisconsin. We recorded the abundance of seven types of webs, each corresponding to a family of web-building spiders. We quantified vegetation structure and habitat suitability for the spiders by computing a web scaffold availability index (WSAI at 0.5 m and 1.0 m above the ground. At Northern Highlands sites, we recorded prey availability. Spider webs were twice as abundant in deer-free plots compared to control plots, while WSAI was 7–12 times greater in deerfree plots. Prey availability was lower in deer-free plots. With the exception of funnel web-builders, all spider web types were significantly more abundant in deer-free plots. Both deer exclusion and the geographic region of plots were significant predictors of spider community structure. In closed canopy forests with high browsing pressure, the low density of tree saplings and shrubs provides few locations for web-building spiders to anchor webs. Recruitment of these spiders may become coupled with forest disturbance events that increase tree and shrub recruitment. By modifying habitat structure, deer appear to indirectly modify arthropod food web interactions. As deer populations have increased in eastern North America over the past several decades, the effects of deer on web-building spiders may be widespread.

  17. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R [Department of Physics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia); Herberstein, M E, E-mail: deb.kane@mq.edu.a [Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia)

    2010-09-15

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  18. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R; Herberstein, M E

    2010-01-01

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  19. Management intensity and vegetation complexity affect web-building spiders and their prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, Eva; Mader, Viktoria L; Wolters, Volkmar; Birkhofer, Klaus

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management and vegetation complexity affect arthropod diversity and may alter trophic interactions between predators and their prey. Web-building spiders are abundant generalist predators and important natural enemies of pests. We analyzed how management intensity (tillage, cutting of the vegetation, grazing by cattle, and synthetic and organic inputs) and vegetation complexity (plant species richness, vegetation height, coverage, and density) affect rarefied richness and composition of web-building spiders and their prey with respect to prey availability and aphid predation in 12 habitats, ranging from an uncut fallow to a conventionally managed maize field. Spiders and prey from webs were collected manually and the potential prey were quantified using sticky traps. The species richness of web-building spiders and the order richness of prey increased with plant diversity and vegetation coverage. Prey order richness was lower at tilled compared to no-till sites. Hemipterans (primarily aphids) were overrepresented, while dipterans, hymenopterans, and thysanopterans were underrepresented in webs compared to sticky traps. The per spider capture efficiency for aphids was higher at tilled than at no-till sites and decreased with vegetation complexity. After accounting for local densities, 1.8 times more aphids were captured at uncut compared to cut sites. Our results emphasize the functional role of web-building spiders in aphid predation, but suggest negative effects of cutting or harvesting. We conclude that reduced management intensity and increased vegetation complexity help to conserve local invertebrate diversity, and that web-building spiders at sites under low management intensity (e.g., semi-natural habitats) contribute to aphid suppression at the landscape scale.

  20. Interactive effects of fire and large herbivores on web-building spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, C N; Barton, P S; Wood, J T; Lindenmayer, D B

    2015-09-01

    Altered disturbance regimes are a major driver of biodiversity loss worldwide. Maintaining or re-creating natural disturbance regimes is therefore the focus of many conservation programmes. A key challenge, however, is to understand how co-occurring disturbances interact to affect biodiversity. We experimentally tested for the interactive effects of prescribed fire and large macropod herbivores on the web-building spider assemblage of a eucalypt forest understorey and investigated the role of vegetation in mediating these effects using path analysis. Fire had strong negative effects on the density of web-building spiders, which were partly mediated by effects on vegetation structure, while negative effects of large herbivores on web density were not related to changes in vegetation. Fire amplified the effects of large herbivores on spiders, both via vegetation-mediated pathways and by increasing herbivore activity. The importance of vegetation-mediated pathways and fire-herbivore interactions differed for web density and richness and also differed between web types. Our results demonstrate that for some groups of web-building spiders, the effects of co-occurring disturbance drivers may be mostly additive, whereas for other groups, interactions between drivers can amplify disturbance effects. In our study system, the use of prescribed fire in the presence of high densities of herbivores could lead to reduced densities and altered composition of web-building spiders, with potential cascading effects through the arthropod food web. Our study highlights the importance of considering both the independent and interactive effects of disturbances, as well as the mechanisms driving their effects, in the management of disturbance regimes.

  1. How did the spider cross the river? Behavioral adaptations for river-bridging webs in Caerostris darwini (Araneae: Araneidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matjaž Gregorič

    Full Text Available Interspecific coevolution is well described, but we know significantly less about how multiple traits coevolve within a species, particularly between behavioral traits and biomechanical properties of animals' "extended phenotypes". In orb weaving spiders, coevolution of spider behavior with ecological and physical traits of their webs is expected. Darwin's bark spider (Caerostris darwini bridges large water bodies, building the largest known orb webs utilizing the toughest known silk. Here, we examine C. darwini web building behaviors to establish how bridge lines are formed over water. We also test the prediction that this spider's unique web ecology and architecture coevolved with new web building behaviors.We observed C. darwini in its natural habitat and filmed web building. We observed 90 web building events, and compared web building behaviors to other species of orb web spiders.Caerostris darwini uses a unique set of behaviors, some unknown in other spiders, to construct its enormous webs. First, the spiders release unusually large amounts of bridging silk into the air, which is then carried downwind, across the water body, establishing bridge lines. Second, the spiders perform almost no web site exploration. Third, they construct the orb capture area below the initial bridge line. In contrast to all known orb-weavers, the web hub is therefore not part of the initial bridge line but is instead built de novo. Fourth, the orb contains two types of radial threads, with those in the upper half of the web doubled. These unique behaviors result in a giant, yet rather simplified web. Our results continue to build evidence for the coevolution of behavioral (web building, ecological (web microhabitat and biomaterial (silk biomechanics traits that combined allow C. darwini to occupy a unique niche among spiders.

  2. A continuum membrane model for small deformations of a spider orb-web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morassi, Antonino; Soler, Alejandro; Zaera, Ramón

    2017-09-01

    In this paper we propose a continuum membrane model for the infinitesimal deformation of a spider web. The model is derived in the simple context of axially-symmetric webs formed by radial threads connected with circumferential threads belonging to concentric circles. Under suitable assumption on the tensile pre-stress acting in the referential configuration, the out-of-plane static equilibrium and the free transverse and in-plane vibration of a supported circular orb-web are studied in detail. The accuracy of the model in describing a discrete spider web is numerically investigated.

  3. Molecular phylogeny of moth-specialized spider sub-family Cyrtarachninae, which includes bolas spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanikawa, Akio; Shinkai, Akira; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-11-01

    The evolutionary process of the unique web architectures of spiders of the sub-family Cyrtarachninae, which includes the triangular web weaver, bolas spider, and webless spider, is thought to be derived from reduction of orbicular 'spanning-thread webs' resembling ordinal orb webs. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted to explore this hypothesis using orbicular web spiders Cyrtarachne, Paraplectana, Poecilopachys, triangular web spider Pasilobus, bolas spiders Ordgarius and Mastophora, and webless spider Celaenia. The phylogeny inferred from partial sequences of mt-COI, nuclear 18S-rRNA and 28S-rRNA showed that the common ancestor of these spiders diverged into two clades: a spanning-thread web clade and a bolas or webless clade. This finding suggests that the triangular web evolved by reduction of an orbicular spanning web, but that bolas spiders evolved in the early stage, which does not support the gradual web reduction hypothesis.

  4. Phylogenomics resolves a spider backbone phylogeny and rejects a prevailing paradigm for orb web evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Jason E; Garrison, Nicole L; Hamilton, Chris A; Godwin, Rebecca L; Hedin, Marshal; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2014-08-04

    Spiders represent an ancient predatory lineage known for their extraordinary biomaterials, including venoms and silks. These adaptations make spiders key arthropod predators in most terrestrial ecosystems. Despite ecological, biomedical, and biomaterial importance, relationships among major spider lineages remain unresolved or poorly supported. Current working hypotheses for a spider "backbone" phylogeny are largely based on morphological evidence, as most molecular markers currently employed are generally inadequate for resolving deeper-level relationships. We present here a phylogenomic analysis of spiders including taxa representing all major spider lineages. Our robust phylogenetic hypothesis recovers some fundamental and uncontroversial spider clades, but rejects the prevailing paradigm of a monophyletic Orbiculariae, the most diverse lineage, containing orb-weaving spiders. Based on our results, the orb web either evolved much earlier than previously hypothesized and is ancestral for a majority of spiders or else it has multiple independent origins, as hypothesized by precladistic authors. Cribellate deinopoid orb weavers that use mechanically adhesive silk are more closely related to a diverse clade of mostly webless spiders than to the araneoid orb-weaving spiders that use adhesive droplet silks. The fundamental shift in our understanding of spider phylogeny proposed here has broad implications for interpreting the evolution of spiders, their remarkable biomaterials, and a key extended phenotype--the spider web. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. On the Colours of Spider Orb-Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhr, Wilfried; Schlichting, H. Joachim

    2011-01-01

    A sticky capture thread from the spiral element of spider orb-webs is formed of almost regularly spaced droplets that surround a supporting axial fibre. From the perspective of physical optics it represents a periodic linear array of scattering elements that acts as a diffraction grating. This is a novel aspect, which is of vital importance for…

  6. 46 SPIDER WEBS AS INDICATORS OF COBALT AND LEAD ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Spider webs were collected from the indoor and outdoor of 120 sampling sites of 10 zones of Kano ... diet, cobalt containing ceramic is administered into ... significant human and environmental health risk. ..... Evaluation of Health Workers.

  7. Spider-web amphiphiles as artificial lipid clusters: design, synthesis, and accommodation of lipid components at the air-water interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariga, Katsuhiko; Urakawa, Toshihiro; Michiue, Atsuo; Kikuchi, Jun-ichi

    2004-08-03

    As a novel category of two-dimensional lipid clusters, dendrimers having an amphiphilic structure in every unit were synthesized and labeled "spider-web amphiphiles". Amphiphilic units based on a Lys-Lys-Glu tripeptide with hydrophobic tails at the C-terminal and a polar head at the N-terminal are dendrically connected through stepwise peptide coupling. This structural design allowed us to separately introduce the polar head and hydrophobic tails. Accordingly, we demonstrated the synthesis of the spider-web amphiphile series in three combinations: acetyl head/C16 chain, acetyl head/C18 chain, and ammonium head/C16 chain. All the spider-web amphiphiles were synthesized in satisfactory yields, and characterized by 1H NMR, MALDI-TOFMS, GPC, and elemental analyses. Surface pressure (pi)-molecular area (A) isotherms showed the formation of expanded monolayers except for the C18-chain amphiphile at 10 degrees C, for which the molecular area in the condensed phase is consistent with the cross-sectional area assigned for all the alkyl chains. In all the spider-web amphiphiles, the molecular areas at a given pressure in the expanded phase increased in proportion to the number of units, indicating that alkyl chains freely fill the inner space of the dendritic core. The mixing of octadecanoic acid with the spider-web amphiphiles at the air-water interface induced condensation of the molecular area. From the molecular area analysis, the inclusion of the octadecanoic acid bears a stoichiometric characteristic; i.e., the number of captured octadecanoic acids in the spider-web amphiphile roughly agrees with the number of branching points in the spider-web amphiphile.

  8. Adjustment of web-building initiation to high humidity: a constraint by humidity-dependent thread stickiness in the spider Cyrtarachne.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baba, Yuki G; Kusahara, Miki; Maezono, Yasunori; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-07-01

    Cyrtarachne is an orb-weaving spider belonging to the subfamily Cyrtarachninae (Araneidae) which includes triangular-web-building Pasilobus and bolas spiders. The Cyrtarachninae is a group of spiders specialized in catching moths, which is thought to have evolved from ordinary orb-weaving araneids. Although the web-building time of nocturnal spiders is in general related to the time of sunset, anecdotal evidence has suggested variability of web-building time in Cyrtarachne and its closely related genera. This study has examined the effects of temperature, humidity, moonlight intensity, and prey (moths) availability on web-building time of Cyrtarachne bufo, Cyrtarachne akirai, and Cyrtarachne nagasakiensis. Generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) have revealed that humidity, and not prey availability, was the essential variable that explained the daily variability of web-building time. Experiments measuring thread stickiness under different humidities showed that, although the thread of Cyrtarachne was found to have strong stickiness under high humidity, low humidity caused a marked decrease of thread stickiness. By contrast, no obvious change in stickiness was seen in an ordinary orb-weaving spider, Larinia argiopiformis. These findings suggest that Cyrtarachne adjusts its web-building time to favorable conditions of high humidity maintaining strong stickiness, which enables the threads to work efficiently for capturing prey.

  9. On the colours of spider orb-webs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suhr, Wilfried; Schlichting, H Joachim, E-mail: wilfried.suhr@uni-muenster.de, E-mail: schlichting@uni-muenster.de [Institut fuer Didaktik der Physik, University of Muenster, 48149 Muenster (Germany)

    2011-03-15

    A sticky capture thread from the spiral element of spider orb-webs is formed of almost regularly spaced droplets that surround a supporting axial fibre. From the perspective of physical optics it represents a periodic linear array of scattering elements that acts as a diffraction grating. This is a novel aspect, which is of vital importance for the understanding of the overall scattering pattern. To demonstrate its significance, we present our experimental findings and compare them with results of a simplified model.

  10. On the colours of spider orb-webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suhr, Wilfried; Schlichting, H Joachim

    2011-01-01

    A sticky capture thread from the spiral element of spider orb-webs is formed of almost regularly spaced droplets that surround a supporting axial fibre. From the perspective of physical optics it represents a periodic linear array of scattering elements that acts as a diffraction grating. This is a novel aspect, which is of vital importance for the understanding of the overall scattering pattern. To demonstrate its significance, we present our experimental findings and compare them with results of a simplified model.

  11. Spider Silk Processing for Spidroin Recovery from Crossopriza Lyoni Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohtar, J. A.; Ooi, W. L.; Yusuf, F.

    2018-03-01

    Spider silk is a potential biomaterial that can be used in various applications for its outstanding physicomechanical properties attributed by the spidroin composition. Efforts for commercializing spider silks have been mainly focused on the characterization of spidroins from the Entelegyne spiders for exceptional fibre construction. Hence, studies on silk proteins from the Haplogyne species remain neglected. The aim of this study is to isolate spidroin from Crossopriza lyoni web. Silk processing involved the pretreatment of fibres for the shell layer removal from the surface. A screening study was conducted to analyze the effect of temperature, incubation time and agitation speed on spidroin extraction using Ajisawa’s reagent by OFAT analysis followed by statistical optimization of the extraction process via RSM for maximal protein recovery. All parameters exerted significant effect on spidroin recovery (pspider silk to meet the demand for a variety of silk-based products in the near future.

  12. A Web of Learning: Beyond "Itsy Bitsy Spider," Preschool Students Learn Science Content Naturally

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evitt, Marie Faust

    2011-01-01

    One of the author's biggest challenges as a preschool teacher is helping children in a group see and touch and do. Hands-on explorations are important for everyone, but essential for young children. How can young children do hands-on explorations of spiders and their webs? Teachers do not want children handling all sorts of spiders. They worry…

  13.  “Spiders and Webs in American Literature”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Dussol

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available From Jonathan Edwards to Jorie Graham, spiders are strikingly present in American literature. The purpose of this article is first to show how that theme may have become something of a national tradition as very different writers, all of them careful observers of aranae, answered one another through the years. It is very likely that the attention paid to spiders by American authors was increased by those Native American myths in which spiders are a central figure. More than occasionally, on the female side of the American counter-culture, especially among its feminist and lesbian exponents, simple activists and creative writers have harnessed the symbolic power invested in the spider by Native Americans.There may be deeper reasons accounting for American authors’ fascination with spiders. The country’s phobia of disunion is one; a nation of settlers’ acute consciousness of the precariousness of its occupation of the territory is another. In demonstrating outstanding skills for adjustment to unknown places, spiders epitomize a form of identity permanence. The predominantly positive character of spider symbols in American literature will occasionally be inverted. Following the national logic of checks and balances, any web covering the whole of the United States will tend to come under suspicion.This study ends with an inventory of cultural productions linked with spiders and webs and whose Americanness is yet to be clearly determined.De Jonathan Edwards à Jorie Graham, l’araignée apparaît dans un nombre frappant de textes littéraires américains. On a d’abord voulu tenter de montrer comment a pu se construire cette tradition thématique et faire la preuve que différents écrivains, réunis par un souci de l’observation, se sont répondus à travers elle. L’attention prêtée à l’araignée s’est certainement trouvée renforcée par les récits mythologiques des peuples premiers américains qui font de l’araignée une

  14. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L. Garrison

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Spiders (Order Araneae are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results

  15. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Nicole L.; Rodriguez, Juanita; Agnarsson, Ingi; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Griswold, Charles E.; Hamilton, Christopher A.; Hedin, Marshal; Kocot, Kevin M.; Ledford, Joel M.

    2016-01-01

    Spiders (Order Araneae) are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results challenge the

  16. Multiple model mimicry and feeding behavior of the spider web-inhabiting damsel bug, Arachnocoris berytoides Uhler (Hemiptera: Nabidae), from Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javier E. Mercado; Jorge A. Santiago-Blay

    2015-01-01

    The Neotropical genus, Arachnocoris Scott groups thirteen species of specialized spider web-inhabiting damsel bugs (Nabidae) distributed from Panama to Brazil and the West Indies. We present new information on the web behavior of A. berytoides Uhler from Puerto Rico. Three different life stages were observed on the spider webs, suggesting this species likely depends on...

  17. The Linking Probability of Deep Spider-Web Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Pippenger, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    We consider crossbar switching networks with base $b$ (that is, constructed from $b\\times b$ crossbar switches), scale $k$ (that is, with $b^k$ inputs, $b^k$ outputs and $b^k$ links between each consecutive pair of stages) and depth $l$ (that is, with $l$ stages). We assume that the crossbars are interconnected according to the spider-web pattern, whereby two diverging paths reconverge only after at least $k$ stages. We assume that each vertex is independently idle with probability $q$, the v...

  18. Competitive interactions between a native spider (Frontinella communis, Araneae: Linyphiidae) and an invasive spider (Linyphia triangularis, Araneae: Linyphiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednarski, Julie V.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2010-01-01

    There are numerous reports of spiders that have become established outside of their native ranges, but few studies examine their impact on native spiders. We examined the effect of the European hammock spider Linyphia triangularis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) on the native bowl-and-doily spider Frontinella communis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA. First, we added L. triangularis to established plots of F. communis. Significantly more F. communis abandoned their webs when L. triangularis were added compared to control plots. Second, we tested whether F. communis were deterred from building webs in areas where L. triangularis was established. Significantly fewer F. communis built webs on plots with L. triangularis than on control plots. In both experiments, L. triangularis sometimes took over webs of F. communis or incorporated F. communis webs into their own webs, but F. communisnever took over or incorporated L. triangularis webs. Competition between L. triangularis and F. communis for both webs and web sites may contribute to the decline of F. communis.

  19. Numerical implementation of multiple peeling theory and its application to spider web anchorages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brely, Lucas; Bosia, Federico; Pugno, Nicola M

    2015-02-06

    Adhesion of spider web anchorages has been studied in recent years, including the specific functionalities achieved through different architectures. To better understand the delamination mechanisms of these and other biological or artificial fibrillar adhesives, and how their adhesion can be optimized, we develop a novel numerical model to simulate the multiple peeling of structures with arbitrary branching and adhesion angles, including complex architectures. The numerical model is based on a recently developed multiple peeling theory, which extends the energy-based single peeling theory of Kendall, and can be applied to arbitrarily complex structures. In particular, we numerically show that a multiple peeling problem can be treated as the superposition of single peeling configurations even for complex structures. Finally, we apply the developed numerical approach to study spider web anchorages, showing how their function is achieved through optimal geometrical configurations.

  20. Bat Predation by Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (∼90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed. PMID:23516436

  1. Bat predation by spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (≈ 90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.

  2. Spiders from Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6oN, 327.7oW. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  3. Analysis of transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species reveals gene profiles involved in silk and toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ying-Jun; Zeng, Yan; Chen, Lei; Dong, Yang; Wang, Wen

    2014-12-01

    As an ancient arthropod with a history of 390 million years, spiders evolved numerous morphological forms resulting from adaptation to different environments. The venom and silk of spiders, which have promising commercial applications in agriculture, medicine and engineering fields, are of special interests to researchers. However, little is known about their genomic components, which hinders not only understanding spider biology but also utilizing their valuable genes. Here we report on deep sequenced and de novo assembled transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species, Gasteracantha arcuata, Nasoonaria sinensis and Gasteracantha hasselti which are distributed in tropical forests of south China. With Illumina paired-end RNA-seq technology, 54 871, 101 855 and 75 455 unigenes for the three spider species were obtained, respectively, among which 9 300, 10 001 and 10 494 unique genes are annotated, respectively. From these annotated unigenes, we comprehensively analyzed silk and toxin gene components and structures for the three spider species. Our study provides valuable transcriptome data for three spider species which previously lacked any genetic/genomic data. The results have laid the first fundamental genomic basis for exploiting gene resources from these spiders. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  4. One-step fabrication of multifunctional composite polyurethane spider-web-like nanofibrous membrane for water purification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pant, Hem Raj; Kim, Han Joo; Joshi, Mahesh Kumar; Pant, Bishweshwar; Park, Chan Hee; Kim, Jeong In; Hui, K.S.; Kim, Cheol Sang

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • A single mat having varieties of performance for water treatment is simply introduced. • Cost effective Ag-doped fly ash/PU nanofibers are fabricated in one-step. • Solvent reduction of AgNO 3 could produce Ag-loaded spider-web nets. • Size of Ag NPs on fiber surface can be controlled by controlling stirring time. • Fabrication of nanocomposite using pollutant material to control other pollutents. -- Abstract: A stable silver-doped fly ash/polyurathene (Ag-FA/PU) nanocomposite multifunctional membrane is prepared by a facile one-step electrospinning process using fly ash particles (FAPs). Colloidal solution of PU with FAPs and Ag metal precursor was subjected to fabricate nanocomposite spider-web-like membrane using electrospinning process. Presence of N,N-dimethylformamide (solvent of PU) led to reduce silver nitrate into Ag NPs. Incorporation of Ag NPs and FAPs through electrospun PU fibers is proven through electron microscopy and spectroscopic techniques. Presence of these NPs on PU nanofibers introduces several potential physicochemical properties such as spider-web-like nano-neeting for NPs separation, enhanced absorption capacity to remove carcinogenic arsenic (As) and toxic organic dyes, and antibacterial properties with reduce bio-fouling for membrane filter application. Preliminary observations used for above-mentioned applications for water treatment showed that it will be an economically and environmentally friendly nonwoven matrix for water purification. This simple approach highlights new avenues about the utilization of one pollutant material to control other pollutants in scalable and inexpensive ways

  5. One-step fabrication of multifunctional composite polyurethane spider-web-like nanofibrous membrane for water purification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pant, Hem Raj, E-mail: hempant@jbnu.ac.kr [Department of Bio-nano System Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Engineering Science and Humanities, Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu (Nepal); Kim, Han Joo [Division of Mechanical Design Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Joshi, Mahesh Kumar; Pant, Bishweshwar; Park, Chan Hee; Kim, Jeong In [Department of Bio-nano System Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Hui, K.S., E-mail: kshui@hanyang.ac.kr [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang University, 17 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Cheol Sang, E-mail: chskim@jbnu.ac.kr [Department of Bio-nano System Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Division of Mechanical Design Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-01-15

    Highlights: • A single mat having varieties of performance for water treatment is simply introduced. • Cost effective Ag-doped fly ash/PU nanofibers are fabricated in one-step. • Solvent reduction of AgNO{sub 3} could produce Ag-loaded spider-web nets. • Size of Ag NPs on fiber surface can be controlled by controlling stirring time. • Fabrication of nanocomposite using pollutant material to control other pollutents. -- Abstract: A stable silver-doped fly ash/polyurathene (Ag-FA/PU) nanocomposite multifunctional membrane is prepared by a facile one-step electrospinning process using fly ash particles (FAPs). Colloidal solution of PU with FAPs and Ag metal precursor was subjected to fabricate nanocomposite spider-web-like membrane using electrospinning process. Presence of N,N-dimethylformamide (solvent of PU) led to reduce silver nitrate into Ag NPs. Incorporation of Ag NPs and FAPs through electrospun PU fibers is proven through electron microscopy and spectroscopic techniques. Presence of these NPs on PU nanofibers introduces several potential physicochemical properties such as spider-web-like nano-neeting for NPs separation, enhanced absorption capacity to remove carcinogenic arsenic (As) and toxic organic dyes, and antibacterial properties with reduce bio-fouling for membrane filter application. Preliminary observations used for above-mentioned applications for water treatment showed that it will be an economically and environmentally friendly nonwoven matrix for water purification. This simple approach highlights new avenues about the utilization of one pollutant material to control other pollutants in scalable and inexpensive ways.

  6. Congener-specific accumulation and trophic transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls in spider crab food webs revealed by stable isotope analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodin, N. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); LPTC-UMR 5472 CNRS, Universite de Bordeaux 1, 351 cours de la Liberation, 33400 Talence (France)], E-mail: bodin.nathalie@caramail.com; Le Loc' h, F. [IRD, UR 070 RAP, Centre de Recherche Halieutique, Avenue Jean Monnet, B.P. 171, 34203 Sete Cedex (France); Caisey, X.; Le Guellec, A.-M.; Abarnou, A.; Loizeau, V. [IFREMER, DCN-BE, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France); Latrouite, D. [IFREMER, DCB-STH, Technopole Brest-Iroise, Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzane (France)

    2008-01-15

    Polychlorobiphenyls (PCB) and stable isotopes ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) were analyzed in the spider crab (Maja brachydactyla) food web from the Iroise Sea (Western Brittany) and the Seine Bay (Eastern English Channel). PCB concentrations were all significantly higher in organisms from the Seine Bay than those from the Iroise Sea. PCB patterns were strongly related to the feeding mode of the species, and increased influence of higher chlorinated congeners was highlighted with trophic position of the organisms. PCB concentrations (lipid normalized) were significantly related to the isotopically derived trophic level (TL) in spider crab food webs. The highest trophic magnification factors (TMFs) were calculated for the congeners with 2,4,5-substitution, and were lower in the Seine Bay compared to the Iroise Sea. The confrontation of PCB and TL data also revealed biotransformation capacity of decapod crustaceans for specific congeners based on structure-activity relations. - The influence of feeding mode and trophic position on the fate of PCBs in spider crab food webs is discussed by using a stable isotopic approach.

  7. Radiocesium contamination of the web spider Nephila clavata (Nephilidae: Arachnida) 1.5 years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ayabe, Yoshiko; Kanasashi, Tsutomu; Hijii, Naoki; Takenaka, Chisato

    2014-01-01

    We measured the concentrations of radiocesium ( 134 Cs and 137 Cs) in a large web spider, Nephila clavata L. Koch (Nephilidae: Arachnida), collected at three sites at different distances from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant about 1.5 y after the accident in March 2011. The radiocesium concentrations in spiders were highest in a streamside secondary forest 33 km northwest of the power plant: mean ± a standard deviation of 2.401 ± 1.197 Bq g −1 dry for 134 Cs and 3.955 ± 1.756 Bq g −1 dry for 137 Cs. In a hillside secondary forest 37 km northwest of the power plant, the mean concentrations of 134 Cs and 137 Cs were 0.825 ± 0.247 Bq g −1 dry and 1.470 ± 0.454 Bq g −1 dry, respectively. In a pine forest 62 km west of the power plant, very low radiocesium concentrations were detected, but in only a few individuals. The concentrations of 134 Cs and 137 Cs in spiders collected at each site tended to be correlated with the air radiation dose rate at each site. Since spiders are key components of food webs in forests, the high concentrations in this species at contaminated sites suggested that the radiocesium from the accident has transferred through food chains and reached to higher trophic level of the food chains. -- Highlights: • We investigated radiocesium contamination of large web spiders in Fukushima. • Spiders collected at three different sites in Fukushima were contaminated. • Radiocesium concentrations of spiders tended to increase with the air radiation dose rates. • Radiocesium concentrations of spiders did not affect by the amount of prey

  8. Spiders and Worms and Crawlers, Oh My: Searching on the World Wide Web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagan, Ann; Bender, Laura

    Searching on the world wide web can be confusing. A myriad of search engines exist, often with little or no documentation, and many of these search engines work differently from the standard search engines people are accustomed to using. Intended for librarians, this paper defines search engines, directories, spiders, and robots, and covers basics…

  9. Punctuated evolution of viscid silk in spider orb webs supported by mechanical behavior of wet cribellate silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piorkowski, Dakota; Blackledge, Todd A.

    2017-08-01

    The origin of viscid capture silk in orb webs, from cribellate silk-spinning ancestors, is a key innovation correlated with significant diversification of web-building spiders. Ancestral cribellate silk consists of dry nanofibrils surrounding a stiff, axial fiber that adheres to prey through van der Waals interactions, capillary forces, and physical entanglement. In contrast, viscid silk uses chemically adhesive aqueous glue coated onto a highly compliant and extensible flagelliform core silk. The extensibility of the flagelliform fiber accounts for half of the total work of adhesion for viscid silk and is enabled by water in the aqueous coating. Recent cDNA libraries revealed the expression of flagelliform silk proteins in cribellate orb-weaving spiders. We hypothesized that the presence of flagelliform proteins in cribellate silk could have allowed for a gradual shift in mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, whose effect was masked by the dry nature of its adhesive. We measured supercontraction and mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, in wet and dry states, for two species of cribellate orb web-weaving spiders to see if water enabled flagelliform silk-like performance. We found that compliance and extensibility of wet cribellate silk increased compared to dry state as expected. However, when compared to other silk types, the response to water was more similar to other web silks, like major and minor ampullate silk, than to viscid silk. These findings support the punctuated evolution of viscid silk mechanical performance.

  10. Effect of phenology on agonistic competitive interactions between invasive and native sheet-web spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, Jeremy D.; Porter, Adam H.; Ginsberg, Howard; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2016-01-01

    The phenologies of introduced relative to native species can greatly influence the degree and symmetry of competition between them. The European spider Linyphia triangularis (Clerck, 1757) (Linyphiidae) reaches very high densities in coastal Maine (USA). Previous studies suggest thatL. triangularis negatively affects native linyphiid species, with competition for webs as one mechanism. We documented phenological differences between L. triangularis and three native species that illustrate the potential for the reversal of size-based competitive advantage over the course of the year. To test whether relative size influences interaction outcome, we allowed a resident spider to build a web and then introduced an intruder. We examined whether the outcomes of agonistic interactions over the webs were influenced by the species of the resident (invasive or native), the relative size of the contestants, and the species × size interaction. We found that the importance of relative size differed among species. In interactions between L. triangularis and each of two native species, size played a greater role than resident species on the outcome of interactions, suggesting that competitive advantage reverses over the season based on phenology-related size differences. Linyphia triangularis had a negative impact on the third species regardless of relative size.

  11. Aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to riparian spiders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akamatsu, Fumikazu, E-mail: f-akamt55@pwri.go.jp [Department of Environmental Sciences, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621 (Japan); Toda, Hideshige [Department of Environmental Sciences, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621 (Japan)

    2011-05-15

    Stable nitrogen isotopic composition ({delta}{sup 15}N) of aquatic biota increases with anthropogenic N inputs such as sewage and livestock waste downstream. Increase in {delta}{sup 15}N of riparian spiders downstream may reflect the anthropogenic pollution exposure through predation on aquatic insects. A two-source mixing model based on stable carbon isotopic composition showed the greatest dependence on aquatic insects (84%) by horizontal web-building spiders, followed by intermediate (48%) and low (31%) dependence by cursorial and vertical web-building spiders, respectively. The spider body size was negatively correlated with the dietary proportion of aquatic insects and spider {delta}{sup 15}N. The aquatic subsidies transported anthropogenic N to smaller riparian spiders downstream. This transport of anthropogenic N was regulated by spider's guild designation and body size. - Highlights: > {delta}{sup 15}N of aquatic insects increases downstream with anthropogenic nitrogen inputs. > {delta}{sup 15}N of riparian spiders increases with a high dietary proportion of aquatic insects and smaller spider body size. > The aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to smaller riparian spiders downstream. - Smaller spiders assimilate anthropogenic nitrogen through the predation on aquatic subsides.

  12. Aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to riparian spiders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akamatsu, Fumikazu; Toda, Hideshige

    2011-01-01

    Stable nitrogen isotopic composition (δ 15 N) of aquatic biota increases with anthropogenic N inputs such as sewage and livestock waste downstream. Increase in δ 15 N of riparian spiders downstream may reflect the anthropogenic pollution exposure through predation on aquatic insects. A two-source mixing model based on stable carbon isotopic composition showed the greatest dependence on aquatic insects (84%) by horizontal web-building spiders, followed by intermediate (48%) and low (31%) dependence by cursorial and vertical web-building spiders, respectively. The spider body size was negatively correlated with the dietary proportion of aquatic insects and spider δ 15 N. The aquatic subsidies transported anthropogenic N to smaller riparian spiders downstream. This transport of anthropogenic N was regulated by spider's guild designation and body size. - Highlights: → δ 15 N of aquatic insects increases downstream with anthropogenic nitrogen inputs. → δ 15 N of riparian spiders increases with a high dietary proportion of aquatic insects and smaller spider body size. → The aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to smaller riparian spiders downstream. - Smaller spiders assimilate anthropogenic nitrogen through the predation on aquatic subsides.

  13. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer N Smith

    Full Text Available Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations.

  14. Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Raffel, Thomas R; Rohr, Jason R

    2010-10-07

    Several studies have demonstrated that competition between disparate taxa can be important in determining community structure, yet surprisingly, to our knowledge, no quantitative studies have been conducted on competition between carnivorous plants and animals. To examine potential competition between these taxa, we studied dietary and microhabitat overlap between pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in the field, and conducted a laboratory experiment examining the effects of wolf spiders on sundew fitness. In the field, we found that sundews and spiders had a high dietary overlap with each other and with the available arthropod prey. Associations between sundews and spiders depended on spatial scale: both sundews and spiders were found more frequently in quadrats with more abundant prey, but within quadrats, spiders constructed larger webs and located them further away from sundews as the total sundew trapping area increased, presumably to reduce competition. Spiders also constructed larger webs when fewer prey were available. In the laboratory, our experiment revealed that spiders can significantly reduce sundew fitness. Our findings suggest that members of the plant and animal kingdoms can and do compete.

  15. Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wignall, Anne E; Taylor, Phillip W

    2011-05-07

    Assassin bugs (Stenolemus bituberus) hunt web-building spiders by invading the web and plucking the silk to generate vibrations that lure the resident spider into striking range. To test whether vibrations generated by bugs aggressively mimic the vibrations generated by insect prey, we compared the responses of spiders to bugs with how they responded to prey, courting male spiders and leaves falling into the web. We also analysed the associated vibrations. Similar spider orientation and approach behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from bugs and prey, whereas different behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from male spiders and leaves. Peak frequency and duration of vibrations generated by bugs were similar to those generated by prey and courting males. Further, vibrations from bugs had a temporal structure and amplitude that were similar to vibrations generated by leg and body movements of prey and distinctly different to vibrations from courting males or leaves, or prey beating their wings. To be an effective predator, bugs do not need to mimic the full range of prey vibrations. Instead bugs are general mimics of a subset of prey vibrations that fall within the range of vibrations classified by spiders as 'prey'.

  16. Dispatch from the field: ecology of ground-web-building spiders with description of a new species (Araneae, Symphytognathidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Crassignatha danaugirangensis sp. n. (Araneae: Symphytognathidae) was discovered during a tropical ecology field course held at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Sabah, Malaysia. A taxonomic description and accompanying ecological study were completed as course activities. To assess the ecology of this species, which belongs to the ground-web-building spider community, three habitat types were surveyed: riparian forest, recently inundated riverine forest, and oil palm plantation. Crassignatha danaugirangensis sp. n. is the most abundant ground-web-building spider species in riparian forest; it is rare or absent from the recently inundated forest and was not found in a nearby oil palm plantation. The availability of this taxonomic description may help facilitate the accumulation of data about this species and the role of inundated riverine forest in shaping invertebrate communities. PMID:24891829

  17. Dispatch from the field: ecology of ground-web-building spiders with description of a new species (Araneae, Symphytognathidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Miller

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Crassignatha danaugirangensis sp. n. (Araneae: Symphytognathidae was discovered during a tropical ecology field course held at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Sabah, Malaysia. A taxonomic description and accompanying ecological study were completed as course activities. To assess the ecology of this species, which belongs to the ground-web-building spider community, three habitat types were surveyed: riparian forest, recently inundated riverine forest, and oil palm plantation. Crassignatha danaugirangensis sp. n. is the most abundant ground-web-building spider species in riparian forest; it is rare or absent from the recently inundated forest and was not found in a nearby oil palm plantation. The availability of this taxonomic description may help facilitate the accumulation of data about this species and the role of inundated riverine forest in shaping invertebrate communities.

  18. Respiration in spiders (Araneae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Anke

    2016-05-01

    Spiders (Araneae) are unique regarding their respiratory system: they are the only animal group that breathe simultaneously with lungs and tracheae. Looking at the physiology of respiration the existence of tracheae plays an important role in spiders with a well-developed tracheal system. Other factors as sex, life time, type of prey capture and the high ability to gain energy anaerobically influence the resting and the active metabolic rate intensely. Most spiders have metabolic rates that are much lower than expected from body mass; but especially those with two pairs of lungs. Males normally have higher resting rates than females; spiders that are less evolved and possess a cribellum have lower metabolic rates than higher evolved species. Freely hunting spiders show a higher energy turnover than spiders hunting with a web. Spiders that live longer than 1 year will have lower metabolic rates than those species that die after 1 year in which development and reproduction must be completed. Lower temperatures and starvation, which most spiders can cope with, will decrease the metabolic rate as well.

  19. Verified spider bites in Oregon (USA) with the intent to assess hobo spider venom toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeown, Nathanael; Vetter, Richard S; Hendrickson, Robert G

    2014-06-01

    This study compiled 33 verified spider bites from the state of Oregon (USA). The initial goal was to amass a series of bites by the hobo spider to assess whether it possesses toxic venom, a supposition which is currently in a contested state. None of the 33 bites from several spider species developed significant medical symptoms nor did dermonecrosis occur. The most common biters were the yellow sac spider, Cheiracanthium mildei (N = 10) and orb-weavers of the genus Araneus (N = 6). There were 10 bites from three genera of funnel web spiders of the family Agelenidae including one hobo spider bite and one from the congeneric giant house spider which is readily confused as a hobo spider. The hobo spider bite resulted in pain, redness, twitching in the calf muscle and resolved in 12 h. Also generated from this study were possibly the first records of bites from spiders of the genera Callobius (Amaurobiidae) and Antrodiaetus (Antrodiaetidae), both with minor manifestations. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Effects of prey macronutrient content on body composition and nutrient intake in a web-building spider.

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    Jesse Hawley

    Full Text Available The nutritional composition of diets can vary widely in nature and have large effects on the growth, reproduction and survival of animals. Many animals, especially herbivores, will tightly regulate the nutritional composition of their body, which has been referred to as nutritional homeostasis. We tested how experimental manipulation of the lipid and protein content of live prey affected the nutrient reserves and subsequent diet regulation of web-building spiders, Argiope keyserlingi. Live locusts were injected with experimental solutions containing specific amounts of lipid and protein and then fed to spiders. The nutrient composition of the spiders' bodies was directly related to the nutrient composition of the prey on which they fed. We then conducted an experiment where spiders were fed either high lipid or high protein prey and subsequently provided with two large unmanipulated locusts. Prior diet did not affect the amount or ratio of lipid and protein ingested by spiders when feeding on unmanipulated prey. Argiope keyserlingi were flexible in the storage of lipid and protein in their bodies and did not bias their extraction of nutrients from prey to compensate for previously biased diets. Some carnivores, especially those that experience frequent food limitation, may be less likely to strictly regulate their body composition than herbivores because food limitation may encourage opportunistic ingestion and assimilation of nutrients.

  1. Specialised use of working memory by Portia africana, a spider-eating salticid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Fiona R; Jackson, Robert R

    2014-03-01

    Using expectancy-violation methods, we investigated the role of working memory in the predatory strategy of Portia africana, a salticid spider from Kenya that preys by preference on other spiders. One of this predator's tactics is to launch opportunistic leaping attacks on to other spiders in their webs. Focussing on this particular tactic, our experiments began with a test spider on a ramp facing a lure (dead prey spider mounted on a cork disc) that could be reached by leaping. After the test spider faced the lure for 30 s, we blocked the test spider's view of the lure by lowering an opaque shutter before the spider leapt. When the shutter was raised 90 s later, either the same lure came into view again (control) or a different lure came into view (experimental: different prey type in same orientation or same prey type in different orientation). We recorded attack frequency (number of test spiders that leapt at the lure) and attack latency (time elapsing between shutter being raised and spiders initiating a leap). Attack latencies in control trials were not significantly different from attack latencies in experimental trials, regardless of whether it was prey type or prey orientation that changed in the experimental trials. However, compared with test spiders in the no-change control trials, significantly fewer test spiders leapt when prey type changed. There was no significant effect on attack frequency when prey orientation changed. These findings suggest that this predator represents prey type independently of prey orientation.

  2. The Great Silk Alternative: Multiple Co-Evolution of Web Loss and Sticky Hairs in Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O.; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Gorb, Stanislav N.

    2013-01-01

    Spiders are the most important terrestrial predators among arthropods. Their ecological success is reflected by a high biodiversity and the conquest of nearly every terrestrial habitat. Spiders are closely associated with silk, a material, often seen to be responsible for their great ecological success and gaining high attention in life sciences. However, it is often overlooked that more than half of all Recent spider species have abandoned web building or never developed such an adaptation. These species must have found other, more economic solutions for prey capture and retention, compensating the higher energy costs of increased locomotion activity. Here we show that hairy adhesive pads (scopulae) are closely associated with the convergent evolution of a vagrant life style, resulting in highly diversified lineages of at least, equal importance as the derived web building taxa. Previous studies often highlighted the idea that scopulae have the primary function of assisting locomotion, neglecting the fact that only the distal most pads (claw tufts) are suitable for those purposes. The former observations, that scopulae are used in prey capture, are largely overlooked. Our results suggest the scopulae evolved as a substitute for silk in controlling prey and that the claw tufts are, in most cases, a secondary development. Evolutionary trends towards specialized claw tufts and their composition from a low number of enlarged setae to a dense array of slender ones, as well as the secondary loss of those pads are discussed further. Hypotheses about the origin of the adhesive setae and their diversification throughout evolution are provided. PMID:23650526

  3. Insect form vision as one potential shaping force of spider web decoration design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, R-C; Yang, E-C; Lin, C-P; Herberstein, M E; Tso, I-M

    2010-03-01

    Properties of prey sensory systems are important factors shaping the design of signals generated by organisms exploiting them. In this study we assessed how prey sensory preference affected the exploiter signal design by investigating the evolutionary relationship and relative attractiveness of linear and cruciate form web decorations built by Argiope spiders. Because insects have an innate preference for bilaterally symmetrical patterns, we hypothesized that cruciate form decorations were evolved from linear form due to their higher visual attractiveness to insects. We first reconstructed a molecular phylogeny of the Asian members of the genus Argiope using mitochondrial markers to infer the evolutionary relationship of two decoration forms. Results of ancestral character state reconstruction showed that the linear form was ancestral and the cruciate form derived. To evaluate the luring effectiveness of two decoration forms, we performed field experiments in which the number and orientation of decoration bands were manipulated. Decoration bands arranged in a cruciate form were significantly more attractive to insects than those arranged in a linear form, no matter whether they were composed of silks or dummies. Moreover, dummy decoration bands arranged in a cruciate form attracted significantly more insects than those arranged in a vertical/horizontal form. Such results suggest that pollinator insects' innate preference for certain bilateral or radial symmetrical patterns might be one of the driving forces shaping the arrangement pattern of spider web decorations.

  4. Phylogenomics, Diversification Dynamics, and Comparative Transcriptomics across the Spider Tree of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Rosa; Kallal, Robert J; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Ballesteros, Jesús A; Arnedo, Miquel A; Giribet, Gonzalo; Hormiga, Gustavo

    2018-05-07

    Dating back to almost 400 mya, spiders are among the most diverse terrestrial predators [1]. However, despite considerable effort [1-9], their phylogenetic relationships and diversification dynamics remain poorly understood. Here, we use a synergistic approach to study spider evolution through phylogenomics, comparative transcriptomics, and lineage diversification analyses. Our analyses, based on ca. 2,500 genes from 159 spider species, reject a single origin of the orb web (the "ancient orb-web hypothesis") and suggest that orb webs evolved multiple times since the late Triassic-Jurassic. We find no significant association between the loss of foraging webs and increases in diversification rates, suggesting that other factors (e.g., habitat heterogeneity or biotic interactions) potentially played a key role in spider diversification. Finally, we report notable genomic differences in the main spider lineages: while araneoids (ecribellate orb-weavers and their allies) reveal an enrichment in genes related to behavior and sensory reception, the retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA) clade-the most diverse araneomorph spider lineage-shows enrichment in genes related to immune responses and polyphenic determination. This study, one of the largest invertebrate phylogenomic analyses to date, highlights the usefulness of transcriptomic data not only to build a robust backbone for the Spider Tree of Life, but also to address the genetic basis of diversification in the spider evolutionary chronicle. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Nutrient intake determines post-maturity molting in the golden orb-web spider Nephila pilipes (Araneae: Araneidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Ren-Chung; Zhang, Shichang; Chen, Yu-Chun; Lee, Chia-Yi; Chou, Yi-Ling; Ye, Hui-Ying; Piorkowski, Dakota; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tso, I-Min

    2017-06-15

    While molting occurs in the development of many animals, especially arthropods, post-maturity molting (PMM, organisms continue to molt after sexual maturity) has received little attention. The mechanism of molting has been studied intensively; however, the mechanism of PMM remains unknown although it is suggested to be crucial for the development of body size. In this study, we investigated factors that potentially induce PMM in the golden orb-web spider Nephila pilipes , which has the greatest degree of sexual dimorphism among terrestrial animals. We manipulated the mating history and the nutrient consumption of the females to examine whether they affect PMM. The results showed that female spiders under low nutrition were more likely to molt as adults, and mating had no significant influence on the occurrence of PMM. Moreover, spiders that underwent PMM lived longer than those that did not and their body sizes were significantly increased. Therefore, we concluded that nutritional condition rather than mating history affect PMM. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Competition between introduced and native spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, J.D.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The European sheet-web spider Linyphia triangularis (Araneae: Linyphiidae) has become established in Maine, where it often reaches very high densities. Two lines of evidence from previous work suggest that L. triangularis affects populations of the native linyphiid spider Frontinella communis. First, F. communis individuals are relatively scarce in both forest and coastal habitat where L. triangularis is common, but more common where L. triangularis is at low density. Second, in field experiments, F. communis species are less likely to settle in experimental plots when L. triangularis is present, and F. communis disappears from study plots when L. triangularis is introduced. Here we test two mechanisms that may underlie these patterns. First, we tested whether L. triangularis invades and usurps the webs of F. communis. When spiders were released onto webs of heterospecifics, L. triangularis was more likely to take over or share webs of F. communis than the reverse. We also observed natural takeovers of F. communis webs. Second, we explored the hypothesis that L. triangularis reduces prey availability for native species. We sampled flying prey in areas with L. triangularis and those where it had been removed, and found no effect of spider presence on measured prey density. We also found no effect of prey supplementation on web tenacity in F. communis, suggesting that F. communis movements are not highly dependent on prey availability. We conclude that web takeover is likely more important than prey reduction in driving negative effects of L. triangularis on F. communis.

  7. Contributions of detrital subsidies to aboveground spiders during secondary succession, revealed by radiocarbon and stable isotope signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haraguchi, Takashi F; Uchida, Masao; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Tayasu, Ichiro

    2013-04-01

    Prey subsidies originating from detritus add nutrients and energy to arboreal communities. Measurement of this subsidy is required in the understanding of how food web dynamics respond to changes in surrounding environments. Shrub spiders are one of the key predators involved in food web coupling. We evaluate the effects of potential changes in prey availabilities during secondary succession on the contribution of subsidy from detrital food webs to shrub spiders and how different spider feeding guilds used the subsidy of prey from detrital food webs. We measured the relative importance of the subsidy for the spider feeding guilds, using the ratios of stable isotopes of C (δ(13)C), and N (δ(15)N) and C isotope discrimination (Δ(14)C). Diet age was calculated from Δ(14)C values, because old diet ages of spiders indicate that the spiders consume prey from detrital food sources. Dominant aerial prey (Diptera) had a distinctively old diet age compared with arboreal prey, which indicates that aerial prey were subsidized from detrital food webs. Sit-and-wait spiders tended to have an older diet age than active hunting spiders, which indicates that sit-and-wait spiders depended more on subsidies. Diet age varied only slightly for spiders in stands of different ages, indicating that rates at which spiders use grazing and detrital prey are probably determined more by foraging strategies and not by stand age. A dominance of sit-and-wait predators will lead to higher detrital subsidy inputs in shrub habitats. This study highlights the effect of shrub spider community structure (feeding guild composition) on the volume of the subsidy received from the detrital food web.

  8. Spiders of Kerala Agricultural University Campus, Thrissur, Kerala, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. K. Adarsh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 86 species of spiders belonging to 56 genera of 20 families have been recorded from the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU campus, Thrissur, Kerala, southern India.  This represents 5.1% of the total spiders’ species and 33.33% of the total families of spiders recorded in India.  The dominant spider family at KAU campus is Araneidae with 18 species of nine genera. Salticidae is represented by 14 species of 13 genera.  Out of 252 endemic spiders of India, 16 have been reported from KAU campus.  Guild structure analysis shows spiders belonging to seven types of feeding guilds present in KAU campus.  Orb-web builders are the dominant feeding guild accounting for 34%, followed by stalkers (22%, ground runners (20%, ambushers (8%, scattered line weavers (8%, foliage runners (7% and sheet-web builders (1%. 

  9. Old maids have more appeal: effects of age and pheromone source on mate attraction in an orb-web spider

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Lena Cory

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Background. In many insects and spider species, females attract males with volatile sex pheromones, but we know surprisingly little about the costs and benefits of female pheromone emission. Here, we test the hypothesis that mate attraction by females is dynamic and strategic in the sense that investment in mate attraction is matched to the needs of the female. We use the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi in which females risk the production of unfertilised egg clutches if they do not receive a copulation within a certain time-frame. Methods. We designed field experiments to compare mate attraction by recently matured (young females with females close to oviposition (old. In addition, we experimentally separated the potential sources of pheromone transmission, namely the female body and the web silk. Results. In accordance with the hypothesis of strategic pheromone production, the probability of mate attraction and the number of males attracted differed between age classes. While the bodies and webs of young females were hardly found by males, the majority of old females attracted up to two males within two hours. Old females not only increased pheromone emission from their bodies but also from their webs. Capture webs alone spun by old females were significantly more efficient in attracting males than webs of younger females. Discussion. Our results suggest that females modulate their investment in signalling according to the risk of remaining unmated and that they thereby economize on the costs associated with pheromone production and emission.

  10. Old maids have more appeal: effects of age and pheromone source on mate attraction in an orb-web spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cory, Anna-Lena; Schneider, Jutta M

    2016-01-01

    Background. In many insects and spider species, females attract males with volatile sex pheromones, but we know surprisingly little about the costs and benefits of female pheromone emission. Here, we test the hypothesis that mate attraction by females is dynamic and strategic in the sense that investment in mate attraction is matched to the needs of the female. We use the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi in which females risk the production of unfertilised egg clutches if they do not receive a copulation within a certain time-frame. Methods. We designed field experiments to compare mate attraction by recently matured (young) females with females close to oviposition (old). In addition, we experimentally separated the potential sources of pheromone transmission, namely the female body and the web silk. Results. In accordance with the hypothesis of strategic pheromone production, the probability of mate attraction and the number of males attracted differed between age classes. While the bodies and webs of young females were hardly found by males, the majority of old females attracted up to two males within two hours. Old females not only increased pheromone emission from their bodies but also from their webs. Capture webs alone spun by old females were significantly more efficient in attracting males than webs of younger females. Discussion. Our results suggest that females modulate their investment in signalling according to the risk of remaining unmated and that they thereby economize on the costs associated with pheromone production and emission.

  11. Spider foraging strategy affects trophic cascades under natural and drought conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shengjie; Chen, Jin; Gan, Wenjin; Schaefer, Douglas; Gan, Jianmin; Yang, Xiaodong

    2015-07-23

    Spiders can cause trophic cascades affecting litter decomposition rates. However, it remains unclear how spiders with different foraging strategies influence faunal communities, or present cascading effects on decomposition. Furthermore, increased dry periods predicted in future climates will likely have important consequences for trophic interactions in detritus-based food webs. We investigated independent and interactive effects of spider predation and drought on litter decomposition in a tropical forest floor. We manipulated densities of dominant spiders with actively hunting or sit-and-wait foraging strategies in microcosms which mimicked the tropical-forest floor. We found a positive trophic cascade on litter decomposition was triggered by actively hunting spiders under ambient rainfall, but sit-and-wait spiders did not cause this. The drought treatment reversed the effect of actively hunting spiders on litter decomposition. Under drought conditions, we observed negative trophic cascade effects on litter decomposition in all three spider treatments. Thus, reduced rainfall can alter predator-induced indirect effects on lower trophic levels and ecosystem processes, and is an example of how such changes may alter trophic cascades in detritus-based webs of tropical forests.

  12. Short-range phenotypic divergence among genetically distinct parapatric populations of an Australian funnel-web spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Mark K L; Woodman, James D; Rowell, David M

    2017-07-01

    Speciation involves divergence at genetic and phenotypic levels. Where substantial genetic differentiation exists among populations, examining variation in multiple phenotypic characters may elucidate the mechanisms by which divergence and speciation unfold. Previous work on the Australian funnel-web spider Atrax sutherlandi Gray (2010; Records of the Australian Museum 62 , 285-392; Mygalomorphae: Hexathelidae: Atracinae) has revealed a marked genetic structure along a 110-kilometer transect, with six genetically distinct, parapatric populations attributable to past glacial cycles. In the present study, we explore variation in three classes of phenotypic characters (metabolic rate, water loss, and morphological traits) within the context of this phylogeographic structuring. Variation in metabolic and water loss rates shows no detectable association with genetic structure; the little variation observed in these rates may be due to the spiders' behavioral adaptations (i.e., burrowing), which buffer the effects of climatic gradients across the landscape. However, of 17 morphological traits measured, 10 show significant variation among genetic populations, in a disjunct manner that is clearly not latitudinal. Moreover, patterns of variation observed for morphological traits serving different organismic functions (e.g., prey capture, burrowing, and locomotion) are dissimilar. In contrast, a previous study of an ecologically similar sympatric spider with little genetic structure indicated a strong latitudinal response in 10 traits over the same range. The congruence of morphological variation with deep phylogeographic structure in Tallaganda's A. sutherlandi populations, as well as the inconsistent patterns of variation across separate functional traits, suggest that the spiders are likely in early stages of speciation, with parapatric populations independently responding to local selective forces.

  13. Herbivory in spiders: the importance of pollen for orb-weavers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggs, Benjamin; Sanders, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Orb-weaving spiders (Araneidae) are commonly regarded as generalist insect predators but resources provided by plants such as pollen may be an important dietary supplementation. Their webs snare insect prey, but can also trap aerial plankton like pollen and fungal spores. When recycling their orb webs, the spiders may therefore also feed on adhering pollen grains or fungal spores via extraoral digestion. In this study we measured stable isotope ratios in the bodies of two araneid species (Aculepeira ceropegia and Araneus diadematus), their potential prey and pollen to determine the relative contribution of pollen to their diet. We found that about 25% of juvenile orb-weaving spiders' diet consisted of pollen, the other 75% of flying insects, mainly small dipterans and hymenopterans. The pollen grains in our study were too large to be taken up accidentally by the spiders and had first to be digested extraorally by enzymes in an active act of consumption. Therefore, pollen can be seen as a substantial component of the spiders' diet. This finding suggests that these spiders need to be classified as omnivores rather than pure carnivores.

  14. Body burdens of metals in spiders from the Lidice coal dump near Ostrava (Czech Republic)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilczek, G.; Babczynska, A.; Majkus, Z. [Silesian University, Katowice (Poland)

    2005-09-01

    Spiders' feeding behaviour and external digestion expose them to man-made pollutants, especially those easily transferred along the food chain. The problem for this study was whether the levels of heavy metals in selected species of spiders from the Lidice coal dump reflect adaptation to environmental pollutants. We used flameless and flame AAS to measure the whole-body concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, Fe, Ni and Mg in male and female spiders differing in their hunting strategies, type of web construction, prey, and taxonomic position (Araneidae, Agelenidae, Linyphiidae, Theridiidae, Tetragnathidae, Lycosidae, Salticidae, Pisauridae, Clubionidae, Philodromidae). The levels of metals found in the spiders were species-dependent, indicating differences related to the hunting strategy and type of prey. Accumulation of Pb, Cu and Zn was always higher in ground spiders than in web-constructing species. Sheet-web spiders Linyphia triangularis and wandering spiders Clubiona lutescens had the lowest Cd, Mg and Cu content of all the studied species. Web-building spiders of the Tetragnathidae family showed the highest Cd, Cu and Pb content, even in species with feeding behaviour similar to spiders of other families. There were no interspecific differences in accumulation only for Fe and Mg. The concentrations of Cd, Ni and Pb were lower in females than in males, irrespective of their taxonomic position and the intensity of their hunting activity. This may suggest that females have better metal-excretion ability than males.

  15. Relationship between radiocesium contamination and the contents of various elements in the web spider Nephila clavata (Nephilidae: Arachnida)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ayabe, Yoshiko; Kanasashi, Tsutomu; Hijii, Naoki; Takenaka, Chisato

    2015-01-01

    The accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant seriously contaminated a large area in northeast Japan with a large amount of radioactive material. Consequently, various organisms, including arthropods, in the ecosystem have been contaminated with radiocesium ("1"3"7Cs) through the food chain. We previously showed that the web spider Nephila clavata was contaminated with "1"3"7Cs and that the level of contamination, which varied among spider individuals, was independent of the amount of prey consumed. The present study aimed to clarify the mechanisms that could determine the level of "1"3"7Cs contamination in N. clavata. We first demonstrated the patterns of contents of over 30 elements in N. clavata that were collected at two forest sites (PS and ES) in Fukushima and then focused on the relationships between the contents of the alkali metals Li, Na, K, and Rb and the accumulation of "1"3"7Cs in the spiders; Cs is an alkali metal and is expected to act similarly to Li, Na, K, and Rb. We also focused on the content of the non-alkali element, Cu, which is an essential element for oxygen transport in spiders. We found that Na content correlated positively with "1"3"7Cs accumulation at both sites, which suggested that "1"3"7Cs accumulation in N. clavata was related with the dynamics of Na. The K–, Rb–, and Cu–"1"3"7Cs relationships were site specific; the relationships were significant at site PS, but not significant at site ES. Factors causing the site specific relationships and the probable pathway for "1"3"7Cs transfer from soil to plants and then to higher trophic levels are discussed in terms of the transfer processes of the alkali metals. - Highlights: • Accumulation of "1"3"7Cs and various elements in web spiders was investigated. • "1"3"7Cs accumulation positively correlated with that of K, Rb, Na, and Cu. • Accumulation of alkali metals determined the level of "1"3"7Cs contamination. • K–, Rb–, Cu–"1"3"7Cs relationships were

  16. Short and fast vs long and slow: age changes courtship in male orb-web spiders ( Argiope keyserlingi)

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hanlon, James C.; Wignall, Anne E.; Herberstein, Marie E.

    2018-02-01

    Male reproductive performance can vary with condition, age and future reproductive opportunities. Web-building spiders are ideal models to examine the effects of senescence on fitness-related behaviours due to strong selection on male courtship to reduce pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism. Argiope keyserlingi spiders generate courtship vibrations, or `shudders', that reduce female aggression. We found that male A. keyserlingi courtship slowed with chronological age. Older males took longer to travel across the courtship thread, and overall number of shudders increased. Males retained some ability to modulate courtship quality (shudder duration and number of rocks within each shudder) in response to female quality. A change in courtship performance over time, despite strong selection for repeatability, indicates that ageing in male A. keyserlingi may have direct impacts on reproductive performance.

  17. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  18. Artificial night light alters nocturnal prey interception outcomes for morphologically variable spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suet Wai Yuen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Artificial night light has the potential to significantly alter visually-dependent species interactions. However, examples of disruptions of species interactions through changes in light remain rare and how artificial night light may alter predator–prey relationships are particularly understudied. In this study, we examined whether artificial night light could impact prey attraction and interception in Nephila pilipes orb weaver spiders, conspicuous predators who make use of yellow color patterns to mimic floral resources and attract prey to their webs. We measured moth prey attraction and interception responses to treatments where we experimentally manipulated the color/contrast of spider individuals in the field (removed yellow markings and also set up light manipulations. We found that lit webs had lower rates of moth interception than unlit webs. Spider color, however, had no clear impact on moth interception or attraction rates in lit nor unlit webs. The results show that night light can reduce prey interception for spiders. Additionally, this study highlights how environmental and morphological variation can complicate simple predictions of ecological light pollution’s disruption of species interactions.

  19. Artificial night light alters nocturnal prey interception outcomes for morphologically variable spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Suet Wai; Bonebrake, Timothy C

    2017-01-01

    Artificial night light has the potential to significantly alter visually-dependent species interactions. However, examples of disruptions of species interactions through changes in light remain rare and how artificial night light may alter predator-prey relationships are particularly understudied. In this study, we examined whether artificial night light could impact prey attraction and interception in Nephila pilipes orb weaver spiders, conspicuous predators who make use of yellow color patterns to mimic floral resources and attract prey to their webs. We measured moth prey attraction and interception responses to treatments where we experimentally manipulated the color/contrast of spider individuals in the field (removed yellow markings) and also set up light manipulations. We found that lit webs had lower rates of moth interception than unlit webs. Spider color, however, had no clear impact on moth interception or attraction rates in lit nor unlit webs. The results show that night light can reduce prey interception for spiders. Additionally, this study highlights how environmental and morphological variation can complicate simple predictions of ecological light pollution's disruption of species interactions.

  20. Stable isotopes of Hawaiian spiders reflect substrate properties along a chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Todd E.; Gillespie, Rosemary G.

    2018-01-01

    The Hawaiian Islands offer a unique opportunity to test how changes in the properties of an isolated ecosystem are propagated through the organisms that occur within that ecosystem. The age-structured arrangement of volcanic-derived substrates follows a regular progression over space and, by inference, time. We test how well documented successional changes in soil chemistry and associated vegetation are reflected in organisms at higher trophic levels—specifically, predatory arthropods (spiders)—across a range of functional groups. We focus on three separate spider lineages: one that builds capture webs, one that hunts actively, and one that specializes on eating other spiders. We analyze spiders from three sites across the Hawaiian chronosequence with substrate ages ranging from 200 to 20,000 years. To measure the extent to which chemical signatures of terrestrial substrates are propagated through higher trophic levels, we use standard stable isotope analyses of nitrogen and carbon, with plant leaves included as a baseline. The target taxa show the expected shift in isotope ratios of δ15N with trophic level, from plants to cursorial spiders to web-builders to spider eaters. Remarkably, organisms at all trophic levels also precisely reflect the successional changes in the soil stoichiometry of the island chronosequence, demonstrating how the biogeochemistry of the entire food web is determined by ecosystem succession of the substrates on which the organisms have evolved. PMID:29576984

  1. An insect-feeding guild of carnivorous plants and spiders: does optimal foraging lead to competition or facilitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Philip H; Hopper, Kevin R; Krupa, James J

    2013-12-01

    Carnivorous plants and spiders, along with their prey, are main players in an insect-feeding guild found on acidic, poorly drained soils in disturbed habitat. Darwin's notion that these plants must actively attract the insects they capture raises the possibility that spiders could benefit from proximity to prey hotspots created by the plants. Alternatively, carnivorous plants and spiders may deplete prey locally or (through insect redistribution) more widely, reducing each other's gain rates from predation. Here, we formulate and analyze a model of this guild, parameterized for carnivorous sundews and lycosid spiders, under assumptions of random movement by insects and optimal foraging by predators. Optimal foraging here involves gain maximization via trap investment (optimal web sizes and sundew trichome densities) and an ideal free distribution of spiders between areas with and without sundews. We find no facilitation: spiders and sundews engage in intense exploitation competition. Insect attraction by plants modestly increases sundew gain rates but slightly decreases spider gain rates. In the absence of population size structure, optimal spider redistribution between areas with and without sundews yields web sizes that are identical for all spiders, regardless of proximity to sundews. Web-building spiders have higher gain rates than wandering spiders in this system at high insect densities, but wandering spiders have the advantage at low insect densities. Results are complex, indicating that predictions to be tested empirically must be based on careful quantitative assessment.

  2. Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs based on Spider Pyriform Silk Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-03-01

    Among the variety of silks produced by spiders, pyriform silk is used in conjunction with the dragline silk to attach webs to different surfaces. Cob weaver spiders employ different architectural patterns to utilize the pyriform silk and form attachment joints with each pattern having a characteristic adhesive performance. The staple pin architecture is a one of the strongest attachment designs employed by spiders to attach their webs. Here we use a synthetic approach to create the a similar patterned architecture attachment discs on aluminum substrate using thermoplastic polyurethane. Measurable pull off forces are generated when the synthetic discs are peeled off a surface. This innovative adhesive strategy can be a source of design in various biomedical applications. Financial Support from National Science Foundation.

  3. Small organic solutes in sticky droplets from orb webs of the spider Zygiella atrica (Araneae; Araneidae): β-alaninamide is a novel and abundant component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townley, Mark A; Pu, Qinglin; Zercher, Charles K; Neefus, Christopher D; Tillinghast, Edward K

    2012-10-01

    In northeastern North America, Zygiella atrica often build their orb webs near the ocean. We analyzed individual field-built Z. atrica webs to determine if organic low-molecular-mass solutes (LMM) in their sticky droplets showed any unusual features not previously seen in orb webs of other species living in less salty environments. While two of the three most abundant organic LMM (putrescine (butane-1,4-diamine) and GABamide (4-aminobutanamide)) are already well-known from webs of inland spiders, the third major LMM, β-alaninamide (3-aminopropanamide), a homolog of GABamide, has not been detected in sticky droplets from any other araneoid spiders (27 species). It remains to be established, however, whether or not use of β-alaninamide is related to proximity to saltwater. We observed variability in organic LMM composition in Z. atrica webs that appeared to be influenced more by an undetermined factor associated with different collecting locations and/or collection dates than by different genders or instars. Shifts in composition when adult females were transferred from the field to the laboratory were also observed. Structural similarities and inverse correlations among β-alaninamide, GABamide, and N-acetylputrescine suggest that they may form a series of LMM fulfilling essentially the same, as yet unknown, role in the webs of those species in which they occur. Copyright © 2012 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  4. Radiocesium contamination of the web spider Nephila clavata (Nephilidae: Arachnida) 1.5 years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayabe, Yoshiko; Kanasashi, Tsutomu; Hijii, Naoki; Takenaka, Chisato

    2014-01-01

    We measured the concentrations of radiocesium ((134)Cs and (137)Cs) in a large web spider, Nephila clavata L. Koch (Nephilidae: Arachnida), collected at three sites at different distances from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant about 1.5 y after the accident in March 2011. The radiocesium concentrations in spiders were highest in a streamside secondary forest 33 km northwest of the power plant: mean ± a standard deviation of 2.401 ± 1.197 Bq g(-1) dry for (134)Cs and 3.955 ± 1.756 Bq g(-1) dry for (137)Cs. In a hillside secondary forest 37 km northwest of the power plant, the mean concentrations of (134)Cs and (137)Cs were 0.825 ± 0.247 Bq g(-1) dry and 1.470 ± 0.454 Bq g(-1) dry, respectively. In a pine forest 62 km west of the power plant, very low radiocesium concentrations were detected, but in only a few individuals. The concentrations of (134)Cs and (137)Cs in spiders collected at each site tended to be correlated with the air radiation dose rate at each site. Since spiders are key components of food webs in forests, the high concentrations in this species at contaminated sites suggested that the radiocesium from the accident has transferred through food chains and reached to higher trophic level of the food chains. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Untangling the web...spiders in Arizona fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many kinds of arthropod natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) inhabit crop fields in Arizona and can have a large negative impact on several pest insect species that also infest these crops. Many different species of spiders are common in cotton, alfalfa and other crops in Arizona. Among the ...

  6. Extended spider cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Japyassú, Hilton F; Laland, Kevin N

    2017-05-01

    There is a tension between the conception of cognition as a central nervous system (CNS) process and a view of cognition as extending towards the body or the contiguous environment. The centralised conception requires large or complex nervous systems to cope with complex environments. Conversely, the extended conception involves the outsourcing of information processing to the body or environment, thus making fewer demands on the processing power of the CNS. The evolution of extended cognition should be particularly favoured among small, generalist predators such as spiders, and here, we review the literature to evaluate the fit of empirical data with these contrasting models of cognition. Spiders do not seem to be cognitively limited, displaying a large diversity of learning processes, from habituation to contextual learning, including a sense of numerosity. To tease apart the central from the extended cognition, we apply the mutual manipulability criterion, testing the existence of reciprocal causal links between the putative elements of the system. We conclude that the web threads and configurations are integral parts of the cognitive systems. The extension of cognition to the web helps to explain some puzzling features of spider behaviour and seems to promote evolvability within the group, enhancing innovation through cognitive connectivity to variable habitat features. Graded changes in relative brain size could also be explained by outsourcing information processing to environmental features. More generally, niche-constructed structures emerge as prime candidates for extending animal cognition, generating the selective pressures that help to shape the evolving cognitive system.

  7. Bioprospecting finds the toughest biological material: extraordinary silk from a giant riverine orb spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingi Agnarsson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Combining high strength and elasticity, spider silks are exceptionally tough, i.e., able to absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking. Spider silk is therefore a model polymer for development of high performance biomimetic fibers. There are over 41,000 described species of spiders, most spinning multiple types of silk. Thus we have available some 200,000+ unique silks that may cover an amazing breadth of material properties. To date, however, silks from only a few tens of species have been characterized, most chosen haphazardly as model organisms (Nephila or simply from researchers' backyards. Are we limited to 'blindly fishing' in efforts to discover extraordinary silks? Or, could scientists use ecology to predict which species are likely to spin silks exhibiting exceptional performance properties? METHODOLOGY: We examined the biomechanical properties of silk produced by the remarkable Malagasy 'Darwin's bark spider' (Caerostris darwini, which we predicted would produce exceptional silk based upon its amazing web. The spider constructs its giant orb web (up to 2.8 m(2 suspended above streams, rivers, and lakes. It attaches the web to substrates on each riverbank by anchor threads as long as 25 meters. Dragline silk from both Caerostris webs and forcibly pulled silk, exhibits an extraordinary combination of high tensile strength and elasticity previously unknown for spider silk. The toughness of forcibly silked fibers averages 350 MJ/m(3, with some samples reaching 520 MJ/m(3. Thus, C. darwini silk is more than twice tougher than any previously described silk, and over 10 times better than Kevlar®. Caerostris capture spiral silk is similarly exceptionally tough. CONCLUSIONS: Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial. We hypothesize that this extraordinary toughness coevolved with the unusual ecology and web architecture of these spiders, decreasing the likelihood of bridgelines breaking and collapsing the web

  8. Free amino acids in spider hemolymph.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillinghast, Edward K; Townley, Mark A

    2008-11-01

    We examined the free amino acid composition of hemolymph from representatives of five spider families with an interest in knowing if the amino acid profile in the hemolymph of orb-web-building spiders reflects the high demands for small organic compounds in the sticky droplets of their webs. In nearly all analyses, on both orb and non-orb builders, glutamine was the most abundant free amino acid. Glycine, taurine, proline, histidine, and alanine also tended to be well-represented in orb and non-orb builders. While indications of taxon-specific differences in amino acid composition were observed, it was not apparent that two presumptive precursors (glutamine, taurine) of orb web sticky droplet compounds were uniquely enriched in araneids (orb builders). However, total amino acid concentrations were invariably highest in the araneids and especially so in overwintering juveniles, even as several of the essential amino acids declined during this winter diapause. Comparing the data from this study with those from earlier studies revealed a number of discrepancies. The possible origins of these differences are discussed.

  9. Plastic material investment in load-bearing silk attachments in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; Jones, Braxton; Herberstein, Marie E

    2018-05-17

    The nature and size of attachments is a fundamental element of animal constructions. Presumably, these adhesive structures are plastically deployed to balance material investment and attachment strength. Here we studied plasticity in dragline anchorages of the golden orb web spider, Nephila plumipes. Specifically, we predict that spiders adjust the size and structure of dragline anchorages with load, i.e. spider mass. Mass was manipulated by attaching lead pieces to the spider's abdomen resulting in a 50 percent increase in mass. Loaded spiders spun larger but structurally similar thread anchorages than unloaded spiders. Thus, the spinning program that determines the overall anchor structure is highly stereotypic, and flexibility is introduced through varying the anchor size by increasing material investment. Our study showcases substrate attachments as suitable models to investigate the interplay between innate and changeable elements in the economy of building behaviours. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Risk of spider predation alters food web structure and reduces local herbivory in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher, Roman; Menzel, Florian; Entling, Martin H

    2015-06-01

    Predators can indirectly enhance plant performance via herbivore suppression, with both prey consumption and changes in prey traits (e.g. changes in foraging behaviour) contributing to the reduction in herbivory. We performed a field experiment to determine the extent of such non-consumptive effects which consisted of repeatedly placing spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) on enclosed plants (Urtica dioica) for cue deposition. Control plants were enclosed in the same way but without spiders. After cue deposition, the enclosures were removed to allow arthropods to colonize the plants and feed on them. Arthropods were removed from the plants before the subsequent spider deposition or control enclosure. During six cycles of enclosure, we quantified leaf damage on the plants. After a seventh cycle, the colonizing arthropods were sampled to determine community composition in relation to the presence/absence of spider cues. We found that the presence of chemotactile spider cues reduced leaf damage by 50 %. In addition, spider cues led to changes in the arthropod community: smaller spiders avoided plants with spider cues. In contrast, the aphid-tending ant Myrmica rubra showed higher recruitment of workers on cue-bearing plants, possibly to protect aphids. Our results show that the risk of spider predation can reduce herbivory on wild plants and also demonstrate that non-consumptive effects can be particularly strong within the predator guild.

  11. New Types of Behavioral Manipulation of Host Spiders by a Parasitoid Wasp

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William G. Eberhard

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The larva of the parasitic wasp Zatypota sp. nr. solanoi induces its host spiders Anelosimus spp. to modify its web in ways not seen in normal webs of this species or in any other species, providing apparent protection and support for the wasp's cocoon by covering the entire web with a protective sheet and adding a central platform and opening a space below in the enclosed tangle, where the larva suspends its cocoon. These modifications differ qualitatively from those induced by a congeneric wasp. Parasitized spiders appeared to adjust modified web construction behavior to local conditions, implying that larval manipulations may occur at higher rather than lower levels of behavioral control (e.g., eliciting overall design decisions, rather than particular motor patterns.

  12. Signaling by decorating webs: luring prey or deterring predators?

    OpenAIRE

    Ren-Chung Cheng; I-Min Tso

    2007-01-01

    Many organisms convey false signals to mislead their prey or predators. Some orb-weaving spiders build conspicuous structures on webs called decorations. Web decorations and spider colorations are both suggested to be important signals involved in interactions between spiders and other organisms. There are several hypotheses about the functions of signaling by decorations, among which prey attraction had received much support, but empirical evidence regarding predator defense is controversial...

  13. Programming spiders, bots, and aggregators in Java

    CERN Document Server

    Heaton, Jeff

    2006-01-01

    The content and services available on the web continue to be accessed mostly through direct human control. But this is changing. Increasingly, users rely on automated agents that save them time and effort by programmatically retrieving content, performing complex interactions, and aggregating data from diverse sources. Programming Spiders, Bots, and Aggregators in Java teaches you how to build and deploy a wide variety of these agents-from single-purpose bots to exploratory spiders to aggregators that present a unified view of information from multiple user accounts. You will quickly build on

  14. A Spider That Lays Its Eggs in Rows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Edwards

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The small (2.5-3.0 mm, colorful metine spider, Homalometa nigritarsis Simon 1897, Family Tetragnathidae, has previously been reported from northern Mexico, Panama and the southern islands of the Lesser Antilles (Levi 1986. In the rain forest of northeastern Puerto Rico it is most frequently found with webbing on the larger outer concave surfaces of pendulous leaves. H. nigritarsis typically makes a circular, relatively flat retreat within which the female deposits two parallel rows of naked eggs. The rows are produced at intervals; as one row hatches another replaces it shortly thereafter. Evidence of up to four generations of rows has been observed. Above the retreat, and closely aligned with it, the spider builds a nearly invisible, delicate orb web, typically from edge to edge of the leaf (Fig. 1a and b. While retaining the traditional orb-web, H. nigritarsis has adopted a unique habitat and set of life history features.

  15. Discovery of the Largest Orbweaving Spider Species: The Evolution of Gigantism in Nephila

    OpenAIRE

    Kuntner, Matja?; Coddington, Jonathan A.

    2009-01-01

    Background More than 41,000 spider species are known with about 400?500 added each year, but for some well-known groups, such as the giant golden orbweavers, Nephila, the last valid described species dates from the 19th century. Nephila are renowned for being the largest web-spinning spiders, making the largest orb webs, and are model organisms for the study of extreme sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual biology. Here, we report on the discovery of a new, giant Nephila species from Africa...

  16. Novel spider-web-like nanoporous networks based on jute cellulose nanowhiskers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xinwang; Wang, Xianfeng; Ding, Bin; Yu, Jianyong; Sun, Gang

    2013-02-15

    Cellulose nanowhiskers as a kind of renewable and biocompatible nanomaterials evoke much interest because of its versatility in various applications. Herein, for the first time, a novel controllable fabrication of spider-web-like nanoporous networks based on jute cellulose nanowhiskers (JCNs) deposited on the electrospun (ES) nanofibrous membrane by simple directly immersion-drying method is reported. Jute cellulose nanowhiskers were extracted from jute fibers with a high yield (over 80%) via a 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical (TEMPO)/NaBr/NaClO system selective oxidization combined with mechanical homogenization. The morphology of JCNs nanoporous networks/ES nanofibrous membrane architecture, including coverage rate, pore-width and layer-by-layer packing structure of the nanoporous networks, can be finely controlled by regulating the JCNs dispersions properties and drying conditions. The versatile nanoporous network composites based on jute cellulose nanowhiskers with ultrathin diameters (3-10 nm) and nanofibrous membrane supports with diameters of 100-300 nm, would be particularly useful for filter applications. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Spider-Ant Associations: An Updated Review of Myrmecomorphy, Myrmecophily, and Myrmecophagy in Spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula E. Cushing

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a summary of the extensive theoretical and empirical work that has been carried out in recent years testing the adaptational significance of various spider-ant associations. Hundreds of species of spiders have evolved close relationships with ants and can be classified as myrmecomorphs, myrmecophiles, or myrmecophages. Myrmecomorphs are Batesian mimics. Their close morphological and behavioral resemblance to ants confers strong survival advantages against visually hunting predators. Some species of spiders have become integrated into the ant society as myrmecophiles or symbionts. These spider myrmecophiles gain protection against their own predators, live in an environment with a stable climate, and are typically surrounded by abundant food resources. The adaptations by which this integration is made possible are poorly known, although it is hypothesized that most spider myrmecophiles are chemical mimics and some are even phoretic on their hosts. The third type of spider-ant association discussed is myrmecophagy—or predatory specialization on ants. A table of known spider myrmecophages is provided as is information on their biology and hunting strategies. Myrmecophagy provides these predators with an essentially unlimited food supply and may even confer other protections to the spiders.

  18. Spinning gland transcriptomics from two main clades of spiders (order: Araneae--insights on their molecular, anatomical and behavioral evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Prosdocimi

    Full Text Available Characterized by distinctive evolutionary adaptations, spiders provide a comprehensive system for evolutionary and developmental studies of anatomical organs, including silk and venom production. Here we performed cDNA sequencing using massively parallel sequencers (454 GS-FLX Titanium to generate ∼80,000 reads from the spinning gland of Actinopus spp. (infraorder: Mygalomorphae and Gasteracantha cancriformis (infraorder: Araneomorphae, Orbiculariae clade. Actinopus spp. retains primitive characteristics on web usage and presents a single undifferentiated spinning gland while the orbiculariae spiders have seven differentiated spinning glands and complex patterns of web usage. MIRA, Celera Assembler and CAP3 software were used to cluster NGS reads for each spider. CAP3 unigenes passed through a pipeline for automatic annotation, classification by biological function, and comparative transcriptomics. Genes related to spider silks were manually curated and analyzed. Although a single spidroin gene family was found in Actinopus spp., a vast repertoire of specialized spider silk proteins was encountered in orbiculariae. Astacin-like metalloproteases (meprin subfamily were shown to be some of the most sampled unigenes and duplicated gene families in G. cancriformis since its evolutionary split from mygalomorphs. Our results confirm that the evolution of the molecular repertoire of silk proteins was accompanied by the (i anatomical differentiation of spinning glands and (ii behavioral complexification in the web usage. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was constructed to cluster most of the known spidroins in gene clades. This is the first large-scale, multi-organism transcriptome for spider spinning glands and a first step into a broad understanding of spider web systems biology and evolution.

  19. Spinning Gland Transcriptomics from Two Main Clades of Spiders (Order: Araneae) - Insights on Their Molecular, Anatomical and Behavioral Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosdocimi, Francisco; Bittencourt, Daniela; da Silva, Felipe Rodrigues; Kirst, Matias; Motta, Paulo C.; Rech, Elibio L.

    2011-01-01

    Characterized by distinctive evolutionary adaptations, spiders provide a comprehensive system for evolutionary and developmental studies of anatomical organs, including silk and venom production. Here we performed cDNA sequencing using massively parallel sequencers (454 GS-FLX Titanium) to generate ∼80,000 reads from the spinning gland of Actinopus spp. (infraorder: Mygalomorphae) and Gasteracantha cancriformis (infraorder: Araneomorphae, Orbiculariae clade). Actinopus spp. retains primitive characteristics on web usage and presents a single undifferentiated spinning gland while the orbiculariae spiders have seven differentiated spinning glands and complex patterns of web usage. MIRA, Celera Assembler and CAP3 software were used to cluster NGS reads for each spider. CAP3 unigenes passed through a pipeline for automatic annotation, classification by biological function, and comparative transcriptomics. Genes related to spider silks were manually curated and analyzed. Although a single spidroin gene family was found in Actinopus spp., a vast repertoire of specialized spider silk proteins was encountered in orbiculariae. Astacin-like metalloproteases (meprin subfamily) were shown to be some of the most sampled unigenes and duplicated gene families in G. cancriformis since its evolutionary split from mygalomorphs. Our results confirm that the evolution of the molecular repertoire of silk proteins was accompanied by the (i) anatomical differentiation of spinning glands and (ii) behavioral complexification in the web usage. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was constructed to cluster most of the known spidroins in gene clades. This is the first large-scale, multi-organism transcriptome for spider spinning glands and a first step into a broad understanding of spider web systems biology and evolution. PMID:21738742

  20. Attending to detail by communal spider-eating spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Robert R; Nelson, Ximena J

    2012-07-01

    Communal predators may often need to make especially intricate foraging decisions, as a predator's success may depend on the actions of its neighbours. Here,we consider the decisions made by Portia africana, a jumping spider (Salticidae) that preys on other spiders, including Oecobius amboseli (Oecobiidae), a small prey spider that lives under small sheets of silk (nests) on the walls of buildings. P. africana juveniles settle near oecobiid nests and then ambush oecobiids as they leave or enter the nest. Two or more P. africana juveniles sometimes settle at the same nest and, when an oecobiid is captured, the P. africana juveniles may share the meal. We investigated the joining decisions made by naïve P. africana juveniles. Experiments were based on using lures (dead spiders positioned in lifelike posture) arranged in a series of 17 different scenes defined by the presence/absence of a nest, the lure types present and the configuration of the lures and the nest. Our findings imply that P. africana juveniles make remarkably precise predatory decisions, with the variables that matter including whether a nest is present, the identity of spiders inside and outside a nest and how spiders are positioned relative to each other and the nest.

  1. A comparative analysis of the morphology and evolution of permanent sperm depletion in spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Michalik

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Once thought to be energetically cheap and easy to produce, empirical work has shown that sperm is a costly and limited resource for males. In some spider species, there is behavioral evidence that sperm are permanently depleted after a single mating. This extreme degree of mating investment appears to co-occur with other reproductive strategies common to spiders, e.g. genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. Here we corroborate that sperm depletion in the golden orb-web spider Nephila clavipes is permanent by uncovering its mechanistic basis using light and electron microscopy. In addition, we use a phylogeny-based statistical analysis to test the evolutionary relationships between permanent sperm depletion (PSD and other reproductive strategies in spiders. Male testes do not produce sperm during adulthood, which is unusual in spiders. Instead, spermatogenesis is nearly synchronous and ends before the maturation molt. Testis size decreases as males approach their maturation molt and reaches its lowest point after sperm is transferred into the male copulatory organs (pedipalps. As a consequence, the amount of sperm available to males for mating is limited to the sperm contained in the pedipalps, and once it is used, males lose their ability to fertilize eggs. Our data suggest that PSD has evolved independently at least three times within web-building spiders and is significantly correlated with the evolution of other mating strategies that limit males to monogamy, including genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. We conclude that PSD may be an energy-saving adaptation in species where males are limited to monogamy. This could be particularly important in web-building spiders where extreme sexual size dimorphism results in large, sedentary females and small, searching males who rarely feed as adults and are vulnerable to starvation. Future work will explore possible energetic benefits and the evolutionary lability of PSD relative to other

  2. Warring arthropod societies: Social spider colonies can delay annihilation by predatory ants via reduced apparency and increased group size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keiser, Carl N; Wright, Colin M; Pruitt, Jonathan N

    2015-10-01

    Sociality provides individuals with benefits via collective foraging and anti-predator defense. One of the costs of living in large groups, however, is increased apparency to natural enemies. Here, we test how the individual-level and collective traits of spider societies can increase the risk of discovery and death by predatory ants. We transplanted colonies of the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola into a habitat dense with one of their top predators, the pugnacious ant Anoplolepis custodiens. With three different experiments, we test how colony-wide survivorship in a predator-dense habitat can be altered by colony apparency (i.e., the presence of a capture web), group size, and group composition (i.e., the proportion of bold and shy personality types present). We also test how spiders' social context (i.e., living solitarily vs. among conspecifics) modifies their behaviour toward ants in their capture web. Colonies with capture webs intact were discovered by predatory ants on average 25% faster than colonies with the capture web removed, and all discovered colonies eventually collapsed and succumbed to predation. However, the lag time from discovery by ants to colony collapse was greater for colonies containing more individuals. The composition of individual personality types in the group had no influence on survivorship. Spiders in a social group were more likely to approach ants caught in their web than were isolated spiders. Isolated spiders were more likely to attack a safe prey item (a moth) than they were to attack ants and were more likely to retreat from ants after contact than they were after contact with moths. Together, our data suggest that the physical structures produced by large animal societies can increase their apparency to natural enemies, though larger groups can facilitate a longer lag time between discovery and demise. Lastly, the interaction between spiders and predatory ants seems to depend on the social context in which spiders reside

  3. Distinct spinning patterns gain differentiated loading tolerance of silk thread anchorages in spiders with different ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; van der Meijden, Arie; Herberstein, Marie E

    2017-07-26

    Building behaviour in animals extends biological functions beyond bodies. Many studies have emphasized the role of behavioural programmes, physiology and extrinsic factors for the structure and function of buildings. Structure attachments associated with animal constructions offer yet unrealized research opportunities. Spiders build a variety of one- to three-dimensional structures from silk fibres. The evolution of economic web shapes as a key for ecological success in spiders has been related to the emergence of high performance silks and thread coating glues. However, the role of thread anchorages has been widely neglected in those models. Here, we show that orb-web (Araneidae) and hunting spiders (Sparassidae) use different silk application patterns that determine the structure and robustness of the joint in silk thread anchorages. Silk anchorages of orb-web spiders show a greater robustness against different loading situations, whereas the silk anchorages of hunting spiders have their highest pull-off resistance when loaded parallel to the substrate along the direction of dragline spinning. This suggests that the behavioural 'printing' of silk into attachment discs along with spinneret morphology was a prerequisite for the evolution of extended silk use in a three-dimensional space. This highlights the ecological role of attachments in the evolution of animal architectures. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. Riparian spiders as sentinels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Gibson, Polly P.; Walters, David M.; Mills, Marc A.

    2017-01-01

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems.However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the hypothesis that riparian spiders may be effectively used to track spatial patterns of sediment pollution by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic ecosystems with high habitat heterogeneity. The spatial pattern of ΣPCB concentrations in 2 common families of riparian spiders sampled in 2011 to 2013 generally tracked spatial variation in sediment ΣPCBs across all sites within the Manistique River Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC), a rivermouth ecosystem located on the south shore of the Upper Peninsula, Manistique (MI,USA) that includes harbor, river, backwater, and lake habitats. Sediment ΣPCB concentrations normalized for total organic carbon explained 41% of the variation in lipid-normalized spider ΣPCB concentrations across 11 sites. Furthermore, 2 common riparian spider taxa (Araneidae and Tetragnathidae) were highly correlated (r2> 0.78) and had similar mean ΣPCB concentrations when averaged acrossall years. The results indicate that riparian spiders may be useful sentinels of relative PCB availability to aquatic and riparian food webs in heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems like rivermouths where habitat and contaminant variability may make the use of aquatic taxa lesseffective. Furthermore, the present approach appears robust to heterogeneity in shoreline development and riparian vegetation that support different families of large web-building spiders. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1–9. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  5. Non-invasive determination of the complete elastic moduli of spider silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koski, Kristie J.; Akhenblit, Paul; McKiernan, Keri; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2013-03-01

    Spider silks possess nature’s most exceptional mechanical properties, with unrivalled extensibility and high tensile strength. Unfortunately, our understanding of silks is limited because the complete elastic response has never been measured—leaving a stark lack of essential fundamental information. Using non-invasive, non-destructive Brillouin light scattering, we obtain the entire stiffness tensors (revealing negative Poisson’s ratios), refractive indices, and longitudinal and transverse sound velocities for major and minor ampullate spider silks: Argiope aurantia, Latrodectus hesperus, Nephila clavipes, Peucetia viridans. These results completely quantify the linear elastic response for all possible deformation modes, information unobtainable with traditional stress-strain tests. For completeness, we apply the principles of Brillouin imaging to spatially map the elastic stiffnesses on a spider web without deforming or disrupting the web in a non-invasive, non-contact measurement, finding variation among discrete fibres, junctions and glue spots. Finally, we provide the stiffness changes that occur with supercontraction.

  6. Nephila clavipes spiders (Araneae: Nephilidae) keep track of captured prey counts: testing for a sense of numerosity in an orb-weaver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Rafael L; Briceño, R D; Briceño-Aguilar, Eduardo; Höbel, Gerlinde

    2015-01-01

    Nephila clavipes golden orb-web spiders accumulate prey larders on their webs and search for them if they are removed from their web. Spiders that lose larger larders (i.e., spiders that lose larders consisting of more prey items) search for longer intervals, indicating that the spiders form memories of the size of the prey larders they have accumulated, and use those memories to regulate recovery efforts when the larders are pilfered. Here, we ask whether the spiders represent prey counts (i.e., numerosity) or a continuous integration of prey quantity (mass) in their memories. We manipulated larder sizes in treatments that varied in either prey size or prey numbers but were equivalent in total prey quantity (mass). We then removed the larders to elicit searching and used the spiders' searching behavior as an assay of their representations in memory. Searching increased with prey quantity (larder size) and did so more steeply with higher prey counts than with single prey of larger sizes. Thus, Nephila spiders seem to track prey quantity in two ways, but to attend more to prey numerosity. We discuss alternatives for continuous accumulator mechanisms that remain to be tested against the numerosity hypothesis, and the evolutionary and adaptive significance of evidence suggestive of numerosity in a sit-and-wait invertebrate predator.

  7. Lyriform slit sense organs on the pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    One LSSO is found only on anterior spinnerets and it is a common feature observed among spiders, irrespective of the variations in web building behaviour. The orb-weaving araneid Argiope pulchella, however, has two LSSOs on the anterior spinneret. As non-web builders and orb weavers do not differ markedly in terms ...

  8. Spider Movement, UV Reflectance and Size, but Not Spider Crypsis, Affect the Response of Honeybees to Australian Crab Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llandres, Ana L.; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A.

    2011-01-01

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees. PMID:21359183

  9. Spider movement, UV reflectance and size, but not spider crypsis, affect the response of honeybees to Australian crab spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llandres, Ana L; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A

    2011-02-16

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees.

  10. Spiders (Arachnida: Araneae of Gujarat University Campus, Ahmedabad, India with additional description of Eilica tikaderi (Platnick, 1976

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhruv A. Prajapati

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available We report a checklist of spiders based on a survey made from August 2013 to July 2014 in Gujarat University Campus, an urban area located in the middle of Ahmadabad City, Gujarat State. A total of 77 species of spiders belonging to 53 genera and 20 families of spiders were recorded from the study area represented by 31.74% of the total 63 families reported from India. Salticidae was found to be the most dominant family with 18 species from 14 genera. Guild structure analysis revealed six feeding guilds, namely stalkers, orb-web builders, space-web builders, ambushers, foliage hunters and ground runners. Stalkers and orb-web builders were the most dominant feeding guilds representing 28.58% and 20.78% respectively among all studied guilds. Species Eilica tikaderi (Platnick, 1976 is reported for the first time from Gujarat with additional description and detailed genitalic illustrations.

  11. Attentional bias to moving spiders in spider fearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrijsen, Janna N; Fleurkens, Pascal; Nieuwboer, Wieteke; Rinck, Mike

    2009-05-01

    We investigated if an attentional bias for spiders in spider fearful individuals (SFs) can also be found for moving spiders, rather than static images. In Study 1, 28 SFs and 33 non-anxious controls (NACs) participated in a modified version of the dot probe paradigm: they had to react to a probe that appeared either in the next, previous, or side position of a spider's or a wheel's path. 24 SFs and 29 NACs participated in Study 2, in which a fourth, highly predictable, probe position was added. We expected that moving spiders would capture the attention of SFs. In addition, we tested whether SFs try to predict the movement of the spider to make it less threatening. As expected, SFs showed an attentional bias towards moving spiders. However, both groups reacted fastest to unpredictable movements, indicating that SFs and NACs alike anticipate unpredictable spider movements.

  12. A revision of the purse-web spider genus Calommata Lucas, 1837 (Araneae, Atypidae in the Afrotropical Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Fourie

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The purse-web spider genus Calommata Lucas, 1837 is revised in the Afrotropical Region. Following examination of the female type material, C. transvaalica Hewitt, 1916 is removed from synonymy with C. simoni Pocock, 1903 and revalidated. The females of both species are redescribed and their males described for the first time. While C. simoni is very widespread across tropical Africa, C. transvaalica is endemic to northern South Africa. Four new species are described, all known only from males: C. megae sp. n. (Zimbabwe, C. meridionalis sp. n. (South Africa, C. namibica sp. n. (Namibia and C. tibialis sp. n. (Ivory Coast and Togo. Notes are presented on the biology of each species.

  13. Riparian spiders as sentinels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M; Gibson, Polly P; Walters, David M; Mills, Marc A

    2017-05-01

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems. However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the hypothesis that riparian spiders may be effectively used to track spatial patterns of sediment pollution by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic ecosystems with high habitat heterogeneity. The spatial pattern of ΣPCB concentrations in 2 common families of riparian spiders sampled in 2011 to 2013 generally tracked spatial variation in sediment ΣPCBs across all sites within the Manistique River Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC), a rivermouth ecosystem located on the south shore of the Upper Peninsula, Manistique (MI, USA) that includes harbor, river, backwater, and lake habitats. Sediment ΣPCB concentrations normalized for total organic carbon explained 41% of the variation in lipid-normalized spider ΣPCB concentrations across 11 sites. Furthermore, 2 common riparian spider taxa (Araneidae and Tetragnathidae) were highly correlated (r 2  > 0.78) and had similar mean ΣPCB concentrations when averaged across all years. The results indicate that riparian spiders may be useful sentinels of relative PCB availability to aquatic and riparian food webs in heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems like rivermouths where habitat and contaminant variability may make the use of aquatic taxa less effective. Furthermore, the present approach appears robust to heterogeneity in shoreline development and riparian vegetation that support different families of large web-building spiders. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1278-1286. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in

  14. A 4-year study of invasive and native spider populations in Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakob, Elizabeth M.; Porter, Adam H.; Ginsberg, Howard; Bednarski, Julie V.; Houser, Jeremy

    2011-01-01

    Invasive spiders pose potential threats to native spiders. In 2002, the European spider Linyphia triangularis (Clerck, 1757) (Araneae: Linyphiidae) was discovered in all but one county in Maine. At Acadia National Park, we conducted a 4-year study of L. triangularis and three native linyphiid species of a similar size (Frontinella communis (Hentz, 1850), Pityohyphantes subarcticus Chamberlin and Ivie, 1943, and Neriene radiata (Walckenaer, 1842)). Using line-transect surveys, we measured population densities in coastal and forest habitat. The density of L. triangularis varied across years but was always significantly higher on the coast than in the forest. In contrast, only one native species was present on the coast and at very low numbers. Coastal L. triangularis were larger and in better condition than those in the forest, and numbers and biomass of insect prey were also higher on the coast. In 2 years, we also conducted transects at a second coastal location in Maine where the invader was at low density. At that site, native densities were substantially higher than at either Acadia site. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that L. triangularis is reducing populations of native spiders. Companion studies suggest that L. triangularis negatively impacts natives by usurping both web sites and webs.

  15. Jewelled spiders manipulate colour-lure geometry to deceive prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas E

    2017-03-01

    Selection is expected to favour the evolution of efficacy in visual communication. This extends to deceptive systems, and predicts functional links between the structure of visual signals and their behavioural presentation. Work to date has primarily focused on colour, however, thereby understating the multicomponent nature of visual signals. Here I examined the relationship between signal structure, presentation behaviour, and efficacy in the context of colour-based prey luring. I used the polymorphic orb-web spider Gasteracantha fornicata , whose yellow- or white-and-black striped dorsal colours have been broadly implicated in prey attraction. In a manipulative assay, I found that spiders actively control the orientation of their conspicuous banded signals in the web, with a distinct preference for near-diagonal bearings. Further field-based study identified a predictive relationship between pattern orientation and prey interception rates, with a local maximum at the spiders' preferred orientation. There were no morph-specific effects on capture success, either singularly or via an interaction with pattern orientation. These results reveal a dynamic element in a traditionally 'static' signalling context, and imply differential functions for chromatic and geometric signal components across visual contexts. More broadly, they underscore how multicomponent signal designs and display behaviours may coevolve to enhance efficacy in visual deception. © 2017 The Author(s).

  16. Duplication and concerted evolution of MiSp-encoding genes underlie the material properties of minor ampullate silks of cobweb weaving spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vienneau-Hathaway, Jannelle M; Brassfield, Elizabeth R; Lane, Amanda Kelly; Collin, Matthew A; Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Clarke, Thomas H; Schwager, Evelyn E; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2017-03-14

    Orb-web weaving spiders and their relatives use multiple types of task-specific silks. The majority of spider silk studies have focused on the ultra-tough dragline silk synthesized in major ampullate glands, but other silk types have impressive material properties. For instance, minor ampullate silks of orb-web weaving spiders are as tough as draglines, due to their higher extensibility despite lower strength. Differences in material properties between silk types result from differences in their component proteins, particularly members of the spidroin (spider fibroin) gene family. However, the extent to which variation in material properties within a single silk type can be explained by variation in spidroin sequences is unknown. Here, we compare the minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) of orb-weavers and cobweb weavers. Orb-web weavers use minor ampullate silk to form the auxiliary spiral of the orb-web while cobweb weavers use it to wrap prey, suggesting that selection pressures on minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) may differ between the two groups. We report complete or nearly complete MiSp sequences from five cobweb weaving spider species and measure material properties of minor ampullate silks in a subset of these species. We also compare MiSp sequences and silk properties of our cobweb weavers to published data for orb-web weavers. We demonstrate that all our cobweb weavers possess multiple MiSp loci and that one locus is more highly expressed in at least two species. We also find that the proportion of β-spiral-forming amino acid motifs in MiSp positively correlates with minor ampullate silk extensibility across orb-web and cobweb weavers. MiSp sequences vary dramatically within and among spider species, and have likely been subject to multiple rounds of gene duplication and concerted evolution, which have contributed to the diverse material properties of minor ampullate silks. Our sequences also provide templates for recombinant silk proteins with tailored

  17. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Hénaut

    Full Text Available Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between 'Aechmea-areas' and 'control-areas' of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests.

  18. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hénaut, Yann; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Herault, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between 'Aechmea-areas' and 'control-areas' of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests.

  19. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hénaut, Yann; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Herault, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between ‘Aechmea-areas’ and ‘control-areas’ of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests. PMID:25494055

  20. Collections of spiders, scientific networks, and politics: the web of life of Cândido de Mello Leitão (1886-1948

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina Horta Duarte

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Cândido de Mello Leitão (1886-1948 started his career as a pediatrician. Being extremely dedicated to the study of spiders, he became one of the greatest arachnologists of his time, and earned wide recognition from his peers. The present article deals with some aspects of his career, while trying to address the question of how one could become a biologist in Brazil in the first half of the 20th century, when there were no graduation courses in Biology and the profession held no official recognition. Research conducted on books, newspapers and Mello Leitão's personal documents has shown how this specialization came to being in the crossroads of practical experiences in various scientific institutions, national and international collaboration and the changing social-historic conditions. A spider expert, Mello Leitão had great knowledge on webs that allowed him to become a biologist. Amid these personal and institutional relationships, he built and spread knowledge, and carved a role for himself, his colleagues, the institutions he worked in and the biology he practiced.

  1. Evolution of stenophagy in spiders (Araneae): evidence based on the comparative analysis of spider diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, Stano; Coddington, Jonathan A; Blackledge, Todd A

    2012-03-01

    Stenophagy (narrow diet breadth) represents an extreme of trophic specialization in carnivores, but little is known about the forces driving its evolution. We used spiders, the most diversified group of terrestrial predators, to investigate whether stenophagy (1) promoted diversification; (2) was phylogenetically conserved and evolutionarily derived state; and (3) was determined either by geographical distribution and foraging guild. We used published data on the prey of almost 600 species. Six categories of stenophagy were found: myrmecophagy, araneophagy, lepidopterophagy, termitophagy, dipterophagy, and crustaceophagy. We found that the species diversity of euryphagous genera and families was similar to stenophagous genera and families. At the family level, stenophagy evolved repeatedly and independently. Within families, the basal condition was oligophagy or euryphagy. Most types of stenophagy were clearly derived: myrmecophagy in Zodariidae; lepidopterophagy in Araneidae; dipterophagy in Theridiidae. In contrast, araneophagy was confined to basal and intermediate lineages, suggesting its ancestral condition. The diet breadth of species from the tropics and subtropics was less diverse than species from the temperate zone. Diet breadth was lower in cursorial spiders compared to web-building species. Thus, the evolution of stenophagy in spiders appears to be complex and governed by phylogeny as well as by ecological determinants. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Effects of kaolin particle films on the life span of an orb-weaver spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benhadi-Marín, Jacinto; Pereira, José Alberto; Santos, Sónia A P

    2016-02-01

    Araniella cucurbitina (Araneae: Araneidae) is a widespread orb-weaver spider commonly found in agroecosystems. Mineral particle films such as kaolin, due to their protective or anti-feeding action, can represent an alternative to pesticides, especially in organic farming systems, but little is known about its effects on A. cucurbitina. Therefore, we tested the effect of kaolin sprays on the life span of A. cucurbitina under laboratory conditions. Four treatments were tested encompassing different exposure routes. Thus, kaolin sprays were applied on (i) the surface, (ii) the prey (fly), (iii) the spider and (iv) both spider & prey. A control group was tested with water in each treatment. Results showed that sprays of kaolin significantly affected the survival of A. curcubitina when applications were done on the surface and on both spider & prey registering a reduction of 48% and 56%, respectively. Spiders in control obtained higher probability of reaching alive at the end of the assay than those treated with kaolin. Differences observed can be explained by the feeding behavior of the species and may depend on the consumption of the web by the spider and the ratio spider/fly for body size. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Spider Trait Assembly Patterns and Resilience under Fire-Induced Vegetation Change in South Brazilian Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podgaiski, Luciana R.; Joner, Fernando; Lavorel, Sandra; Moretti, Marco; Ibanez, Sebastien; Mendonça, Milton de S.; Pillar, Valério D.

    2013-01-01

    Disturbances induce changes on habitat proprieties that may filter organism's functional traits thereby shaping the structure and interactions of many trophic levels. We tested if communities of predators with foraging traits dependent on habitat structure respond to environmental change through cascades affecting the functional traits of plants. We monitored the response of spider and plant communities to fire in South Brazilian Grasslands using pairs of burned and unburned plots. Spiders were determined to the family level and described in feeding behavioral and morphological traits measured on each individual. Life form and morphological traits were recorded for plant species. One month after fire the abundance of vegetation hunters and the mean size of the chelicera increased due to the presence of suitable feeding sites in the regrowing vegetation, but irregular web builders decreased due to the absence of microhabitats and dense foliage into which they build their webs. Six months after fire rosette-form plants with broader leaves increased, creating a favourable habitat for orb web builders which became more abundant, while graminoids and tall plants were reduced, resulting in a decrease of proper shelters and microclimate in soil surface to ground hunters which became less abundant. Hence, fire triggered changes in vegetation structure that lead both to trait-convergence and trait-divergence assembly patterns of spiders along gradients of plant biomass and functional diversity. Spider individuals occurring in more functionally diverse plant communities were more diverse in their traits probably because increased possibility of resource exploitation, following the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. Finally, as an indication of resilience, after twelve months spider communities did not differ from those of unburned plots. Our findings show that functional traits provide a mechanistic understanding of the response of communities to environmental change

  4. Cuticular bacteria appear detrimental to social spiders in mixed but not monoculture exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keiser, Carl N.; Shearer, Taylor A.; DeMarco, Alexander E.; Brittingham, Hayley A.; Knutson, Karen A.; Kuo, Candice; Zhao, Katherine; Pruitt, Jonathan N.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Much of an animal’s health status, life history, and behavior are dictated by interactions with its endogenous and exogenous bacterial communities. Unfortunately, interactions between hosts and members of their resident bacterial community are often ignored in animal behavior and behavioral ecology. Here, we aim to identify the nature of host–microbe interactions in a nonmodel organism, the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola. We collected and identified bacteria from the cuticles of spiders in situ and then exposed spiders to bacterial monocultures cultures via topical application or injection. We also topically inoculated spiders with a concomitant “cocktail” of bacteria and measured the behavior of spiders daily for 24 days after inoculation. Lastly, we collected and identified bacteria from the cuticles of prey items in the capture webs of spiders, and then fed spiders domestic crickets which had been injected with these bacteria. We also injected 1 species of prey-borne bacteria into the hemolymph of spiders. Only Bacillus thuringiensis caused increased mortality when injected into the hemolymph of spiders, whereas no bacterial monocultures caused increased mortality when applied topically, relative to control solutions. However, a bacterial cocktail of cuticular bacteria caused weight loss and mortality when applied topically, yet did not detectibly alter spider behavior. Consuming prey injected with prey-borne bacteria was associated with an elongated lifespan in spiders. Thus, indirect evidence from multiple experiments suggests that the effects of these bacteria on spider survivorship appear contingent on their mode of colonization and whether they are applied in monoculture or within a mixed cocktail. We urge that follow-up studies should test these host–microbe interactions across different social contexts to determine the role that microbes play in colony performance. PMID:29491926

  5. Spiders in dermatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jun K; Bhate, Chinmoy; Schwartz, Robert A

    2014-09-01

    Spider bites represent an unusual and potentially over-represented clinical diagnosis. Despite a common fear of spiders, known as arachnophobia, current knowledge suggests that only a small number of families within the order Araneae are medically relevant. Moreover, most cutaneous spider reactions, including both evenomations and physical trauma, produce mild, local symptoms which may be managed with supportive care alone. The differential diagnosis for spider bites may be broad, especially if the offending arachnid is not seen or found. We describe a series of spiders relevant to the dermatologist in the United States.

  6. The Role of Silk in the Behaviour and Sociality of Spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertrand Krafft

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This article describes the links between the production of silk by spiders and their behaviour. Silk allows the spider to change its physical environment, which in turn leads to behavioural changes and impacts in the new environment. The feedback between silk and the animal producer can explain the architecture of spider webs and their adaptation to the environment, by referring only to stereotypic stimulus-response reactions without necessarily resorting to a “representation” by the animal of the structure it builds. Silk can act as a means of protection against environmental stress, a snare for prey, a means of locomotion, and also as support for chemical signals or to act as a vector of vibratory signals. These last two functions have undoubtedly played a key role in spider socialization and explains the phenomena of group cohesion, collective decision making, and the coordination of activities, without resorting to mental “representations” for the overall situation. The bulk of this review describes silk as the chief agent directing the construction of traps, communication, social cohesion, and cooperation amongst its producers.

  7. The diet of the black widow spider Latrodectus mirabilis (Theridiidae in two cereal crops of central Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Pompozzi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The spider Latrodectus mirabilis (Holmberg, 1876 is commonly found in cereals crops of central Argentina. We studied its diet composition at the field and capture rate on leaf-cutting ants based on laboratory experiments. This study comprises the first approach that documents the diet of L. mirabilis in wheat and oat fields of central Argentina. We identified 1,004 prey items collected from its webs during the last phenological stages of both cereal crops. The prey composition was variable but the spiders prey mainly on ants (Formicidae, Hymenoptera, who represented more than 86% of the total. Meanwhile, in the capture rate experiences we registered a high proportion of ants captured by spiders at the beginning of experiences, capturing the half of the ants from total in the first four hours. Summarizing, we reported a polyphagous diet of this spider species in wheat and oat fields. Ants were the most important prey item of this spider, as found in other Latrodectus spiders around the world.

  8. Spider Vein Removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spider veins: How are they removed? I have spider veins on my legs. What options are available ... M.D. Several options are available to remove spider veins — thin red lines or weblike networks of ...

  9. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  10. Hg-contaminated terrestrial spiders pose a potential risk to songbirds at Caddo Lake (Texas/Louisiana, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gann, Gretchen L; Powell, Cleveland H; Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W

    2015-02-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental contaminant that can have adverse effects on wildlife. Because MeHg is produced by bacteria in aquatic ecosystems, studies of MeHg contamination of food webs historically have focused on aquatic organisms. However, recent studies have shown that terrestrial organisms such as songbirds can be contaminated with MeHg by feeding on MeHg-contaminated spiders. In the present study, the authors examined the risk that MeHg-contaminated terrestrial long-jawed orb weaver spiders (Tetragnatha sp.) pose to songbirds at Caddo Lake (Texas/Louisiana, USA). Methylmercury concentrations in spiders were significantly different in river, wetland, and open-water habitats. The authors calculated spider-based wildlife values (the minimum spider MeHg concentrations causing physiologically significant doses in consumers) to assess exposure risks for arachnivorous birds. Methylmercury concentrations in spiders exceeded wildlife values for Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) nestlings, with the highest risk in the river habitat. The present study indicates that MeHg concentrations in terrestrial spiders vary with habitat and can pose a threat to small-bodied nestling birds that consume large amounts of spiders at Caddo Lake. This MeHg threat to songbirds may not be unique to Caddo Lake and may extend throughout the southeastern United States. © 2014 SETAC.

  11. Relations between metals (Zn, Pb, Cd and Cu) and glutathione-dependent detoxifying enzymes in spiders from a heavy metal pollution gradient

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilczek, Grazyna [Department of Animal Physiology and Ecotoxicology, University of Silesia, Bankowa 9, 40-007 Katowice (Poland); Babczynska, Agnieszka [Department of Animal Physiology and Ecotoxicology, University of Silesia, Bankowa 9, 40-007 Katowice (Poland); Augustyniak, Maria [Department of Animal Physiology and Ecotoxicology, University of Silesia, Bankowa 9, 40-007 Katowice (Poland); Migula, Pawel [Department of Animal Physiology and Ecotoxicology, University of Silesia, Bankowa 9, 40-007 Katowice (Poland)]. E-mail: migula@us.edu.pl

    2004-12-01

    We studied the relations between glutathione-dependent detoxifying enzymes and heavy metal burdens in the web-building spider Agelena labyrinthica (Agelenidae) and the wolf spider Pardosa lugubris (Lycosidae) from five meadow sites along a heavy metal pollution gradient. We assayed the activity of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione peroxidases (GPOX, GSTPx), and glutathione (GSH) levels in both sexes. Except for GSH vs Pb content, we found significant correlations between GPOX and GSTPx activity and metal concentrations in females of A. labyrinthica. The highest activity of these enzymes measured in the web-building spiders was found in the individuals from the most polluted sites. In P. lugubris males significant correlations were found between GST and Pb and Zn concentrations, and between GPOX and GSTPx and the concentration of Cu. GST activity was higher in males collected from less polluted areas. Thus, detoxifying strategies against pollutants seemed to be sex-dependent. Actively hunting spiders had higher metal concentrations, maintaining lower activity of detoxifying enzymes and a lower glutathione level. - Capsule: Glutathione-linked enzyme activity in spiders from polluted areas depends on hunting strategy and sex.

  12. Relations between metals (Zn, Pb, Cd and Cu) and glutathione-dependent detoxifying enzymes in spiders from a heavy metal pollution gradient

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilczek, Grazyna; Babczynska, Agnieszka; Augustyniak, Maria; Migula, Pawel

    2004-01-01

    We studied the relations between glutathione-dependent detoxifying enzymes and heavy metal burdens in the web-building spider Agelena labyrinthica (Agelenidae) and the wolf spider Pardosa lugubris (Lycosidae) from five meadow sites along a heavy metal pollution gradient. We assayed the activity of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione peroxidases (GPOX, GSTPx), and glutathione (GSH) levels in both sexes. Except for GSH vs Pb content, we found significant correlations between GPOX and GSTPx activity and metal concentrations in females of A. labyrinthica. The highest activity of these enzymes measured in the web-building spiders was found in the individuals from the most polluted sites. In P. lugubris males significant correlations were found between GST and Pb and Zn concentrations, and between GPOX and GSTPx and the concentration of Cu. GST activity was higher in males collected from less polluted areas. Thus, detoxifying strategies against pollutants seemed to be sex-dependent. Actively hunting spiders had higher metal concentrations, maintaining lower activity of detoxifying enzymes and a lower glutathione level. - Capsule: Glutathione-linked enzyme activity in spiders from polluted areas depends on hunting strategy and sex

  13. Spider Bites: First Aid

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... care immediately if: You were bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider You are unsure whether the bite ... in the South. Signs and symptoms of a black widow spider bite may include: At ... fever and nausea Brown recluse spider The brown recluse spider has a ...

  14. Spiders in caves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammola, Stefano; Isaia, Marco

    2017-04-26

    World experts of different disciplines, from molecular biology to macro-ecology, recognize the value of cave ecosystems as ideal ecological and evolutionary laboratories. Among other subterranean taxa, spiders stand out as intriguing model organisms for their ecological role of top predators, their unique adaptations to the hypogean medium and their sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance. As the description of the first eyeless spider ( Stalita taenaria ), an array of papers on subterranean spider biology, ecology and evolution has been published, but a comprehensive review on these topics is still lacking. We provide a general overview of the spider families recorded in hypogean habitats worldwide, we review the different adaptations of hypogean spiders to subterranean life, and we summarize the information gathered so far about their origin, population structure, ecology and conservation status. Finally, we point out the limits of the knowledge we currently have regarding hypogean spiders, aiming to stimulate future research. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. The Aromatic Head Group of Spider Toxin Polyamines Influences Toxicity to Cancer Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, David; Boyle, Glen M; McIntyre, Lachlan; Nolan, Matthew J; Parsons, Peter G; Smith, Jennifer J; Tribolet, Leon; Loukas, Alex; Liddell, Michael J; Rash, Lachlan D; Daly, Norelle L

    2017-10-27

    Spider venoms constitute incredibly diverse libraries of compounds, many of which are involved in prey capture and defence. Polyamines are often prevalent in the venom and target ionotropic glutamate receptors. Here we show that a novel spider polyamine, PA 366 , containing a hydroxyphenyl-based structure is present in the venom of several species of tarantula, and has selective toxicity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells. By contrast, a polyamine from an Australian funnel-web spider venom, which contains an identical polyamine tail to PA 366 but an indole-based head-group, is only cytotoxic at high concentrations. Our results suggest that the ring structure plays a role in the cytotoxicity and that modification to the polyamine head group might lead to more potent and selective compounds with potential as novel cancer treatments.

  16. The Aromatic Head Group of Spider Toxin Polyamines Influences Toxicity to Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Wilson

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Spider venoms constitute incredibly diverse libraries of compounds, many of which are involved in prey capture and defence. Polyamines are often prevalent in the venom and target ionotropic glutamate receptors. Here we show that a novel spider polyamine, PA366, containing a hydroxyphenyl-based structure is present in the venom of several species of tarantula, and has selective toxicity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells. By contrast, a polyamine from an Australian funnel-web spider venom, which contains an identical polyamine tail to PA366 but an indole-based head-group, is only cytotoxic at high concentrations. Our results suggest that the ring structure plays a role in the cytotoxicity and that modification to the polyamine head group might lead to more potent and selective compounds with potential as novel cancer treatments.

  17. Multiple origins of subsociality in crab spiders (Thomisidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruch, Jasmin; Riehl, Torben; May-Collado, Laura J; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2015-01-01

    Determining factors that facilitate the transition from a solitary to a social lifestyle is a major challenge in evolutionary biology, especially in taxa that are usually aggressive towards conspecifics. Most spiders live solitarily and few species are known to be social. Nevertheless, sociality has evolved multiple times across several families and nearly all studied social lineages have originated from a periodically social (subsocial) ancestor. Group-living crab spiders (Thomisidae) are exclusively found in Australia and differ from most other social spiders because they lack a communal capture web. Three of the group-living species were placed in the genus Diaea and another in the genus Xysticus. Most Australian thomisids are, however, difficult to identify as most descriptions are old and of poor quality, and the genera Diaea and Xysticus may not correspond to monophyletic groups. Here, we clarify the phylogenetic relationships of the four group-living Australian thomisids and conclude that amongst these subsociality has evolved two to three times independently. The subsocial Xysticus bimaculatus is not closely related to any of the social Diaea and an independent origin of subsociality is likely in this case. The presented data indicates that within Diaea two origins of subsociality are possible. Our results help to understand the evolution of sociality in thomisids and support the hypothesis that permanent sociality in spiders has evolved multiple times relatively recently from subsocial ancestors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Signal conflict in spider webs driven by predators and prey

    OpenAIRE

    Blackledge, T. A.

    1998-01-01

    Variation in the sensory physiologies of organisms can bias the receptions of signals, driving the direction of signal evolution. Sensory drive in the evolution of signals may be particularly important for organisms that confront trade-offs in signal design between the need for conspicuousness to allow effective transfer of information and the need for crypsis of the signal to unintended receivers. Several genera of orb-weaving spiders include conspicuous silk designs, stabilimenta, in the ce...

  19. Tarantula spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002855.htm Tarantula spider bite To use the sharing features on this ... This article describes the effects of a tarantula spider bite. The class of insects to which the ...

  20. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Spencer, Alan R T; Atwood, Robert C; Vo, Nghia T; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-03-30

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasierigen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian,ca 305-299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian-Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies. © 2016 The Authors.

  1. Changes in species diversity of arboreal spiders in Mexican coffee agroecosystems: untangling the web of local and landscape influences driving diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary Hajian-Forooshani

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural intensification is implicated as a major driver of global biodiversity loss. Local management and landscape scale factors both influence biodiversity in agricultural systems, but there are relatively few studies to date looking at how local and landscape scales influence biodiversity in tropical agroecosystems. Understanding what drives the diversity of groups of organisms such as spiders is important from a pragmatic point of view because of the important biocontrol services they offer to agriculture. Spiders in coffee are somewhat enigmatic because of their positive or lack of response to agricultural intensification. In this study, we provide the first analysis, to our knowledge, of the arboreal spiders in the shade trees of coffee plantations. In the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico we sampled across 38 sites on 9 coffee plantations. Tree and canopy connectedness were found to positively influence overall arboreal spider richness and abundance. We found that different functional groups of spiders are responding to different local and landscape factors, but overall elevation was most important variable influencing arboreal spider diversity. Our study has practical management applications that suggest having shade grown coffee offers more suitable habitat for arboreal spiders due to a variety of the characteristics of the shade trees. Our results which show consistently more diverse arboreal spider communities in lower elevations are important in light of looming global climate change. As the range of suitable elevations for coffee cultivation shrinks promoting arboreal spider diversity will be important in sustaining the viability of coffee.

  2. Spider web-structured labyrinthine acoustic metamaterials for low-frequency sound control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krushynska, A. O.; Bosia, F.; Miniaci, M.; Pugno, N. M.

    2017-10-01

    Attenuating low-frequency sound remains a challenge, despite many advances in this field. Recently-developed acoustic metamaterials are characterized by unusual wave manipulation abilities that make them ideal candidates for efficient subwavelength sound control. In particular, labyrinthine acoustic metamaterials exhibit extremely high wave reflectivity, conical dispersion, and multiple artificial resonant modes originating from the specifically-designed topological architectures. These features enable broadband sound attenuation, negative refraction, acoustic cloaking and other peculiar effects. However, hybrid and/or tunable metamaterial performance implying enhanced wave reflection and simultaneous presence of conical dispersion at desired frequencies has not been reported so far. In this paper, we propose a new type of labyrinthine acoustic metamaterials (LAMMs) with hybrid dispersion characteristics by exploiting spider web-structured configurations. The developed design approach consists in adding a square surrounding frame to sectorial circular-shaped labyrinthine channels described in previous publications (e.g. (11)). Despite its simplicity, this approach provides tunability in the metamaterial functionality, such as the activation/elimination of subwavelength band gaps and negative group-velocity modes by increasing/decreasing the edge cavity dimensions. Since these cavities can be treated as extensions of variable-width internal channels, it becomes possible to exploit geometrical features, such as channel width, to shift the band gap position and size to desired frequencies. Time transient simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed metastructures for wave manipulation in terms of transmission or reflection coefficients, amplitude attenuation and time delay at subwavelength frequencies. The obtained results can be important for practical applications of LAMMs such as lightweight acoustic barriers with enhanced broadband wave

  3. Spider web-structured labyrinthine acoustic metamaterials for low-frequency sound control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krushynska, A O; Bosia, F; Miniaci, M; Pugno, N M

    2017-01-01

    Attenuating low-frequency sound remains a challenge, despite many advances in this field. Recently-developed acoustic metamaterials are characterized by unusual wave manipulation abilities that make them ideal candidates for efficient subwavelength sound control. In particular, labyrinthine acoustic metamaterials exhibit extremely high wave reflectivity, conical dispersion, and multiple artificial resonant modes originating from the specifically-designed topological architectures. These features enable broadband sound attenuation, negative refraction, acoustic cloaking and other peculiar effects. However, hybrid and/or tunable metamaterial performance implying enhanced wave reflection and simultaneous presence of conical dispersion at desired frequencies has not been reported so far. In this paper, we propose a new type of labyrinthine acoustic metamaterials (LAMMs) with hybrid dispersion characteristics by exploiting spider web-structured configurations. The developed design approach consists in adding a square surrounding frame to sectorial circular-shaped labyrinthine channels described in previous publications (e.g. (11)). Despite its simplicity, this approach provides tunability in the metamaterial functionality, such as the activation/elimination of subwavelength band gaps and negative group-velocity modes by increasing/decreasing the edge cavity dimensions. Since these cavities can be treated as extensions of variable-width internal channels, it becomes possible to exploit geometrical features, such as channel width, to shift the band gap position and size to desired frequencies. Time transient simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed metastructures for wave manipulation in terms of transmission or reflection coefficients, amplitude attenuation and time delay at subwavelength frequencies. The obtained results can be important for practical applications of LAMMs such as lightweight acoustic barriers with enhanced broadband wave

  4. E.B. White and Charlotte's Web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elledge, Scott

    2001-01-01

    Discusses the life and work of E.B. White, describing his research on spiders, examining his development of the story, "Charlotte's Web," and explaining how "Charlotte's Web" is a fabric of memories. Notes how this book faces a variety of truths about the human condition and how it celebrates a child's generous view of and love…

  5. Spider Bites (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Videos for Educators Search English Español First Aid: Spider Bites KidsHealth / For Parents / First Aid: Spider Bites ... rare. Signs and Symptoms Of a brown recluse spider bite: red blister in the center with surrounding ...

  6. Flee or fight: ontogenetic changes in the behavior of cobweb spiders in encounters with spider-hunting wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uma, Divya B; Weiss, Martha R

    2012-12-01

    An animal's body size plays a predominant role in shaping its interspecific interactions, and, in encounters between two predators, often determines which shall be predator and which shall be prey. Spiders are top predators of insects, yet can fall prey to mud-dauber wasps that provision their larval nests with paralyzed spiders. Here we examined predator-prey interactions between Chalybion californicum (Saussure) (Sphecidae), a mud-dauber wasp, and Parasteatoda tepidariorum C. L. Koch (Theridiidae), a cobweb spider. We examined whether a spider's size influences its response to an attacking wasp, and report a size-dependent change in spider behavior: small-sized spiders fled, whereas medium- and large-sized spiders fought in response to wasp attacks. From the wasps' perspective, we examined whether spider size influences a wasp's hunting behavior and capture success. We found that wasps commonly approached small spiders, but were much less likely to approach medium and large spiders. However, wasp capture success did not vary with spider size. We also report a strategy used by Chalybion wasps toward cobweb spiders that is consistent with an interpretation of aggressive mimicry.

  7. SPIDER SILK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PORAV Viorica

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The strengthness and toughness of spider fiber and its multifunctional nature is only surpassed in some cases by synthetic high performance fibers. In the world of natural fibers, spider silk has been long time recognized as a wonder fiber for its unique combination of high strength and rupture elongation. Scientists in civil military engineering reveal that the power of biological material (spider silk lies in the geometric configuration of structural protein, and the small cluster of week hydrogen bonds that works together to resist force and dissipate energy. Each spider and each type of silk has a set of mechanical properties optimized for their biological function. Most silks, in particular deagline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility. This enables a silk fiber to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress- strain curve. A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is,however, tougher than both.This paper inform about overview on the today trend in the world of spider silk.

  8. Publicizing Your Web Resources for Maximum Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kerry J.

    2001-01-01

    Offers advice to librarians for marketing their Web sites on Internet search engines. Advises against relying solely on spiders and recommends adding metadata to the source code and delivering that information directly to the search engines. Gives an overview of metadata and typical coding for meta tags. Includes Web addresses for a number of…

  9. Did You Say Spiders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Alene

    This spider unit focuses on students' development of cooperative learning and inquiry-based skills. Students read "The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle, and then work in cooperative groups using the Internet to research and synthesize important information about spiders. Technology is used for vocabulary instruction and to create a…

  10. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of functionalities, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. One feature that has escaped extensive investigation is the silk-on-silk connection joints within spider webs, particularly from a structural mechanics perspective. We report a joint theoretical and computational analysis of an idealized silk-on-silk fibre junction. By modifying the theory of multiple peeling, we quantitatively compare the performance of the system while systematically increasing the rigidity of the anchor thread, by both scaling the stress–strain response and the introduction of an applied pre-strain. The results of our study indicate that compliance is a virtue—the more extensible the anchorage, the tougher and stronger the connection becomes. In consideration of the theoretical model, in comparison with rigid substrates, a compliant anchorage enormously increases the effective adhesion strength (work required to detach), independent of the adhered thread itself, attributed to a nonlinear alignment between thread and anchor (contact peeling angle). The results can direct novel engineering design principles to achieve possible load transfer from compliant fibre-to-fibre anchorages, be they silk-on-silk or another, as-yet undeveloped, system. PMID:25008083

  11. Non-pest prey do not disrupt aphid predation by a web-building spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, K D; Whitney, T D; Harwood, J D

    2016-02-01

    A generalist predator's ability to contribute to biological control is influenced by the decisions it makes during foraging. Predators often use flexible foraging tactics, which allows them to pursue specific types of prey at the cost of reducing the likelihood of capturing other types of prey. When a pest insect has low nutritional quality or palatability for a predator, the predator is likely to reject that prey in favour of pursuing alternative, non-pest prey. This is often thought to limit the effectiveness of generalist predators in consuming aphids, which are of low nutritional quality for many generalist predators. Here, we report behavioural assays that test the hypothesis that the generalist predator, Grammonota inornata (Araneae: Linyphiidae), preferentially forages for a non-pest prey with high nutritional quality (springtails), and rejects a pest prey with low nutritional quality (aphids). In no-choice assays, molecular gut-content analysis revealed that spiders continued to feed on the low-quality aphids at high rates, even when high-quality springtails were readily available. When provided a choice between aphids and springtails in two-way choice tests, spiders did not show the expected preference for springtails. Decision-making by spiders during foraging therefore appears to be sub-optimal, possibly because of attraction to the less frequently encountered of two preys as part of a dietary diversification strategy. These results indicate that behavioural preferences alone do not necessarily compromise the pest-suppression capacity of natural enemies: even nutritionally sub-optimal pest prey can potentially be subject to predation and suppression by natural enemies.

  12. Ant mimicry lessens predation on a North American jumping spider by larger salticid spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durkee, Caitlin A; Weiss, Martha R; Uma, Divya B

    2011-10-01

    Ant-like appearance (myrmecomorphy) has evolved >70 times in insects and spiders, accounting for >2,000 species of myrmecomorphic arthropods. Most myrmecomorphic spiders are considered to be Batesian mimics; that is, a palatable spider avoids predation through resemblance to an unpalatable ant-although this presumption has been tested in relatively few cases. Here we explicitly examined the extent to which Peckhamia picata (Salticidae), a North American ant-mimicking jumping spider, is protected from four species of jumping spider predators, relative to nonmimetic salticids and model ants. In addition, we conducted focused behavioral observations on one salticid predator, Thiodina puerpera, to determine the point at which the predators' behaviors toward model, mimic, and nonmimic diverge. We also examined the behaviors of Peckhamia in the presence of Thiodina. We found that mimetic jumping spiders were consumed less than a third as often as nonmimetic jumping spiders, suggesting that Peckhamia does indeed gain protection as a result of its resemblance to ants, and so can be considered a Batesian mimic. Furthermore, our focal predator did not consume any ant-mimicking spiders, and seemed to categorize Peckhamia with its model ant early in the hunting sequence. Such early determination of prey versus nonprey may be the result of speed-accuracy trade-offs in predator decision-making.

  13. Black widow spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002858.htm Black widow spider To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The black widow spider (Latrodectus) has a shiny black body with a ...

  14. What you fear will appear: detection of schematic spiders in spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peira, Nathalie; Golkar, Armita; Larsson, Maria; Wiens, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    Various experimental tasks suggest that fear guides attention. However, because these tasks often lack ecological validity, it is unclear to what extent results from these tasks can be generalized to real-life situations. In change detection tasks, a brief interruption of the visual input (i.e., a blank interval or a scene cut) often results in undetected changes in the scene. This setup resembles real-life viewing behavior and is used here to increase ecological validity of the attentional task without compromising control over the stimuli presented. Spider-fearful and nonfearful women detected schematic spiders and flowers that were added to one of two identical background pictures that alternated with a brief blank in between them (i.e., flicker paradigm). Results showed that spider-fearful women detected spiders (but not flowers) faster than did nonfearful women. Because spiders and flowers had similar low-level features, these findings suggest that fear guides attention on the basis of object features rather than simple low-level features.

  15. Brown Recluse Spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to a group of spiders commonly known as violin spiders or fiddlebacks. The characteristic fiddle-shaped pattern ... 4-19.1mm) • Color: Golden brown • A dark violin/fiddle shape (see top photo) is located on ...

  16. Evaluation of the efficacy of vacuum cleaners for the integrated control of brown spider Loxosceles intermedia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. N. Ramires

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Some venomous spiders of the genus Loxosceles can reach high population densities inside and around houses. In Brazil, most spider accidents are related to Loxosceles intermedia. Control of loxoscelism should utilize integrated pest management tools, such as vacuum cleaners, to eliminate egg sacs, webs and spiders. The present study tested the efficacy of one type of vacuum cleaner (for professional and domestic use in the control of L. intermedia populations. Cockroaches (Pycnoscelus surinamensis were used in some tests for comparison. Vacuuming using standard accessories or a paper tube resulted in the death of all female (n=60, male (n=60, young (n=60 and just-hatched (n=60 L. intermedia, and all egg sacs (n=5 were destroyed. The removal of the plastic plate present at the bottom of the vacuuming tube inside the machine allowed some spiders to survive the vacuuming process. When kept inside a vacuum bag full of dust and debris, adult females (n=10 survived for 10 days; however, significant mortality was observed among male (n=10 and young individuals (n=10. Addition of cornstarch to the vacuum bag did not affect the spiders (n=20. Vacuum cleaners, such as the one used in the present investigation, are promising tools for integrated management of L. intermedia and other spiders in domestic environments.

  17. Discovery of the largest orbweaving spider species: the evolution of gigantism in Nephila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuntner, Matjaz; Coddington, Jonathan A

    2009-10-21

    More than 41,000 spider species are known with about 400-500 added each year, but for some well-known groups, such as the giant golden orbweavers, Nephila, the last valid described species dates from the 19(th) century. Nephila are renowned for being the largest web-spinning spiders, making the largest orb webs, and are model organisms for the study of extreme sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual biology. Here, we report on the discovery of a new, giant Nephila species from Africa and Madagascar, and review size evolution and SSD in Nephilidae. We formally describe N. komaci sp. nov., the largest web spinning species known, and place the species in phylogenetic context to reconstruct the evolution of mean size (via squared change parsimony). We then test female and male mean size correlation using phylogenetically independent contrasts, and simulate nephilid body size evolution using Monte Carlo statistics. Nephila females increased in size almost monotonically to establish a mostly African clade of true giants. In contrast, Nephila male size is effectively decoupled and hovers around values roughly one fifth of female size. Although N. komaci females are the largest Nephila yet discovered, the males are also large and thus their SSD is not exceptional.

  18. Discovery of the largest orbweaving spider species: the evolution of gigantism in Nephila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matjaz Kuntner

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available More than 41,000 spider species are known with about 400-500 added each year, but for some well-known groups, such as the giant golden orbweavers, Nephila, the last valid described species dates from the 19(th century. Nephila are renowned for being the largest web-spinning spiders, making the largest orb webs, and are model organisms for the study of extreme sexual size dimorphism (SSD and sexual biology. Here, we report on the discovery of a new, giant Nephila species from Africa and Madagascar, and review size evolution and SSD in Nephilidae.We formally describe N. komaci sp. nov., the largest web spinning species known, and place the species in phylogenetic context to reconstruct the evolution of mean size (via squared change parsimony. We then test female and male mean size correlation using phylogenetically independent contrasts, and simulate nephilid body size evolution using Monte Carlo statistics.Nephila females increased in size almost monotonically to establish a mostly African clade of true giants. In contrast, Nephila male size is effectively decoupled and hovers around values roughly one fifth of female size. Although N. komaci females are the largest Nephila yet discovered, the males are also large and thus their SSD is not exceptional.

  19. SVM-based prediction of propeptide cleavage sites in spider toxins identifies toxin innovation in an Australian tarantula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S W Wong

    Full Text Available Spider neurotoxins are commonly used as pharmacological tools and are a popular source of novel compounds with therapeutic and agrochemical potential. Since venom peptides are inherently toxic, the host spider must employ strategies to avoid adverse effects prior to venom use. It is partly for this reason that most spider toxins encode a protective proregion that upon enzymatic cleavage is excised from the mature peptide. In order to identify the mature toxin sequence directly from toxin transcripts, without resorting to protein sequencing, the propeptide cleavage site in the toxin precursor must be predicted bioinformatically. We evaluated different machine learning strategies (support vector machines, hidden Markov model and decision tree and developed an algorithm (SpiderP for prediction of propeptide cleavage sites in spider toxins. Our strategy uses a support vector machine (SVM framework that combines both local and global sequence information. Our method is superior or comparable to current tools for prediction of propeptide sequences in spider toxins. Evaluation of the SVM method on an independent test set of known toxin sequences yielded 96% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Furthermore, we sequenced five novel peptides (not used to train the final predictor from the venom of the Australian tarantula Selenotypus plumipes to test the accuracy of the predictor and found 80% sensitivity and 99.6% 8-mer specificity. Finally, we used the predictor together with homology information to predict and characterize seven groups of novel toxins from the deeply sequenced venom gland transcriptome of S. plumipes, which revealed structural complexity and innovations in the evolution of the toxins. The precursor prediction tool (SpiderP is freely available on ArachnoServer (http://www.arachnoserver.org/spiderP.html, a web portal to a comprehensive relational database of spider toxins. All training data, test data, and scripts used are available from

  20. Spider assemblages associated with different crop stages of irrigated rice agroecosystems from eastern Uruguay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Leticia; Ginella, Juaquín; Cadenazzi, Mónica; Castiglioni, Enrique A; Martínez, Sebastián; Casales, Luis; Caraballo, María P; Laborda, Álvaro; Simo, Miguel

    2018-01-01

    The rice crop and associated ecosystems constitute a rich mosaic of habitats that preserve a rich biological diversity. Spiders are an abundant and successful group of natural predators that are considered efficient in the biocontrol of the major insect pests in agroecosystems. Spider diversity in different stages of the rice crop growth from eastern Uruguay was analysed. Field study was developed on six rice farms with rotation system with pasture, installed during intercropping stage as cover crop. Six rice crops distributed in three locations were sampled with pitfall and entomological vaccum suction machine. Sixteen families, representing six guilds, were collected. Lycosidae, Linyphiidae, Anyphaenidae and Tetragnathidae were the most abundant families (26%, 25%, 20% and 12%, respectively) and comprised more than 80% of total abundance. Other hunters (29%), sheet web weavers (25%) and ground hunters (24%) were the most abundant guilds. Species composition along different crop stages was significantly different according to the ANOSIM test. The results showed higher spider abundance and diversity along the crop and intercrop stages. This study represents the first contribution to the knowledge of spider diversity associated with rice agroecosystem in the country.

  1. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Cardoso

    Full Text Available The objectives of this work are: (1 to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2 test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3 compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4 compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5 relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1 sensing, (2 sheet, (3 space, and (4 orb web weavers; (5 specialists; (6 ambush, (7 ground, and (8 other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also

  2. THE EXECUTION OF PLANNED DETOURS BY SPIDER-EATING PREDATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Fiona R.; Jackson, Robert R.

    2016-01-01

    Many spiders from the salticid subfamily Spartaeinae specialize at preying on other spiders and they adopt complex strategies when targeting these dangerous prey. We tested 15 of these spider-eating spartaeine species for the capacity to plan detours ahead of time. Each trial began with the test subject on top of a tower from which it could view two boxes: one containing prey and the other not containing prey. The distance between the tower and the boxes was too far to reach by leaping and the tower sat on a platform surrounded by water. As the species studied are known to avoid water, the only way they could reach the prey without getting wet was by taking one of two circuitous walkways from the platform: one leading to the prey (‘correct’) and one not leading to the prey (‘incorrect’). After leaving the tower, the test subject could not see the prey and sometimes it had to walk past the incorrect walkway before reaching the correct walkway. Yet all 15 species chose the correct walkway significantly more often than the incorrect walkway. We propose that these findings exemplify genuine cognition based on representation. PMID:26781057

  3. Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process.

  4. SPIDERGL: A GRAPHICS LIBRARY FOR 3D WEB APPLICATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Di Benedetto

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The recent introduction of the WebGL API for leveraging the power of 3D graphics accelerators within Web browsers opens the possibility to develop advanced graphics applications without the need for an ad-hoc plug-in. There are several contexts in which this new technology can be exploited to enhance user experience and data fruition, like e-commerce applications, games and, in particular, Cultural Heritage. In fact, it is now possible to use the Web platform to present a virtual reconstruction hypothesis of ancient pasts, to show detailed 3D models of artefacts of interests to a wide public, and to create virtual museums. We introduce SpiderGL, a JavaScript library for developing 3D graphics Web applications. SpiderGL provides data structures and algorithms to ease the use of WebGL, to define and manipulate shapes, to import 3D models in various formats, and to handle asynchronous data loading. We show the potential of this novel library with a number of demo applications and give details about its future uses in the context of Cultural Heritage applications.

  5. Intraspecific variation shapes community-level behavioral responses to urbanization in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahirel, Maxime; Dierick, Jasper; De Cock, Maarten; Bonte, Dries

    2017-09-01

    Urban areas are an extreme example of human-changed environments, exposing organisms to multiple and strong selection pressures. Adaptive behavioral responses are thought to play a major role in animals' success or failure in such new environments. Approaches based on functional traits have proven especially valuable to understand how species communities respond to environmental gradients. Until recently, they have, however, often ignored the potential consequences of intraspecific trait variation (ITV). When ITV is prevalent, it may highly impact ecological processes and resilience against stressors. This may be especially relevant in animals, in which behavioral traits can be altered very flexibly at the individual level to track environmental changes. We investigated how species turnover and ITV influenced community-level behavioral responses in a set of 62 sites of varying levels of urbanization, using orb web spiders and their webs as models of foraging behavior. ITV alone explained around one-third of the total trait variation observed among communities. Spider web structure changed according to urbanization, in ways that increase the capture efficiency of webs in a context of smaller urban prey. These trait shifts were partly mediated by species turnover, but ITV increased their magnitude, potentially helping to buffer the effects of environmental changes on communities. The importance of ITV varied depending on traits and on the spatial scale at which urbanization was considered. Despite being neglected from community-level analyses in animals, our results highlight the importance of accounting for intraspecific trait variation to fully understand trait responses to (human-induced) environmental changes and their impact on ecosystem functioning. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Nature Study Tips. Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulaik, Stanley B.

    1990-01-01

    Different types of spiders, their ranges and habits are discussed. Activities associated with the study of spiders are suggested. Four references are listed which may be of interest to beginners. (CW)

  7. Diversification of a single ancestral gene into a successful toxin superfamily in highly venomous Australian funnel-web spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy S; Sollod, Brianna L; Wilson, David; Darling, Aaron; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Kely, Laurence; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2014-03-05

    Spiders have evolved pharmacologically complex venoms that serve to rapidly subdue prey and deter predators. The major toxic factors in most spider venoms are small, disulfide-rich peptides. While there is abundant evidence that snake venoms evolved by recruitment of genes encoding normal body proteins followed by extensive gene duplication accompanied by explosive structural and functional diversification, the evolutionary trajectory of spider-venom peptides is less clear. Here we present evidence of a spider-toxin superfamily encoding a high degree of sequence and functional diversity that has evolved via accelerated duplication and diversification of a single ancestral gene. The peptides within this toxin superfamily are translated as prepropeptides that are posttranslationally processed to yield the mature toxin. The N-terminal signal sequence, as well as the protease recognition site at the junction of the propeptide and mature toxin are conserved, whereas the remainder of the propeptide and mature toxin sequences are variable. All toxin transcripts within this superfamily exhibit a striking cysteine codon bias. We show that different pharmacological classes of toxins within this peptide superfamily evolved under different evolutionary selection pressures. Overall, this study reinforces the hypothesis that spiders use a combinatorial peptide library strategy to evolve a complex cocktail of peptide toxins that target neuronal receptors and ion channels in prey and predators. We show that the ω-hexatoxins that target insect voltage-gated calcium channels evolved under the influence of positive Darwinian selection in an episodic fashion, whereas the κ-hexatoxins that target insect calcium-activated potassium channels appear to be under negative selection. A majority of the diversifying sites in the ω-hexatoxins are concentrated on the molecular surface of the toxins, thereby facilitating neofunctionalisation leading to new toxin pharmacology.

  8. Using group-specific PCR to detect predation of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) by wolf spiders (Lycosidae) at a mercury-contaminated site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northam, Weston T; Allison, Lizabeth A; Cristol, Daniel A

    2012-02-01

    Bioaccumulation of contaminants can occur across ecosystem boundaries via transport by emergent aquatic insects. In the South River, Virginia, USA, aquatic mercury has contaminated songbirds nesting in adjacent riparian forests. Spiders contribute the majority of mercury to these songbirds' diets. We tested the hypothesis that massive annual mayfly emergences provide a vector for mercury from river sediments to the Lycosid spiders most frequently eaten by contaminated songbirds. We designed mayfly-specific PCR primers that amplified mtDNA from 76% of adult mayflies collected at this site. By combining this approach with an Agilent 2100 electrophoresis system, we created a highly sensitive test for mayfly predation by Lycosids, commonly known as wolf spiders. In laboratory spider feeding trials, mayfly DNA could be detected up to 192h post-ingestion; however, we detected no mayfly predation in a sample of 110 wolf spiders collected at the site during mayfly emergence. We suggest that mayfly predation is not an important mechanism for dietary transfer of mercury to wolf spiders and their avian predators at the South River. Instead, floodplain soil should be considered as a potential proximate source for mercury in the terrestrial food web. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. The evolution of sociality in spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lubin, Yael; Bilde, T.

    2007-01-01

    . Anelosimus (Theridiidae) C. Sociality in Spiders: An Evolutionary Dead End? V. Evolution and Maintenance of Sociality in Spiders: Relevant Models A. Kin Selection 1. Kin Recognition 2. Inbreeding and Kin Selection B. Multilevel Selection (Group Selection) C. Ecological Benefits D. Ecological Constraints E......I. Introducing Social Spiders II. Social and Subsocial Species: A Survey of Behavioral Traits III. Inbred Sociality in Spiders A. Cooperation Versus Competition: A Balancing Act B. Do Social Spiders Have Division of Labor? C. Colony Foundation: Propagule Dispersal Versus Fission D. Female......-Biased Colony Sex Ratios: Primary and Operational Sex Ratios E. Mating System: Inbreeding and Its Population-Genetic Consequences F. "Boom and Bust" Colony Dynamics IV. Phylogenetic Relationships Among Social Spider Species A. Common Features of Social Evolution B. Case Studies 1. Stegodyphus (Eresidae) 2...

  10. Visual search for tropical web spiders: the influence of plot length, sampling effort, and phase of the day on species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto-Leite, C M; Rocha, P L B

    2012-12-01

    Empirical studies using visual search methods to investigate spider communities were conducted with different sampling protocols, including a variety of plot sizes, sampling efforts, and diurnal periods for sampling. We sampled 11 plots ranging in size from 5 by 10 m to 5 by 60 m. In each plot, we computed the total number of species detected every 10 min during 1 hr during the daytime and during the nighttime (0630 hours to 1100 hours, both a.m. and p.m.). We measured the influence of time effort on the measurement of species richness by comparing the curves produced by sample-based rarefaction and species richness estimation (first-order jackknife). We used a general linear model with repeated measures to assess whether the phase of the day during which sampling occurred and the differences in the plot lengths influenced the number of species observed and the number of species estimated. To measure the differences in species composition between the phases of the day, we used a multiresponse permutation procedure and a graphical representation based on nonmetric multidimensional scaling. After 50 min of sampling, we noted a decreased rate of species accumulation and a tendency of the estimated richness curves to reach an asymptote. We did not detect an effect of plot size on the number of species sampled. However, differences in observed species richness and species composition were found between phases of the day. Based on these results, we propose guidelines for visual search for tropical web spiders.

  11. Non-webbuilding spiders: prey specialists or generalists?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nentwig, Wolfgang

    1986-07-01

    Feeding experiments were performed with seven species of non-webbuilding spiders and a variety of prey taxa. Some species were generally polyphagous whereas other spiders restricted their prey to a few groups. At one end of the spectrum of prey specialization the thomisid Misumena vatia is limited to a few taxa of possible prey (Table 1). The literature of prey records of non-webbuilding spiders is reviewed (Table 2) with special emphasis on oligophagous or monophagous spiders. Monophagous spiders are generally rare and have specialized on only a few prey taxa: social insects (ants, bees, termites) and spiders.

  12. Using the web tool GIS SPIDER for monitoring the state of forest cover in the pre- and post-fire periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Villodre

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pre- and post-wildland fire management will be improved by the knowledge of the stand conditions. Different types of quantitative and qualitative data, such as water stress, cover temperature or the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI are critical for understanding fire risk, fire severity or vegetation recovering after the fire. Even though, there is a lack of easy accessible measurements about these topics. In this vein, remote sensing provides suitable information and in a global view about the canopy state: water balance, fire risk or the primary productivity estimation. It allows the monitoring of large areas in different temporal and spatial resolutions and with low cost. The output information can be disseminated using tools such as web-GIS based systems. In this paper the SPIDER (System of Participatory Information, Decision support, and Expert knowledge for irrigation and River basin water Management tool is presented, which allows monitoring canopy conditions before and after fires in a simple way and friendly environment. SPIDER is also able to analyse environmental conditions in almost the entire Iberian Peninsula, with a temporal resolution that ranges among 1 to 16 days. Images of NDVI, surface temperatures and water stress are based on MODIS aqua satellite images.Results show the potential of the system to the analysis of vegetation anomalies, monitoring of water stress, fire severity or the vegetation recovery after fire, in a dynamic way. The database allows multitemporal analysis of different parameters related to the state of the vegetation, growing, water deficit and fire severity degree. Further analysis of these data provides relevant information such as drought effects or catastrophic events in the vegetation.

  13. Remembering the object you fear: brain potentials during recognition of spiders in spider-fearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O

    2014-01-01

    In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery.

  14. Radiation effect onto biodiversity of spiders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehrabova, M.A.; Naghiyev, J.A; Huseynov, N.I; Topchiyeva, Sh.A.; Hasanov, N.H.

    2010-01-01

    At present time spiders are one of the considerably diverse groups of living organisms in fauna of Azerbayjan Republic. They play an important in environmental chain, being the main group of wild arthropodas in most biocoenoses. Therefore, it's not surprised that recently an increased interest has being observed to the study of spiders as indicators of environmental conditions. Spiders have been collected in polluted areas, their identification and sampling of soil, water and plants has been conducted. The degree of radionuclides' impact on the number and distribution of spiders and their venom in the observed zones of Azerbaijan has been revealed and preliminarily predicted. The number of the collected spiders equals to 292 which has been determined later at an electronic identifier Spinnen Mitteleuropas. The radionuclides in spiders have been determined at Canberra facility. Different natural radioactive elements were revealed in the investigated samples.

  15. The response of spider (Araneae assemblages to structural heterogeneity and prey abundance in sub-montane vegetation modified by conservation grazing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The effect of experimental livestock grazing regimens (4 treatments×6 replicates on spiders via habitat structure and prey abundance was investigated on sub-montane habitats in the Southern Highlands of Scotland. The study, 2002–2004 included a baseline survey under the prior, commercial sheep grazing regimen and two assessments of spider assemblages post-treatment: commercial stocking density of sheep; 1/3 stocking density with sheep; 1/3 stocking density cattle with sheep; and no grazing. Spiders were sampled with a suction sampler, five sucks at each of 25 sample units by 24 plots (600 samples in 2003 and 2004, ca. 320 in 2002. Spider abundance and species richness increased under reduced stocking density, mixed herbivore and ungrazed treatments indirectly via changes in vegetation structure and prey abundance. The results refuted a meta-analysis that concluded species richness of spiders is unaffected by grazing. Grazing regimens caused turnover in species composition more than the net difference in species richness suggested, implying that no single, optimal grazing regimen will support as many species as a patchwork under varied grazing management. Conservation grazing benefits spiders and will have significant benefits for food webs in sub-montane ecosystems but the period to equilibrium after changes to grazing requires further investigation.

  16. MarsSI: Martian surface data processing information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantin-Nataf, C.; Lozac'h, L.; Thollot, P.; Loizeau, D.; Bultel, B.; Fernando, J.; Allemand, P.; Dubuffet, F.; Poulet, F.; Ody, A.; Clenet, H.; Leyrat, C.; Harrisson, S.

    2018-01-01

    MarsSI (Acronym for Mars System of Information, https://emars.univ-lyon1.fr/MarsSI/, is a web Geographic Information System application which helps managing and processing martian orbital data. The MarsSI facility is part of the web portal called PSUP (Planetary SUrface Portal) developed by the Observatories of Paris Sud (OSUPS) and Lyon (OSUL) to provide users with efficient and easy access to data products dedicated to the martian surface. The portal proposes 1) the management and processing of data thanks to MarsSI and 2) the visualization and merging of high level (imagery, spectral, and topographic) products and catalogs via a web-based user interface (MarsVisu). The portal PSUP as well as the facility MarsVisu is detailed in a companion paper (Poulet et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to describe the facility MarsSI. From this application, users are able to easily and rapidly select observations, process raw data via automatic pipelines, and get back final products which can be visualized under Geographic Information Systems. Moreover, MarsSI also contains an automatic stereo-restitution pipeline in order to produce Digital Terrain Models (DTM) on demand from HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) or CTX (Context Camera) pair-images. This application is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) (ERC project eMars, No. 280168) and has been developed in the scope of Mars, but the design is applicable to any other planetary body of the solar system.

  17. Energetics, scaling and sexual size dimorphism of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossi, B; Canals, M

    2015-03-01

    The extreme sexual size dimorphism in spiders has motivated studies for many years. In many species the male can be very small relative to the female. There are several hypotheses trying to explain this fact, most of them emphasizing the role of energy in determining spider size. The aim of this paper is to review the role of energy in sexual size dimorphism of spiders, even for those spiders that do not necessarily live in high foliage, using physical and allometric principles. Here we propose that the cost of transport or equivalently energy expenditure and the speed are traits under selection pressure in male spiders, favoring those of smaller size to reduce travel costs. The morphology of the spiders responds to these selective forces depending upon the lifestyle of the spiders. Climbing and bridging spiders must overcome the force of gravity. If bridging allows faster dispersal, small males would have a selective advantage by enjoying more mating opportunities. In wandering spiders with low population density and as a consequence few male-male interactions, high speed and low energy expenditure or cost of transport should be favored by natural selection. Pendulum mechanics show the advantages of long legs in spiders and their relationship with high speed, even in climbing and bridging spiders. Thus small size, compensated by long legs should be the expected morphology for a fast and mobile male spider.

  18. Spiders do have melanin after all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiung, Bor-Kai; Blackledge, Todd A; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-11-01

    Melanin pigments are broadly distributed in nature - from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals. However, many previous attempts to identify melanins in spiders were unsuccessful, suggesting that these otherwise ubiquitous pigments were lost during spider evolution. Yet, spiders exhibit many dark colours similar to those produced by melanins in other organisms, and the low solubility of melanins makes isolation and characterization difficult. Therefore, whether melanins are truly absent or have simply not yet been detected is an open question. Raman spectroscopy provides a reliable way to detect melanins in situ, without the need for isolation. In this study, we document the presence of eumelanin in diverse species of spiders using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Comparisons of spectra with theoretically calculated data falsify the previous hypothesis that dark colours are produced solely by ommochromes in spiders. Our data indicate that melanins are present in spiders and further supporting that they are present in most living organisms. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Synthetic spider silk fibers spun from Pyriform Spidroin 2, a glue silk protein discovered in orb-weaving spider attachment discs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurts, Paul; Zhao, Liang; Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Tang, Simon; Jeffery, Felicia; La Mattina, Coby; Franz, Andreas; Larkin, Leah; Vierra, Craig

    2010-12-13

    Spider attachment disc silk fibers are spun into a viscous liquid that rapidly solidifies, gluing dragline silk fibers to substrates for locomotion or web construction. Here we report the identification and artificial spinning of a novel attachment disc glue silk fibroin, Pyriform Spidroin 2 (PySp2), from the golden orb weaver Nephila clavipes . MS studies support PySp2 is a constituent of the pyriform gland that is spun into attachment discs. Analysis of the PySp2 protein architecture reveals sequence divergence relative to the other silk family members, including the cob weaver glue silk fibroin PySp1. PySp2 contains internal block repeats that consist of two subrepeat units: one dominated by Ser, Gln, and Ala and the other Pro-rich. Artificial spinning of recombinant PySp2 truncations shows that the Ser-Gln-Ala-rich subrepeat is sufficient for the assembly of polymeric subunits and subsequent fiber formation. These studies support that both orb- and cob-weaving spiders have evolved highly polar block-repeat sequences with the ability to self-assemble into fibers, suggesting a strategy to allow fiber fabrication in the liquid environment of the attachment discs.

  20. Phobic spider fear is associated with enhanced attentional capture by spider pictures: a rapid serial presentation event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W; Franken, Ingmar H A; Huijding, Jorg

    2009-03-04

    The early posterior negativity (EPN) reflects early selective visual processing of emotionally significant information. This study explored the association between fear of spiders and the EPN for spider pictures. Fifty women completed a Spider Phobia Questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 600 neutral, 600 negatively valenced emotional, and 600 spider pictures (three pictures per second). The EPN was scored as the mean activity in the 225-300-ms time window at lateral occipital electrodes. Participants with higher scores on the phobia questionnaire showed larger (i.e. more negative) EPN amplitudes in response to spider pictures. The results suggest that the attentional capture of spider-related stimuli is an automatic response, which is modulated by the extent of spider fear.

  1. Scavenging by spiders (Araneae) and its relationship to pest management of the brown recluse spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S

    2011-06-01

    Experiments reported in Sandidge (2003; Nature 426: 30) indicated that the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch & Mulaik, preferred to scavenge dead prey over live prey and that the spiders were not detrimentally affected when fed insecticide-killed crickets. Extrapolations made in subsequent media coverage disseminating the results of this research made counter-intuitive statements that pesticide treatment in houses would increase brown recluse populations in homes. This information was presented as if the scavenging behavior was specialized in the brown recluse; however, it was more likely that this behavior has not been well studied in other species. To provide a comparison, the current laboratory study examined the likelihood of non-Loxosceles spiders to scavenge dead prey. Of 100 non-Loxosceles spiders that were tested (from 11 families, 24 genera, and at least 29 species from a variety of spider hunting guilds), 99 scavenged dead crickets when offered in petri dishes. Some of the spiders were webspinners in which real-world scavenging of dead prey is virtually impossible, yet they scavenge when given the opportunity. Therefore, scavenging is a flexible opportunistic predatory behavior that is spread across a variety of taxa and is not a unique behavior in brown recluses. These findings are discussed in relation to pest management practices.

  2. Spider and burnable poison rod combinations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, G.T.; Schluderberg, D.C.

    1980-01-01

    An improved design of burnable poison rods and associated spiders used in fuel assemblies of pressurized water power reactor cores, is described. The rods are joined to the spider arms in a manner which is proof against the reactor core environment and yet allows the removal of the rods from the spider simply, swiftly and delicately. (U.K.)

  3. Are temperate canopy spiders tree-species specific?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupepele, Anne-Christine; Müller, Tobias; Dittrich, Marcus; Floren, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Arboreal spiders in deciduous and coniferous trees were investigated on their distribution and diversity. Insecticidal knock-down was used to comprehensively sample spiders from 175 trees from 2001 to 2003 in the Białowieża forest and three remote forests in Poland. We identified 140 species from 9273 adult spiders. Spider communities were distinguished between deciduous and coniferous trees. The richest fauna was collected from Quercus where beta diversity was also highest. A tree-species-specific pattern was clearly observed for Alnus, Carpinus, Picea and Pinus trees and also for those tree species that were fogged in only four or three replicates, namely Betula and Populus. This hitherto unrecognised association was mainly due to the community composition of common species identified in a Dufrene-Legendre indicator species analysis. It was not caused by spatial or temporal autocorrelation. Explaining tree-species specificity for generalist predators like spiders is difficult and has to involve physical and ecological tree parameters like linkage with the abundance of prey species. However, neither did we find a consistent correlation of prey group abundances with spiders nor could differences in spider guild composition explain the observed pattern. Our results hint towards the importance of deterministic mechanisms structuring communities of generalist canopy spiders although the casual relationship is not yet understood.

  4. Fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders: a global pattern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Nyffeler

    Full Text Available More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders--observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens--are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2-6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil. Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae, in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae, and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae. The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences. There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the 'swimming' huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae] predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders' body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders. Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance.

  5. Fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders: a global pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders--observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens--are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2-6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the 'swimming' huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders' body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance.

  6. Genus-specificity of araneophagy of linyphiid spiders and spiders of other families (Arachnida, Araneae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuts, B.; Brunt, T.

    2009-01-01

    We found genus specificity of predation by spiders on other spiders in captivity which surpass them in body size (araneophagy). Adult specimens of three species of the linyphiid genus Walckenaeria which were successively tested for araneophagy (in the laboratory) in the order of first species

  7. Approach and avoidance in fear of spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rinck, M.; Becker, E.S.

    2007-01-01

    We examined attitudes towards spiders by employing an Approach-Avoidance Task, in which participants respond to pictures by pulling a joystick towards themselves or by pushing it away from themselves. For spider fearfuls, this stimulus–response assignment is either compatible (push spiders away) or

  8. Learning to avoid spiders: fear predicts performance, not competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xijia; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2018-01-05

    We used an immersive virtual environment to examine avoidance learning in spider-fearful participants. In 3 experiments, participants were asked to repeatedly lift one of 3 virtual boxes, under which either a toy car or a spider appeared and then approached the participant. Participants were not told that the probability of encountering a spider differed across boxes. When the difference was large (Exps. 1 and 2), spider-fearfuls learned to avoid spiders by lifting the few-spiders-box more often and the many-spiders-box less often than non-fearful controls did. However, they hardly managed to do so when the probability differences were small (Exp. 3), and they did not escape from threat more quickly (Exp. 2). In contrast to the observed performance differences, spider-fearfuls and non-fearfuls showed equal competence, that is comparable post-experimental knowledge about the probability to encounter spiders under the 3 boxes. The limitations and implications of the present study are discussed.

  9. Attention and amygdala activity: an fMRI study with spider pictures in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Georg W; Gerdes, Antje B M; Lagarie, Bernadette; Tabbert, Katharina; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2009-06-01

    Facilitated detection of threatening visual cues is thought to be adaptive. In theory, detection of threat cues should activate the amygdala independently from allocation of attention. However, previous studies using emotional facial expressions as well as phobic cues yielded contradictory results. We used fMRI to examine whether the allocation of attention to components of superimposed spider and bird displays modulates amygdala activation. Nineteen spider-phobic women were instructed to identify either a moving or a stationary animal in briefly presented double-exposure displays. Amygdala activation followed a dose-response relationship: Compared to congruent neutral displays (two birds), amygdala activation was most pronounced in response to congruent phobic displays (two spiders) and less but still significant in response to mixed displays (spider and bird) when attention was focused on the phobic component. When attention was focused on the neutral component, mixed displays did not result in significant amygdala activation. This was confirmed in a significant parametric graduation of the amygdala activation in the order of congruent phobic displays, mixed displays with attention focus on the spider, mixed displays with focus on the bird and congruent neutral displays. These results challenge the notion that amygdala activation in response to briefly presented phobic cues is independent from attention.

  10. Uncovering the structure-function relationship in spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarger, Jeffery L.; Cherry, Brian R.; van der Vaart, Arjan

    2018-03-01

    All spiders produce protein-based biopolymer fibres that we call silk. The most studied of these silks is spider dragline silk, which is very tough and relatively abundant compared with other types of spider silks. Considerable research has been devoted to understanding the relationship between the molecular structure and mechanical properties of spider dragline silks. In this Review, we overview experimental and computational studies that have provided a wealth of detail at the molecular level on the highly conserved repetitive core and terminal regions of spider dragline silk. We also discuss the role of the nanocrystalline β-sheets and amorphous regions in determining the properties of spider silk fibres, endowing them with strength and elasticity. Additionally, we outline imaging techniques and modelling studies that elucidate the importance of the hierarchical structure of silk fibres at the molecular level. These insights into structure-function relationships can guide the reverse engineering of spider silk to enable the production of superior synthetic fibres.

  11. Animal coloration: sexy spider scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Lisa A; McGraw, Kevin J

    2007-08-07

    Many male jumping spiders display vibrant colors that are used in visual communication. A recent microscopic study on a jumping spider from Singapore shows that three-layered 'scale sandwiches' of chitin and air are responsible for producing their brilliant iridescent body coloration.

  12. Time-dependent motor properties of multipedal molecular spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samii, Laleh; Blab, Gerhard A; Bromley, Elizabeth H C; Linke, Heiner; Curmi, Paul M G; Zuckermann, Martin J; Forde, Nancy R

    2011-09-01

    Molecular spiders are synthetic biomolecular walkers that use the asymmetry resulting from cleavage of their tracks to bias the direction of their stepping motion. Using Monte Carlo simulations that implement the Gillespie algorithm, we investigate the dependence of the biased motion of molecular spiders, along with binding time and processivity, on tunable experimental parameters, such as number of legs, span between the legs, and unbinding rate of a leg from a substrate site. We find that an increase in the number of legs increases the spiders' processivity and binding time but not their mean velocity. However, we can increase the mean velocity of spiders with simultaneous tuning of the span and the unbinding rate of a spider leg from a substrate site. To study the efficiency of molecular spiders, we introduce a time-dependent expression for the thermodynamic efficiency of a molecular motor, allowing us to account for the behavior of spider populations as a function of time. Based on this definition, we find that spiders exhibit transient motor function over time scales of many hours and have a maximum efficiency on the order of 1%, weak compared to other types of molecular motors.

  13. Cognitive bias in spider-phobic children: Comparison of a pictorial and a linguistic spider Stroop.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kindt, M.; Brosschot, J.F.

    1999-01-01

    Examined the relation between spider fear in children and cognitive processing bias toward threatening information. It was investigated whether spider fear in children is related to a cognitive bias for threatening pictures and words. Pictorial and linguistic Stroop stimuli were administered to 28

  14. Molecular diagnostics reveal spiders that exploit prey vibrational signals used in sexual communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virant-Doberlet, Meta; King, R Andrew; Polajnar, Jernej; Symondson, William O C

    2011-05-01

    Vibrational signalling is a widespread form of animal communication and, in the form of sexual communication, has been generally regarded as inherently short-range and a private communication channel, free from eavesdropping by generalist predators. A combination of fieldwork and laboratory experiments was used to test the hypothesis that predators can intercept and exploit such signals. First, we developed and characterized PCR primers specific for leafhoppers of the genus Aphrodes and specifically for the species Aphrodes makarovi. Spiders were collected from sites where leafhoppers were present and screened with these primers to establish which spider species were significant predators of this species during the mating period of these leafhoppers. Analysis using PCR of the gut contents of tangle-web spiders, Enoplognatha ovata (Theridiidae), showed that they consume leafhoppers in the field at a greater rate when signalling adults were present than when nymphs were dominant, suggesting that the spiders were using these vibrations signals to find their prey. Playback and microcosm experiments then showed that E. ovata can use the vibrational signals of male leafhoppers as a cue during foraging and, as a result, killed significantly more male than female A. makarovi. Our results show, for the first time, that arthropod predators can exploit prey vibrational communication to obtain information about prey availability and use this information to locate and capture prey. This may be a widespread mechanism for prey location, one that is likely to be a major unrecognized driver of evolution in both predators and prey. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Recent advances in the understanding of brown spider venoms: From the biology of spiders to the molecular mechanisms of toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Wille, Ana Carolina Martins; Vuitika, Larissa; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Ullah, Anwar; de Moraes, Fábio Rogério; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Murakami, Mario Tyago; Arni, Raghuvir Krishnaswamy; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2014-06-01

    The Loxosceles genus spiders (the brown spiders) are encountered in all the continents, and the clinical manifestations following spider bites include skin necrosis with gravitational lesion spreading and occasional systemic manifestations, such as intravascular hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. Brown spider venoms are complex mixtures of toxins especially enriched in three molecular families: the phospholipases D, astacin-like metalloproteases and Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) peptides. Other toxins with low level of expression also present in the venom include the serine proteases, serine protease inhibitors, hyaluronidases, allergen factors and translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP). The mechanisms by which the Loxosceles venoms act and exert their noxious effects are not fully understood. Except for the brown spider venom phospholipase D, which causes dermonecrosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and renal failure, the pathological activities of the other venom toxins remain unclear. The objective of the present review is to provide insights into the brown spider venoms and loxoscelism based on recent results. These insights include the biology of brown spiders, the clinical features of loxoscelism and the diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. Regarding the brown spider venom, this review includes a description of the novel toxins revealed by molecular biology and proteomics techniques, the data regarding three-dimensional toxin structures, and the mechanism of action of these molecules. Finally, the biotechnological applications of the venom components, especially for those toxins reported as recombinant molecules, and the challenges for future study are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Maternal care and subsocial behaviour in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yip, Eric C; Rayor, Linda S

    2014-05-01

    While most spiders are solitary and opportunistically cannibalistic, a variety of social organisations has evolved in a minority of spider species. One form of social organisation is subsociality, in which siblings remain together with their parent for some period of time but disperse prior to independent reproduction. We review the literature on subsocial and maternal behaviour in spiders to highlight areas in which subsocial spiders have informed our understanding of social evolution and to identify promising areas of future research. We show that subsocial behaviour has evolved independently at least 18 times in spiders, across a wide phylogenetic distribution. Subsocial behaviour is diverse in terms of the form of care provided by the mother, the duration of care and sibling association, the degree of interaction and cooperation among siblings, and the use of vibratory and chemical communication. Subsocial spiders are useful model organisms to study various topics in ecology, such as kin recognition and the evolution of cheating and its impact on societies. Further, why social behaviour evolved in some lineages and not others is currently a topic of debate in behavioural ecology, and we argue that spiders offer an opportunity to untangle the ecological causes of parental care, which forms the basis of many other animal societies. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  17. Checklist of spider fauna of FR Peshawar, FATA, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Perveen

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The spiders are known as poisonous arthropods, but they also act as the predator or biological pests control agent. Their 23 species belonging to 15 genera and 09 families were reported during 2009-2010 from FR Peshawar, FATA, Pakistan. The reported families Clubionidae, Scytodidae and Sprassidae covered each 4%, Araneidae, Gnaphosidae, Pholicidae and Salticidae each 9%, Thomisidae 13% and Lycosidae 43% biodiversity of spiders of FATA. However, the largest spider collected was huntsman, Isopoda tuhodnigra (Barrion with total body length 15.80+-0.83 mm. Moreover, the smallest spider was wolf spider, Pardosa birmanica (Simon with total body length 4.20+-1.30 mm. Further, the crab spiders, Thomisus pugilis (Stoliczka, T. spectabilis (Doleschall and Diaea evanida (Thorell were the most colorful species belonging to family Thomisidae. A detail study is required for further exploration of spider fauna of FATA.

  18. Inbreeding avoidance in spiders: evidence for rescue effect in fecundity of female spiders with outbreeding opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bilde, T.; Maklakov, A.A.; Schilling, Nadia

    2007-01-01

    avoidance can be because of low risk of inbreeding, variation in tolerance to inbreeding or high costs of outbreeding. We examined the relationship between inbreeding depression and inbreeding avoidance adaptations under two levels of inbreeding in the spider Oedothorax apicatus, asking whether preference...... for unrelated sperm via pre- and/or post-copulatory mechanisms could restore female fitness when inbreeding depression increases. Using inbred isofemale lines we provided female spiders with one or two male spiders of different relatedness in five combinations: one male sib; one male nonsib; two male sibs; two...

  19. Understanding Spider-Man: Your Everyday Superhero

    OpenAIRE

    Falk, Nicklas; Blomsterberg, Sofie Amalie; Suciu, Alice Sabrina; Pedersen, Mads Peter; Lucas, Vilhelm

    2014-01-01

    This project focuses on the understanding of Spider-Man, and the morals and ethics that lie behind the choices he makes. Through the Dimensions Philosophy & Science/Text & Sign, this understanding is concluded by looking at ethical theories and comic book analysis. Based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series, the aim is to clarify who Spider-Man is and what causes him to act in certain ways; before and after his realization of power. Some theories used to investigate these area...

  20. Frame-web-choice experiments with stingless bees support the prey-attraction hypothesis for silk decorations in Argiope savignyi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galvez, Dumas

    2009-01-01

    There is controversy about the function of silk stabilimenta, also called silk decorations, oil spiders' webs. Most of the proposed hypotheses have been tested using indirect methods. Protection against predators, advertisement for vertebrates to avoid web damage, and increasing prey attraction are

  1. A revised and dated phylogeny of cobweb spiders (Araneae, Araneoidea, Theridiidae): A predatory Cretaceous lineage diversifying in the era of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jie; May-Collado, Laura J; Pekár, Stano; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2016-01-01

    Cobweb spiders (Theridiidae) are highly diverse from the perspective of species richness, morphological diversity, variety of web architecture, and behavioral repertoires. The family includes over 50% of social spiders, a behavioral rarity among the order, and members of the family are furthermore the subject of research on venom, silk biomechanics, kleptoparasitism and web building, among other traits. Theridiidae is one of the most abundant groups of spiders, and thus key insect predators in many different ecosystems and is among relatively few spider families that show high degree of myrmecophagy. Modern comparative studies on all these fronts are best buttressed on a phylogenetic foundation. Our goal here is to offer a revised, dated, phylogenetic hypothesis for the family by summarizing previously published data from multiple molecular and morphological studies through data-mining, and adding novel data from several genera. We also test the hypothesis that the origin and diversification of cobweb spiders coincides with that of ants on which many species specialize as prey. The new phylogeny is largely congruent with prior studies and current taxonomy and should provide a useful tool for theridiid classification and for comparative analyses. Nevertheless, we also highlight the limitations of currently available data-the state of the art in Theridiidae phylogenetics-offering weak support for most of the deeper nodes in the phylogeny. Thus the need is clear for modern phylogenomic approaches to obtain a more solid understanding, especially of relationships among subfamilies. We recover the monophyly of currently recognized theridiid subfamilies with the exception of some enigmatic 'pholcommatines' (Styposis, Phoroncidia) and putative 'hadrotarsines' (Audifia, Tekellina) whose placement is uncertain in our analyses. Theridiidae dates back some 100 mya to the Cretaceous, a period of diversification in flowering plants and many groups of insects, including ants. The

  2. The results of bone deformity correction using a spider frame with web-based software for lower extremity long bone deformities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tekin, Ali Çağrı; Çabuk, Haluk; Dedeoğlu, Süleyman Semih; Saygılı, Mehmet Selçuk; Adaş, Müjdat; Esenyel, Cem Zeki; Büyükkurt, Cem Dinçay; Tonbul, Murat

    2016-03-22

    To present the functional and radiological results and evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-assisted external fixator (spider frame) in patients with lower extremity shortness and deformity. The study comprised 17 patients (14 male, 3 female) who were treated for lower extremity long bone deformity and shortness between 2012 and 2015 using a spider frame. The procedure's level of difficulty was determined preoperatively using the Paley Scale. Postoperatively, the results for the patients who underwent tibial operations were evaluated using the Paley criteria modified by ASAMI, and the results for the patients who underwent femoral operations were evaluated according to the Paley scoring system. The evaluations were made by calculating the External Fixator and Distraction indexes. The mean age of the patients was 24.58 years (range, 5-51 years). The spider frame was applied to the femur in 10 patients and to the tibia in seven. The mean follow-up period was 15 months (range, 6-31 months) from the operation day, and the mean amount of lengthening was 3.0 cm (range, 1-6 cm). The mean duration of fixator application was 202.7 days (range, 104-300 days). The mean External Fixator Index was 98 days/cm (range, 42-265 days/cm). The mean Distraction Index was 10.49 days/cm (range, 10-14 days/cm). The computer-assisted external fixator system (spider frame) achieves single-stage correction in cases of both deformity and shortness. The system can be applied easily, and because of its high-tech software, it offers the possibility of postoperative treatment of the deformity.

  3. Learned predation risk management by spider mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eHackl

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Predation is a prime selective force shaping prey behavior. Investment in anti-predator behavior is traded-off against time and energy for other fitness-enhancing activities such as foraging or reproduction. To optimize this benefit/cost trade-off, prey should be able to innately and/or by experience modulate their behavior to the level of predation risk. Here, we assessed learned predation risk management in the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. We exposed spider mites coming from benign (naïve or high immediate predation risk (experienced environments to latent and/or no risk and assessed their site choice, activity and oviposition. Benign environments were characterized by the absence of any predator cues, high immediate risk environments by killed spider mites, physical presence of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis and associated chemosensory traces left on the surface, and latent risk environments by only predator traces. In the no-choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites laid their first egg later on leaves with than without predator traces. Irrespective of predator traces presence/absence, experienced mites laid their first egg earlier than naïve ones did. Naïve spider mites were more active, indicating higher restlessness, and laid fewer eggs on leaves with predator traces, whereas experienced mites were less active and laid similar numbers of eggs on leaves with and without predator traces. In the choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites preferentially resided and oviposited on leaves without predator traces but experienced mites were less active than naïve ones. Overall, our study suggests that spider mites experienced with high predation risk behave bolder under latent risk than naïve spider mites. Since predator traces alone do not indicate immediate risk, we argue that the attenuated anti-predator response of experienced spider mites represents adaptive learned

  4. Male density affects large-male advantage in the golden silk spider, Nephila clavipes

    OpenAIRE

    Clare C. Rittschof

    2010-01-01

    Across a variety of animal taxa, the outcome of male--male contests depends on male body size; winners are usually the larger males or the males with bigger weapons. However, high male density can either increase or reverse large-male advantage because density changes the frequency and intensity of male--male interactions. In the golden orb-web spider Nephila clavipes, large males have a competitive advantage in male--male contests. However, this species shows more than 2-fold variation in ma...

  5. A molecular phylogeny of the Australian huntsman spiders (Sparassidae, Deleninae): implications for taxonomy and social behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnarsson, Ingi; Rayor, Linda S

    2013-12-01

    Huntsman spiders (Sparassidae) are a diverse group with a worldwide distribution, yet are poorly known both taxonomically and phylogenetically. They are particularly diverse in Australia where an endemic lineage, Deleninae, has diversified to form nearly 100 species. One unusual species, Delena cancerides, has been believed to be the sole group-living sparassid. Unlike all of the other subsocial and social spiders which are capture-web based or live in silken tunnels, D. cancerides are non-web building spiders that live in large matrilineal colonies of a single adult female and her offspring from multiple clutches of under the bark of dead trees. Here we report the discovery of two additional prolonged subsocial sparassid species, currently in Eodelena but here formally proposed as a synonomy of Delena (new synonoymy), Delena (Eodelena) lapidicola and D. (E.) melanochelis. We briefly describe their social demographics, behavior, and habitat use. In order to understand the evolutionary relationships among these species, and thus origin of sociality and other traits in this group, we also offer the first molecular phylogeny of Deleninae and relatives. We employ model based phylogenetic analyses on two mtDNA and three nuDNA loci using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, including both 'classical' concatenation approach as well as coalescent-based analysis of species trees from gene trees. Our results support the hypothesis that the delenine huntsman spiders are a monophyletic Australian radiation, approximately 23 million year old, and indicate that the current ten genera should be merged to six genera in four clades. Our findings are inconsistent with some relatively recent changes in the taxonomy of Deleninae. The three known group-living delenine species are related and likely represent a single origin of sociality with a single reversal to solitary life-styles. Our results provide strong support for the classical Isopeda, but not for the recent splitting of

  6. First report of clinical presentation of a bite by a running spider, Philodromus sp. (Araneae: Philodromidae), with recommendations for spider bite management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coetzee, Maureen; Dippenaar, Ansie; Frean, John; Hunt, Richard H

    2017-06-30

    This article describes the clinical progression of symptoms over a period of 5 days of a bite inflicted by a Philodromus sp. spider. Commonly known as 'running spiders', these are not considered to be harmful to humans. This report, however, is the first description of an actual bite by a member of this group of spiders showing cytotoxic envenomation. Management of the bites should be as recommended for other cytotoxic spider bites.

  7. Biomechanics of Spider Silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-03-02

    water and deformation conditions. Such fibres [Nexia ’ biosteel ’ silk ] were spun from recombinant silk ’cloned’ from Spidroin II and indeed show 67...SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Biomechanics of Spider Silks F49620-03-1-0111 6. AUTHOR(S) Fritz Vollrath 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES...Perform Pro, WHSIDIOR, Oct 94 COVER SHEET FINAL (3rd Year) Report to AFOSR on: BIOMECHANICS OF SPIDER SILKS Fritz Vollrath, Oxford University, England

  8. Sex-specific kleptoparasitic foraging in ant-eating spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.; Pekar, Stano

    2009-01-01

    . To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the effect of sex and life history stage on the frequency of kleptoparasitism in ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion in the field. These spiders use a special capture technique involving a quick attack on an ant that is left unguarded by spiders for several minutes......, providing ample opportunities for kleptoparasitism. We found that adult females consistently hunted actively, while adult males ceased active prey capture and instead engaged in kleptoparasitism. Juvenile spiders were active hunters irrespective of sex. Consistent with an ontogenetic shift in foraging...

  9. Specific predictive power of automatic spider-related affective associations for controllable and uncontrollable fear responses toward spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijdlng, J; de Jong, PJ; Huijding, J.

    This study examined the predictive power of automatically activated spider-related affective associations for automatic and controllable fear responses. The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST; De Houwer, 2003) was used to indirectly assess automatic spider fear-related associations. The EAST and

  10. The Effect of Organic Fertilizers and Flowering Plants on Sheet-Web and Wolf Spider Populations (Araneae: Lycosidae and Linyphiidae) and Its Importance for Pest Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Nabawy, El-Said M; Tsuda, Katsuo; Sakamaki, Yositaka; Oda, Asahi; Ushijima, Yurie

    2016-01-01

    The main goal of this study was to identify the treatment that increases the populations of spiders, which are effective predators in agroecosystems. In 2013 and 2014 the experimental eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) field was two different treatments, organic fertilizers and chemical fertilizer treatment, and in 2014 we surrounded organic fertilizer plots with the flowering plants mealy cup sage (Salvia farinacea Benth.), spearmint (Mentha spicata L.), and basil (Ocimum basilicum L.). Analysis using repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant influences of fertilizer type on the numbers of linyphiid spiders and Collembola in 2013. In 2014, the numbers of Collembola, thrips, and lycosid and linyphiid spider were higher in organic fertilizer with flowering plants treatment comparing with the chemical fertilizer treatment. Moreover, the numbers of Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata (F.) were significantly lower in the organic fertilizer with flowering plants treatment than in chemical fertilizers treatment. Finally, we expect that Thysanoptera and Collembola were important alternative prey for linyphiid and lycosid spiders and the use of organic fertilizer and flowering plants enhanced the density of these spiders, and may increase their effectiveness in suppressing the populations of H. vigintioctopunctata (F.). © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  11. The results of bone deformity correction using a spider frame with web-based software for lower extremity long bone deformities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tekin Ali Çağrı

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To present the functional and radiological results and evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-assisted external fixator (spider frame in patients with lower extremity shortness and deformity. Materials and methods: The study comprised 17 patients (14 male, 3 female who were treated for lower extremity long bone deformity and shortness between 2012 and 2015 using a spider frame. The procedure’s level of difficulty was determined preoperatively using the Paley Scale. Postoperatively, the results for the patients who underwent tibial operations were evaluated using the Paley criteria modified by ASAMI, and the results for the patients who underwent femoral operations were evaluated according to the Paley scoring system. The evaluations were made by calculating the External Fixator and Distraction indexes. Results: The mean age of the patients was 24.58 years (range, 5–51 years. The spider frame was applied to the femur in 10 patients and to the tibia in seven. The mean follow-up period was 15 months (range, 6–31 months from the operation day, and the mean amount of lengthening was 3.0 cm (range, 1–6 cm. The mean duration of fixator application was 202.7 days (range, 104–300 days. The mean External Fixator Index was 98 days/cm (range, 42–265 days/cm. The mean Distraction Index was 10.49 days/cm (range, 10–14 days/cm. Conclusion: The computer-assisted external fixator system (spider frame achieves single-stage correction in cases of both deformity and shortness. The system can be applied easily, and because of its high-tech software, it offers the possibility of postoperative treatment of the deformity.

  12. Disentangling the phylogenetic and ecological components of spider phenotypic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure.

  13. [Transcatheter embolization for huge pulmonary arteriovenous fistula using metallic "spider" and spring embolus--application of hand-made metallic "spider" using partial monorail technique].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirota, S; Sako, M; Fujita, Y; Hasegawa, Y; Sugimoto, K; Suzuki, Y; Kono, M

    1992-07-25

    We performed transcatheter embolization in two cases with huge pulmonary arteriovenous fistula (AVF) using a metallic "spider" and spring embolus. Conventional spring embolus or detachable balloon could not be used in these cases. Metallic spider was indicated for pulmonary AVF with a feeding artery diameter of more than 16 mm to prevent embolus passing through the AVF. In the first case, we used large handmade metallic spiders of 25 mm in diameter followed by embolization by numerous spring coils. At that time, a partial monorail technique was newly devised to carry the large metallic spider into the feeding artery, otherwise the spider could not pass into a 9F catheter. After embolization, symptoms and PaO2 in arterial blood improved remarkably in both cases. In the second case, a spring coil migrated into the normal pulmonary artery, but no infarction resulted. In conclusion, the metallic spider was very useful for embolization of hugee pulmonary AVF to avoid the embolus passing through and to tangle spring coils together with it. If commercially available "spiders" are too small, ones can be made easily.

  14. Second-order nonlinear optical microscopy of spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yue; Hien, Khuat Thi Thu; Mizutani, Goro; Rutt, Harvey N.

    2017-06-01

    Asymmetric β-sheet protein structures in spider silk should induce nonlinear optical interaction such as second harmonic generation (SHG) which is experimentally observed for a radial line and dragline spider silk using an imaging femtosecond laser SHG microscope. By comparing different spider silks, we found that the SHG signal correlates with the existence of the protein β-sheets. Measurements of the polarization dependence of SHG from the dragline indicated that the β-sheet has a nonlinear response depending on the direction of the incident electric field. We propose a model of what orientation the β-sheet takes in spider silk.

  15. Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Index A-Z Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Sclerotherapy uses injections from a very fine, ... Sclerotherapy? What is Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins? Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment used ...

  16. SPIDER: CMB Polarimetry from the Edge of Space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gualtieri, R.; et al.

    2017-11-28

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne instrument designed to map the polarization of the millimeter-wave sky at large angular scales. SPIDER targets the B-mode signature of primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), with a focus on mapping a large sky area with high fidelity at multiple frequencies. SPIDER's first longduration balloon (LDB) flight in January 2015 deployed a total of 2400 antenna-coupled Transition Edge Sensors (TESs) at 90 GHz and 150 GHz. In this work we review the design and in-flight performance of the SPIDER instrument, with a particular focus on the measured performance of the detectors and instrument in a space-like loading and radiation environment. SPIDER's second flight in December 2018 will incorporate payload upgrades and new receivers to map the sky at 285 GHz, providing valuable information for cleaning polarized dust emission from CMB maps.

  17. Cuticular antifungals in spiders: density- and condition dependence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel González-Tokman

    Full Text Available Animals living in groups face a high risk of disease contagion. In many arthropod species, cuticular antimicrobials constitute the first protective barrier that prevents infections. Here we report that group-living spiders produce cuticular chemicals which inhibit fungal growth. Given that cuticular antifungals may be costly to produce, we explored whether they can be modulated according to the risk of contagion (i.e. under high densities. For this purpose, we quantified cuticular antifungal activity in the subsocial crab spider Diaea ergandros in both natural nests and experimentally manipulated nests of varying density. We quantified the body-condition of spiders to test whether antifungal activity is condition dependent, as well as the effect of spider density on body-condition. We predicted cuticular antifungal activity to increase and body-condition to decrease with high spider densities, and that antifungal activity would be inversely related to body-condition. Contrary to our predictions, antifungal activity was neither density- nor condition-dependent. However, body-condition decreased with density in natural nests, but increased in experimental nests. We suggest that pathogen pressure is so important in nature that it maintains high levels of cuticular antifungal activity in spiders, impacting negatively on individual energetic condition. Future studies should identify the chemical structure of the isolated antifungal compounds in order to understand the physiological basis of a trade-off between disease prevention and energetic condition caused by group living, and its consequences in the evolution of sociality in spiders.

  18. Cuticular antifungals in spiders: density- and condition dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Tokman, Daniel; Ruch, Jasmin; Pulpitel, Tamara; Ponton, Fleur

    2014-01-01

    Animals living in groups face a high risk of disease contagion. In many arthropod species, cuticular antimicrobials constitute the first protective barrier that prevents infections. Here we report that group-living spiders produce cuticular chemicals which inhibit fungal growth. Given that cuticular antifungals may be costly to produce, we explored whether they can be modulated according to the risk of contagion (i.e. under high densities). For this purpose, we quantified cuticular antifungal activity in the subsocial crab spider Diaea ergandros in both natural nests and experimentally manipulated nests of varying density. We quantified the body-condition of spiders to test whether antifungal activity is condition dependent, as well as the effect of spider density on body-condition. We predicted cuticular antifungal activity to increase and body-condition to decrease with high spider densities, and that antifungal activity would be inversely related to body-condition. Contrary to our predictions, antifungal activity was neither density- nor condition-dependent. However, body-condition decreased with density in natural nests, but increased in experimental nests. We suggest that pathogen pressure is so important in nature that it maintains high levels of cuticular antifungal activity in spiders, impacting negatively on individual energetic condition. Future studies should identify the chemical structure of the isolated antifungal compounds in order to understand the physiological basis of a trade-off between disease prevention and energetic condition caused by group living, and its consequences in the evolution of sociality in spiders.

  19. Brain systems underlying encounter expectancy bias in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aue, Tatjana; Hoeppli, Marie-Eve; Piguet, Camille; Hofstetter, Christoph; Rieger, Sebastian W; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2015-06-01

    Spider-phobic individuals are characterized by exaggerated expectancies to be faced with spiders (so-called encounter expectancy bias). Whereas phobic responses have been linked to brain systems mediating fear, little is known about how the recruitment of these systems relates to exaggerated expectancies of threat. We used fMRI to examine spider-phobic and control participants while they imagined visiting different locations in a forest after having received background information about the likelihood of encountering different animals (spiders, snakes, and birds) at these locations. Critically, imagined encounter expectancies modulated brain responses differently in phobics as compared with controls. Phobics displayed stronger negative modulation of activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex by encounter expectancies for spiders, relative to snakes or birds (within-participants analysis); these effects were not seen in controls. Between-participants correlation analyses within the phobic group further corroborated the hypothesis that these phobia-specific modulations may underlie irrationality in encounter expectancies (deviations of encounter expectancies from objective background information) in spider phobia; the greater the negative modulation a phobic participant displayed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex, the stronger was her bias in encounter expectancies for spiders. Interestingly, irrationality in expectancies reflected in frontal areas relied on right rather than left hemispheric deactivations. Our data accord with the idea that expectancy biases in spider phobia may reflect deficiencies in cognitive control and contextual integration that are mediated by right frontal and parietal areas.

  20. Task specialization in two social spiders, Stegodyphus sarasinorum (Eresidae) and Anelosimus eximius (Theridiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Settepani, Virginia; Grinsted, Lena; Pedersen, Jørgen Granfeldt

    2013-01-01

    specialization, but in distinctly different ways: Stegodyphus sarasinorum showed behavioural asymmetries at the individual level, that is, individual spiders that had attacked prey once were more likely to attack prey again, independent of their body size or hunger level. In contrast, Anelosimus eximius showed...... no individual specialization, but showed differentiation according to instar, where adult and subadult females were more likely to engage in prey attack than were juveniles. We found no evidence for division of labour between prey attack and web maintenance. Different solutions to achieve task differentiation...

  1. The aerodynamic signature of running spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme Casas

    Full Text Available Many predators display two foraging modes, an ambush strategy and a cruising mode. These foraging strategies have been classically studied in energetic, biomechanical and ecological terms, without considering the role of signals produced by predators and perceived by prey. Wolf spiders are a typical example; they hunt in leaf litter either using an ambush strategy or by moving at high speed, taking over unwary prey. Air flow upstream of running spiders is a source of information for escaping prey, such as crickets and cockroaches. However, air displacement by running arthropods has not been previously examined. Here we show, using digital particle image velocimetry, that running spiders are highly conspicuous aerodynamically, due to substantial air displacement detectable up to several centimetres in front of them. This study explains the bimodal distribution of spider's foraging modes in terms of sensory ecology and is consistent with the escape distances and speeds of cricket prey. These findings may be relevant to the large and diverse array of arthropod prey-predator interactions in leaf litter.

  2. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine

    2016-01-01

    in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress...... at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation...... immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology....

  3. Biased interpretation and memory in children with varying levels of spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Anke M; Titulaer, Geraldine; Simons, Carlijn; Allart, Esther; de Gier, Erwin; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated multiple cognitive biases in children simultaneously, to investigate whether spider-fearful children display an interpretation bias, a recall bias, and source monitoring errors, and whether these biases are specific for spider-related materials. Furthermore, the independent ability of these biases to predict spider fear was investigated. A total of 121 children filled out the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children (SADS-C), and they performed an interpretation task, a memory task, and a Behavioural Assessment Test (BAT). As expected, a specific interpretation bias was found: Spider-fearful children showed more negative interpretations of ambiguous spider-related scenarios, but not of other scenarios. We also found specific source monitoring errors: Spider-fearful children made more fear-related source monitoring errors for the spider-related scenarios, but not for the other scenarios. Only limited support was found for a recall bias. Finally, interpretation bias, recall bias, and source monitoring errors predicted unique variance components of spider fear.

  4. Induction of direct and indirect plant responses by jasmonic acid, low spider mite densities, or a combination of jasmonic acid treatment and spider mite infestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gols, Rieta; Roosjen, Mara; Dijkman, Herman; Dicke, Marcel

    2003-12-01

    Jasmonic acid (JA) and the octadecanoid pathway are involved in both induced direct and induced indirect plant responses. In this study, the herbivorous mite, Tetranychus urticae, and its predator, Phytoseiulus persimilis, were given a choice between Lima bean plants induced by JA or spider mites and uninduced control plants. Infestation densities resulting in the induction of predator attractants were much lower than thus far assumed, i.e., predatory mites were significantly attracted to plants that were infested for 2 days with only one or four spider mites per plant. Phytoseiulus persimilis showed a density-dependent response to volatiles from plants that were infested with different numbers of spider mites. Similarly, treating plants with increasing concentrations of JA also led to increased attraction of P. persimilis. Moreover, the duration of spider mite infestation was positively correlated with the proportion of predators that were attracted to mite-infested plants. A pretreatment of the plants with JA followed by a spider mite infestation enhanced the attraction of P. persimilis to plant volatiles compared to attraction to volatiles from plants that were only infested with spider mites and did not receive a pretreatment with JA. The herbivore, T. urticae preferred leaf tissue that previously had been infested with conspecifics to uninfested leaf tissue. In the case of choice tests with JA-induced and control leaf tissue, spider mites slightly preferred control leaf tissue. When spider mites were given a choice between leaf discs induced by JA and leaf discs damaged by spider mite feeding, they preferred the latter. The presence of herbivore induced chemicals and/or spider mite products enhanced settlement of the mites, whereas treatment with JA seemed to impede settlement.

  5. Martian meteorites and Martian magnetic anomalies: a new perspective from NWA 7034 (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gattacceca, J.; Rochette, P.; Scozelli, R. B.; Munayco, P.; Agee, C. B.; Quesnel, Y.; Cournede, C.; Geissman, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    The magnetic anomalies observed above the Martian Noachian crust [1] require strong crustal remanent magnetization in the 15-60 A/m range over a thickness of 20-50 km [2,3]. The Martian rocks available for study in the form of meteorites do contain magnetic minerals (magnetite and/or pyrrhotite) but in too small amount to account for such strong remanent magnetizations [4]. Even though this contradiction was easily explained by the fact that Martian meteorites (mostly nakhlites and shergottites) are not representative of the Noachian Martian crust, we were left with no satisfactory candidate lithology to account for the Martian magnetic anomalies. The discovery in the Sahara of a new type of Martian meteorite (NWA 7034 [5] and subsequent paired stones which are hydrothermalized volcanic breccia) shed a new light on this question as it contains a much larger amount of ferromagnetic minerals than any other Martian meteorite. We present here a study of the magnetic properties of NWA 7034, together with a review of the magnetic properties of thirty other Martian meteorites. Magnetic measurements (including high and low temperature behavior and Mössbauer spectroscopy) show that NWA 7034 contains about 15 wt.% of magnetite with various degrees of substitution and maghemitization up to pure maghemite, in the pseudo-single domain size range. Pyrrhotite, a common mineral in other Martian meteorites is not detected. Although it is superparamagnetic and cannot carry remanent magnetization, nanophase goethite is present in significant amounts confirming that NWA 7034 is the most oxidized Martian meteorite studied so far, as already indicated by the presence of maghemite (this study) and pyrite [5]. These magnetic properties show that a kilometric layer of a lithology similar to NWA 7034 magnetized in a dynamo field would be enough to account for the strongest Martian magnetic anomalies. Although the petrogenesis of NWA 7034 is still debated, as the brecciation could be either

  6. Peculiar torsion dynamical response of spider dragline silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dabiao; Yu, Longteng; He, Yuming; Peng, Kai; Liu, Jie; Guan, Juan; Dunstan, D. J.

    2017-07-01

    The torsional properties of spider dragline silks from Nephila edulis and Nephila pilipes spiders are investigated by using a torsion pendulum technique. A permanent torsional deformation is observed after even small torsional strain. This behaviour is quite different from that of the other materials tested here, i.e., carbon fiber, thin metallic wires, Kevlar fiber, and human hair. The spider dragline thus displays a strong energy dissipation upon the initial excitation (around 75% for small strains and more for a larger strain), which correspondingly reduces the amplitude of subsequent oscillations around the new equilibrium position. The variation of torsional stiffness in relaxation dynamics of spider draglines for different excitations is also determined. The experimental result is interpreted in the light of the hierarchical structure of dragline silk.

  7. Influence of spider silk on refugia preferences of the recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa and Loxosceles laeta (Araneae: Sicariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-06-01

    In a previous experimental study, recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae) preferred small cardboard refugia covered with conspecific silk compared with never-occupied refugia. Herein, we investigated some factors that might be responsible for this preference using similar cardboard refugia. When the two Loxosceles species were given choices between refugia previously occupied by their own and by the congeneric species, neither showed a species-specific preference; however, each chose refugia coated with conspecific silk rather than those previously inhabited by a distantly related cribellate spider, Metaltella simoni (Keyserling). When L. laeta spiders were offered refugia that were freshly removed from silk donors compared with heated, aged refugia from the same silk donor, older refugia were preferred. Solvent extracts of L. laeta silk were chosen approximately as often as control refugia when a range of solvents (methylene chloride:methanol, water, and hexane) were used. However, when acetone was used on similar silk, there was a statistical preference for the control, indicating that there might be a mildly repellent aspect to acetone-washed silk. Considering the inability to show attraction to chemical aspects of fresh silk, it seems that physical attributes may be more important for selection and that there might be repellency to silk of a recently vacated spider. These findings are discussed in regard to pest management strategies to control recluse spiders.

  8. Cross-ecosystem impacts of stream pollution reduce resource and contaminant flux to riparian food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Walters, David; Wanty, Richard B.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Wolf, Ruth E.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of aquatic contaminants are propagated across ecosystem boundaries by aquatic insects that export resources and contaminants to terrestrial food webs; however, the mechanisms driving these effects are poorly understood. We examined how emergence, contaminant concentration, and total contaminant flux by adult aquatic insects changed over a gradient of bioavailable metals in streams and how these changes affected riparian web-building spiders. Insect emergence decreased 97% over the metal gradient, whereas metal concentrations in adult insects changed relatively little. As a result, total metal exported by insects (flux) was lowest at the most contaminated streams, declining 96% among sites. Spiders were affected by the decrease in prey biomass, but not by metal exposure or metal flux to land in aquatic prey. Aquatic insects are increasingly thought to increase exposure of terrestrial consumers to aquatic contaminants, but stream metals reduce contaminant flux to riparian consumers by strongly impacting the resource linkage. Our results demonstrate the importance of understanding the contaminant-specific effects of aquatic pollutants on adult insect emergence and contaminant accumulation in adults to predict impacts on terrestrial food webs.

  9. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana, E-mail: svetlana8@vin.bg.ac.rs [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Prekajski, Marija [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Rabasović, Mihailo [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Zarubica, Aleksandra [University of Niš, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Mathematics (Serbia); Branković, Goran [University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Department of Material Science (Serbia); Matović, Branko [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia)

    2017-02-15

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO{sub 3}){sub 3}) and ammonium hydroxide (NH{sub 4}OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce{sup 3+} ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  10. High School Students' Attitudes Towards Spiders: A cross-cultural comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Pavol; Tolarovičová, Andrea; Camerik, Anne M.; Peterková, Viera

    2010-08-01

    Spiders are traditionally considered to be among the least popular of animals. Current evidence suggests that a negative attitude towards spiders could be influenced by both cultural and evolutionary pressures. Some researchers suggest that science education activities could positively influence students' perceptions of spiders. Their evidence is, however, ambivalent. Using a five-point score Likert-type questionnaire in which the items were developed in a similar way to four of Kellert's categories of attitude (scientistic, negativistic, naturalistic, and ecologistic) towards invertebrates, we compared the level of knowledge of and attitudes towards spiders of high school students from two countries, Slovakia (n = 354) and South Africa (n = 382). The students represented different cultures and followed dissimilar science education curricula. Only among the Slovakian students there was a statistically significant but low correlation between knowledge and attitude (r = 0.30). The South African students scored higher in the categories of scientistic, naturalistic, and ecologistic attitudes. Comparison of attitude towards spiders of indigenous Africans from coeducational Catholic schools revealed that South African students have greater fear of spiders than Slovakian students, supporting the biological preparedness hypothesis. This hypothesis predicts a greater fear of spiders in South Africa than in Europe since several South African spiders possess venoms that are dangerous to humans. The results of this study are discussed from science education, cultural, and evolutionary perspectives.

  11. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana; Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav; Prekajski, Marija; Rabasović, Mihailo; Zarubica, Aleksandra; Branković, Goran; Matović, Branko

    2017-01-01

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO_3)_3) and ammonium hydroxide (NH_4OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce"3"+ ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  12. Salticid predation as one potential driving force of ant mimicry in jumping spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jin-Nan; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Li, Daiqin; Tso, I-Min

    2011-01-01

    Many spiders possess myrmecomorphy, and species of the jumping spider genus Myrmarachne exhibit nearly perfect ant mimicry. Most salticids are diurnal predators with unusually high visual acuity that prey on various arthropods, including conspecifics. In this study, we tested whether predation pressure from large jumping spiders is one possible driving force of perfect ant mimicry in jumping spiders. The results showed that small non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders were readily treated as prey by large ones (no matter whether heterospecific or conspecific) and suffered high attack and mortality rates. The size difference between small and large jumping spiders significantly affected the outcomes of predatory interactions between them: the smaller the juvenile jumping spiders, the higher the predation risk from large ones. The attack and mortality rates of ant-mimicking jumping spiders were significantly lower than those of non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders, indicating that a resemblance to ants could provide protection against salticid predation. However, results of multivariate behavioural analyses showed that the responses of large jumping spiders to ants and ant-mimicking salticids differed significantly. Results of this study indicate that predation pressure from large jumping spiders might be one selection force driving the evolution of nearly perfect myrmecomorphy in spiders and other arthropods. PMID:20961898

  13. Where have all the caddis gone? The role of culverts, and spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, J. S.; Neumegen, R. E.; van den Braak, I. L.

    2005-05-01

    Restoration of a 1.5 km urban stream over the past five years has led to surprisingly slow improvement in benthic communities. Analysis of benthic invertebrates at six sites longitudinally showed a marked decline in caddisfly diversity and abundance upstream. This decline could not be adequately explained by changes in water quality, or in-stream physical conditions. Extensive adult trapping on multiple sites on three urban streams has shown that main roads with culverts act as barriers to the upstream flight of adult caddisflies. When adult caddis encounter a road culvert, some are distracted by the surrounding urban conditions (e.g. street lights), and only 30-50% enter the culvert. Of these, about 10-30% do not reach the upstream exit falling prey to spiders or distracted by confounding flight cues. Experimental removal of spiders and webs from three culverts showed an increase in the proportion of caddis exiting upstream. Other confounding effects on caddisflies within the culvert might include light, humidity and temperature gradients. Our results indicate that barriers to adult dispersal and colonisation, such as road culverts and confusing urban habitats, may markedly limit the recovery of urban stream communities.

  14. DNA damage in haemocytes and midgut gland cells of Steatoda grossa (Theridiidae) spiders exposed to food contaminated with cadmium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stalmach, Monika; Wilczek, Grażyna; Wilczek, Piotr; Skowronek, Magdalena; Mędrzak, Monika

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the genotoxic effects of Cd on haemocytes and midgut gland cells of web-building spiders, Steatoda grossa (Theridiidae), exposed to the metal under laboratory conditions. Analyzes were conducted on adult females and males, fed for four weeks with cadmium-contaminated Drosophila hydei flies, grown on a medium suplemented with 0.25 mM CdCl2. The comet assay, providing a quantitative measure of DNA strand breaks, was used to evaluate the DNA damage caused by the metal. Cadmium content was measured in whole spider bodies by the AAS method. Metal body burden was significantly lower in females (0.25 µgg(-1) dry weight) than in males (3.03 µgg(-1) dry weight), suggesting that females may have more effective mechanisms controlling the uptake of metal, via the digestive tract, or its elimination from the body. Irrespectively of sex, spiders fed prey contaminated with cadmium showed significantly higher values of comet parameters: tail DNA (TDNA), tail length (TL) and olive tail moment (OTM), in comparison with the control. In midgut gland cells, the level of DNA damage was higher for males than females, while in haemocytes the genotoxic effect of cadmium was greater in females. The obtained results indicate that in spiders cadmium displays strong genotoxic effects and may cause DNA damage even at low concentrations, however the severity of damage seems to be sex- and internal organ-dependent. The comet assay can be considered a sensitive tool for measuring the deleterious effect of cadmium on DNA integrity in spiders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-08-09

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes.

  16. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  17. Spider diffraction: a comparison of curved and straight legs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richter, J.L.

    1984-01-01

    It has been known for some time that, if curved legs rather than the usual straight ones are used in the spider that supports the secondary optics in certain telescopes, the visible diffraction effect is reduced. Fraunhofer theory is used to calculate the diffraction effects due to the curved leg spider. Calculated and photographic diffraction patterns are compared for straight and curved leg spiders

  18. High School Students' Attitudes towards Spiders: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Pavol; Tolarovicova, Andrea; Camerik, Anne M.; Peterkova, Viera

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are traditionally considered to be among the least popular of animals. Current evidence suggests that a negative attitude towards spiders could be influenced by both cultural and evolutionary pressures. Some researchers suggest that science education activities could positively influence students' perceptions of spiders. Their evidence is,…

  19. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P. [Department of Physical Sciences, IISER Mohali, Sector 81, Manauli, Mohali 140306 (India)

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2−3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  20. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10 2−3 rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices

  1. And along Came a Spider: An Attentional Bias for the Detection of Spiders in Young Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoBue, Vanessa

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are among the most common targets of fears and phobias in the world. In visual search tasks, adults detect their presence more rapidly than other kinds of stimuli. Reported here is an investigation of whether young children share this attentional bias for the detection of spiders. In a series of experiments, preschoolers and adults were…

  2. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Starrett

    Full Text Available Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers, from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'. Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs, is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow. In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders, which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae. We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid

  3. Silk elasticity as a potential constraint on spider body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi

    2010-10-07

    Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Molecular Evolution of Spider Vision: New Opportunities, Familiar Players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morehouse, Nathan I; Buschbeck, Elke K; Zurek, Daniel B; Steck, Mireille; Porter, Megan L

    2017-08-01

    Spiders are among the world's most species-rich animal lineages, and their visual systems are likewise highly diverse. These modular visual systems, composed of four pairs of image-forming "camera" eyes, have taken on a huge variety of forms, exhibiting variation in eye size, eye placement, image resolution, and field of view, as well as sensitivity to color, polarization, light levels, and motion cues. However, despite this conspicuous diversity, our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of these visual systems remains shallow. Here, we review the current literature, analyze publicly available transcriptomic data, and discuss hypotheses about the origins and development of spider eyes. Our efforts highlight that there are many new things to discover from spider eyes, and yet these opportunities are set against a backdrop of deep homology with other arthropod lineages. For example, many (but not all) of the genes that appear important for early eye development in spiders are familiar players known from the developmental networks of other model systems (e.g., Drosophila). Similarly, our analyses of opsins and related phototransduction genes suggest that spider photoreceptors employ many of the same genes and molecular mechanisms known from other arthropods, with a hypothesized ancestral spider set of four visual and four nonvisual opsins. This deep homology provides a number of useful footholds into new work on spider vision and the molecular basis of its extant variety. We therefore discuss what some of these first steps might be in the hopes of convincing others to join us in studying the vision of these fascinating creatures.

  5. Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP Triggered by a Spider Bite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Makris

    2009-01-01

    Discussion: A spider bite may represent a possible causative factor of AGEP. A spider's venom contains sphingomyelinase that stimulates the release of IL8 and GM-CSF, which are involved in AGEP pathogenesis. Whether or not the con-current use of antibiotics has an effect in AGEP appearance when combined with a spider's venom, cannot be excluded.

  6. Coagulopathy after spider bites in a six-year-old boy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ansari SH.

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Spider bites are common in most parts of the world. In some areas, where snake or scorpion bites are common, spider bites may not be considered a significant problem by the general public and those who have been bitten by spiders may not go to a hospital. However, significant problems are observed in the victims of certain species of spiders including: widow spider (of the genus Latrodectus, including the black widow and brown spiders (of the genus Loxosceles, such as the brown recluse. Case: We report a six-year-old boy, admitted to the hospital two weeks after suffering a spider bite. The patient presented with a severe nose bleed, ecchymosis and purpura, as well as anemia, indicating a clotting disorder. Laboratory results revealed abnormal values for prothrombin time (PT >50 sec, partial thromboplastin time (PTT >120 min and fibrinogen = 0 mg/dl, whereas factor VIII was normal according to a mixing study, with a normal platelet count of 350,000/µl. The patient was managed with fresh frozen plasma every 12 h, and was discharged one week after hospital admission. At present, the patient is well with more normal laboratory results one month after treatment: PT=13.4 sec, PTT= 34 sec, fibrinogen=105 mg/dl.         Conclusions: Although spider bites are uncommon in Iran, severe systemic reactions may occur in the pediatric population requiring admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. These systemic reactions may include hemolytic anemia coagulopathy and renal failure.

  7. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  8. Nutrient regulation in a predator, the wolf spider Pardosa prativaga

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim; Mayntz, David; Toft, Søren

    2011-01-01

    Nutrient balancing is well known in herbivores and omnivores, but has only recently been demonstrated in predators. To test how a predator might regulate nutrients when the prey varies in nutrient composition, we restricted juvenile Pardosa prativaga wolf spiders to diets of one of six fruit fly......, Drosophila melanogaster, prey types varying in lipid:protein composition during their second instar. We collected all fly remnants to estimate food and nutrient intake over each meal. The spiders adjusted their capture rate and nutrient extraction in response to prey mass and nutrient composition...... irrespective of energy intake. Intake was initially regulated to a constant lipid plus protein mass, but later spiders fed on prey with high proportions of protein increased consumption relative to spiders fed on other prey types. This pattern indicates that the spiders were prepared to overconsume vast...

  9. Arachnid aloft: directed aerial descent in neotropical canopy spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2015-09-06

    The behaviour of directed aerial descent has been described for numerous taxa of wingless hexapods as they fall from the tropical rainforest canopy, but is not known in other terrestrial arthropods. Here, we describe similar controlled aerial behaviours for large arboreal spiders in the genus Selenops (Selenopidae). We dropped 59 such spiders from either canopy platforms or tree crowns in Panama and Peru; the majority (93%) directed their aerial trajectories towards and then landed upon nearby tree trunks. Following initial dorsoventral righting when necessary, falling spiders oriented themselves and then translated head-first towards targets; directional changes were correlated with bilaterally asymmetric motions of the anterolaterally extended forelegs. Aerial performance (i.e. the glide index) decreased with increasing body mass and wing loading, but not with projected surface area of the spider. Along with the occurrence of directed aerial descent in ants, jumping bristletails, and other wingless hexapods, this discovery of targeted gliding in selenopid spiders further indicates strong selective pressures against uncontrolled falls into the understory for arboreal taxa. © 2015 The Author(s).

  10. A check list of the spider fauna of the Western Soutpansberg, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.H. Foord

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available By virtue of its geological history and geographical location the Soutpansberg constitutes a refuge for a high diversity of organisms. The Western Soutpansberg forms part of the Savanna Biome and is presently the area with the highest concentration of Natural Heritage Sites in South Africa. A unique private initiative is under way to improve its national and international conservation status in a bid to conserve the mountain. A checklist of the spider species of the Western Soutpansberg collected over a five-year period is presented. Forty-six families, represented by 109 genera and 127 species have been collected. Of the species collected, 81 (64 % were wandering spiders and 46 (36 % web builders. The Thomisidae have the highest number of species (15 followed by the Araneidae and the Salticidae with 10 species each. Ninety-six genera are represented by a single species. Ninety six percent of the species collected are new records for the area. This survey is the first for the area and forms part of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA.

  11. Spider silk reinforced by graphene or carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepore, Emiliano; Bosia, Federico; Bonaccorso, Francesco; Bruna, Matteo; Taioli, Simone; Garberoglio, Giovanni; Ferrari, Andrea C.; Pugno, Nicola Maria

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk has promising mechanical properties, since it conjugates high strength (~1.5 GPa) and toughness (~150 J g-1). Here, we report the production of silk incorporating graphene and carbon nanotubes by spider spinning, after feeding spiders with the corresponding aqueous dispersions. We observe an increment of the mechanical properties with respect to pristine silk, up to a fracture strength ~5.4 GPa and a toughness modulus ~1570 J g-1. This approach could be extended to other biological systems and lead to a new class of artificially modified biological, or ‘bionic’, materials.

  12. Parasitism of Trombidium brevimanum larvae on agrobiont linyphiid spiders from Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomić, Vladimir; Mąkol, Joanna; Stamenković, Srdjan; Büchs, Wolfgang; Prescher, Sabine; Sivčev, Ivan; Graora, Draga; Sivčev, Lazar; Gotlin-Čuljak, Tatjana; Dudić, Boris

    2015-08-01

    An experiment on three differently-managed agricultural fields in Ahlum, Germany, which aimed at establishing the impact of different management systems on the biodiversity of predators and decomposers, yielded a significant number of spiders parasitized by larvae of Trombidium brevimanum (Actinotrichida, Parasitengona, Trombidiidae). Spider data from the whole sampling period (September 2010-July 2012), indicated that ectoparasitic larvae were recorded only on spiders in pitfall traps in the period of June-July 2011. In this period, only eight species of Linyphiidae--out of 42 species assigned to nine spider families recorded from the study area--were parasitized by mites; considerable levels of parasitism were recorded on Erigone atra, E. dentipalpis, and Oedothorax apicatus. The highest prevalence of parasitism was recorded on the organic field for E. atra (29%), while on the integrated and conventional fields significantly fewer parasitized spiders were observed. The preferred attachment sites on the spider host were regions with softer cuticle, especially regions on the carapace and on the abdomen, adjacent to the pedicel.

  13. Cognitive reappraisal of snake and spider pictures: An event-related potentials study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van Strien, Jan W

    2018-05-30

    Fear of snakes and spiders are common animal phobias. Emotion regulation can change the response to emotional stimuli, including snakes and spiders. It is well known that emotion regulation modulates the late positive potential (LPP), which reflects sustained motivated attention. However, research concerning the effect of emotion regulation on the early posterior negativity (EPN), which reflects early selective attention, is scarce. The present research question was whether the EPN and LPP amplitudes are modulated by regulation of emotional responses to snake and spider stimuli. Emotion up- and down-regulation were expected to enhance and reduce the LPP amplitude, respectively, but emotion regulation was not expected to modulate the EPN amplitude. Female participants passively viewed snake, spider, and bird pictures, and up- and down-regulated their emotional responses to the snake and spider pictures using self-focused reappraisal, while their electroencephalogram was recorded. There were EPNs for snakes and spiders vs. birds, as well as for snakes vs. spiders. The LPP amplitude tended to be enhanced for snakes and spiders compared to birds. Most importantly, the LPP amplitude was larger in the up-regulate than in the down-regulate condition for both snakes and spiders, but there was no evidence that the EPN amplitude was modulated by emotion regulation. This suggests that emotion regulation modulated sustained motivated attention, but not early selective attention, to snakes and spiders. The findings are in line with the notion that the emotional modulation of the EPN is more automatic than the emotional modulation of the LPP. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Early Cretaceous greenhouse pumped higher taxa diversification in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Lili; Li, Shuqiang

    2018-05-24

    The Cretaceous experienced one of the most remarkable greenhouse periods in geological history. During this time, ecosystem reorganizations significantly impacted the diversification of many groups of organisms. The rise of angiosperms marked a major biome turnover. Notwithstanding, relatively little remains known about how the Cretaceous global ecosystem impacted the evolution of spiders, which constitute one of the most abundant groups of predators. Herein, we evaluate the transcriptomes of 91 taxa representing more than half of the spider families. We add 23 newly sequenced taxa to the existing database to obtain a robust phylogenomic assessment. Phylogenetic reconstructions using different datasets and methods obtain novel placements of some groups, especially in the Synspermiata and the group having a retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA). Molecular analyses indicate an expansion of the RTA clade at the Early Cretaceous with a hunting predatory strategy shift. Fossil analyses show a 7-fold increase of diversification rate at the same period, but this likely owes to the first occurrences spider in amber deposits. Additional analyses of fossil abundance show an accumulation of spider lineages in the Early Cretaceous. We speculate that the establishment of a warm greenhouse climate pumped the diversification of spiders, in particular among webless forms tracking the abundance of insect prey. Our study offers a new pathway for future investigations of spider phylogeny and diversification. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Volatile compounds from leaves of the African spider plant (Gynandropsis gynandra) with bioactivity against spider mite (Tetranychus urticae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyalala, Samuel Odeyo; Petersen, Mikael Agerlin; Grout, Brian William Wilson

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that Gynandropsis gynandra emits acetonitrile as a foliar volatile from intact plants and isolated leaves, and that this compound is an effective spider mite repellent. This study has used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to investigate volatile compounds...... emitted from homogenised G. gynandra leaves to evaluate their tissue acetonitrile content and to look for other compounds that might be exploited for the management of spider mites. Acetonitrile was absent from the homogenised tissues of five lines of G. gynandra, studied over two seasons. Thirteen...... volatile compounds were emitted by G. gynandra at significantly higher levels than mite-susceptible pot roses, including isothiocyanates, aldehydes, esters, alcohols and terpenes. Six representative compounds were selected to assess bioactivity. Spider mite populations were completely inactive after a 2¿h...

  16. Invited review current progress and limitations of spider silk for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhe, Mona; Johansson, Jan; Hedhammar, My; Rising, Anna

    2012-06-01

    Spider silk is a fascinating material combining remarkable mechanical properties with low density and biodegradability. Because of these properties and historical descriptions of medical applications, spider silk has been proposed to be the ideal biomaterial. However, overcoming the obstacles to produce spider silk in sufficient quantities and in a manner that meets regulatory demands has proven to be a difficult task. Also, there are relatively few studies of spider silk in biomedical applications available, and the methods and materials used vary a lot. Herein we summarize cell culture- and in vivo implantation studies of natural and synthetic spider silk, and also review the current status and future challenges in the quest for a large scale production of spider silk for medical applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Spider fauna of semiarid eastern Colorado agroecosystems: diversity, abundance, and effects of crop intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerzicnik, Lauren M; Peairs, Frank B; Cushing, Paula E; Draney, Michael L; Merrill, Scott C

    2013-02-01

    Spiders are critical predators in agroecosystems. Crop management practices can influence predator density and diversity, which, in turn, can influence pest management strategies. Crop intensification is a sustainable agricultural technique that can enhance crop production although optimizing soil moisture. To date, there is no information on how crop intensification affects natural enemy populations, particularly spiders. This study had two objectives: to characterize the abundance and diversity of spiders in eastern Colorado agroecosystems, and to test the hypothesis that spider diversity and density would be higher in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in crop-intensified rotations compared with wheat in conventional rotations. We collected spiders through pitfall, vacuum, and lookdown sampling from 2002 to 2007 to test these objectives. Over 11,000 spiders in 19 families from 119 species were captured from all sampling techniques. Interestingly, the hunting spider guild represented 89% of the spider fauna captured from all sites with the families Gnaphosidae and Lycosidae representing 75% of these spiders. Compared with European agroecosystems, these agroecosystems had greater diversity, which can be beneficial for the biological control of pests. Overall, spider densities were low in these semiarid cropping systems, and crop intensification effects on spider densities were not evident at this scale.

  18. A comparison of spider communities in Bt and non-Bt rice fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sue Yeon; Kim, Seung Tae; Jung, Jong Kook; Lee, Joon-Ho

    2014-06-01

    To assess the potential adverse effects of a Bt rice line (Japonica rice cultivar, Nakdong) expressing a synthetic cry1Ac1 gene, C7-1-9-1-B, which was highly active against all larval stages of Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), we investigated the community structure of spiders in Bt and non-Bt rice fields during the rice-growing season in 2007 and 2008 in Chungcheongnam-do, Korea. Spiders were surveyed with a sweep net and suction device. Suction sampling captured more spiders, measured in terms of species level and abundance, than sweeping. Araneidae and Thomisidae were captured more by sweeping, and certain species were captured only by sweeping. These findings show that both suction and sweep sampling methods should be used because these methods are most likely complementary. In total, 29 species in 23 genera and nine families were identified from the 4,937 spiders collected, and both Bt and non-Bt rice fields showed a typical Korean spider assemblage. The temporal patterns of spider species richness and spider abundance were very similar between Bt and non-Bt rice, although significant differences in species richness were observed on a few occasions. Overall, spider community structure, including diversity, the dominant species, and abundance did not differ between Bt and non-Bt rice. The results of the study indicated that the transgenic Cry1Ac rice lines tested in this study had no adverse effects on the spider community structure of the rice fields.

  19. Edge effect on weevils and spiders

    OpenAIRE

    Horváth, R.; Magura, T.; Péter, G.; Tóthmérész, B.

    2002-01-01

    The edge effect on weevils and spiders was tested along oak forest – meadow transects using sweep-net samples at the Síkfökút Project in Hungary. For spiders the species richness was significantly higher in the forest edge than either in the meadow or the forest interior. For weevils the species richness of the forest edge was higher than that of the meadow, but the difference was not statistically significant whereas the species richness of the forest...

  20. At the Mercy of Gaia: Deep Ecologial Unrest and America's fall as Nature's Nation in Kingdom of the Spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob Lillemose

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper looks as the animal horror genre as a way to discuss current notions of ecology in relation to a specific American idea of being "Nature's Nation". The central work for the discussion is the movie Kingdom of the Spiders (1977 by John Cardos, which depicts how a small Arizona town is taken over by a "swarm" of tarantulas. Without any obvious explanation the spiders slowly but steadily invade the town and start killing both other animals and humans until they have completely covered the town in their web. The paper connects the movie to a long tradition of fiction describing how nature turns on humans and reverses the power relation be-tween man and nature that is fundamental to modernity. Moreover, the paper connects the movie to Maurice Maeterlincks ideas of swarm communities as mani-fested by ants and termites to argue that these communities are ecologically superior to the the communities of man-made civilisation. Finally, the paper discusses Kingdom of the Spiders and animal horror in general in relation to recent ideas of non-human ecologies and critiques of anthropocentrism and makes the point that these works of fiction serve as both dramatic and philosophical visions of a world without humans.

  1. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Michael Owen

    2016-01-01

    As part of the planned manned mission to Mars, NASA has noticed that shipping oxygen as a part of life support to keep the astronauts alive continuously is overly expensive, and impractical. As such, noting that the Martian atmosphere is 95.37% CO2, NASA chemists noted that one could obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The plan, as part of a larger ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) initiative, would extract water from the regolith, or the Martian soil which can be electrolyzed by solar panel produced voltage into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used in the Sabatier reaction with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water producing a net reaction that does not lose water and outputs methane and oxygen for use as rocket fuel and breathing.

  2. Subsocial behaviour and brood adoption in mixed-species colonies of two theridiid spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinsted, Lena; Agnarsson, Ingi; Bilde, Trine

    2012-01-01

    Cooperation and group living often evolves through kin selection. However, associations between unrelated organisms, such as different species, can evolve if both parties benefit from the interaction. Group living is rare in spiders, but occurs in cooperative, permanently social spiders, as well...... as in territorial, colonial spiders. Mixed species spider colonies, involving closely related species, have rarely been documented. We examined social interactions in newly discovered mixed-species colonies of theridiid spiders on Bali, Indonesia. Our aim was to test the degree of intra- and interspecific tolerance...

  3. The time course of location-avoidance learning in fear of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinck, Mike; Koene, Marieke; Telli, Sibel; Moerman-van den Brink, Wiltine; Verhoeven, Barbara; Becker, Eni S

    2016-01-01

    Two experiments were designed to study the time course of avoidance learning in spider fearfuls (SFs) under controlled experimental conditions. To achieve this, we employed an immersive virtual environment (IVE): While walking freely through a virtual art museum to search for specific paintings, the participants were exposed to virtual spiders. Unbeknown to the participants, only two of four museum rooms contained spiders, allowing for avoidance learning. Indeed, the more SF the participants were, the faster they learned to avoid the rooms that contained spiders (Experiment. 1), and within the first six trials, high fearfuls already developed a preference for starting their search task in rooms without spiders (Experiment 2). These results illustrate the time course of avoidance learning in SFs, and they speak to the usefulness of IVEs in fundamental anxiety research.

  4. Relative chronology of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landheim, R.; Barlow, N.G.

    1991-01-01

    Impact cratering is one of the major geological processes that has affected the Martian surface throughout the planet's history. The frequency of craters within particular size ranges provides information about the formation ages and obliterative episodes of Martian geologic units. The Barlow chronology was extended by measuring small craters on the volcanoes and a number of standard terrain units. Inclusions of smaller craters in units previously analyzed by Barlow allowed for a more direct comparison between the size-frequency distribution data for volcanoes and established chronology. During this study, 11,486 craters were mapped and identified in the 1.5 to 8 km diameter range in selected regions of Mars. The results are summarized in this three page report and give a more precise estimate of the relative chronology of the Martian volcanoes. Also, the results of this study lend further support to the increasing evidence that volcanism has been a dominant geologic force throughout Martian history

  5. Edge effect on weevils and spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Horváth

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available The edge effect on weevils and spiders was tested along oak forest – meadow transects using sweep-net samples at the Síkfökút Project in Hungary. For spiders the species richness was significantly higher in the forest edge than either in the meadow or the forest interior. For weevils the species richness of the forest edge was higher than that of the meadow, but the difference was not statistically significant whereas the species richness of the forest interior was significantly lower than that of the forest edge and the meadow. The composition of the spider assemblage of the edge was more similar to the forest, while the composition of weevils in the edge was more similar to the meadow. Our results based on two invertebrate groups operating on different trophic levels suggest that there is a significant edge effect for the studied taxa resulting in higher species richness in the edge.

  6. Endemic harvestmen and spiders of Austria (Arachnida: Opiliones, Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Komposch, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive overview of plant, fungus and animal species of Austria revealed a total of 748 endemic and subendemic species, including, 11 harvestman and 46 spider species. Altogether two endemic harvestmen (Nemastoma bidentatum relictum, Nemastoma schuelleri and 8 endemic spiders (Abacoproeces molestus, Collinsia (caliginosa nemenziana, Mughiphantes severus, Mughiphantes styriacus, Pelecopsis alpica, Scotophaeus nanus, Troglohyphantes novicordis, Troglohyphantes tauriscus, beside 9 subendemic harvestman and 38 subendemic spider species have been recorded from Austria. Hot-spots of endemism in the Eastern Alps are the north-eastern (Ennstaler Alps and southern Calcareous Alps (Karawanken, Karnische Alps and the Central Alps (Hohe Tauern, Gurktaler Alps, Ötztaler and Stubaier Alps. Most of the endemic arachnid species occur from the nival down to the montane zone. Important habitats are rocky areas, caves and woodlands. High absolute numbers and percentages of endemics can be found within the harvestman families Cladonychiidae, Ischyropsalididae and Nemastomatidae and in the spider genera Lepthyphantes s. l. and Troglohyphantes. The conservation status of these highly endangered taxa – 85 % of the spider species and 100 % of the harvestman taxa are endangered in Austria – is poor.

  7. SPIDER: A Framework for Understanding Driver Distraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strayer, David L; Fisher, Donald L

    2016-02-01

    The objective was to identify key cognitive processes that are impaired when drivers divert attention from driving. Driver distraction is increasingly recognized as a significant source of injuries and fatalities on the roadway. A "SPIDER" model is developed that identifies key cognitive processes that are impaired when drivers divert attention from driving. SPIDER is an acronym standing for scanning, predicting, identifying, decision making, and executing a response. When drivers engage in secondary activities unrelated to the task of driving, SPIDER-related processes are impaired, situation awareness is degraded, and the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle may be compromised. The pattern of interference helps to illuminate the sources of driver distraction and may help guide the integration of new technology into the automobile. © 2015, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  8. Variation in Protein Intake Induces Variation in Spider Silk Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chun-Lin; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Background It is energetically expensive to synthesize certain amino acids. The proteins (spidroins) of spider major ampullate (MA) silk, MaSp1 and MaSp2, differ in amino acid composition. Glutamine and proline are prevalent in MaSp2 and are expensive to synthesize. Since most orb web spiders express high proline silk they might preferentially attain the amino acids needed for silk from food and shift toward expressing more MaSp1 in their MA silk when starved. Methodology/Principal Findings We fed three spiders; Argiope aetherea, Cyrtophora moluccensis and Leucauge blanda, high protein, low protein or no protein solutions. A. aetherea and L. blanda MA silks are high in proline, while C. moluccesnsis MA silks are low in proline. After 10 days of feeding we determined the amino acid compositions and mechanical properties of each species' MA silk and compared them between species and treatments with pre-treatment samples, accounting for ancestry. We found that the proline and glutamine of A. aetherea and L. blanda silks were affected by protein intake; significantly decreasing under the low and no protein intake treatments. Glutmaine composition in C. moluccensis silk was likewise affected by protein intake. However, the composition of proline in their MA silk was not significantly affected by protein intake. Conclusions Our results suggest that protein limitation induces a shift toward different silk proteins with lower glutamine and/or proline content. Contradictions to the MaSp model lie in the findings that C. moluccensis MA silks did not experience a significant reduction in proline and A. aetherea did not experience a significant reduction in serine on low/no protein. The mechanical properties of the silks could not be explained by a MaSp1 expressional shift. Factors other than MaSp expression, such as the expression of spidroin-like orthologues, may impact on silk amino acid composition and spinning and glandular processes may impact mechanics. PMID:22363691

  9. Information processing biases in spider phobia: application of the Stroop and "White Noise" Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olatunji, Bunmi O; Sawchuk, Craig N; Lee, Thomas C; Lohr, Jeffrey M; Tolin, David F

    2008-06-01

    The present study examines attentional and implicit memory biases in spider phobic and nonphobic participants. The results showed that spider phobics demonstrated increased interference for neutral, negative, and spider-relevant words on a computerized Stroop task. However, no group differences emerged when adjusting for differences in color-naming speed. Prior exposure to a dead spider did result in higher overall Stroop interference in spider phobics and this appeared to be mostly pronounced for spider-relevant words. Implicit memory bias for threat was examined with a noise judgment task. Participants first heard neutral and spider-relevant sentences and implicit memory for these sentences was evaluated by having participants rate the volume of noise accompanying the presentation of old sentences intermixed with new sentences. An implicit memory bias is indicated if participants rate noise accompanying old sentences as less loud than noise accompanying new sentences. No evidence was found for an implicit memory bias in spider phobics. These findings are discussed in relation to the role of information processing biases in spider phobia.

  10. Spider diversity in coffee agroecosystems: the influence of agricultural intensification and aggressive ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín, Linda; Perfecto, Ivette

    2013-04-01

    Spiders are a very diverse group of invertebrate predators found in agroecosystems and natural systems. However, spider distribution, abundance, and eventually their ecological function in ecosystems can be influenced by abiotic and biotic factors such as agricultural intensification and dominant ants. Here we explore the influence of both agricultural intensification and the dominant arboreal ant Azteca instabilis on the spider community in coffee agroecosystems in southern Mexico. To measure the influence of the arboreal ant Azteca instabilis (F. Smith) on the spider community inhabiting the coffee layer of coffee agroecosystems, spiders were collected from coffee plants that were and were not patrolled by the ant in sites differing in agricultural intensification. For 2008, generalized linear mixed models showed that spider diversity was affected positively by agricultural intensification but not by the ant. However, results suggested that some spider species were associated with A. instabilis. Therefore, in 2009 we concentrated our research on the effect of A. instabilis on spider diversity and composition. For 2009, generalized linear mixed models show that spider richness and abundance per plant were significantly higher in the presence of A. instabilis. In addition, analyses of visual counts of insects and sticky traps data show that more resources were present in plants patrolled by the ant. The positive effect of A. instabilis on spiders seems to be caused by at least two mechanisms: high abundance of insects and protection against predators.

  11. Antarctic Martian Meteorites at Johnson Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, R. C.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.; Harrington, R.

    2018-01-01

    This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the first Martian meteorite found in Antarctica by the ANSMET Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, ALH 77005. Since then, an additional 14 Martian meteorites have been found by the ANSMET program making for a total of 15 Martian meteorites in the U. S. Antarctic meteorite collection at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Of the 15 meteorites, some have been paired so the 15 meteorites actually represent a total of approximately 9 separate samples. The first Martian meteorite found by ANSMET was ALH 77005 (482.500 g), a lherzolitic shergottite. When collected, this meteorite was split as a part of the joint expedition with the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) Japan. Originally classified as an "achondrite-unique", it was re-classified as a Martian lherzolitic shergottite in 1982. This meteorite has been allocated to 137 scientists for research and there are 180.934 g remaining at JSC. Two years later, one of the most significant Martian meteorites of the collection at JSC was found at Elephant Moraine, EET 79001 (7942.000 g), a shergottite. This meteorite is the largest in the Martian collection at JSC and was the largest stony meteorite sample collected during the 1979 season. In addition to its size, this meteorite is of particular interest because it contains a linear contact separating two different igneous lithologies, basaltic and olivine-phyric. EET 79001 has glass inclusions that contain noble gas and nitrogen compositions that are proportionally identical to the Martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking spacecraft. This discovery helped scientists to identify where the "SNC" meteorite suite had originated, and that we actually possessed Martian samples. This meteorite has been allocated to 205 scientists for research and 5,298.435 g of sample is available.

  12. A golden orb-weaver spider (Araneae: Nephilidae: Nephila) from the Middle Jurassic of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selden, Paul A; Shih, ChungKun; Ren, Dong

    2011-10-23

    Nephila are large, conspicuous weavers of orb webs composed of golden silk, in tropical and subtropical regions. Nephilids have a sparse fossil record, the oldest described hitherto being Cretaraneus vilaltae from the Cretaceous of Spain. Five species from Neogene Dominican amber and one from the Eocene of Florissant, CO, USA, have been referred to the extant genus Nephila. Here, we report the largest known fossil spider, Nephila jurassica sp. nov., from Middle Jurassic (approx. 165 Ma) strata of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. The new species extends the fossil record of the family by approximately 35 Ma and of the genus Nephila by approximately 130 Ma, making it the longest ranging spider genus known. Nephilidae originated somewhere on Pangaea, possibly the North China block, followed by dispersal almost worldwide before the break-up of the supercontinent later in the Mesozoic. The find suggests that the palaeoclimate was warm and humid at this time. This giant fossil orb-weaver provides evidence of predation on medium to large insects, well known from the Daohugou beds, and would have played an important role in the evolution of these insects.

  13. Photovoltaic array for Martian surface power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, J.; Landis, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    Missions to Mars will require electric power. A leading candidate for providing power is solar power produced by photovoltaic arrays. To design such a power system, detailed information on solar-radiation availability on the Martian surface is necessary. The variation of the solar radiation on the Martian surface is governed by three factors: (1) variation in Mars-Sun distance; (2) variation in solar zenith angle due to Martian season and time of day; and (3) dust in the Martian atmosphere. A major concern is the dust storms, which occur on both local and global scales. However, there is still appreciable diffuse sunlight available even at high opacity, so that solar array operation is still possible. Typical results for tracking solar collectors are also shown and compared to the fixed collectors. During the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer the isolation is relatively high, 2-5 kW-hr/sq m-day, due to the low optical depth of the Martian atmosphere. These seasons, totalling a full terrestrial year, are the likely ones during which manned mission will be carried out.

  14. Reconstitutable control rod spider assembly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shallenberger, J.M.; Ferian, S.J.

    1990-01-01

    A reconstitutable control rod/spider assembly includes a hollow connecting finger of the spider having a pair of opposing flat segments formed on the interior thereof and engaging a pair of opposing flat sectors formed on the exterior of a stem extending form the upper end of control rod. The stem also has an externally-threaded portion engaging a nut and a pilot aligning portion for the nut. The nut has a radially flexible and expandable thread-defining element captured in its bore. The segments and sectors allow the rod to be removed and reattached after turning through 180 0 to allow more even wear on the rod. (author)

  15. Spiders (Araneae) Found in Bananas and Other International Cargo Submitted to North American Arachnologists for Identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Crawford, Rodney L; Buckle, Donald J

    2014-11-01

    Spiders found in international cargo brought into North America are sometimes submitted to arachnologists for identification. Often, these spiders are presumed to be of medical importance because of size or a submitter's familiarity with a toxic spider genus from the continent of origin. Starting in 2006, requests were made for spiders found in international cargo brought into North America, in addition to the specimens from similar cargo shipments already in our museum collections. This was an ad hoc study that allowed us to focus on spiders of concern to the discoverer. We identified 135 spiders found in international cargo. A key for the most common species is provided. The most frequently submitted spiders were the pantropical huntsman spider, Heteropoda venatoria (L.) (Sparassidae), and the redfaced banana spider, Cupiennius chiapanensis Medina Soriano (Ctenidae). Spiders of medical importance were rare. The most common cargo from which spiders were submitted was bananas with most specimens coming from Central America, Ecuador, or Colombia. Lack of experience with nonnative fauna caused several experienced American arachnologists to misidentify harmless ctenid spiders (C. chiapanensis, spotlegged banana spider, Cupiennius getazi Simon) as highly toxic Phoneutria spiders. These misidentifications could have led to costly, unwarranted prophylactic eradication measures, unnecessary employee health education, heightened employee anxiety and spoilage when perishable goods are left unloaded due to safety concerns. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  16. Environmental and hormonal factors controlling reversible colour change in crab spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llandres, Ana L; Figon, Florent; Christidès, Jean-Philippe; Mandon, Nicole; Casas, Jérôme

    2013-10-15

    Habitat heterogeneity that occurs within an individual's lifetime may favour the evolution of reversible plasticity. Colour reversibility has many different functions in animals, such as thermoregulation, crypsis through background matching and social interactions. However, the mechanisms underlying reversible colour changes are yet to be thoroughly investigated. This study aims to determine the environmental and hormonal factors underlying morphological colour changes in Thomisus onustus crab spiders and the biochemical metabolites produced during these changes. We quantified the dynamics of colour changes over time: spiders were kept in yellow and white containers under natural light conditions and their colour was measured over 15 days using a spectrophotometer. We also characterised the chemical metabolites of spiders changing to a yellow colour using HPLC. Hormonal control of colour change was investigated by injecting 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) into spiders. We found that background colouration was a major environmental factor responsible for colour change in crab spiders: individuals presented with white and yellow backgrounds changed to white and yellow colours, respectively. An ommochrome precursor, 3-OH-kynurenine, was the main pigment responsible for yellow colour. Spiders injected with 20E displayed a similar rate of change towards yellow colouration as spiders kept in yellow containers and exposed to natural sunlight. This study demonstrates novel hormonal manipulations that are capable of inducing reversible colour change.

  17. Small Molecules from Spiders Used as Chemical Probes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Christian Adam; Kristensen, Anders S.; Strømgaard, Kristian

    2011-01-01

    Spiders are important species in ecological systems and as major predators of insects they are endowed with a plethora of low‐molecular‐weight natural products having intriguing biological activities. The isolation and biological characterization of these entities are well established, however......, only very recently have these compounds been used as templates for the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of synthetic analogues. In contrast, the investigation of compounds responsible for chemical communication between spiders is far less developed, but recently new light has been shed onto...... the area of pheromones and allomones from spiders. Herein, we recapitulate these recent results, put them into perspective with previous findings, and provide an outlook for future studies of these chemotypes....

  18. Exploring of the first recorded spider (Arachenida: Aranae species of Sheringal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzana Perveen

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The spiders (Arthropoada: Arachenida are one of the groups of grasping animals. Their carapaces are found on the dorsal side of the cephalothorax, which is an important characteristic of spiders. The present study was conducted to explore the first recorded spider species (nti=75 of Sheringal, Dir Upper (DU, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, Dir Upper, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The 10 genera with 10 species under 7 families were recorded from June 2013-July 2014. According to length of legs, the largest spider was the huntsman spider, Halconia insignis Thorell having length of the first leg was 1.9±0.20, however, the same of the last leg was 1.44±0.25 (n=9. In the same contest, the smallest spider was the ground spider, Gnaphosa eucalyptus Ghafoor and Beg having length of the first leg was 0.4±0.08, while the same of the last leg was 0.4±0.08 (n=3. According to length of cephalothorax and abdomen, the largest spider was the wolf spider, Hippasa partita Takidar having length of the cephalothorax was 1.1±0.01, however, the same of the abdomen was 0.7±0.1 (n=6. In the same contest, the smallest spider was the harvestmen, Hadrobunus grandis Sundevall having length of the cephalothorax was 0.1±0.04, while the same of the abdomen was 0.3±0.04 (n=12. During present research, 10 spider species of Sheringal with different sizes were explored. The present research will be useful to educate and create awareness about spiders in the people of Sheringal.

  19. Spiders do not evoke greater early posterior negativity in the event-related potential as snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hongshen; Kubo, Kenta; Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2014-09-10

    It has been long believed that both snakes and spiders are archetypal fear stimuli for humans. Furthermore, snakes have been assumed as stronger threat cues for nonhuman primates. However, it is still unclear whether spiders hold a special status in human perception. The current study explored to what extent spider pictures draw early visual attention [as assessed with early posterior negativity (EPN)] when compared with insects similar to spiders. To measure the EPN, participants watched a random rapid serial presentation of pictures, which consisted of two conditions: spider condition (spider, wasp, bumblebee, beetle) and snake condition (snake, bird). EPN amplitudes revealed no significant difference between spider, wasp, bumblebee, and beetle pictures, whereas EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to bird pictures. In addition, EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to spider pictures. These results suggest that the early visual attentional capture of animate objects is stronger for snakes, whereas spiders do not appear to hold special early attentional value.

  20. Solubilization of spider silk proteins and its structural analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osbin, K.; Jayan, Manuel; Bhadrakumari, S.; Predeep, P.

    2017-06-01

    This study investigates the presence of various amide bands present in different spider silk species, which provides extraordinary physical properties. Three different spider silks were collected from Western Ghats region. The collected spider silks samples belonging to the spider Heteropoda venatoria (species 1), Hersilia savignyi (species 2) and Pholcus phalangioides (species 3). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra reveals the protein peaks in the amide I, II, and III regions in all the three types of spider silk species.

  1. How informative are case studies of spider bites in the medical literature?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Marielle; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2016-05-01

    We analyzed the reliability and information content of 134 medical case studies on spider bites, published in 91 journal articles. Overall, we found that only 22% of these studies fulfilled the criteria for a verified spider bite. This means that the majority of such case studies cannot be attributed to a given spider species and usually not even to a spider. Their scientific value is negligible, moreover, such publications are even dangerous because they suggest incorrect conclusions. Secondly, we found that such case studies usually do not follow an obvious structure and many details on the development of symptoms, therapy and healing process are widely lacking. So even for verified spider bites, the comparability of case studies is limited. We discuss the obvious failure of a reviewing process for case studies and give recommendations how to increase the currently low information content of medical case studies on spider bites. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Rapid visuomotor processing of phobic images in spider- and snake-fearful participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp; Schmidt, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    This study investigates enhanced visuomotor processing of phobic compared to fear-relevant and neutral stimuli. We used a response priming design to measure rapid, automatic motor activation by natural images (spiders, snakes, mushrooms, and flowers) in spider-fearful, snake-fearful, and control participants. We found strong priming effects in all tasks and conditions; however, results showed marked differences between groups. Most importantly, in the group of spider-fearful individuals, spider pictures had a strong and specific influence on even the fastest motor responses: Phobic primes entailed the largest priming effects, and phobic targets accelerated responses, both effects indicating speeded response activation by phobic images. In snake-fearful participants, this processing enhancement for phobic material was less pronounced and extended to both snake and spider images. We conclude that spider phobia leads to enhanced processing capacity for phobic images. We argue that this is enabled by long-term perceptual learning processes. © 2013.

  3. Who is afraid of a black Spider(-Man)?

    OpenAIRE

    Ora C. McWilliams

    2013-01-01

    An Internet post asking about Spider-Man's race in a film turned into an Internet campaign about an actor that led fans to interact with each other as well as with the actor, which in turn led to the attention of media producers, which resulted in a change in Spider-Man's race in a print comic book.

  4. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra M. Rodriguez-Artigas

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance, or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes. Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low

  5. Structure–Activity Relationship Study of Spider Polyamine Toxins as Inhibitors of Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Poulsen, Mette H; Hussein, Rama A

    2014-01-01

    The spider polyamine toxins Joro spider toxin-3 (JSTX-3) and Nephila polyamine toxins-1 and -8 (NPTX-1 and NPTX-8) are isolated from the venom of the orb-weaver spider Nephila clavata (Joro spider). They share a high degree of structural resemblance, their aromatic head groups being the only...

  6. Record breaking achievements by spiders and the scientists who study them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammola, Stefano; Michalik, Peter; Hebets, Eileen A; Isaia, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Organismal biology has been steadily losing fashion in both formal education and scientific research. Simultaneous with this is an observable decrease in the connection between humans, their environment, and the organisms with which they share the planet. Nonetheless, we propose that organismal biology can facilitate scientific observation, discovery, research, and engagement, especially when the organisms of focus are ubiquitous and charismatic animals such as spiders. Despite being often feared, spiders are mysterious and intriguing, offering a useful foundation for the effective teaching and learning of scientific concepts and processes. In order to provide an entryway for teachers and students-as well as scientists themselves-into the biology of spiders, we compiled a list of 99 record breaking achievements by spiders (the "Spider World Records"). We chose a world-record style format, as this is known to be an effective way to intrigue readers of all ages. We highlighted, for example, the largest and smallest spiders, the largest prey eaten, the fastest runners, the highest fliers, the species with the longest sperm, the most venomous species, and many more. We hope that our compilation will inspire science educators to embrace the biology of spiders as a resource that engages students in science learning. By making these achievements accessible to non-arachnologists and arachnologists alike, we suggest that they could be used: (i) by educators to draw in students for science education, (ii) to highlight gaps in current organismal knowledge, and (iii) to suggest novel avenues for future research efforts. Our contribution is not meant to be comprehensive, but aims to raise public awareness on spiders, while also providing an initial database of their record breaking achievements.

  7. Radiation Safety System for SPIDER Neutral Beam Accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandri, S.; Poggi, C.; Coniglio, A.; D'Arienzo, M.

    2011-01-01

    SPIDER (Source for Production of Ion of Deuterium Extracted from RF Plasma only) and MITICA (Megavolt ITER Injector Concept Advanced) are the ITER neutral beam injector (NBI) testing facilities of the PRIMA (Padova Research Injector Megavolt Accelerated) Center. Both injectors accelerate negative deuterium ions with a maximum energy of 1 MeV for MITICA and 100 keV for SPIDER with a maximum beam current of 40 A for both experiments. The SPIDER facility is classified in Italy as a particle accelerator. At present, the design of the radiation safety system for the facility has been completed and the relevant reports have been presented to the Italian regulatory authorities. Before SPIDER can operate, approval must be obtained from the Italian Regulatory Authority Board (IRAB) following a detailed licensing process. In the present work, the main project information and criteria for the SPIDER injector source are reported together with the analysis of hypothetical accidental situations and safety issues considerations. Neutron and photon nuclear analysis is presented, along with special shielding solutions designed to meet Italian regulatory dose limits. The contribution of activated corrosion products (ACP) to external exposure of workers has also been assessed. Nuclear analysis indicates that the photon contribution to worker external exposure is negligible, and the neutron dose can be considered by far the main radiation protection issue. Our results confirm that the injector has no important radiological impact on the population living around the facility.

  8. Colonization of subterranean habitats by spiders in Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlastimil Růžička

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Using data from the Czech Republic, we studied the distribution of spiders in soils, crevice systems, scree and caves, i.e. subterranean habitats at depths spanning from 10 cm to 100 m. In total, we found 161 species. The number of species declines with increasing habitat depth, with a major drop in species richness at the depth of 10 meters. Thirteen species exhibit morphological adaptations to life in subterranean habitats. At depths greater than 10 meters, spider assemblages are almost exclusively composed of troglomorphic species. We propose a hypothesis of evolution of troglomorphisms at spiders during Quaternary climatic cycles.

  9. Distribution and importance of spiders inhabiting a Brazilian sugar cane plantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabela Maria Piovesan Rinaldi

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna (Araneae of a sugar eane plantation was surveyed monthly by hand colteetion and beating vegetation in sugar cane fields across Botucatu, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Composition and rchness (family and species where identifieation to species was possible microhabitat preferenees were reeorded, and diversity and evenness indices were calculated. A total of 1291 spiders belonging to 73 species and 20 families were collected. The most diverse families were Theridiidae, Salticidae, and Araneidae, and the most abundant ones were Theridiidae, Saltieidae, Anyphaenidae, and Araneidae, Seven species represented 58.6% of the total fauna, with Crysso pulcherrima (Mello-Leitão,1917 (Theridiidae composing 28.2%. About 65% of the spiders occupied the upper part of the plants (above 20 cm. Five spider species were present in the sugar cane throughout crop development. Evidence of spiders feeding on sugar cane pest species was observed.

  10. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A [Department of Tissue Regeneration, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands); Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan [Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Biomedical Centre, Box 575, 751 23 Uppsala (Sweden); Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus [Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, S-751 21 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2010-08-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  11. Spider Silk as Guiding Biomaterial for Human Model Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2 model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  12. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A; Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  13. Martian volcanism: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    Martian volcanism is reviewed. It is emphasized that lava plains constitute the major type of effusive flow, and can be differentiated by morphologic characteristics. Shield volcanoes, domes, and patera constitute the major constructional landforms, and recent work has suggested that explosive activity and resulting pyroclastic deposits may have been involved with formation of some of the small shields. Analysis of morphology, presumed composition, and spectroscopic data all indicate that Martian volcanism was dominantly basaltic in composition

  14. Neural correlation of successful cognitive behaviour therapy for spider phobia: a magnetoencephalography study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Barry; Alderson-Day, Ben; Prendergast, Garreth; Kennedy, Juliette; Bennett, Sophie; Docherty, Mary; Whitton, Clare; Manea, Laura; Gouws, Andre; Tomlinson, Heather; Green, Gary

    2013-12-30

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be an effective treatment for spider phobia, but the underlying neural correlates of therapeutic change are yet to be specified. The present study used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study responses within the first half second, to phobogenic stimuli in a group of individuals with spider phobia prior to treatment (n=12) and then in nine of them following successful CBT (where they could touch and manage live large common house spiders) at least 9 months later. We also compared responses to a group of age-matched healthy control participants (n=11). Participants viewed static photographs of real spiders, other fear-inducing images (e.g. snakes, sharks) and neutral stimuli (e.g. kittens). Beamforming methods were used to localise sources of significant power changes in response to stimuli. Prior to treatment, participants with spider phobia showed a significant maximum response in the right frontal pole when viewing images of real spiders specifically. No significant frontal response was observed for either control participants or participants with spider phobia post-treatment. In addition, participants' subjective ratings of spider stimuli significantly predicted peak responses in right frontal regions. The implications for understanding brain-based effects of cognitive therapies are discussed. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  15. SPIDER: Probing the dawn of time from above the clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moncelsi, Lorenzo; Spider Collaboration

    2017-11-01

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne microwave polarimeter designed to measure cosmological B-modes on degree angular scales in the presence of Galactic foregrounds. With six independent telescopes housing a total of 2000 detectors in the 90 GHz and 150 GHz frequency bands, SPIDER is the most instantaneously-sensitive CMB polarimeter deployed on the sky to date. SPIDER was successfully launched from McMurdo Station, Antarctica in January 2015 and acquired science data for 16 days. We cover the in-flight performance and present highlights from the ongoing data-analysis. After a successful recovery, the SPIDER team is planning the next flight, featuring one foreground-optimized channel at 280GHz, which will allow us constrain the primordial tensor-mode amplitude at the level of r < 0.03 (99% CL), in the presence of foregrounds.

  16. Interpretative bias in spider phobia: Perception and information processing of ambiguous schematic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp

    2015-09-01

    This study investigates the interpretative bias in spider phobia with respect to rapid visuomotor processing. We compared perception, evaluation, and visuomotor processing of ambiguous schematic stimuli between spider-fearful and control participants. Stimuli were produced by gradually morphing schematic flowers into spiders. Participants rated these stimuli related to their perceptual appearance and to their feelings of valence, disgust, and arousal. Also, they responded to the same stimuli within a response priming paradigm that measures rapid motor activation. Spider-fearful individuals showed an interpretative bias (i.e., ambiguous stimuli were perceived as more similar to spiders) and rated spider-like stimuli as more unpleasant, disgusting, and arousing. However, we observed no differences between spider-fearful and control participants in priming effects for ambiguous stimuli. For non-ambiguous stimuli, we observed a similar enhancement for phobic pictures as has been reported previously for natural images. We discuss our findings with respect to the visual representation of morphed stimuli and to perceptual learning processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Who is afraid of a black Spider(-Man?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ora C. McWilliams

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available An Internet post asking about Spider-Man's race in a film turned into an Internet campaign about an actor that led fans to interact with each other as well as with the actor, which in turn led to the attention of media producers, which resulted in a change in Spider-Man's race in a print comic book.

  18. Characteristics of the first recorded spider (Arthropoda: Arachnida fauna from Sheringal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzana Khan Perveen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The spiders (order: Aranae are an important environmental indicator and play a significant role as predators in biological control of the most of the key insect pests. The present study was conducted to establish the characteristics of the first recorded spider fauna from Sheringal, Dir Upper (DU, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, Pakistan during June 2013-July 2014. Their 10 species belong to 7 families, and 10 genera (nt=123: total; ni=77: identified; nui=46: unidentified were recorded in the 6 quadrates, i.e., Daramdala, Doki, Guryaal, Samang, Shahoor and Sia-Sheringal of Sheringal. The largest family was Lycosidae (wolf spiders with respect to size and numbers of specimens collected (n=20, which contained Arctosa littorali Simon, 1897; Hippasa partita Takidar, 1970; Pardosa distincta Backwall, 1867, while the smallest family was Gnphosidae (ground spiders (n=3 with Gnaphosa eucalyptus Ghafoor and Beg, 2002; while other families Sparassidae (huntsman spiders (n=19 Halconia insignis Thorell, 1836, and Isopeda tuhogniga Barrion and Litsinger, 1995, Opilionidae (harvestmen spiders (n=12 Hadrobunus grandis Sundevall, 1833; Pholcidae (cellar spider (n=10 have Crossopriza lyoni Blackwall, 1867; Hersiliidae (two-tailed spiders (n=6 is having Harsilia savignyi Lucas, 1836; (n=5 with Araneus diadematus Clerck, 1757 were recorded. It was concluded that 50% of the spiders collected from the study area were venomous. A detail study is required for further exploration of spider fauna of Sheringal, KP, Pakistan with special reference to their taxonomical, physiological and ecological characteristics.

  19. Status of the CNESM diagnostic for SPIDER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muraro, A.; Croci, G.; Albani, G.; Cazzaniga, C.; Claps, G.; Cavenago, M.; Grosso, G.; Palma, M. Dalla; Fincato, M.; Murtas, F.; Pasqualotto, R.; Cippo, E. Perelli; Rebai, M.; Tollin, M.; Tardocchi, M.; Gorini, G.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We have finished the design of the detector box of the CNESM diagnostic for SPIDER. • We have constructed the GEM detector of the CNESM detector for SPIDER. • We have tested the detector under fast neutron irradiation. - Abstract: The ITER neutral beam test facility under construction in Padova will host two experimental devices: SPIDER, a 100 kV negative H/D RF source, and MITICA, a full scale, 1 MeV deuterium beam injector. A detection system called close-contact neutron emission surface mapping (CNESM) is under development with the aim to resolve the horizontal beam intensity profile in MITICA and one of the eight beamlet groups in SPIDER, with a spatial resolution of 1.5 and 2.5 cm respectively. This is achieved by the evaluation of the map of the neutron emission due to interaction of the deuterium beam with the deuterons implanted in the beam dump surface. CNESM uses nGEM detectors, i.e. GEM detectors equipped with a cathode that also serves as neutron–proton converter foil. The diagnostic will be placed right behind the SPIDER and MITICA beam dump, i.e. in an UHV environment, but the nGEM detectors need to operate at atmospheric pressure: in order to maintain the detector at atmospheric pressure, a vacuum sealed box, that will be mounted inside the vacuum, has been designed. The box design was driven by the need to minimize the neutron attenuation and the distance between the beam dump surface and the detector active area. This paper presents the status of the CNESM diagnostic describing the design of the detector, the design of the sealed box and reporting the results obtained with the first full-size prototype under fast neutron irradiation.

  20. Design of the interlock and protection system for the SPIDER experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pomaro, N.; Grando, L.; Luchetta, A.; Paolucci, F.; Sartori, F.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •A custom designed interlock and protection system for SPIDER experiment is described. •It includes two subsystems implementing slow and fast protection functions. •High reliability PLCs are adopted for slow protection. •Fiber-optic based, custom designed fast logic circuitry is proposed for fast protection. •Accelerators breakdown events are also managed by the fast subsystem. -- Abstract: Unprecedented levels of beam energy and power are required for ITER Neutral Beam Heating systems. SPIDER experiment is an experimental device aimed to test and optimize a full size beam source satisfying ITER requirements. SPIDER experiment operation involves high power, voltage, temperature, and gas pressure. All these critical conditions are present simultaneously, so that any failure if not properly detected and managed is likely to cause severe damage. The Interlock and Protection System is a high-reliability system devoted to the investment protection of SPIDER. Its main purpose is to manage abnormal events occurring in one or more plants in order to minimize adverse consequences. The Interlock System also manages the SPIDER Operating Modes, defining the set and status of the Plants used in the various possible experimental configurations. In addition, the Interlock and Protection System takes care of particular events occurring during normal SPIDER operation, i.e. electrical arcs between accelerator grids, named breakdowns. Their treatment is committed to the Interlock and Protection System, as they need to be managed timely and with absolute reliability like actual faults. To perform the required functions, the Interlock and Protection System is interfaced with most SPIDER plants and with the SPIDER Control and Data Acquisition System. The paper describes the rationale of the protection functions, their implementation in the design and the technical specifications of the system

  1. Symmetric webs, Jones-Wenzl recursions and q-Howe duality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rose, David; Tubbenhauer, Daniel

    We define and study the category of symmetric sl2-webs. This category is a combinatorial description of the category of all finite dimensional quantum sl2-modules. Explicitly, we show that (the additive closure of) the symmetric sl2-spider is (braided monoidally) equivalent to the latter. Our mai...... tool is a quantum version of symmetric Howe duality. As a corollary of our construction, we provide new insight into Jones-Wenzl projectors and the colored Jones polynomials....

  2. Effects of attention manipulations on motivated attention to feared and nonfeared negative distracters in spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norberg, Joakim; Wiens, Stefan

    2013-11-09

    When people view emotional and neutral pictures, the emotional pictures capture more attention than do neutral pictures. In support, studies with event-related potentials have shown that the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP) to emotional versus neutral pictures are enhanced when pictures are attended. However, this motivated attention decreases when voluntary attention is directed away from the pictures. Most previous studies included only generally emotional pictures of either negative or positive valence. Because people with spider fear report intense fear of spiders, we examined whether directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention less strongly for spiders than for generally negative distracters. We recorded event-related potentials from 128 channels to study whether manipulations of attention (i.e., spatial attention and perceptual load) decrease the EPN and the LPP to emotional distracters less strongly for spiders than for fear-irrelevant negative pictures in people with spider fear. Results confirmed that the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) were particularly enhanced in participants with spider fear compared to participants without spider fear. When attention was directed away from the pictures, the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) decreased similarly in fearful and nonfearful participants. Further, in fearful participants, the decrease in the EPN and the LPP was similar for spiders and for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. Our findings suggest that for people with spider fear, directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention to these distracters similarly for spiders as for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. These findings imply that attention to spiders in spider fear does not exceed the level of attention expected from the spider pictures' high arousal and negative valence (i.e., their intrinsic

  3. Dangerous mating systems: signal complexity, signal content and neural capacity in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herberstein, M E; Wignall, A E; Hebets, E A; Schneider, J M

    2014-10-01

    Spiders are highly efficient predators in possession of exquisite sensory capacities for ambushing prey, combined with machinery for launching rapid and determined attacks. As a consequence, any sexually motivated approach carries a risk of ending up as prey rather than as a mate. Sexual selection has shaped courtship to effectively communicate the presence, identity, motivation and/or quality of potential mates, which help ameliorate these risks. Spiders communicate this information via several sensory channels, including mechanical (e.g. vibrational), visual and/or chemical, with examples of multimodal signalling beginning to emerge in the literature. The diverse environments that spiders inhabit have further shaped courtship content and form. While our understanding of spider neurobiology remains in its infancy, recent studies are highlighting the unique and considerable capacities of spiders to process and respond to complex sexual signals. As a result, the dangerous mating systems of spiders are providing important insights into how ecology shapes the evolution of communication systems, with future work offering the potential to link this complex communication with its neural processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Inactivation of complement by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebel, H M; Finke, J H; Elgert, K D; Cambell, B J; Barrett, J T

    1979-07-01

    Zymosan depletion of serum complement in guinea pigs rendered them highly resistant to lesion by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom. Guinea pigs deficient in C4 of the complement system are as sensitive to the venom as normal guinea pigs. The injection of 35 micrograms of whole recluse venom intradermally into guinea pigs lowered their complement level by 35.7%. Brown recluse spider venom in concentrations as slight as 0.02 micrograms protein/ml can totally inactivate one CH50 of guinea pig complement in vitro. Bee, scorpion, and other spider venoms had no influence on the hemolytic titer of complement. Fractionation of recluse spider venom by Sephadex G-200 filtration separated the complement-inactivating property of the venom into three major regions which could be distinguished on the basis of heat stability as well as size. None was neutralized by antivenom. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of venom resolved the complement inactivators into five fractions. Complement inactivated by whole venom or the Sephadex fractions could be restored to hemolytic activity by supplements of fresh serum but not by heat-inactivated serum, pure C3, pure C5, or C3 and C5 in combination.

  5. SPIDER OPTIMIZATION. II. OPTICAL, MAGNETIC, AND FOREGROUND EFFECTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Dea, D. T.; Clark, C. N.; Contaldi, C. R.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Burger, B.; Davis, G.; Benton, S. J.; Bock, J. J.; Crill, B. P.; Dore, O.; Filippini, J. P.; Bond, J. R.; Farhang, M.; Bonetti, J. A.; Bryan, S.; Chiang, H. C.; Fraisse, A. A.; Fissel, L. M.; Gandilo, N. N.

    2011-01-01

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne instrument designed to map the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with degree-scale resolution over a large fraction of the sky. SPIDER's main goal is to measure the amplitude of primordial gravitational waves through their imprint on the polarization of the CMB if the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, is greater than 0.03. To achieve this goal, instrumental systematic errors must be controlled with unprecedented accuracy. Here, we build on previous work to use simulations of SPIDER observations to examine the impact of several systematic effects that have been characterized through testing and modeling of various instrument components. In particular, we investigate the impact of the non-ideal spectral response of the half-wave plates, coupling between focal-plane components and Earth's magnetic field, and beam mismatches and asymmetries. We also present a model of diffuse polarized foreground emission based on a three-dimensional model of the Galactic magnetic field and dust, and study the interaction of this foreground emission with our observation strategy and instrumental effects. We find that the expected level of foreground and systematic contamination is sufficiently low for SPIDER to achieve its science goals.

  6. The Spider Files

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, James; Dominguez, Lynn

    2012-01-01

    As children develop misconceptions about animals they believe are dangerous, they also adopt attitudes that are difficult to change. Changing these attitudes is challenging for teachers. One animal that is easy to find but difficult for children to understand is a spider. As with most wild animals, they are difficult to teach about because…

  7. Structure-function-property-design interplay in biopolymers: spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L

    2014-04-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Inhibition of the spider heartbeat by gravity and vibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finck, A.

    1984-01-01

    The rate and vigor of the spider heartbeat is controlled by an external pacemaker. A mechanical feature of the spider cardio-vascular system is the production of high serum pressure in the prosoma and the legs. This appears to be the source for leg extension. The lyriform organ on the patella of the leg is sensitive to vibratory and kinesthetic stimuli. This sensitivity depends upon the degree of leg extension. Thus the activity of the heart and the response characteristics of the sense receptor are related. The effect of a supra-threshold vibratory or gravitational stimulus is to produce an inhibition and a tachycardia of the spider heartbeat.

  9. Ineffective crypsis in a crab spider: a prey community perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brechbühl, Rolf; Casas, Jérôme; Bacher, Sven

    2010-03-07

    Cryptic coloration is assumed to be beneficial to predators because of an increased encounter rate with unwary prey. This hypothesis is, however, very rarely, if ever, studied in the field. The aim of this study was to quantify the encounter rate and capture success of an ambush predator, in the field, as a function of its level of colour-matching with the background. We used the crab spider Misumena vatia, which varies its body colour and can thereby match the colour of the flower it hunts upon. We carried out a manipulative field experiment using a complete factorial design resulting in six different colour combinations of crab spiders and flowers differing in their degree of colour-matching. A rich and diverse set of naturally occurring insects visited the flowers while we continuously video-recorded the spider's foraging activity. This enabled us to test the crypsis, the spider avoidance and the flower visitor attraction hypotheses, all three supported by previous studies. Flower visitors of different groups either avoided crab spiders independent of colour-matching, such as solitary bees and syrphid flies, or ignored them, such as bumble-bees and honeybees. Moreover, colour-matched spiders did not have a higher encounter rate and capture success compared to the visually apparent ones. Thus, our results support the spider avoidance hypothesis, reject the two other hypotheses and uncovered a fourth behaviour: indifference to predators. Because flower visitors reacted differently, a community approach is mandatory in order to understand the function of background colour-matching in generalist predators. We discuss our results in relation to the size and sociality of the prey and in relation to the functional significance of colour change in this predator.

  10. Three newly recorded Linyphiid spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae from Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Yeon Lee

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Three Linyphiid spiders, Caviphantes pseudosaxetorum Wunderlich, 1979, Erigone edentata Saito and Ono, 2001, and Savignia kawachiensis Oi, 1960, are reported for the first time from Korea with taxonomic illustrations and redescription. In this study, the genus Caviphantes Oi, 1960 is also newly recorded to Korean spider fauna.

  11. First report of clinical presentation of a bite by a running spider ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article describes the clinical progression of symptoms over a period of 5 days of a bite inflicted by a Philodromus sp. spider. Commonly known as 'running spiders', these are not considered to be harmful to humans. This report, however, is the first description of an actual bite by a member of this group of spiders ...

  12. SPIDER: Probing the Early Universe with a Suborbital Polarimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraisse, Aurélien A.; SPIDER Collaboration

    2012-01-01

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne polarimeter designed to detect a divergence-free polarization pattern ("B-modes") in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). In the inflationary scenario, the spectrum of the tensor perturbations that generate this signal is proportional to that of the primordial scalar perturbations through the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. The expected level of systematic error in the SPIDER instrument is significantly below the amplitude of an interesting cosmological B-mode signal with r=0.03. An optimized scanning strategy enables us to minimize uncertainty in the reconstruction of the Stokes parameters used to characterize the CMB, while providing access to a relatively wide range of angular scales. In the SPIDER field, the polarized emission from interstellar dust is as bright or brighter than the cosmological r=0.03 B-mode signal at all SPIDER frequencies (90, 150, and 280 GHz), a situation similar to that found in the "Southern Hole." Despite this foreground contamination, two 20-day flights of the SPIDER instrument will constrain the amplitude of the B-mode signal to rAPRA-NNX07AL64G), the National Science Foundation (ANT-1043515), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Support in Canada is provided by NSERC, the Canadian Space Agency, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and CIFAR.

  13. Yamato 980459: Crystallization of Martian Magnesian Magma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, E.; Mikouchi, T.; McKay, G.; Monkawa, A.; Chokai, J.; Miyamoto, M.

    2004-01-01

    Recently, several basaltic shergottites have been found that include magnesian olivines as a major minerals. These have been called olivinephyric shergottites. Yamato 980459, which is a new martian meteorite recovered from the Antarctica by the Japanese Antarctic expedition, is one of them. This meteorite is different from other olivine-phyric shergottites in several key features and will give us important clues to understand crystallization of martian meteorites and the evolution of Martian magma.

  14. Spider (Araneae) predations on white-backed planthopper Sogatella furcifera in subtropical rice ecosystems, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xue-Qin; Wang, Guang-Hua; Zhu, Zeng-Rong; Tang, Qi-Yi; Hu, Yang; Qiao, Fei; Heong, Kong Luen; Cheng, Jia-An

    2017-06-01

    Spiders are effective biological control agents in rice ecosystems, but the comparative study of predations among main spider species under field conditions has not been fully explored owing to a lack of practical methodology. In this study, more than 6000 spiders of dominant species were collected from subtropical rice ecosystems to compare their predations on Sogatella furcifera (Horváth) (white-backed planthopper, WBPH) using DNA-based gut content analysis. The positive rates for all spider taxa were closely related to prey densities, as well as their behaviors and niches. The relationships of positive rates to prey planthopper densities for Pardosa pseudoannulata (Böes. et Str.), Coleosoma octomaculata (Böes. et Str.), Tetragnatha maxillosa Thorell and Ummeliata insecticeps (Böes. et Str.) under field conditions could be described using saturated response curves. Quantitative comparisons of predations among the four spider species confirmed that P. pseudoannulata and C. octomaculata were more rapacious than U. insecticeps and T. maxillosa under field conditions. A comparison of ratio of spiders to WBPH and positive rates between fields revealed that biological control by spiders could be effectively integrated with variety resistance. Generalist spiders could follow up WBPH population timely, and assemblages of spiders coupled with variety resistance could effectively suppress WBPH population. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  15. PATHWAYS TO SPIDER PHOBIA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MERCKELBACH, H; ARNTZ, A; ARRINDELL, WA; DEJONG, PJ

    Using a revised version of the Phobic Origin Questionnaire (POQ; Ost, L. G. & Hugdahl, K. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 19,439-477; 1981), the present study examined whether conditioning experiences, modeling experiences, and/or informational learning experiences were more often reported by spider

  16. Evolutionary morphology of the hemolymph vascular system of basal araneomorph spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huckstorf, Katarina; Michalik, Peter; Ramírez, Martín; Wirkner, Christian S

    2015-11-01

    The superfamily Austrochiloidea (Austrochilidae and Gradungulidae) take a pivotal position in araneomorph spider phylogeny. In this discussion crevice weaver spiders (Filistatidae) are of equal interest. Especially data from these phylogenetically uncertain yet basal off branching groups can enlighten our understanding on the evolution of organ systems. In the course of a survey on the evolutionary morphology of the circulatory system in spiders we therefore investigated the hemolymph vascular system in two austrochiloid and one filistatid species. Additionally some data on a hypochilid and a gradungulid species are included. Using up-to-date morphological methods, the vascular systems in these spiders are visualized three dimensionally. Ground pattern features of the circulatory systems in austrochiloid spiders are presented and the data discussed along recent lines of phylogenetic hypotheses. Special topics highlighted are the intraspecific variability of the origins of some prosomal arteries and the evolutionary correlation of respiratory and circulatory systems in spiders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Captive spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) arm-raise to solicit allo-grooming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheel, Matthew H; Edwards, Dori

    2012-03-01

    Old World monkeys solicit allo-grooming from conspecifics. However, there are relatively few studies of allo-grooming among spider monkeys, and descriptions of allo-grooming solicitation among spider monkeys are anecdotal. In this study, eighty-one hours of video, shot over eight weeks, captured 271 allo-grooming bouts among small groups of captive spider monkeys. Six of eight monkeys made heretofore unreported arm-raises that solicited higher than normal rates of allo-grooming. Allo-grooming bout durations following arm-raises also tended to be longer than bouts not preceded by arm-raises. The efficacy of the arm-raise at soliciting allo-grooming suggests spider monkeys are capable of intentional communication. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Vision in the nocturnal wandering spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae: Sparassidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Thomas; Nilsson, Dan-Eric; Henschel, Joh R

    2008-01-01

    At night the Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola performs long-distance homing across its sand dune habitat. By disabling all or pairs of the spiders' eight eyes we found that homing ability was severely reduced when vision was fully abolished. Vision, therefore, seems to play a key role...... in the posterior and anteriomedian eyes, and at approximately 540 nm in the anteriolateral eyes. Theoretical calculations of photon catches showed that the eyes are likely to employ a combination of spatial and temporal pooling in order to function at night. Under starlit conditions, the raw spatial and temporal...... resolution of the eyes is insufficient for detecting any visual information on structures in the landscape, and bright stars would be the only objects visible to the spiders. However, by summation in space and time, the spiders can rescue enough vision to detect coarse landscape structures. We show that L...

  19. Recombinant Spider Silks—Biopolymers with Potential for Future Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Scheibel

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Nature has evolved a range of materials that compete with man-made materials in physical properties; one of these is spider silk. Silk is a fibrous material that exhibits extremely high strength and toughness with regard to its low density. In this review we discuss the molecular structure of spider silk and how this understanding has allowed the development of recombinant silk proteins that mimic the properties of natural spider silks. Additionally, we will explore the material morphologies and the applications of these proteins. Finally, we will look at attempts to combine the silk structure with chemical polymers and how the structure of silk has inspired the engineering of novel polymers.

  20. Impact of prescribed burning on a heathland inhabiting spider community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krause, Rolf Harald

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Heathlands can provide refuge for many stenotopic and endangered arthropods, if habitat management practices are applied. A management measure that is rarely being used today, but which has the potential to support diversity of arthropod communities, is prescribed burning. In this study we investigated the effects of prescribed burning on spider assemblages on a burned site with Calluna vulgaris in the nature reserve Lueneburg Heath, northwest Germany. We used pitfall trapping with a sampling design of 39 traps over a period of one year and 17 sampling intervals on a burned and a control site. We compared overall species richness, activity abundance patterns and community composition of the two sites, with a particular focus on stenotopic and endangered species. We collected 5116 adult spiders and 99 species altogether in a relatively small sampling area. This number of species represents nearly one third of the regional species pool of heathland spider species. Twelve species occurred exclusively on the burned site in contrast to 28 species exclusively found on the unburned site. Although we found more than twice as many spider individuals and higher mean species richness on the control site than on the burned site, the species richness of red-listed spiders was higher on the burned site. Especially the fact that we found 24 endangered species on the burned site and only 20 on the control site indicates that the applied measure of prescribed burning can foster certain endangered spider species and contribute to preserving the overall biodiversity of heathland ecosystems.

  1. Synthetic Spider Silk Production on a Laboratory Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Pacheco, Ryan; Kohler, Kristin; Jeffery, Felicia; Vierra, Craig

    2012-01-01

    As society progresses and resources become scarcer, it is becoming increasingly important to cultivate new technologies that engineer next generation biomaterials with high performance properties. The development of these new structural materials must be rapid, cost-efficient and involve processing methodologies and products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Spiders spin a multitude of different fiber types with diverse mechanical properties, offering a rich source of next generation engineering materials for biomimicry that rival the best manmade and natural materials. Since the collection of large quantities of natural spider silk is impractical, synthetic silk production has the ability to provide scientists with access to an unlimited supply of threads. Therefore, if the spinning process can be streamlined and perfected, artificial spider fibers have the potential use for a broad range of applications ranging from body armor, surgical sutures, ropes and cables, tires, strings for musical instruments, and composites for aviation and aerospace technology. In order to advance the synthetic silk production process and to yield fibers that display low variance in their material properties from spin to spin, we developed a wet-spinning protocol that integrates expression of recombinant spider silk proteins in bacteria, purification and concentration of the proteins, followed by fiber extrusion and a mechanical post-spin treatment. This is the first visual representation that reveals a step-by-step process to spin and analyze artificial silk fibers on a laboratory scale. It also provides details to minimize the introduction of variability among fibers spun from the same spinning dope. Collectively, these methods will propel the process of artificial silk production, leading to higher quality fibers that surpass natural spider silks. PMID:22847722

  2. SPIDERS (ARANEI OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH OSSETIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander V. Ponomarev

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. Until recently, spider fauna of the Republic of South Ossetia has been the least studied among the regional araneofaunas of the Caucasus. According to the literature data, as little as 30 spider species have been known from the republic’s territory (Mkheidze, 1997, Mikhailov, 1990; Ponomarev, Dvadnenko, 2013; Trilicauscas, Komarov, 2014. Therefore, the aim of the present article is to summarize available data on the spider fauna of South Ossetia.Location. Republic of South Ossetia.Methods. The material was collected in various districts of South Ossetia in 2011-2014 by Yu.E. Komarov. Mainly, the collecting was performed in the city of Tskhinvali and its environs, and in the South Ossetian State Reserve. Spiders were sampled with pitfall traps and sweep netting. The time of traps’ exposure is April–December.Results and main conclusions. To date, the spider fauna of the Republic of South Ossetia includes 230 species from 29 families. 222 species were registered by the authors, eight species (Clubiona pseudosimilis, Gnaphosa lugubris, Linyphia hortensis, Neriene peltata, Geolycosa vultuosa, Pardosa azerifalcata, Ero aphana, and Philodromus rufus are known from the literature only. Seven species are new to the Caucasus (Clubiona pseudosimilis, Gnaphosa lugubris, Linyphia hortensis, Neriene peltata, Geolycosa vultuosa, Pardosa azerifalcata, Ero aphana, and Philodromus rufus. Of these, two species were known earlier only from Turkey (Pardosa consimilis, Ozyptila spirembolus, and one species (Tegenaria pseudolyncea only from Azerbaijan. Against the background of the widespread species predominance, the Caucasian element is small and presented by twelve species (Tegenaria pseudolyncea, Dysdera tkibuliensis, Haplodrassus caucasius, Zelotes khostensis, Mansuphantes ovalis, Sintula oseticus, Tenuiphantes teberdaensis, Pardosa azerifalcata, P. caucasica, Piratula hurkai, Trochosa cachetiensis, and Xysticus ukrainicus.

  3. Spider mite control and resistance management: does a genome help?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Leeuwen, T.; Dermauw, W.; Grbic, M.; Tirry, L.; Feyereisen, R.

    2012-01-01

    The complete genome of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, has been reported. This is the first sequenced genome of a highly polyphagous and resistant agricultural pest. The question as to what the genome offers the community working on spider mite control is addressed.

  4. Intersexual Trophic Niche Partitioning in an Ant-Eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekár, Stanislav; Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.

    2011-01-01

    lead to higher energy demands in females driven by fecundity selection, while males invest in mate searching. We tested predictions of the two hypotheses underlying intersexual trophic niche partitioning in a natural population of spiders. Zodarion jozefienae spiders specialize on Messor barbarus ants...... that are polymorphic in body size and hence comprise potential trophic niches for the spider, making this system well-suited to study intersexual trophic niche partitioning. Methodology/Principal Findings Comparative analysis of trophic morphology (the chelicerae) and body size of males, females and juveniles...... demonstrated highly female biased SSD (Sexual Size Dimorphism) in body size, body weight, and in the size of chelicerae, the latter arising from sex-specific growth patterns in trophic morphology. In the field, female spiders actively selected ant sub-castes that were larger than the average prey size...

  5. Association of spiders and lichen on Robben Island, South Africa: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Mukherjee

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study is a firstrecord of spider occurrence on Robben Island, South Africa. Some habitats were rich in lichens. As we know, lichens enhance wildlife habitat in less direct ways. The objective of the study was to examine the potential importance of lichens in enriching spider diversity and abundance. A total of 260 spiders (170 from lichens and 90 from bush were collected following the visual search method over one year. Seasonal trends in overall species richness and abundance indicated that the relative density of spiders was greater in lichens than in bushes. The result suggests that habitat structure, such as branch size and epiphytic lichen abundance, can be an explanation for the greater number of spiders in lichen-rich patches of the island.

  6. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-11-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. © 2013 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  7. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  8. Spider-silk-like shape memory polymer fiber for vibration damping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Qianxi; Li, Guoqiang

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the static and dynamic properties of shape memory polyurethane (SMPU) fiber are reported and compared to those of spider dragline silk. Although the polymeric fiber has a lower strength compared to spider dragline silks (0.2–0.3 GPa versus 1.1 GPa), it possesses much higher toughness (276–289 MJ m −3 versus 160 MJ m −3 ), due to its excellent extensibility. The dynamic mechanical tests reveal that SMPU fiber has a high damping capacity (tan δ = 0.10–0.35) which is comparable to or even higher than that of spider silks (tan δ = 0.15). In addition, we found that, different programming methods change the shape memory and damping properties of the fiber in different ways and cold-drawing programming is more advocated in structural applications. These results suggest that the SMPU fiber has similar vibration damping and mechanical properties as spider silk, and may find applications in lightweight engineering structures. (paper)

  9. Plasticity in Major Ampullate Silk Production in Relation to Spider Phylogeny and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutry, Cecilia; Řezáč, Milan; Blackledge, Todd Alan

    2011-01-01

    Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions) between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve. PMID:21818328

  10. Plasticity in major ampullate silk production in relation to spider phylogeny and ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Boutry

    Full Text Available Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve.

  11. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  12. Martian Gullies: H2O or CO2 snow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yolanda, C.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2007-05-01

    The theories proposed to try to explain the origin of the Martian gullies involve either liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We propose another processes that can be favorable for the origin of the Martian gullies, with our model by gaseous fluidification of CO2. We propose that on the Martian slopes, CO2 snow and dust transported by winds, are accumulate. During the Martian spring, sublimation of carbonic snow starts because of heat and weigth of the frezze layer, causing that the material mixed its fluidifized and slide downslope by gravity. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air inside the granular material. We also present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compared them with some Martian gullies, to identify possible processes evolved in its formation. We measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 meters to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material and our field trip to Nevado de Toluca Volcano.

  13. Hydrological and Climatic Significance of Martian Deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Achille, G.; Vaz, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    We a) review the geomorphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of the martian deltas record and b) present the results of a quantitative study of the hydrology and sedimentology of martian deltas using modified version of terrestrial model Sedflux.

  14. Spider diversity in relation to habitat heterogeneity and an altitudinal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Using pitfall traps, wandering spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) were sampled in a nested design from three different localities in the mountainous arid ecosystem of South Sinai at low, middle, and high altitudes. Habitat type and altitude were clearly different among the three localities. Spider diversity per trap varied spatially ...

  15. Species replacement by a nonnative salmonid alters ecosystem function by reducing prey subsidies that support riparian spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, J.R.; Fausch, K.D.; Baxter, C.V.

    2011-01-01

    Replacement of a native species by a nonnative can have strong effects on ecosystem function, such as altering nutrient cycling or disturbance frequency. Replacements may cause shifts in ecosystem function because nonnatives establish at different biomass, or because they differ from native species in traits like foraging behavior. However, no studies have compared effects of wholesale replacement of a native by a nonnative species on subsidies that support consumers in adjacent habitats, nor quantified the magnitude of these effects. We examined whether streams invaded by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in two regions of the Rocky Mountains, USA, produced fewer emerging adult aquatic insects compared to paired streams with native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii), and whether riparian spiders that depend on these prey were less abundant along streams with lower total insect emergence. As predicted, emergence density was 36% lower from streams with the nonnative fish. Biomass of brook trout was higher than the cutthroat trout they replaced, but even after accounting for this difference, emergence was 24% lower from brook trout streams. More riparian spiders were counted along streams with greater total emergence across the water surface. Based on these results, we predicted that brook trout replacement would result in 6-20% fewer spiders in the two regions. When brook trout replace cutthroat trout, they reduce cross-habitat resource subsidies and alter ecosystem function in stream-riparian food webs, not only owing to increased biomass but also because traits apparently differ from native cutthroat trout. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  16. A web in the patriarchal clan system: tactics of intimate partners in the Japanese sociocultural context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshihama, Mieko

    2005-10-01

    Only recently has Japanese society come to realize the magnitude of domestic violence as a serious social problem. Using focus group methodology, this study investigated the function and the sociocultural reinforcements of male partner violence. The analysis of the participants' accounts of various types of violence their partners perpetrated, which were accompanied by an elaborate collection of tactics to reinforce the effects of the violence, has led to the conceptualization of partners' violence as a spider web. The Japanese patriarchal clan system and underlying ideology of male superiority fosters the maintenance of this web.

  17. Can ant-eating Zodarion spiders (Araneae: Zodariidae) develop on a diet optimal for euryphagous arthropod predators?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekar, Stano; Toft, Søren

    2009-01-01

    . Such adaptations may then entail trade-offs in handling and utilization of alternative prey. To investigate behavioural as well as nutritional adaptations and the occurrence of the corresponding trade-offs in two ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion [Zodarion atlanticum Pekár & Cardoso and Zodarion germanicum...... (C. L. Koch)], spiders are reared on two diets: ants (i.e. their preferred prey) and fruit flies (i.e. an alternative prey that is nutritionally optimal for euryphagous spiders). Food consumption is observed and several fitness-related life-history parameters are measured. Although spiders readily...... accept ants, more than one-third of 35 spiders refuse to consume fruit flies and starve. Furthermore, severe hunger does not induce these individuals to accept fruit flies. Starving spiders die before moulting to the second stadium. Spiders that eat fruit flies increase only little and slowly in weight...

  18. Comparative growth and development of spiders reared on live and dead prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yu; Zhang, Fan; Gui, Shaolan; Qiao, Huping; Hose, Grant C

    2013-01-01

    Scavenging (feeding on dead prey) has been demonstrated across a number of spider families, yet the implications of feeding on dead prey for the growth and development of individuals and population is unknown. In this study we compare the growth, development, and predatory activity of two species of spiders that were fed on live and dead prey. Pardosa astrigera (Lycosidae) and Hylyphantes graminicola (Lyniphiidae) were fed live or dead fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. The survival of P. astrigera and H. graminicola was not affected by prey type. The duration of late instars of P. astrigera fed dead prey were longer and mature spiders had less protein content than those fed live prey, whereas there were no differences in the rate of H. graminicola development, but the mass of mature spiders fed dead prey was greater than those fed live prey. Predation rates by P. astrigera did not differ between the two prey types, but H. graminicola had a higher rate of predation on dead than alive prey, presumably because the dead flies were easier to catch and handle. Overall, the growth, development and reproduction of H. graminicola reared with dead flies was better than those reared on live flies, yet for the larger P. astrigera, dead prey may suit smaller instars but mature spiders may be best maintained with live prey. We have clearly demonstrated that dead prey may be suitable for rearing spiders, although the success of the spiders fed such prey appears size- and species specific.

  19. Detection and phylogenetic analysis of bacteriophage WO in spiders (Araneae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qian; Qiao, Huping; Gao, Jin; Yun, Yueli; Liu, Fengxiang; Peng, Yu

    2015-11-01

    Phage WO is a bacteriophage found in Wolbachia. Herein, we represent the first phylogenetic study of WOs that infect spiders (Araneae). Seven species of spiders (Araneus alternidens, Nephila clavata, Hylyphantes graminicola, Prosoponoides sinensis, Pholcus crypticolens, Coleosoma octomaculatum, and Nurscia albofasciata) from six families were infected by Wolbachia and WO, followed by comprehensive sequence analysis. Interestingly, WO could be only detected Wolbachia-infected spiders. The relative infection rates of those seven species of spiders were 75, 100, 88.9, 100, 62.5, 72.7, and 100 %, respectively. Our results indicated that both Wolbachia and WO were found in three different body parts of N. clavata, and WO could be passed to the next generation of H. graminicola by vertical transmission. There were three different sequences for WO infected in A. alternidens and two different WO sequences from C. octomaculatum. Only one sequence of WO was found for the other five species of spiders. The discovered sequence of WO ranged from 239 to 311 bp. Phylogenetic tree was generated using maximum likelihood (ML) based on the orf7 gene sequences. According to the phylogenetic tree, WOs in N. clavata and H. graminicola were clustered in the same group. WOs from A. alternidens (WAlt1) and C. octomaculatum (WOct2) were closely related to another clade, whereas WO in P. sinensis was classified as a sole cluster.

  20. Riparian spiders as sentinels of PCB contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems. However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the ...

  1. Ecosystem services in the face of invasion: the persistence of native and nonnative spiders in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogg, Brian N; Daane, Kent M

    2011-03-01

    The presence of intact natural ecosystems in agricultural landscapes can mitigate losses in the diversity of natural enemies and enhance ecosystem services. However, native natural enemies may fail to persist in agroecosystems if invaders dominate species interactions. In this study, native and nonnative spiders were sampled along transects that extended from oak woodland and riparian zones into surrounding California vineyards, to assess the role of natural habitat as a source for spider biodiversity in the vineyard landscape, and to compare the dominance of exotic Cheiracanthium spiders between habitats. Many spider species were more abundant in natural habitat than in vineyards, and numbers of spiders and spider species within vineyards were higher at the vineyard edge adjacent to oak woodland. These results suggest that natural habitat is a key source for spiders in vineyards. The positive effect of oak woodland on the vineyard spider community extended only to the vineyard edge, however. Proportions of Cheiracanthium spiders increased dramatically in the vineyard, while numbers of native wandering spiders (the native ecological homologues of Cheiracanthium spiders) decreased. Dispersal limitation and strong habitat preferences may have prevented native wandering spiders from establishing far from the vineyard edge. Exotic Cheiracanthium spiders, in contrast, may possess specific adaptations to vineyards or to a wide range of habitats. Results suggest that the ecosystem services provided by intact natural habitat may be limited in agricultural landscapes that are dominated by invasive species.

  2. Functional Group of Spiders in Cultivated Landscape Dominated by Paddy Fields in West Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I WAYAN SUANA

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of spiders in all colonized environments is limited by biotic and abiotic factors requiring adaptations with respect to, for example microhabitat choice and hunting behavior. These two factors were frequently used to group spiders into functional groups. In this study our objectives were to (i group of genera of spiders into functional group based on their microhabitat specificity, hunting behavior, and daily activity; and (ii compare the number and composition of functional group of spider at each habitat type and period of paddy growth. The study was conducted at a landscape dominated by paddy fields in Cianjur Watershed for a period of 9 months. Four different habitat types (paddy, vegetable, non-crop, and mixed garden, were sampled using five trapping techniques (pitfall traps, farmcop suction, sweep netting, yellow-pan traps, and sticky traps. The Unweighted Pair-Group Average and the Euclidean Distances were used to generate dendrogram of functional group of spider. We found 14 functional groups of spider at genus level. The number of functional group of spider at four habitat types was differing, but the composition was similar, because all habitats were closed to each other. Habitat structure diversity and disturbance level influenced the number of functional group of spider. Different architecture of vegetation and availability of differ prey during paddy growth, causing the composition of functional group of spider in each period of paddy growth was changed, although its number was unchanged.

  3. Formation of primary sperm conjugates in a haplogyne spider (Caponiidae, Araneae) with remarks on the evolution of sperm conjugation in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipke, Elisabeth; Michalik, Peter

    2012-11-01

    Sperm conjugation, where two or more sperm are physically united, is a rare but widespread pheno-menon across the animal kingdom. One group well known for its different types of sperm conjugation are spiders. Particularly, haplogyne spiders show a high diversity of sperm traits. Besides individual cleistospermia, primary (synspermia) and secondary (coenospermia, "spermatophore") sperm conjugation occurs. However, the evolution of sperm conjugates and sperm is not understood in this group. Here, we look at how sperm are transferred in Caponiidae (Haplogynae) in pursuit of additional information about the evolution of sperm transfer forms in spiders. Additionally, we investigated the male reproductive system and spermatozoa using light- and transmission electron-microscopy and provide a 3D reconstruction of individual as of well as conjugated spermatozoa. Mature spermatozoa are characterized by an extremely elongated, helical nucleus resulting in the longest spider sperm known to date. At the end of spermiogenesis, synspermia are formed by complete fusion of four spermatids. Thus, synspermia might have evolved early within ecribellate Haplogynae. The fused sperm cells are surrounded by a prominent vesicular area. The function of the vesicular area remains still unknown but might be correlated with the capacitation process inside the female. Further phylogenetic and functional implications of the spermatozoa and sperm conjugation are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Species richness and composition assessment of spiders in a Mediterranean scrubland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bondoso Cardoso, Pedro Miguel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; Gaspar, Clara

    2009-01-01

    Intensive fieldwork has been undertaken in Portugal in order to develop a standardized and optimized sampling protocol for Mediterranean spiders. The present study had the objectives of testing the use of semi-quantitative sampling for obtaining an exhaustive species richness assessment of spiders...

  5. Methods of assembling and disassembling spider and burnable poison rod structures for nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, G.T.; Schluderberg, D.C.

    1981-01-01

    A technique is provided for engaging and disengaging burnable poison rods from a spider in a nuclear reactor fuel assembly. A cap on the end of each of the burnable poison rods is provided with a shank or stem that is received in a respective bore formed in the spider. A frangible flange secures the shank and rod to the spider. Pressing the shank in the direction of the bore axis by means, e.g., of a plate ruptures the frangible flange to release the rod from the spider. (author)

  6. Repeated Evolution of Power-Amplified Predatory Strikes in Trap-Jaw Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Hannah M; Parkinson, Dilworth Y; Griswold, Charles E; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Elias, Damian O

    2016-04-25

    Small animals possess intriguing morphological and behavioral traits that allow them to capture prey, including innovative structural mechanisms that produce ballistic movements by amplifying power [1-6]. Power amplification occurs when an organism produces a relatively high power output by releasing slowly stored energy almost instantaneously, resulting in movements that surpass the maximal power output of muscles [7]. For example, trap-jaw, power-amplified mechanisms have been described for several ant genera [5, 8], which have evolved some of the fastest known movements in the animal kingdom [6]. However, power-amplified predatory strikes were not previously known in one of the largest animal classes, the arachnids. Mecysmaucheniidae spiders, which occur only in New Zealand and southern South America, are tiny, cryptic, ground-dwelling spiders that rely on hunting rather than web-building to capture prey [9]. Analysis of high-speed video revealed that power-amplified mechanisms occur in some mecysmaucheniid species, with the fastest species being two orders of magnitude faster than the slowest species. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that power-amplified cheliceral strikes have evolved four times independently within the family. Furthermore, we identified morphological innovations that directly relate to cheliceral function: a highly modified carapace in which the cheliceral muscles are oriented horizontally; modification of a cheliceral sclerite to have muscle attachments; and, in the power-amplified species, a thicker clypeus and clypeal apodemes. These structural innovations may have set the stage for the parallel evolution of ballistic predatory strikes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The spider Harpactea sadistica: co-evolution of traumatic insemination and complex female genital morphology in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezác, Milan

    2009-08-07

    The males of invertebrates from a few phyla, including arthropods, have been reported to practise traumatic insemination (TI; i.e. injecting sperm by using the copulatory organ to penetrate the female's body wall). As all previously reported arthropod examples have been insects, there is considerable interest in whether TI might have evolved independently in other arthropods. The research reported here demonstrates the first case of TI in the arthropod subphylum Chelicerata, in particular how the genital morphology and mating behaviour of Harpactea sadistica (Rezác 2008), a spider from Israel, has become adapted specifically for reproduction based on TI. Males have needle-like intromittent organs and females have atrophied spermathecae. In other spiders, eggs are fertilized simultaneously with oviposition, but the eggs of H. sadistica are fertilized in the ovaries (internal fertilization) and develop as embryos before being laid. Sperm-storage organs of phylogenetically basal groups to H. sadistica provide males with last male sperm priority and allow removal of sperm by males that mate later, suggesting that TI might have evolved as an adaptive strategy to circumvent an unfavourable structure of the sperm-storage organs, allowing the first male to mate with paternity advantage. Understanding the functional significance of TI gives us insight into factors underlying the evolution of the genital and sperm-storage morphology in spiders.

  8. Good reasons to leave home: proximate dispersal cues in a social spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger-Tal, Reut; Berner-Aharon, Na'ama; Aharon, Shlomi; Tuni, Cristina; Lubin, Yael

    2016-07-01

    Natal dispersal is a successful tactic under a range of conditions in spite of significant costs. Habitat quality is a frequent proximate cause of dispersal, and studies have shown that dispersal increases both when natal habitat quality is good or poor. In social species kin competition, favouring dispersal may be balanced by the benefits of group living, favouring philopatry. We investigated the effect of changes in the local environment on natal dispersal of adult females in a social spider species, Stegodyphus dumicola (Araneae, Eresidae), with a flexible breeding system, where females can breed either within the colony or individually following dispersal. We manipulated foraging opportunities in colonies by either removing the capture webs or by adding prey and recorded the number of dispersing females around each focal colony, and their survival and reproductive success. We predicted that increasing kin competition should increase dispersal of less-competitive individuals, while reducing competition could cause either less dispersal (less competition) or more dispersal (a cue indicating better chances to establish a new colony). Dispersal occurred earlier and at a higher rate in both food-augmented and web-removal colonies than in control colonies. Fewer dispersing females survived and reproduced in the web-removal group than in the control or food-augmented groups. The results support our prediction that worsening conditions in web-removal colonies favour dispersal, whereby increased kin competition and increased energy expenditure on web renewal cause females to leave the natal colony. By contrast, prey augmentation may serve as a habitat-quality cue; when the surrounding habitat is expected to be of high quality, females assess the potential benefit of establishing a new colony to be greater than the costs of dispersal. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  9. Beneficial Effects of Ants and Spiders on the Reproductive Value of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) in a Tropical Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefani, Vanessa; Pires, Tayna Lopes; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena Maura; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2015-01-01

    Predators affect plant fitness when they forage on them and reduce the action of herbivores. Our study evaluates the complementary effects of spiders and ants that visit the extrafloral nectaries of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) on the production of fruits and viable seeds of these savanna trees. Four experimental groups were established: control group - with free access of spiders and ants; exclusion group - spiders and ants excluded; ant group - absence of spiders; and spider group - absence of ants. The presence of ants reduced the spider richness; however, the presence of spiders did not affect the ant richness. A significantly higher number of fruits per buds were found in the presence of spiders alone or spiders and ants together (control group) compared with the absence of both predators (exclusion group). The number of seeds per fruits and seed viability were higher in the control group. This is the first study showing that spiders and ants may exert a positive and complementary effect on the reproductive value of an extrafloral nectaried plant. Mostly the impact of ants and/or spiders on herbivores is considered, whereas our study reinforces the importance of evaluating the effect of multiple predators simultaneously, exploring how the interactions among predators with distinct skills may affect the herbivores and the plants on which they forage.

  10. David and Goliath: potent venom of an ant-eating spider (Araneae) enables capture of a giant prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, Stano; Šedo, Onřej; Líznarová, Eva; Korenko, Stanislav; Zdráhal, Zdeněk

    2014-07-01

    It is rare to find a true predator that repeatedly and routinely kills prey larger than itself. A solitary specialised ant-eating spider of the genus Zodarion can capture a relatively giant prey. We studied the trophic niche of this spider species and investigated its adaptations (behavioural and venomic) that are used to capture ants. We found that the spider captures mainly polymorphic Messor arenarius ants. Adult female spiders captured large morphs while tiny juveniles captured smaller morphs, yet in both cases ants were giant in comparison with spider size. All specimens used an effective prey capture strategy that protected them from ant retaliation. Juvenile and adult spiders were able to paralyse their prey using a single bite. The venom glands of adults were more than 50 times larger than those of juvenile spiders, but the paralysis latency of juveniles was 1.5 times longer. This suggests that this spider species possesses very potent venom already at the juvenile stage. Comparison of the venom composition between juvenile and adult spiders did not reveal significant differences. We discovered here that specialised capture combined with very effective venom enables the capture of giant prey.

  11. Liquid Water in the Extremely Shallow Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Shivak, J. N.

    2012-01-01

    Availability of liquid water is one of the major constraints for the potential Martian biosphere. Although liquid water is unstable on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressures, it has been suggested that liquid films of water could be present in the Martian soil. Here we explored a possibility of the liquid water formation in the extremely shallow (1-3 cm) subsurface layer under low atmospheric pressures (0.1-10 mbar) and low ("Martian") surface temperatures (approx.-50 C-0 C). We used a new Goddard Martian simulation chamber to demonstrate that even in the clean frozen soil with temperatures as low as -25C the amount of mobile water can reach several percents. We also showed that during brief periods of simulated daylight warming the shallow subsurface ice sublimates, the water vapor diffuses through porous surface layer of soil temporarily producing supersaturated conditions in the soil, which leads to the formation of additional liquid water. Our results suggest that despite cold temperatures and low atmospheric pressures, Martian soil just several cm below the surface can be habitable.

  12. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous Martian propellants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper considers a novel concept for a Martian descent and ascent vehicle, called NIMF (for nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel), the propulsion for which will be provided by a nuclear thermal reactor which will heat an indigenous Martian propellant gas to form a high-thrust rocket exhaust. The performance of each of the candidate Martian propellants, which include CO2, H2O, CH4, N2, CO, and Ar, is assessed, and the methods of propellant acquisition are examined. Attention is also given to the issues of chemical compatibility between candidate propellants and reactor fuel and cladding materials, and the potential of winged Mars supersonic aircraft driven by this type of engine. It is shown that, by utilizing the nuclear landing craft in combination with a hydrogen-fueled nuclear thermal interplanetary vehicle and a heavy lift booster, it is possible to achieve a manned Mars mission in one launch. 6 refs

  13. Geophagy in brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) in a lowland tropical rainforest in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Andres; de Luna, Ana Gabriela; Arango, Ricardo; Diaz, Maria Clara

    2011-01-01

    Spider monkeys and howler monkeys are the only Neotropical primates that eat soil from mineral licks. Not all species within these genera visit mineral licks, and geophagy has been restricted to populations of Ateles belzebuth belzebuth,Ateles belzebuth chamek and Alouatta seniculus in western Amazonian rainforests. With the aid of a camera trap we studied the visitation patterns of a group of brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) to a mineral lick at Serrania de Las Quinchas, in Colombia. Spider monkeys visited the lick frequently throughout the year, with a monthly average of 21.7 ± 7.2 visits per 100 days of camera trapping (n = 14 months). Spider monkeys visited the mineral lick almost always on days with no rain, or very little (<3 mm) rain, suggesting that proximate environmental variables might determine spider monkeys' decisions to come to the ground at the licks. This study expands the geographical occurrence of mineral lick use by spider monkeys providing additional data for future assessments on the biogeographical correlates of mineral lick use by platyrrhines. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Gamma irradiation as a quarantine treatment for spider mites (Acarina: tetranychidae) in horticultural products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ignatowicz, S.; Banasik-Solgala, K.

    1999-01-01

    The carmine spider mite, Tetranychus cinnabarinus (Boisd.), and the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, are closely related species of tetranychid mites (Acarina, Tetranychidae) that respond to gamma irradiation in a similar way. Eggs of both species exposed to gamma radiation early in embryonic development were considerably more susceptible to irradiation than older eggs. The tolerance of eggs to gamma radiation increased in 3-4-day-old eggs, when eye-spots were formed. Nymphs were more resistant to gamma radiation than eggs and larvae. Deteriorative effects of irradiation treatment were reflected in the immatures by their mortality in subsequent developmental stages. A positive relationship between dosage and the percent egg mortality or the mortality of subsequent stages was usually found when the immature stages were irradiated. The sex ratio of adults developed from irradiated eggs, larvae, and nymphs was affected by the irradiation treatment; the ratio was usually skewed towards males. Irradiation of females resulted in increased mortality, lowered fecundity, reduced egg viability, and sex ratio distortion in their progeny. Two-day-old females of the carmine spider mite and the two-spotted spider mite irradiated with 200 or 300 Gy lived as long as the controls. Mortality occurred after 3 weeks. The number of eggs laid by irradiated females of spider mites was considerably lower than in the control, and it decreased as the absorbed dose increased. The higher the dose of gamma radiation applied to adults of the spider mites (the parental generation, P), the higher the mortality of the F1 mites during their embryonic development. Viability of eggs laid by irradiated females of spider mites mated with irradiated males was significantly reduced. Young females treated with a dose of 0.2 kGy produced 40-50% nonviable eggs, while control mites produced only 6.0-6.6% nonviable eggs. A dose of 0.3 kGy caused high mortality of eggs; 88% and 97% nonviable

  15. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2015-06-08

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  16. The ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility towards SPIDER operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toigo, V.; Dal Bello, S.; Gaio, E.; Luchetta, A.; Pasqualotto, R.; Zaccaria, P.; Bigi, M.; Chitarin, G.; Marcuzzi, D.; Pomaro, N.; Serianni, G.; Agostinetti, P.; Agostini, M.; Antoni, V.; Aprile, D.; Baltador, C.; Barbisan, M.; Battistella, M.; Boldrin, M.; Brombin, M.; Dalla Palma, M.; De Lorenzi, A.; Delogu, R.; De Muri, M.; Fellin, F.; Ferro, A.; Gambetta, G.; Grando, L.; Jain, P.; Maistrello, A.; Manduchi, G.; Marconato, N.; Pavei, M.; Peruzzo, S.; Pilan, N.; Pimazzoni, A.; Piovan, R.; Recchia, M.; Rizzolo, A.; Sartori, E.; Siragusa, M.; Spada, E.; Spagnolo, S.; Spolaore, M.; Taliercio, C.; Valente, M.; Veltri, P.; Zamengo, A.; Zaniol, B.; Zanotto, L.; Zaupa, M.; Boilson, D.; Graceffa, J.; Svensson, L.; Schunke, B.; Decamps, H.; Urbani, M.; Kushwah, M.; Chareyre, J.; Singh, M.; Bonicelli, T.; Agarici, G.; Garbuglia, A.; Masiello, A.; Paolucci, F.; Simon, M.; Bailly-Maitre, L.; Bragulat, E.; Gomez, G.; Gutierrez, D.; Mico, G.; Moreno, J.-F.; Pilard, V.; Chakraborty, A.; Baruah, U.; Rotti, C.; Patel, H.; Nagaraju, M. V.; Singh, N. P.; Patel, A.; Dhola, H.; Raval, B.; Fantz, U.; Fröschle, M.; Heinemann, B.; Kraus, W.; Nocentini, R.; Riedl, R.; Schiesko, L.; Wimmer, C.; Wünderlich, D.; Cavenago, M.; Croci, G.; Gorini, G.; Rebai, M.; Muraro, A.; Tardocchi, M.; Hemsworth, R.

    2017-08-01

    SPIDER is one of two projects of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility under construction in Padova, Italy, at the Consorzio RFX premises. It will have a 100 keV beam source with a full-size prototype of the radiofrequency ion source for the ITER neutral beam injector (NBI) and also, similar to the ITER diagnostic neutral beam, it is designed to operate with a pulse length of up to 3600 s, featuring an ITER-like magnetic filter field configuration (for high extraction of negative ions) and caesium oven (for high production of negative ions) layout as well as a wide set of diagnostics. These features will allow a reproduction of the ion source operation in ITER, which cannot be done in any other existing test facility. SPIDER realization is well advanced and the first operation is expected at the beginning of 2018, with the mission of achieving the ITER heating and diagnostic NBI ion source requirements and of improving its performance in terms of reliability and availability. This paper mainly focuses on the preparation of the first SPIDER operations—integration and testing of SPIDER components, completion and implementation of diagnostics and control and formulation of operation and research plan, based on a staged strategy.

  17. Extended survival of spiders (Aranaeae) feeding on whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) honeydew

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeydew produced by homopteran insects such as aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs, can be abundant in some crops and may represent an important food resource for spiders and other honeydew feeding natural enemies. Woolly whiteflies are common in south Texas citrus, and spiders consistently make up a...

  18. Tests for attraction to prey and predator avoidance by chemical cues in spiders of the beech forest floor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wetter, Melissa B.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Spiders leave draglines, faeces and other secretions behind when traveling through their microhabitat. The presence of these secretions may unintentionally inform other animals, prey as well as predators, about a recent and possible current predation risk or food availability. For a wolf spider, other spiders including smaller conspecifics, form a substantial part of their prey, and larger wolf spiders, again including conspecifics, are potential predators. We tested two hypotheses: that large wolf spiders may locate patches of potential spider prey through the presence of silk threads and/or other secretions; and that prey spiders may use secretions from large wolf spiders to avoid patches with high predation risk. We used large (subadult or adult Pardosa saltans to provide predator cues and mixed dwarf spiders or small (juvenile P. saltans to provide prey cues. Subadult wolf spiders were significantly attracted to litter contaminated by dwarf spiders or small conspecifics after 6 hours but no longer after 24 hours. In contrast, neither dwarf spiders nor small P. saltans showed significant avoidance of substrate contaminated by adult P. saltans. However, small P. saltans showed different activity patterns on the two substrates. The results indicate that wolf spiders are able to increase the efficiency of foraging by searching preferentially in patches with the presence of intraguild prey. The lack of a clear patch selection response of the prey in spite of a modified activity pattern may possibly be associated with the vertical stratification of the beech litter habitat: the reduced volume of spaces in the deeper layers could make downward rather than horizontal movement a fast and safe tactic against a large predator that cannot enter these spaces.

  19. Nanofibre production in spiders without electric charge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joel, Anna-Christin; Baumgartner, Werner

    2017-06-15

    Technical nanofibre production is linked to high voltage, because nanofibres are typically produced by electrospinning. In contrast, spiders have evolved a way to produce nanofibres without high voltage. These spiders are called cribellate spiders and produce nanofibres within their capture thread production. It is suggested that their nanofibres become frictionally charged when brushed over a continuous area on the calamistrum, a comb-like structure at the metatarsus of the fourth leg. Although there are indications that electrostatic charges are involved in the formation of the thread structure, final proof is missing. We proposed three requirements to validate this hypothesis: (1) the removal of any charge during or after thread production has an influence on the structure of the thread; (2) the characteristic structure of the thread can be regenerated by charging; and (3) the thread is attracted to or repelled from differently charged objects. None of these three requirements were proven true. Furthermore, mathematical calculations reveal that even at low charges, the calculated structural assembly of the thread does not match the observed reality. Electrostatic forces are therefore not involved in the production of cribellate capture threads. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. The embryonic origin of the ampullate silk glands of the spider Cupiennius salei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbrant, Maarten; Damen, Wim G M

    2015-05-01

    Silk production in spiders is considered a key innovation, and to have been vital for the diversification of the clade. The evolutionary origin of the organs involved in spider silk production, however, and in particular of the silk glands, is poorly understood. Homologies have been proposed between these and other glands found in arachnids, but lacking knowledge of the embryonic development of spider silk glands hampers an evaluation of hypotheses. This study focuses on the embryonic origin of the largest silk glands of the spider Cupiennius salei, the major and minor ampullate glands. We show how the ampullate glands originate from ectodermal invaginations on the embryonic spinneret limb buds, in relation to morphogenesis of these buds. Moreover, we visualize the subsequent growth of the ampullate glands in sections of the early postembryonic stages. The invaginations are shown to correlate with expression of the proneural gene CsASH2, which is remarkable since it has been proposed that spider silk glands and their nozzles originate from sensory bristles. Hence, by confirming the ectodermal origin of spider silk glands, and by describing the (post-)embryonic morphogenesis of the ampullate glands, this work provides a starting point for further investigating into the genetic program that underlies their development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. An extensive phase space for the potential martian biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G; Lineweaver, Charles H; Clarke, Jonathan D

    2011-12-01

    We present a comprehensive model of martian pressure-temperature (P-T) phase space and compare it with that of Earth. Martian P-T conditions compatible with liquid water extend to a depth of ∼310 km. We use our phase space model of Mars and of terrestrial life to estimate the depths and extent of the water on Mars that is habitable for terrestrial life. We find an extensive overlap between inhabited terrestrial phase space and martian phase space. The lower martian surface temperatures and shallower martian geotherm suggest that, if there is a hot deep biosphere on Mars, it could extend 7 times deeper than the ∼5 km depth of the hot deep terrestrial biosphere in the crust inhabited by hyperthermophilic chemolithotrophs. This corresponds to ∼3.2% of the volume of present-day Mars being potentially habitable for terrestrial-like life.

  2. Whiteflies interfere with indirect plant defense against spider mites in Lima bean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng-Jun; Zheng, Si-Jun; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Boland, Wilhelm; David, Anja; Mumm, Roland; Dicke, Marcel

    2009-01-01

    Plants under herbivore attack are able to initiate indirect defense by synthesizing and releasing complex blends of volatiles that attract natural enemies of the herbivore. However, little is known about how plants respond to infestation by multiple herbivores, particularly if these belong to different feeding guilds. Here, we report the interference by a phloem-feeding insect, the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, with indirect plant defenses induced by spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) in Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) plants. Additional whitefly infestation of spider-mite infested plants resulted in a reduced attraction of predatory mites (Phytoseiulus persimilis) compared to attraction to plants infested by spider mites only. This interference is shown to result from the reduction in (E)-β-ocimene emission from plants infested by both spider mites and whiteflies. When using exogenous salicylic acid (SA) application to mimic B. tabaci infestation, we observed similar results in behavioral and chemical analyses. Phytohormone and gene-expression analyses revealed that B. tabaci infestation, as well as SA application, inhibited spider mite-induced jasmonic acid (JA) production and reduced the expression of two JA-regulated genes, one of which encodes for the P. lunatus enzyme β-ocimene synthase that catalyzes the synthesis of (E)-β-ocimene. Remarkably, B. tabaci infestation concurrently inhibited SA production induced by spider mites. We therefore conclude that in dual-infested Lima bean plants the suppression of the JA signaling pathway by whitefly feeding is not due to enhanced SA levels. PMID:19965373

  3. Progress on development of SPIDER diagnostics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasqualotto, R.; Agostini, M.; Barbisan, M.; Bernardi, M.; Brombin, M.; Cavazzana, R.; Croci, G.; Palma, M. Dalla; Delogu, R. S.; Gorini, G.; Lotto, L.; Muraro, A.; Peruzzo, S.; Pimazzoni, A.; Pomaro, N.; Rizzolo, A.; Serianni, G.; Spolaore, M.; Tardocchi, M.; Zaniol, B.; Zaupa, M.

    2017-08-01

    SPIDER experiment, the full size prototype of the beam source for the ITER heating neutral beam injector, has to demonstrate extraction and acceleration to 100 kV of a large negative ion hydrogen or deuterium beam with co-extracted electron fraction e-/D- SPIDER plant systems are being installed, the different diagnostic systems are in the procurement phase. Their final design is described here with a focus on some key solutions and most original and cost effective implementations. Thermocouples used to measure the power load distribution in the source and over the beam dump front surface will be efficiently fixed with proven technique and acquired through commercial and custom electronics. Spectroscopy needs to use well collimated lines of sight and will employ novel design spectrometers with higher efficiency and resolution and filtered detectors with custom built amplifiers. The electrostatic probes will be operated through electronics specifically developed to cope with the challenging environment of the RF source. The instrumented calorimeter STRIKE will use new CFC tiles, still under development. Two linear cameras, one built in house, have been tested as suitable for optical beam tomography. Some diagnostic components are off the shelf, others are custom developed: some of these are being prototyped or are under test before final production and installation, which will be completed before start of SPIDER operation.

  4. Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Soluble Recombinant Silk Produced in Mammalian Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazaris, Anthoula; Arcidiacono, Steven; Huang, Yue; Zhou, Jiang-Feng; Duguay, François; Chretien, Nathalie; Welsh, Elizabeth A.; Soares, Jason W.; Karatzas, Costas N.

    2002-01-01

    Spider silks are protein-based ``biopolymer'' filaments or threads secreted by specialized epithelial cells as concentrated soluble precursors of highly repetitive primary sequences. Spider dragline silk is a flexible, lightweight fiber of extraordinary strength and toughness comparable to that of synthetic high-performance fibers. We sought to ``biomimic'' the process of spider silk production by expressing in mammalian cells the dragline silk genes (ADF-3/MaSpII and MaSpI) of two spider species. We produced soluble recombinant (rc)-dragline silk proteins with molecular masses of 60 to 140 kilodaltons. We demonstrated the wet spinning of silk monofilaments spun from a concentrated aqueous solution of soluble rc-spider silk protein (ADF-3; 60 kilodaltons) under modest shear and coagulation conditions. The spun fibers were water insoluble with a fine diameter (10 to 40 micrometers) and exhibited toughness and modulus values comparable to those of native dragline silks but with lower tenacity. Dope solutions with rc-silk protein concentrations >20% and postspinning draw were necessary to achieve improved mechanical properties of the spun fibers. Fiber properties correlated with finer fiber diameter and increased birefringence.

  5. Reversing the mere exposure effect in spider fearfuls: Preliminary evidence of sensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2016-12-01

    A mere exposure effect (MEE) is said to occur when individuals' liking of a suboptimally and repeatedly presented stimulus increases compared to never-presented stimuli, while they are unable to indicate which stimuli were previously presented and which were not. In two experiments, we used the MEE to study automatic evaluative processes in highly spider-fearful individuals (SFs). Pictures of spiders and butterflies were repeatedly presented suboptimally to SFs and to non-anxious controls (NACs). In Experiment 1, both groups showed the MEE for butterflies, preferring previously presented butterfly pictures over new ones. For spider pictures, only NACs showed an MEE, whereas SFs showed no preference. Experiment 2 involved a more unpleasant presentation situation, because for each picture, participants had the difficult task to indicate what had been presented to them. This led to a reversed MEE for spiders in SFs: They preferred new spider pictures over previously presented ones. In both experiments, no evidence was observed for the ability to differentiate between old an new pictures. The results are tentatively explained within Zajonc' theory of the MEE, and they are related to the concept of sensitization in anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop Mg rockets for Martian ascent vehicle applications. The propellant can be acquired in-situ from MgO in the Martian regolith (5.1% Mg by mass)...

  7. The changing use of the ovipositor in host shifts by ichneumonid ectoparasitoids of spiders (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Pimplinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takasuka Keizo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Accurate egg placement into or onto a living host is an essential ability for many parasitoids, and changes in associated phenotypes, such as ovipositor morphology and behaviour, correlate with significant host shifts. Here, we report that in the ichneumonid group of koinobiont spider-ectoparasitoids (“polysphinctines”, several putatively ancestral taxa (clade I here, parasitic on ground-dwelling RTA-spiders (a group characterised by retrolateral tibial apophysis on male palpal tibiae, lay their eggs in a specific way. They tightly bend their metasoma above the spider’s cephalothorax, touching the carapace with the dorsal side of the ovipositor apically (“dorsal-press”. The egg slips out from the middle part of the ventral side of the ovipositor and moves towards its apex with the parted lower valves acting as rails. Deposition occurs as the parasitoid draws the ovipositor backwards from under the egg. Oviposition upon the tough carapace of the cephalothorax, presumably less palatable than the abdomen, is conserved in these taxa, and presumed adaptive through avoiding physical damage to the developing parasitoid. This specific way of oviposition is reversed in the putatively derived clade of polysphinctines (clade II here parasitic on Araneoidea spiders with aerial webs, which is already known. They bend their metasoma along the spider’s abdomen, grasping the abdomen with their fore/mid legs, pressing the ventral tip of the metasoma and the lower valves of the ovipositor against the abdomen (“ventral-press”. The egg is expelled through an expansion of the lower valves, which is developed only in this clade and evident in most species, onto the softer and presumably more nutritious abdomen.

  8. Martian fluid and Martian weathering signatures identified in Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 by halogen and noble gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Gilmour, J. D.; Burgess, R.

    2013-03-01

    We report argon (Ar) noble gas, Ar-Ar ages and halogen abundances (Cl, Br, I) of Martian nakhlites Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 to determine the presence of Martian hydrous fluids and weathering products. Neutron-irradiated samples were either crushed and step-heated (Nakhla only), or simply step-heated using a laser or furnace, and analysed for noble gases using an extension of the 40Ar-39Ar technique to determine halogen abundances. The data obtained provide the first isotopic evidence for a trapped fluid that is Cl-rich, has a strong correlation with 40ArXS (40ArXS = 40Armeasured - 40Arradiogenic) and displays 40ArXS/36Ar of ˜1000 - consistent with the Martian atmosphere. This component was released predominantly in the low temperature and crush experiments, which may suggest a fluid inclusion host. For the halogens, we observe similar Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios between the nakhlites and terrestrial reservoirs, which is surprising given the absence of crustal recycling, organic matter and frequent fluid activity on Mars. In particular, Br/Cl ratios in our Nakhla samples (especially olivine) are consistent with previously analysed Martian weathering products, and both low temperature and crush analyses show a similar trend to the evaporation of seawater. This may indicate that surface brines play an important role on Mars and on halogen assemblages within Martian meteorites and rocks. Elevated I/Cl ratios in the low temperature NWA 998 and MIL 03346 releases may relate to in situ terrestrial contamination, though we are unable to distinguish between low temperature terrestrial or Martian components. Whilst estimates of the amount of water present based on the 36Ar concentrations are too high to be explained by a fluid component alone, they are consistent with a mixed-phase inclusion (gas and fluid) or with shock-implanted Martian atmospheric argon. The observed fluid is dilute (low salinity, but high Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios), contains a Martian atmospheric component

  9. RCrawler: An R package for parallel web crawling and scraping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salim Khalil

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available RCrawler is a contributed R package for domain-based web crawling and content scraping. As the first implementation of a parallel web crawler in the R environment, RCrawler can crawl, parse, store pages, extract contents, and produce data that can be directly employed for web content mining applications. However, it is also flexible, and could be adapted to other applications. The main features of RCrawler are multi-threaded crawling, content extraction, and duplicate content detection. In addition, it includes functionalities such as URL and content-type filtering, depth level controlling, and a robot.txt parser. Our crawler has a highly optimized system, and can download a large number of pages per second while being robust against certain crashes and spider traps. In this paper, we describe the design and functionality of RCrawler, and report on our experience of implementing it in an R environment, including different optimizations that handle the limitations of R. Finally, we discuss our experimental results.

  10. Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garb Jessica E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroin evolutionary relationships have principally been determined from their non-repetitive carboxy (C-terminal domains, though they offer limited character data. The few known spidroin amino (N-terminal domains have been difficult to obtain, but potentially contain critical phylogenetic information for reconstructing the diversification of spider silks. Here we used silk gland expression data (ESTs from highly divergent species to evaluate the functional significance and phylogenetic utility of spidroin N-terminal domains. Results We report 11 additional spidroin N-termini found by sequencing ~1,900 silk gland cDNAs from nine spider species that shared a common ancestor > 240 million years ago. In contrast to their hyper-variable repetitive regions, spidroin N-terminal domains have retained striking similarities in sequence identity, predicted secondary structure, and hydrophobicity. Through separate and combined phylogenetic analyses of N-terminal domains and their corresponding C-termini, we find that combined analysis produces the most resolved trees and that N-termini contribute more support and less conflict than the C-termini. These analyses show that paralogs largely group by silk gland type, except for the major ampullate spidroins. Moreover, spidroin structural motifs associated with superior tensile strength arose early in the history of this gene family, whereas a motif conferring greater extensibility convergently evolved in two distantly related paralogs. Conclusions A non-repetitive N-terminal domain appears to be a universal attribute of spidroin proteins, likely retained from the origin of spider silk production. Since this time, spidroin N-termini have maintained several features, consistent with this domain playing a key role in silk

  11. Biased interpretation and memory in children with varying levels of spider fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, A.M.; Titulaer, G.; Simons, C.; Allart, E.; de Gier, E.; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated multiple cognitive biases in children simultaneously, to investigate whether spider-fearful children display an interpretation bias, a recall bias, and source monitoring errors, and whether these biases are specific for spider-related materials. Furthermore, the independent

  12. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  13. Biomimetic Spider Leg Joints: A Review from Biomechanical Research to Compliant Robotic Actuators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Landkammer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Due to their inherent compliance, soft actuated joints are becoming increasingly important for robotic applications, especially when human-robot-interactions are expected. Several of these flexible actuators are inspired by biological models. One perfect showpiece for biomimetic robots is the spider leg, because it combines lightweight design and graceful movements with powerful and dynamic actuation. Building on this motivation, the review article focuses on compliant robotic joints inspired by the function principle of the spider leg. The mechanism is introduced by an overview of existing biological and biomechanical research. Thereupon a classification of robots that are bio-inspired by spider joints is presented. Based on this, the biomimetic robot applications referring to the spider principle are identified and discussed.

  14. Contamination vs. harm-relevant outcome expectancies and covariation bias in spider phobia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Peter J.; Peters, Madelon L.

    There is increasing evidence that spiders are not feared because of harmful outcome expectancies but because of disgust and contamination-relevant outcome expectancies. This study investigated the relative strength of contamination- and harm-relevant UCS expectancies and covariation bias in spider

  15. MetNet Network Mission for Martian Atmospheric Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Alexashkin, S.; Arrugeo, I.; Schmidt, W.; Vazquez, L.; Genzer, M.; Haukka, H.

    2014-07-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars called MetNet is being developed for martian atmospheric investigations. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy tens of small landers on the martian surface.

  16. [Engineered spider silk: the intelligent biomaterial of the future. Part I].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florczak, Anna; Piekoś, Konrad; Kaźmierska, Katarzyna; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Dams-Kozłowska, Hanna

    2011-06-17

    The unique properties of spider silk such as strength, extensibility, toughness, biocompatibility and biodegradability are the reasons for the recent development in silk biomaterial technology. For a long time scientific progress was impeded by limited access to spider silk. However, the development of the molecular biology strategy was a breaking point in synthetic spider silk protein design. The sequences of engineered spider silk are based on the consensus motives of the corresponding natural equivalents. Moreover, the engineered silk proteins may be modified in order to gain a new function. The strategy of the hybrid proteins constructed on the DNA level combines the sequence of engineered silk, which is responsible for the biomaterial structure, with the sequence of polypeptide which allows functionalization of the silk biomaterial. The functional domains may comprise receptor binding sites, enzymes, metal or sugar binding sites and others. Currently, advanced research is being conducted, which on the one hand focuses on establishing the particular silk structure and understanding the process of silk thread formation in nature. On the other hand, there are attempts to improve methods of engineered spider silk protein production. Due to acquired knowledge and recent progress in synthetic protein technology, the engineered silk will turn into intelligent biomaterial of the future, while its industrial production scale will trigger a biotechnological revolution.

  17. Thin Film Assembly of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Shipley, N. H.; Lewis, R. V. Int. J. Biol.Macromol. 1999, 24, 271. (c) Thiel, B. L.; Guess, K. B.; Viney, C. Biopolymers 1997, 41, 703. (13) Silk ...Film Assembly of Spider Silk -like Block Copolymers Sreevidhya T. Krishnaji,†,‡ Wenwen Huang,§ Olena Rabotyagova,†,‡ Eugenia Kharlampieva, ) Ikjun Choi...Received November 26, 2010 We report the self-assembly of monolayers of spider silk -like block copolymers. Langmuir isotherms were obtained for a series of

  18. The eunuch phenomenon: adaptive evolution of genital emasculation in sexually dimorphic spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Agnarsson, Ingi; Li, Daiqin

    2015-02-01

    Under natural and sexual selection traits often evolve that secure paternity or maternity through self-sacrifice to predators, rivals, offspring, or partners. Emasculation-males removing their genitals-is an unusual example of such behaviours. Known only in insects and spiders, the phenomenon's adaptiveness is difficult to explain, yet its repeated origins and association with sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual cannibalism suggest an adaptive significance. In spiders, emasculation of paired male sperm-transferring organs - secondary genitals - (hereafter, palps), results in 'eunuchs'. This behaviour has been hypothesized to be adaptive because (i) males plug female genitals with their severed palps (plugging hypothesis), (ii) males remove their palps to become better fighters in male-male contests (better-fighter hypothesis), perhaps reaching higher agility due to reduced total body mass (gloves-off hypothesis), and (iii) males achieve prolonged sperm transfer through severed genitals (remote-copulation hypothesis). Prior research has provided evidence in support of these hypotheses in some orb-weaving spiders but these explanations are far from general. Seeking broad macroevolutionary patterns of spider emasculation, we review the known occurrences, weigh the evidence in support of the hypotheses in each known case, and redefine more precisely the particular cases of emasculation depending on its timing in relation to maturation and mating: 'pre-maturation', 'mating', and 'post-mating'. We use a genus-level spider phylogeny to explore emasculation evolution and to investigate potential evolutionary linkage between emasculation, SSD, lesser genital damage (embolic breakage), and sexual cannibalism (females consuming their mates). We find a complex pattern of spider emasculation evolution, all cases confined to Araneoidea: emasculation evolved at least five and up to 11 times, was lost at least four times, and became further modified at least once. We also find

  19. SPiDer: Smart Pill Dispenser

    OpenAIRE

    Moreno Vázquez, Jonatan

    2013-01-01

    Aquest projecte proposa el sistema SPiDer el qual te l'objectiu d'assistir a la gent gran en el procés de medicar-se evitant els problemes associats amb la baixa adherència existent actualment amb els calendaris farmacològics receptats pels doctors.

  20. Brown Spider (Loxosceles genus Venom Toxins: Tools for Biological Purposes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Senff-Ribeiro

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5–40 kDa. Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters, and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  1. Architecture of SPIDER control and data acquisition system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luchetta, A.; Manduchi, G.; Taliercio, C.; Soppelsa, A.; Barbalace, A.; Paolucci, F.; Sartori, F.; Barbato, P.; Breda, M.; Capobianco, R.; Molon, F.; Moressa, M.; Polato, S.; Simionato, P.; Zampiva, E.

    2012-01-01

    The ITER Heating Neutral Beam injectors will be implemented in three steps: development of the ion source prototype, development of the full injector prototype, and, finally, construction of up to three ITER injectors. The first two steps will be carried out in the ITER neutral beam test facility under construction in Italy. The ion source prototype, referred to as SPIDER, which is currently in the development phase, is a complex experiment involving more than 20 plant units and operating with beam-on pulses lasting up to 1 h. As for control and data acquisition it requires fast and slow control (cycle time around 0.1 ms and 10 ms, respectively), synchronization (10 ns resolution), and data acquisition for about 1000 channels (analogue and images) with sampling frequencies up to tens of MS/s, data throughput up to 200 MB/s, and data storage volume of up to tens of TB/year. The paper describes the architecture of the SPIDER control and data acquisition system, discussing the SPIDER requirements and the ITER CODAC interfaces and specifications for plant system instrumentation and control.

  2. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  3. Social makes smart: rearing conditions affect learning and social behaviour in jumping spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liedtke, J; Schneider, J M

    2017-11-01

    There is a long-standing debate as to whether social or physical environmental aspects drive the evolution and development of cognitive abilities. Surprisingly few studies make use of developmental plasticity to compare the effects of these two domains during development on behaviour later in life. Here, we present rearing effects on the development of learning abilities and social behaviour in the jumping spider Marpissa muscosa. These spiders are ideally suited for this purpose because they possess the ability to learn and can be reared in groups but also in isolation without added stress. This is a critical but rarely met requirement for experimentally varying the social environment to test its impact on cognition. We split broods of spiders and reared them either in a physically or in a socially enriched environment. A third group kept under completely deprived conditions served as a 'no-enrichment' control. We tested the spiders' learning abilities by using a modified T-maze. Social behaviour was investigated by confronting spiders with their own mirror image. Results show that spiders reared in groups outperform their conspecifics from the control, i.e. 'no-enrichment', group in both tasks. Physical enrichment did not lead to such an increased performance. We therefore tentatively suggest that growing up in contact with conspecifics induces the development of cognitive abilities in this species.

  4. Spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on a military training base in Northwest Germany (Münster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buchholz, Sascha

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on the military training area of Dorbaum near Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia was investigated. From 2002 to 2003 a total of 11,194 mature spiders from 141 species and 20 families was caught by pitfall trapping and hand sampling. Among them are 18 species listed in the Red Data Book of North Rhine-Westphalia, four species are rare or previously rarely recorded. Most of the spiders are habitat generalists that extend their occurrence into all types of habitats, while the number of species which are stenotopic to sand habitats is noticeably low (n = 13. The spider data were analysed with Principal Component Analysis (PCA. It is possible to distinguish spider communities of neighbouring forested habitats from species groups of open habitats, but there is no uniform spider community which is characteristic for semi-dry grassland.

  5. The sejugal furrow in camel spiders and acariform mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunlop, Jason A.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Camel spiders (Arachnida: Solifugae are one of the arachnid groups characterised by a prosomal dorsal shield composed of three distinct elements: the pro-, meso- and metapeltidium. These are associated respectively with prosomal appendages one to four, five, and six. What is less well known, although noted in the historical literature, is that the coxae of the 4th and 5th prosomal segments (i.e. walking legs 2 and 3 of camel spiders are also separated ventrally by a distinct membranous region, which is absent between the coxae of the other legs. We suggest that this essentially ventral division of the prosoma specifically between coxae 2 and 3 is homologous with the so-called sejugal furrow (the sejugal interval sensu van der Hammen. This division constitutes a fundamental part of the body plan in acariform mites (Arachnida: Acariformes. If homologous, this sejugal furrow could represent a further potential synapomorphy for (Solifugae + Acariformes; a relationship with increasing morphological and molecular support. Alternatively, outgroup comparison with sea spiders (Pycnogonida and certain early Palaeozoic fossils could imply that the sejugal furrow defines an older tagma, derived from a more basal grade of organisation. In this scenario the (still divided prosoma of acariform mites and camel spiders would be plesiomorphic. This interpretation challenges the textbook arachnid character of a peltidium (or ‘carapace’ covering an undivided prosoma.

  6. Do Martian Blueberries Have Pits? -- Artifacts of an Early Wet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, L.

    2005-03-01

    Early Martian weather cycles would have supported organic chemical self-organization, the assumed predecessor to an independent "origin" of Martian life. Artifacts of these processes are discussed, including the possibility that Martian blueberries nucleated around organic cores.

  7. Influence of Imidacloprid and Horticultural Oil on Spider Abundance on Eastern Hemlock in the Southern Appalachians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakeem, A; Grant, J F; Lambdin, P L; Hale, F A; Rhea, J R; Wiggins, G J; Coots, C

    2018-05-08

    Hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), is an exotic pest of eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière (Pinales: Pinaceae), in the eastern United States. Two commonly used insecticides to manage adelgid are imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid insecticide, and horticultural oil, a refined petroleum oil foliar spray. We have investigated the influence of imidacloprid and horticultural oil on spider abundance at different canopy strata in eastern hemlock. In total, 2,084 spiders representing 11 families were collected from the canopies of eastern hemlock. In beat-sheet and direct observation samples, the families Theridiidae, Araneidae, Salticidae, and Anyphaenidae were the most abundant. Significantly higher numbers of spiders were recorded on untreated control trees compared with trees treated with imidacloprid using soil drench and soil injection applications. Spider abundance in trees injected with imidacloprid and horticultural oil applications did not significantly differ from control trees. Spider abundance was significantly greater in the top and middle strata of the canopy than in the bottom stratum, where imidacloprid concentrations were the highest. Regression analysis showed that spider abundance was inversely associated with imidacloprid concentration. This research demonstrates that imidacloprid, when applied with selected methods, has the potential to result in reductions of spider densities at different strata. However, slight reductions in spider abundance may be an acceptable short-term ecological impact compared with the loss of an untreated hemlock and all the associated ecological benefits that it provides. Future studies should include investigations of long-term impact of imidacloprid on spiders associated with eastern hemlock.

  8. Enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant stimuli in spider-fearful individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina eMosig

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Avoidance is considered as a central hallmark of all anxiety disorders. The acquisition and expression of avoidance which leads to the maintenance and exacerbation of pathological fear is closely linked to Pavlovian and operant conditioning processes. Changes in conditionability might represent a key feature of all anxiety disorders but the exact nature of these alterations might vary across different disorders. To date, no information is available on specific changes in conditionability for disorder-irrelevant stimuli in specific phobia (SP. The first aim of this study was to investigate changes in fear acquisition and extinction in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful participants by using the de novo fear conditioning paradigm. Secondly, we aimed to determine whether differences in the magnitude of context-dependent fear retrieval exist between spider-fearful and non-fearful individuals. Our findings point to an enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals as compared to non-fearful individuals at both the physiological and subjective level. The enhanced fear discrimination in spider-fearful individuals was neither mediated by increased state anxiety, depression, nor stress tension. Spider-fearful individuals displayed no changes in extinction learning and/or fear retrieval. Surprisingly, we found no evidence for context-dependent modulation of fear retrieval in either group. Here we provide first evidence that spider-fearful individuals show an enhanced discriminative fear learning of phobia-irrelevant (de novo stimuli. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of fear acquisition and expression for the development and maintenance of maladaptive responses in the course of SP.

  9. Abundant and rare spiders on tree trunks in German forests (Arachnida, Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blick, Theo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna active on the bark of trees in forests on eight sites in different regions in Germany was investigated. Trunk eclectors at about 2-4 meters height on living trees were used in different regions of Germany (SW Bavaria, Hesse, Brandenburg between 1990 and 2003. In Hesse eclectors were also used on dead beech trees (standing and lying. In this study data, mainly from beech (Fagus sylvatica and spruce (Picea abies, from May to October are compared – whole year samples (including winter are only available from Hesse. A total of 334 spider species were recorded with these bark traps, i.e. about one third of the spider species known from Germany. On average, each of the eight regions yielded 140.5 (± 26.2 species, each single tree 40.5 (± 12.2 species and 502 (± 452 adult spiders per season (i.e. May to Oct.. The 20 most abundant species are listed and characterised in detail. Six of the 20 species were not known to be abundant on bark, three prefer conifers and three beech/broadleaf. Even in winter (December-March there was a remarkably high activity on the trunks. However, only a few species occur exclusively or mainly in winter. Finally, the rarity of some bark spider species is discussed and details (all known records in Germany, phenology of four of them are presented (Clubiona leucaspis, Gongylidiellum edentatum, Kratochviliella bicapitata, Oreonetides quadridentatus. The diversity and importance of the spider fauna on bark in Central Europe is still underestimated.

  10. Luminescence Dating of Martian Polar Deposits: Concepts and Preliminary Measurements Using Martian Soil Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepper, K.; Kuhns, C. K.; McKeever, S. W. S.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2000-08-01

    Martian polar deposits have the potential to reveal a wealth of information about the evolution of Mars' climate and surface environment. However, as pointed out by Clifford et al. in the summary of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, 'The single greatest obstacle to unlocking and interpreting the geologic and climatic record preserved at the [martian] poles is the need for absolute dating.' At that same conference Lepper and McKeever proposed development of luminescence dating as a remote in-situ technique for absolute dating of silicate mineral grains incorporated in polar deposits. Clifford et al. have also acknowledged that luminescence dating is more practical from cost, engineering, and logistical perspectives than other isotope-based methods proposed for in-situ dating on Mars. We report here the results of ongoing experiments with terrestrial analogs of martian surface materials to establish a broad fundamental knowledge base from which robust dating procedures for robotic missions may be developed. This broad knowledge base will also be critical in determining the engineering requirements of remote in-situ luminescence dating equipment intended for use on Mars. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  11. Battre sa (super) coulpe : Spider-Man (1962)

    OpenAIRE

    Tomasovic, Dick

    2016-01-01

    L’édification est l'une des grandes fonctions traditionnelles de la littérature de jeunesse. Spider-Man, héros populaire s'il en est, s'est révélé bien sûr l'ambassadeur de nombreuses valeurs sociétales américaines (le do it yourself, l'esprit d'entreprise et d'indépendance, la tolérance, la fidélité , la célébration du système éducationnel, la transmission et la solidarité intergénérationnelle, le sens des responsabilités, évidemment, etc.). Spider-Man se bat moins qu'il ne se débat. Il est ...

  12. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of a spider silk manufacturing process is of great interest. piggyBac vectors were used to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk prote...

  13. Active optical sensor assessment of spider mite damage on greenhouse beans and cotton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Daniel E; Latheef, Mohamed A

    2018-02-01

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, is an important pest of cotton in mid-southern USA and causes yield reduction and deprivation in fiber fitness. Cotton and pinto beans grown in the greenhouse were infested with spider mites at the three-leaf and trifoliate stages, respectively. Spider mite damage on cotton and bean canopies expressed as normalized difference vegetation index indicative of changes in plant health was measured for 27 consecutive days. Plant health decreased incrementally for cotton until day 21 when complete destruction occurred. Thereafter, regrowth reversed decline in plant health. On spider mite treated beans, plant vigor plateaued until day 11 when plant health declined incrementally. Results indicate that pinto beans were better suited as a host plant than cotton for rearing T. urticae in the laboratory.

  14. An image filtering technique for SPIDER visible tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fonnesu, N., E-mail: nicola.fonnesu@igi.cnr.it; Agostini, M.; Brombin, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Serianni, G. [Consorzio RFX, Associazione EURATOM-ENEA sulla Fusione, Corso Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy)

    2014-02-15

    The tomographic diagnostic developed for the beam generated in the SPIDER facility (100 keV, 50 A prototype negative ion source of ITER neutral beam injector) will characterize the two-dimensional particle density distribution of the beam. The simulations described in the paper show that instrumental noise has a large influence on the maximum achievable resolution of the diagnostic. To reduce its impact on beam pattern reconstruction, a filtering technique has been adapted and implemented in the tomography code. This technique is applied to the simulated tomographic reconstruction of the SPIDER beam, and the main results are reported.

  15. An image filtering technique for SPIDER visible tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fonnesu, N.; Agostini, M.; Brombin, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Serianni, G.

    2014-01-01

    The tomographic diagnostic developed for the beam generated in the SPIDER facility (100 keV, 50 A prototype negative ion source of ITER neutral beam injector) will characterize the two-dimensional particle density distribution of the beam. The simulations described in the paper show that instrumental noise has a large influence on the maximum achievable resolution of the diagnostic. To reduce its impact on beam pattern reconstruction, a filtering technique has been adapted and implemented in the tomography code. This technique is applied to the simulated tomographic reconstruction of the SPIDER beam, and the main results are reported

  16. Solubility of C-O-H volatiles in graphite-saturated martian basalts and application to martian atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, B. D.; Hirschmann, M. M.; Withers, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The modern martian atmosphere is thin, leading to surface conditions too cold to support liquid water. Yet, there is evidence of liquid surface water early in martian history that is commonly thought to require a thick CO2 atmosphere. Our previous work follows the analysis developed by Holloway and co-workers (Holloway et al. 1992; Holloway 1998), which predicts a linear relationship between CO2 and oxygen fugacity (fO2) in graphite-saturated silicate melts. At low oxygen fugacity, the solubility of CO2 in silicate melts is therefore very low. Such low calculated solubilities under reducing conditions lead to small fluxes of CO2 associated with martian magmatism, and therefore production of a thick volcanogenic CO2 atmosphere could require a prohibitively large volume of mantle-derived magma. The key assumption in these previous calculations is that the carbonate ion is the chief soluble C-O-H species. The results of the calculations would not be affected appreciably if molecular CO2, rather than carbonate ion, were an important species, but could be entirely different if there were other appreciable C-species such as CO, carbonyl (C=O) complexes, carbide (Si-C), or CH4. Clearly, graphite-saturated experiments are required to explore how much volcanogenic C may be degassed by reduced martian lavas. A series of piston-cylinder experiments were performed on synthetic martian starting materials over a range of oxygen fugacities (IW+2.3 to IW-0.9), and at pressures of 1-3 GPa and temperatures of 1340-1600 °C in Pt-graphite double capsules. CO2 contents in experimental glasses were determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and range from 0.0026-0.50 wt%. CO2 solubilities change by one order of magnitude with an order of magnitude change in oxygen fugacity, as predicted by previous work. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) determinations of C contents in glasses range from 0.0131-0.2626 wt%. C contents determined by SIMS are consistently higher

  17. Subsocial behaviour and brood adoption in mixed-species colonies of two theridiid spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinsted, Lena; Agnarsson, Ingi; Bilde, Trine

    2012-01-01

    , aggression and cooperation through behavioural experiments and examine the potential for adoption of foreign brood. Morphological and genetic analyses confirmed that colonies consisted of two related species Chikunia nigra (O.P. Cambridge, 1880) new combination (previously Chrysso nigra) and a yet...... as in territorial, colonial spiders. Mixed species spider colonies, involving closely related species, have rarely been documented. We examined social interactions in newly discovered mixed-species colonies of theridiid spiders on Bali, Indonesia. Our aim was to test the degree of intra- and interspecific tolerance...

  18. fMRI neurofeedback facilitates anxiety regulation in females with spider phobia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eZilverstand

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Spider phobics show an exaggerated fear response when encountering spiders. This fear response is aggravated by negative and irrational beliefs about the feared object. Cognitive reappraisal can target these beliefs, and therefore has a fear regulating effect. The presented study investigated if neurofeedback derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI would facilitate anxiety regulation by cognitive reappraisal, using spider phobia as a model of anxiety disorders. Feedback was provided based on activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right insula, as indicators of engagement and regulation success, respectively.Methods: Eighteen female spider phobics participated in a randomized, controlled, single-blinded study. All participants completed a training session in the MRI scanner. Participants assigned to the neurofeedback condition were instructed to shape their regulatory strategy based on the provided feedback. Participants assigned to the control condition were asked to adapt their strategy intuitively.Results: Neurofeedback participants exhibited lower anxiety levels than the control group at the end of the training. In addition, only neurofeedback participants achieved down-regulation of insula activation levels by cognitive reappraisal. Group differences became more pronounced over time, supporting learning as a mechanism behind this effect. Importantly, within the neurofeedback group, achieved changes in insula activation levels during training predicted long-term anxiety reduction.Conclusions: The conducted study provides first evidence that fMRI neurofeedback has a facilitating effect on anxiety regulation in spider phobia.

  19. Mediterranean Recluse Spider, Loxosceles rufescens (Araneae: Sicariidae from Charkhab Cave, Southern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saber Sadeghi

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: The best-known dangerous spiders belong to the six genera. The genus Loxosceles or violin spiders are well known for their ability to cause skin necrosis or loxoscelism. All Loxosceles species have medical im­portance due to their necrotizing venom. The present article reports the occurrence of L. rufescens in Charkhab Cave, south of Iran (Larestan.Methods: The specimens were collected from the Charkhab Cave using handling forceps, paintbrush and aspirator and preserved in 96% ethanol.Results: Loxosceles rufescens, a medically important spider, is recorded from Charkhab Cave in Fars Province (southwest of Iran. Identification of L. rufescens was performed based on external morphology and the features of male genitalia.Conclusion: Presence of L. rufescens in south of Iran especially in a cave confirmed that this species is a widely distributed species in Iran. Therefore, cavers or cave visitors should be aware of this poisonous spider in caves.

  20. Eocene and not Cretaceous origin of spider wasps: Fossil evidence from amber

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juanita Rodriguez

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Spider wasps had long been proposed to originate in the mid-Cretaceous based on the Burmese amber fossil Bryopompilus interfector Engel and Grimaldi, 2006. We performed a morphological examination of this fossil and determined it does not belong to Pompilidae or any other described hymenopteran family. Instead, we place it in the new family Bryopompilidae. The oldest verifiable member of the Pompilidae is from Baltic amber, which suggests the family probably originated in the Eocene, not in the mid-Cretaceous as previously proposed. The origin of spider wasps appears to be correlated with an increase in spider familial diversity in the Cenozoic. We also we add two genera to the extinct pompilid fauna: Tainopompilus gen. nov., and Paleogenia gen. nov., and describe three new species of fossil spider wasps: Anoplius planeta sp. nov., from Dominican amber (Burdigalian to Langhian; Paleogenia wahisi sp. nov., from Baltic amber (Lutetian to Priabonian; and Tainopompilus argentum sp. nov, from Dominican amber (Chattian to Langhian.

  1. A verified spider bite and a review of the literature confirm Indian ornamental tree spiders (Poecilotheria species) as underestimated theraphosids of medical importance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Joan; von Dechend, Margot; Mordasini, Raffaella; Ceschi, Alessandro; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Literature on bird spider or tarantula bites (Theraphosidae) is rare. This is astonishing as they are coveted pets and interaction with their keepers (feeding, cleaning the terrarium or taking them out to hold) might increase the possibility for bites. Yet, this seems to be a rare event and might be why most theraphosids are considered to be harmless, even though the urticating hairs of many American species can cause disagreeable allergic reactions. We are describing a case of a verified bite by an Indian ornamental tree spider (Poecilotheria regalis), where the patient developed severe, long lasting muscle cramps several hours after the bite. We present a comprehensive review of the literature on bites of these beautiful spiders and conclude that a delayed onset of severe muscle cramps, lasting for days, is characteristic for Poecilotheria bites. We discuss Poecilotheria species as an exception from the general assumption that theraphosid bites are harmless to humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Citrus-orchard ground harbours a diverse, well-established and abundant ground-dwelling spider fauna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monzo, C.; Molla, O.; Vanaclocha, P.; Monton, H.; Melic, A.; Castanera, P.; Urbaneja, A.

    2011-07-01

    Ground-dwelling spider assemblages comprise one of the most representative predatory groups to be found in many crops. There is some evidence of the role that ground-dwelling spiders play in controlling certain citrus pests; however, there are almost no studies about the abundance and composition of this predatory group in citrus orchards. A three-year survey conducted using pitfall traps in three citrus orchards in Eastern Spain yielded more than five-thousand ground-dwelling spiders belonging to more than 50 species and 20 families. Wandering families such as Lycosidae, Gnaphosidae and Zodariidae were the most numerous in terms of captures. The generalist predator Pardosa cribata Simon (Araneae: Lycosidae) was the most common species, representing a quarter of all captures, followed by Zodarion cesari Pekar. (Araneae: Zodariidae) and Trachyzelotes fuscipes (Koch) (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Spiders were active throughout the year with a peak population in summer. The species abundance data for the three spider assemblages sampled fitted a log normal statistical model which is consistent with a well-established community. The presence of a cover crop provided higher abundance of alternative prey and consequently higher abundance and diversity of ground-dwelling spiders. This work demonstrates that the citrus-orchard ground harbours a diverse and abundant ground-dwelling spider fauna, which is also active throughout the year. A challenge for future studies will be to establish conservation management strategies for these predators, that will improve biological control of those citrus pests that inhabit or spend part of their life cycle on the orchard floor. (Author) 49 refs.

  3. Laser-powered Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  4. Martian Gullies: Formation by CO2 Fluidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2006-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried explain its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows: In winter CO2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain. In spring the CO2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas, to target goal recognize or to distinguish, (to identify) possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material.

  5. Physical and chemical properties of the Martian soil: Review of resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Gooding, James L.; Banin, A.; Clark, Benton C.; Roush, Ted

    1991-01-01

    The chemical and physical properties of Martian surface materials are reviewed from the perspective of using these resources to support human settlement. The resource potential of Martian sediments and soils can only be inferred from limited analyses performed by the Viking Landers (VL), from information derived from remote sensing, and from analysis of the SNC meteorites thought to be from Mars. Bulk elemental compositions by the VL inorganic chemical (x ray fluorescence) analysis experiments have been interpreted as evidence for clay minerals (possibly smectites) or mineraloids (palagonite) admixed with sulfate and chloride salts. The materials contained minerals bearing Fe, Ti, Al, Mg and Si. Martian surface materials may be used in many ways. Martian soil, with appropriate preconditioning, can probably be used as a plant growth medium, supplying mechanical support, nutrient elements, and water at optimal conditions to the plants. Loose Martian soils could be used to cover structures and provide radiation shielding for surface habitats. Martian soil could be wetted and formed into abode bricks used for construction. Duricrete bricks, with strength comparable to concrete, can probably be formed using compressed muds made from martian soil.

  6. Predator-Prey Interactions are Context Dependent in a Grassland Plant-Grasshopper-Wolf Spider Food Chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Angela N; Joern, Anthony

    2015-06-01

    Species interactions are often context dependent, where outcomes vary in response to one or more environmental factors. It remains unclear how abiotic conditions like temperature combine with biotic factors such as consumer density or food quality to affect resource availability or influence species interactions. Using the large grasshopper Melanoplus bivittatus (Say) and a common wolf spider [Rabidosa rabida (Walkenaer)], we conducted manipulative field experiments in tallgrass prairie to examine how spider-grasshopper interactions respond to manipulations of temperature, grasshopper density, and food quality. Grasshopper survival was density dependent, as were the effects of spider presence and food quality in context-dependent ways. In high grasshopper density treatments, predation resulted in increased grasshopper survival, likely as a result of reduced intraspecific competition in the presence of spiders. Spiders had no effect on grasshopper survival when grasshoppers were stocked at low densities. Effects of the experimental treatments were often interdependent so that effects were only observed when examined together with other treatments. The occurrence of trophic cascades was context dependent, where the effects of food quality and spider presence varied with temperature under high-density treatments. Temperature weakly affected the impact of spider presence on M. bivittatus survivorship when all treatments were considered simultaneously, but different context-dependent responses to spider presence and food quality were observed among the three temperature treatments under high-density conditions. Our results indicate that context-dependent species interactions are common and highlight the importance of understanding how key biotic and abiotic factors combine to influence species interactions. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. From Midges to Spiders: Mercury Biotransport in Riparian Zones Near the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC), USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennuto, C M; Smith, M

    2015-12-01

    Riparian communities can receive environmental contaminants from adjacent aquatic 'donor' habitats. We investigated mercury biotransport from aquatic to terrestrial habitats via aquatic insect emergence and uptake by riparian spiders at sites within and upstream of the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC), a site with known sediment Hg contamination. Mercury concentration in emerging midges was roughly 10× less than contaminated sediment levels with the AOC, but biomagnification factors from midges to spiders ranged from 2.0 to 2.65 between sites. There was a significantly negative body mass:total mercury relationship in spiders (p Spiders contained significantly more mercury than their midge prey and spiders upstream of the AOC had higher mercury concentrations than spiders from within the AOC. Collectively, these data indicate that riparian spiders can be good mercury sentinels in urban environments, and that riparian communities upstream from the AOC may be at greater risk to mercury than has been previously considered.

  8. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-06-16

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  9. Studies on the occurrence of true spiders as natural enemies in many Egyptian fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira A. Ibrahim

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available True spiders represent one of the most important natural predatory species in Egyptian fields. In this work, common true spiders were surveyed in wheat, cotton and maize fields, and were counted weekly by using the direct method. For evaluating the feeding consumption of true spiders, five feeding cases were tested (as preys. These cases were: eggs of Ephestia kuehniella, eggs of Phthorimaea operculella, one day eggs and larvae of E. kuehniella, larvae of E. kuehniella and P. operculella and larvae of E. kuehniella only. Results obtained revealed that, the highest average daily consumption for each spider was recorded in case of feeding on eggs of P. operculella. While, the longest survival period was recorded in case of feeding on larvae of E. kuehniella.

  10. Logic circuits based on molecular spider systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Dandan; Lakin, Matthew R; Stefanovic, Darko

    2016-08-01

    Spatial locality brings the advantages of computation speed-up and sequence reuse to molecular computing. In particular, molecular walkers that undergo localized reactions are of interest for implementing logic computations at the nanoscale. We use molecular spider walkers to implement logic circuits. We develop an extended multi-spider model with a dynamic environment wherein signal transmission is triggered via localized reactions, and use this model to implement three basic gates (AND, OR, NOT) and a cascading mechanism. We develop an algorithm to automatically generate the layout of the circuit. We use a kinetic Monte Carlo algorithm to simulate circuit computations, and we analyze circuit complexity: our design scales linearly with formula size and has a logarithmic time complexity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Reproductive Seasonality in Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) Cave Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carver, Linnea M; Perlaky, Patricia; Cressler, Alan; Zigler, Kirk S

    2016-01-01

    Spiders of the family Nesticidae are members of cave communities around the world with cave-obligate (troglobiotic) species known from North America, Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific. A radiation of Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) in the southern Appalachians includes ten troglobiotic species. Many of these species are of conservation interest due to their small ranges, with four species being single-cave endemics. Despite conservation concerns and their important role as predators in cave communities, we know little about reproduction and feeding in this group. We addressed this knowledge gap by examining populations of two species on a monthly basis for one year. We made further observations on several other species and populations, totaling 671 individual spider observations. This more than doubled the reported observations of reproduction and feeding in troglobiotic Nesticus. Female Nesticus carry egg sacs, facilitating the determination of the timing and frequency of reproduction. We found that Nesticus exhibit reproductive seasonality. Females carried egg sacs from May through October, with a peak in frequency in June. These spiders were rarely observed with prey; only 3.3% (22/671) of individuals were observed with prey items. The frequency at which prey items were observed did not vary by season. Common prey items were flies, beetles and millipedes. Troglobiotic species constituted approximately half of all prey items observed. This result represents a greater proportion of troglobiotic prey than has been reported for various troglophilic spiders. Although our findings shed light on the life history of troglobiotic Nesticus and on their role in cave ecosystems, further work is necessary to support effective conservation planning for many of these rare species.

  12. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  13. Differential predictive power of self report and implicit measures on behavioural and physiological fear responses to spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Bockstaele, B.; Verschuere, B.; Koster, E.H.W.; Tibboel, H.; de Houwer, J.; Crombez, G.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we investigated to what extent indirect measures predict behavioural and physiological fear responses towards spiders. Implicit attitudes towards spiders were assessed using an implicit association test and attentional bias towards spiders was assessed using a dot probe task and a

  14. Exploring of the first recorded spider (Arachenida: Aranae) species of Sheringal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Farzana Perveen; Numan Khan

    2015-01-01

    The spiders (Arthropoada: Arachenida) are one of the groups of grasping animals. Their carapaces are found on the dorsal side of the cephalothorax, which is an important characteristic of spiders. The present study was conducted to explore the first recorded spider species (nti=75) of Sheringal, Dir Upper (DU), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Dir Upper, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The 10 genera with 10 species under 7 families were recorded from June 2013-July 2014. According to length of legs, th...

  15. Dew drops on spider web appearance: a newly named pattern of IgG4 deposition in pemphigus with direct immunofluorescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian Dmochowski

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Novel appearances in cutaneous pathology as well as mucocutaneous clinical signs are being described which indicate that this is still an attractive area for exploration. The H + E histology terms of “decorated tomb stoning” and “undecorated tomb stoning”, advocated by some pathologists, are misleading and as such should be avoided. Here, an appearance of IgG4 pemphigus deposits examined cost-effectively with direct immunofluorescence and suggested to be called “dew drops on spider web” is depicted in depth.

  16. Community structure of spiders in coastal habitats of a Mediterranean delta region (Nestos Delta, NE Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Buchholz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available (pp 101-115Habitat zonation and ecology of spider assemblages have been poorly studied in Mediterranean ecosystems. A first analysis of spider assemblages in coastal habitats in the east Mediterranean area is presented. The study area is the 250 km² Nestos Delta, located in East Macedonia in the North-East of Greece. Spiders were caught in pitfall traps at 17 sites from the beginning of April to the end of June 2004. Nonparametric estimators were used to determine species richness and alpha diversity. Ordination analysis (redundancy analysis indicated four clearly separable spider species groups (salt meadows, dunes, mea-dows and floodplain forests, along a soil salinity and moisture gradient. Based on these results we discuss the habitat preferences of these spiders and include the first ecological data on several species.

  17. Comparision of the Martian Gullies With Terrestrial Ones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2005-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried to explained its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies formed at cold enviroment, sited at the Nevado de Toluca volcanoe near Toluca City, Mexico. We compare them with Martian gullies, choisen from four different areas, to recognize possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lenghts of those Martian gullies and their range was from 24 m 1775 m.

  18. Inhibition of Return in Fear of Spiders: Discrepant Eye Movement and Reaction Time Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Berdica

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Inhibition of return (IOR refers to a bias against returning the attention to a previously attended location. As a foraging facilitator it is thought to facilitate systematic visual search. With respect to neutral stimuli, this is generally thought to be adaptive, but when threatening stimuli appear in our environment, such a bias may be maladaptive. This experiment investigated the influence of phobia-related stimuli on the IOR effect using a discrimination task. A sample of 50 students (25 high, 25 low in spider fear completed an IOR task including schematic representations of spiders or butterflies as targets. Eye movements were recorded and to assess discrimination among targets, participants indicated with button presses if targets were spiders or butterflies. Reaction time data did not reveal a significant IOR effect but a significant interaction of group and target; spider fearful participants were faster to respond to spider targets than to butterflies. Furthermore, eye-tracking data showed a robust IOR effect independent of stimulus category. These results offer a more comprehensive assessment of the motor and oculomotor factors involved in the IOR effect.

  19. Multivariate ordination identifies vegetation types associated with spider conservation in brassica crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hafiz Sohaib Ahmed Saqib

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Conservation biological control emphasizes natural and other non-crop vegetation as a source of natural enemies to focal crops. There is an unmet need for better methods to identify the types of vegetation that are optimal to support specific natural enemies that may colonize the crops. Here we explore the commonality of the spider assemblage—considering abundance and diversity (H—in brassica crops with that of adjacent non-crop and non-brassica crop vegetation. We employ spatial-based multivariate ordination approaches, hierarchical clustering and spatial eigenvector analysis. The small-scale mixed cropping and high disturbance frequency of southern Chinese vegetation farming offered a setting to test the role of alternate vegetation for spider conservation. Our findings indicate that spider families differ markedly in occurrence with respect to vegetation type. Grassy field margins, non-crop vegetation, taro and sweetpotato harbour spider morphospecies and functional groups that are also present in brassica crops. In contrast, pumpkin and litchi contain spiders not found in brassicas, and so may have little benefit for conservation biological control services for brassicas. Our findings also illustrate the utility of advanced statistical approaches for identifying spatial relationships between natural enemies and the land uses most likely to offer alternative habitats for conservation biological control efforts that generates testable hypotheses for future studies.

  20. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays: Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1992-08-01

    Manned exploration of Mars may result in the contamination of that planet with terrestrial microbes, a situation requiring assessment of the survival potential of possible contaminating organisms. In this study, the survival of Bacillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 was examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) or Martian (Fe 3+-montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric pressure and composition, but not to UV flux or oxidizing conditions. Survival of bacteria was determined by standard plate counts and biochemical and physiological measurements over 112 days. Extractable lipid phosphate was used to measure microbial biomass, and the rate of 14C-acetate incorporation into microbial lipids was used to determine physiological activity. MS2 survival was assayed by plaque counts. Both bacterial types survived terrestrial or Martian conditions in Wyoming montmorillonite better than Martian conditions in Fe 3+-montmorillonite. Decreased survival may have been caused by the lower pH of the Fe 3+-montmorillonite compared to Wyoming montmorillonite. MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, likely due to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Martian environment. The survival of MS2 in the simulated Martian environment is the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Martian type soils. This work may have implications for planetary protection for future Mars missions.

  1. Adhesive foot pads: an adaptation to climbing? An ecological survey in hunting spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2015-02-01

    Hairy pads relying on dry adhesion are fascinating structures that convergently evolved among spiders and lizards. Numerous studies underline the functional aspects leading to their strong adhesion to smooth surfaces, but rarely has their role been studied in the context of natural habitats and surfaces that animals are faced with. In hunting spiders, the hairy foot pads (claw tufts) underneath the paired claws are assumed to be an adaptation to a climbing lifestyle, particularly on smooth plant surfaces. However, surfaces that are too smooth for claws to generate a sufficient grip are rather rare in natural habitats and above-ground habitats are occupied by hunting spiders both with and without claw tufts. In this study we estimated the proportion of claw tuft-bearing hunting spiders (ct+ ratio) among microhabitat-specific assemblages by conducting both a field study and a meta-analysis approach. The effect of surface characteristics, structure fragmentation and altitude of the microhabitat niche on the ct+ ratio was analyzed. We hypothesized that the ct+ ratio will be higher in (i) hunting spider assemblages obtained from microhabitats above the ground than from those at the ground and (ii) in hunting spider assemblages obtained from microhabitats with smoother surfaces (tree foliage) than those with rougher surfaces (barks, stones), and lower in (iii) hunting spider assemblages obtained from microhabitats with more fragmented structures (small leaves) than in those with comparable but less fragmented structures (large leaves). We found the ct+ ratio to be significantly affected by the microhabitat's distance from the ground, whereas surface characteristics and fragmentation of the substrates were of minor importance. This suggests that claw tufts are highly beneficial when the microhabitat's height exceeds a value where the additional pad-related costs are exceeded by the costs of dropping. We assume the benefit to be mainly due to gaining a high safety factor

  2. Exposure of Brown Recluse and Brown Widow Spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae, Theridiidae) to a Commercial Sulfuryl Fluoride Fumigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Hoddle, Mark S; Choe, Dong-Hwan; Thoms, Ellen

    2014-10-01

    The body of pesticide research on spiders is sparse with most studies using topical or residual applications to assess efficacy. Data on the effects of fumigation on spider survivorship are scarce in the scientific literature. In this study, we exposed adult male and female brown recluse spiders, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch & Mulaik, and female brown widow spiders, Latrodectus geometricus C. L. Koch, to a commercial fumigation event using sulfuryl fluoride directed at termite control. General consensus from the pest control industry is that fumigation is not always effective for control of spiders for a variety of reasons, including insufficient fumigant dosage, particularly, for contents of egg sacs that require a higher fumigant dosage for control. We demonstrated that a sulfuryl fluoride fumigation with an accumulated dosage of 162 oz-h per 1,000 ft(3) at 21°C over 25 h (≈1.7 × the drywood termite dosage) directed at termites was sufficient to kill adult brown recluse and brown widow spiders. The effectiveness of commercial fumigation practices to control spiders, and particularly their egg sacs, warrants further study. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  3. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  4. Final design of thermal diagnostic system in SPIDER ion source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brombin, M., E-mail: matteo.brombin@igi.cnr.it; Dalla Palma, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Pomaro, N. [Consorzio RFX, Corso Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy)

    2016-11-15

    The prototype radio frequency source of the ITER heating neutral beams will be first tested in SPIDER test facility to optimize H{sup −} production, cesium dynamics, and overall plasma characteristics. Several diagnostics will allow to fully characterise the beam in terms of uniformity and divergence and the source, besides supporting a safe and controlled operation. In particular, thermal measurements will be used for beam monitoring and system protection. SPIDER will be instrumented with mineral insulated cable thermocouples, both on the grids, on other components of the beam source, and on the rear side of the beam dump water cooled elements. This paper deals with the final design and the technical specification of the thermal sensor diagnostic for SPIDER. In particular the layout of the diagnostic, together with the sensors distribution in the different components, the cables routing and the conditioning and acquisition cubicles are described.

  5. Final design of thermal diagnostic system in SPIDER ion source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brombin, M.; Dalla Palma, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Pomaro, N.

    2016-01-01

    The prototype radio frequency source of the ITER heating neutral beams will be first tested in SPIDER test facility to optimize H"− production, cesium dynamics, and overall plasma characteristics. Several diagnostics will allow to fully characterise the beam in terms of uniformity and divergence and the source, besides supporting a safe and controlled operation. In particular, thermal measurements will be used for beam monitoring and system protection. SPIDER will be instrumented with mineral insulated cable thermocouples, both on the grids, on other components of the beam source, and on the rear side of the beam dump water cooled elements. This paper deals with the final design and the technical specification of the thermal sensor diagnostic for SPIDER. In particular the layout of the diagnostic, together with the sensors distribution in the different components, the cables routing and the conditioning and acquisition cubicles are described.

  6. The functional morphology of color changing in a spider: development of ommochrome pigment granules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insausti, Teresita C; Casas, Jérôme

    2008-03-01

    Studies on the formation of ommochrome pigment granules are very few, despite their generalized occurrence as screening pigments in insect eyes. This is particularly true for ommochrome granules responsible for epidermal coloration. The aims of this study were to characterize the localization of major body pigments in a color changing mimetic spider, Misumena vatia (Thomisidae), and to describe the formation and location of ommochrome pigment granules responsible for the spider's color change from white to yellow. The unpigmented cuticula of this spider is transparent. Both the guanine localized in guanine cells in the opisthosoma and the uric acid localized in epidermis cells in the prosoma are responsible for the white coloration. The bright yellow color is due to the combination of ommochrome pigment granules and the white reflectance from coincident guanine and/or uric acid. The formation of ommochrome pigment granules in epidermis cells proceeds via three distinctive steps. Translucent, UV fluorescent, progranules (type I) are produced by a dense network of endoplasmic reticulum associated with numerous mitochondria and glycogen rosettes. These progranules are present in white spiders only, and regularly distributed in the cytoplasm. The merging of several progranules of type I into a transient state (progranule type II) leads to the formation of granules (type III) characterized by their lack of fluorescence, their spherical sections and their osmophilic-electron-dense contents. They are found in yellow spiders and in the red stripes on the body sides. Their color varies from yellow to red. Thus, white spiders contain only type I granules, yellow tinted spiders contain type II and III granules and bright yellow spiders contain only type III granules. We present a synthetic view of the ontogeny of ommochrome granules. We discuss the physiology of color changing and the nature of the chemical compounds in the different types of granules. Extended studies on the

  7. Characterisation of protein families in spider digestive fluids and their role in extra-oral digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, André; Bechsgaard, Jesper; Scavenius, Carsten; Dyrlund, Thomas S; Sanggaard, Kristian W; Enghild, Jan J; Bilde, Trine

    2017-08-10

    Spiders are predaceous arthropods that are capable of subduing and consuming relatively large prey items compared to their own body size. For this purpose, spiders have evolved potent venoms to immobilise prey and digestive fluids that break down nutrients inside the prey's body by means of extra-oral digestion (EOD). Both secretions contain an array of active proteins, and an overlap of some components has been anecdotally reported, but not quantified. We systematically investigated the extent of such protein overlap. As venom injection and EOD succeed each other, we further infer functional explanations, and, by comparing two spider species belonging to different clades, assess its adaptive significance for spider EOD in general. We describe the protein composition of the digestive fluids of the mygalomorph Acanthoscurria geniculata and the araneomorph Stegodyphus mimosarum, in comparison with previously published data on a third spider species. We found a number of similar hydrolases being highly abundant in all three species. Among them, members of the family of astacin-like metalloproteases were particularly abundant. While the importance of these proteases in spider venom and digestive fluid was previously noted, we now highlight their widespread use across different spider taxa. Finally, we found species specific differences in the protein overlap between venom and digestive fluid, with the difference being significantly greater in S. mimosarum compared to A. geniculata. The injection of venom precedes the injection with digestive fluid, and the overlap of proteins between venom and digestive fluid suggests an early involvement in EOD. Species specific differences in the overlap may reflect differences in ecology between our two study species. The protein composition of the digestive fluid of all the three species we compared is highly similar, suggesting that the cocktail of enzymes is highly conserved and adapted to spider EOD.

  8. An RNA Virome Associated to the Golden Orb-Weaver Spider Nephila clavipes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto J. Debat

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The golden orb-weaver spider Nephila clavipes, known for its sexual size dimorphism, is abundant and widespread in the New World. The first annotated genome of orb-weaver spiders, exploring N. clavipes, has recently been reported. The study, focused primarily on the diversity of silk specific genes, shed light into the complex evolutionary history of spiders. Furthermore, a robust transcriptome analysis provided a massive resource for N. clavipes RNA survey. Here, I present evidence of viral sequences corresponding to the first 10 extant virus species associated to N. clavipes and indeed, nephilids. The putatively new species are linked to ssRNA positive-strand viruses, such as Picornavirales, and to ssRNA negative-strand and dsRNA viruses. In addition, I detected sequence data of new strains of two recently reported arthropod viruses, which complemented and extended the corresponding sequence references. The identified viruses appear to be complete, potentially functional, and presenting the typical architecture and consistent viral domains. The intrinsic nature of the detected sequences and their absence in the recently generated genome assembly, suggest that they correspond to bona fide RNA virus sequences. The available RNA data allowed for the first time to address a tissue/organ specific analysis of virus loads/presence in spiders, suggesting a complex spatial and differential distribution of the tentative viruses, encompassing the spider brain and also silk and venom glands. Until recently, the virus landscape associated to spiders remained elusive. The discovered viruses described here provide only a fragmented glimpse of the potential magnitude of the Aranea virosphere. Future studies should focus not only on complementing and expanding these findings, but also on addressing the potential ecological role of these viruses, which might influence the biology of these outstanding arthropod species.

  9. Utility Assessment Report for SPIDERS Phase 2: Ft. Carson (Rev 1.0)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barr, Jonathan L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tuffner, Francis K. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hadley, Mark D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Schneider, Kevin P. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-01-01

    This document contains the Utility Assessment Report (UAR) for the Phase 2 operational Demonstration (OD) of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD). The UAR for Phase 2 shows that the SPIDERS system was able to meet the requirements of the Implementation Directive at Ft. Carson.

  10. Spectral response of spider mite infested cotton: Mite density and miticide rate study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two-spotted spider mites are important pests in many agricultural systems. Spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) have been found to cause economic damage in corn, cotton, and sorghum. Adult glass vial bioassays indicate that Temprano™ (abamectin) is the most toxic technical miticide for adult two-spot...

  11. Trichobothrial mediation of an aquatic escape response: Directional jumps by the fishing spider, Dolomedes triton, foil frog attacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Suter

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Fishing spiders (Pisauridae frequent the surfaces of ponds and streams and thereby expose themselves to predation by a variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic vertebrates. To assess the possibility that the impressive jumps of fishing spiders from the water surface function in evading attacks by frogs, attacks by bullfrogs (Rana catesbiana and green frogs (R. clamitans on Dolomedes triton were studied. Both the attack dynamics of the frogs and the evasive behaviors of the spiders were recorded at 250 frames per second. A freeze-dried bullfrog, propelled toward spiders with acceleration, posture, and position that approximated the natural attack posture and dynamics, was used to assess the spiders' behavior. Qualitatively, the spiders responded to these mock-attacks just as they had to attacks by live frogs: jumping (N=29 jumps, 56.9% of instances, rearing the legs nearest the attacking frog (N=15, 29.4%, or showing no visible response (N=7, 13.7%. Spiders that jumped always did so away (in the vertical plane from the attack (mean =137° vs. vertical at 90° or horizontally toward the frog at 0°. The involvement of the trichobothria (leg hairs sensitive to air movements, and the eyes as sensory mediators of the evasion response was assessed. Spiders with deactivated trichobothria were significantly impaired relative to intact and sham-deactivated spiders, and relative to spiders in total darkness. Thus, functional trichobothria, unlike the eyes, are both necessary and sufficient mediators of the evasion response. Measurements of air flow during frog attacks suggest that an exponential rise in flow velocity is the airborne signature of an attack.

  12. The Spider and the Fly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellinger, Keith E.; Viglione, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The Spider and the Fly puzzle, originally attributed to the great puzzler Henry Ernest Dudeney, and now over 100 years old, asks for the shortest path between two points on a particular square prism. We explore a generalization, find that the original solution only holds in certain cases, and suggest how this discovery might be used in the…

  13. Cuticular hydrocarbons as potential kin recognition cues in a subsocial spider

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinsted, Lena; Bilde, Trine; D'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2011-01-01

    of recognition cues in subsocial species can provide insights into evolutionary pathways leading to permanent sociality and kin-selected benefits of cooperation. In subsocial spiders, empirical evidence suggests the existence of both kin recognition and benefits of cooperating with kin, whereas the cues for kin...... recognition have yet to be identified. However, cuticular hydrocarbons have been proposed to be involved in regulation of tolerance and interattraction in spider sociality. Here, we show that subsocial Stegodyphus lineatus spiderlings have cuticular hydrocarbon profiles that are sibling-group specific, making...... be branched alkanes that are influenced very little by rearing conditions and may be genetically determined. This indicates that a specific group of cuticular chemicals, namely branched alkanes, could have evolved to act as social recognition cues in both insects and spiders....

  14. A New Limit on CMB Circular Polarization from SPIDER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, J. M.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Benton, S. J.; Bergman, A. S.; Bihary, R.; Bock, J. J.; Bond, J. R.; Bryan, S. A.; Chiang, H. C.; Contaldi, C. R.; Doré, O.; Duivenvoorden, A. J.; Eriksen, H. K.; Farhang, M.; Filippini, J. P.; Fissel, L. M.; Fraisse, A. A.; Freese, K.; Galloway, M.; Gambrel, A. E.; Gandilo, N. N.; Ganga, K.; Gudmundsson, J. E.; Halpern, M.; Hartley, J.; Hasselfield, M.; Hilton, G.; Holmes, W.; Hristov, V. V.; Huang, Z.; Irwin, K. D.; Jones, W. C.; Kuo, C. L.; Kermish, Z. D.; Li, S.; Mason, P. V.; Megerian, K.; Moncelsi, L.; Morford, T. A.; Netterfield, C. B.; Nolta, M.; Padilla, I. L.; Racine, B.; Rahlin, A. S.; Reintsema, C.; Ruhl, J. E.; Runyan, M. C.; Ruud, T. M.; Shariff, J. A.; Soler, J. D.; Song, X.; Trangsrud, A.; Tucker, C.; Tucker, R. S.; Turner, A. D.; Van Der List, J. F.; Weber, A. C.; Wehus, I. K.; Wiebe, D. V.; Young, E. Y.

    2017-08-01

    We present a new upper limit on cosmic microwave background (CMB) circular polarization from the 2015 flight of Spider, a balloon-borne telescope designed to search for B-mode linear polarization from cosmic inflation. Although the level of circular polarization in the CMB is predicted to be very small, experimental limits provide a valuable test of the underlying models. By exploiting the nonzero circular-to-linear polarization coupling of the half-wave plate polarization modulators, data from Spider's 2015 Antarctic flight provide a constraint on Stokes V at 95 and 150 GHz in the range 33< {\\ell }< 307. No other limits exist over this full range of angular scales, and Spider improves on the previous limit by several orders of magnitude, providing 95% C.L. constraints on {\\ell }({\\ell }+1){C}{\\ell }{VV}/(2π ) ranging from 141 to 255 μK2 at 150 GHz for a thermal CMB spectrum. As linear CMB polarization experiments become increasingly sensitive, the techniques described in this paper can be applied to obtain even stronger constraints on circular polarization.

  15. A New Limit on CMB Circular Polarization from SPIDER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagy, J. M.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Benton, S. J.; Bergman, A. S.; Bihary, R.; Bock, J. J.; Bond, J. R.; Bryan, S. A.; Chiang, H. C.; Contaldi, C. R.; Doré, O.; Duivenvoorden, A. J.; Eriksen, H. K.; Farhang, M.; Filippini, J. P.; Fissel, L. M.; Fraisse, A. A.; Freese, K.; Galloway, M.; Gambrel, A. E.; Gandilo, N. N.; Ganga, K.; Gudmundsson, J. E.; Halpern, M.; Hartley, J.; Hasselfield, M.; Hilton, G.; Holmes, W.; Hristov, V. V.; Huang, Z.; Irwin, K. D.; Jones, W. C.; Kuo, C. L.; Kermish, Z. D.; Li, S.; Mason, P. V.; Megerian, K.; Moncelsi, L.; Morford, T. A.; Netterfield, C. B.; Nolta, M.; Padilla, I. L.; Racine, B.; Rahlin, A. S.; Reintsema, C.; Ruhl, J. E.; Runyan, M. C.; Ruud, T. M.; Shariff, J. A.; Soler, J. D.; Song, X.; Trangsrud, A.; Tucker, C.; Tucker, R. S.; Turner, A. D.; List, J. F. Van Der; Weber, A. C.; Wehus, I. K.; Wiebe, D. V.; Young, E. Y.

    2017-08-01

    We present a new upper limit on CMB circular polarization from the 2015 flight of SPIDER, a balloon-borne telescope designed to search for $B$-mode linear polarization from cosmic inflation. Although the level of circular polarization in the CMB is predicted to be very small, experimental limits provide a valuable test of the underlying models. By exploiting the non-zero circular-to-linear polarization coupling of the HWP polarization modulators, data from SPIDER's 2015 Antarctic flight provides a constraint on Stokes $V$ at 95 and 150 GHz from $33<\\ell<307$. No other limits exist over this full range of angular scales, and SPIDER improves upon the previous limit by several orders of magnitude, providing 95% C.L. constraints on $\\ell (\\ell+1)C_{\\ell}^{VV}/(2\\pi)$ ranging from 141 $\\mu K ^2$ to 203 $\\mu K ^2$ at 150 GHz for a thermal CMB spectrum. As linear CMB polarization experiments become increasingly sensitive, the techniques described in this paper can be applied to obtain stronger constraints on circular polarization.

  16. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio

    2006-01-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  17. Three-dimensional printing spiders: back-and-forth glue application yields silk anchorages with high pull-off resistance under varying loading situations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; Herberstein, Marie E

    2017-02-01

    The anchorage of structures is a crucial element of construction, both for humans and animals. Spiders use adhesive plaques to attach silk threads to substrates. Both biological and artificial adhesive structures usually have an optimal loading angle, and are prone to varying loading situations. Silk anchorages, however, must cope with loading in highly variable directions. Here we show that the detachment forces of thread anchorages of orb-web spiders are highly robust against pulling in different directions. This is gained by a two-step back-and-forth spinning pattern during the rapid production of the adhesive plaque, which shifts the thread insertion point towards the plaque centre and forms a flexible tree root-like network of branching fibres around the loading point. Using a morphometric approach and a tape-and-thread model we show that neither area, nor width of the plaque, but the shift of the loading point towards the plaque centre has the highest effect on pull-off resistance. This is explained by a circular propagation of the delamination crack with a low peeling angle. We further show that silken attachment discs are highly directional and adjusted to provide maximal performance in the upstream dragline. These results show that the way the glue is applied, crucially enhances the toughness of the anchorage without the need of additional material intake. This work is a starting point to study the evolution of tough and universal thread anchorages among spiders, and to develop bioinspired 'instant' anchorages of thread- and cable-like structures to a broad bandwidth of substrates. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Ballooning behavior in the golden orbweb spider Nephilapilipes (Araneae: Nephilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M.J. Lee

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ballooning, a mode of aerial dispersal in spiders, is an innate behavior that requires appropriate physiological and meteorological conditions. Although only rarely reported in the golden orbweb spiders, family Nephilidae, the large geographic distributions of most nephilids—in particular of Nephila species—would imply that these spiders likely routinely disperse by ballooning in spite of giant female sizes. Here we study ballooning behavior in the golden orbweb spider Nephila pilipes (Fabricius, 1793. Specifically, we test for the propensity of spiderlings to deploy ballooning as a dispersal mechanism. We subjected a total of 59 first-instar spiderlings to a wind experiment at two wind speeds (2.17 ± 0.02 m s-1 and 3.17 ± 0.02 m s-1 under laboratory conditions. Under an average wind speed of 3.17 m s-1, none of the spiderlings exhibited pre-ballooning or ballooning behavior. However, at an average wind speed of 2.17 m s-1, 53 (89.8% spiderlings showed pre-ballooning behavior, and 17 (32.1% of the pre-ballooners ultimately ballooned. Our results concur with prior reports on spiderlings of other families that pre-ballooning behavior is a requirement for ballooning to occur. Furthermore, although we cannot rule out other dispersal mechanisms such as synanthropic spread, our findings suggest that the widespread N. pilipes uses ballooning to colonize remote oceanic islands.

  19. Subsocial behaviour and brood adoption in mixed-species colonies of two theridiid spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinsted, Lena; Agnarsson, Ingi; Bilde, Trine

    2012-12-01

    Cooperation and group living often evolves through kin selection. However, associations between unrelated organisms, such as different species, can evolve if both parties benefit from the interaction. Group living is rare in spiders, but occurs in cooperative, permanently social spiders, as well as in territorial, colonial spiders. Mixed species spider colonies, involving closely related species, have rarely been documented. We examined social interactions in newly discovered mixed-species colonies of theridiid spiders on Bali, Indonesia. Our aim was to test the degree of intra- and interspecific tolerance, aggression and cooperation through behavioural experiments and examine the potential for adoption of foreign brood. Morphological and genetic analyses confirmed that colonies consisted of two related species Chikunia nigra (O.P. Cambridge, 1880) new combination (previously Chrysso nigra) and a yet undescribed Chikunia sp. Females defended territories and did not engage in cooperative prey capture, but interestingly, both species seemed to provide extended maternal care of young and indiscriminate care for foreign brood. Future studies may reveal whether these species adopt only intra-specific young, or also inter-specifically. We classify both Chikunia species subsocial and intra- and interspecifically colonial, and discuss the evolutionary significance of a system where one or both species may potentially benefit from mutual tolerance and brood adoption.

  20. Tisaniba, a new genus of marpissoid jumping spiders from Borneo (Araneae: Salticidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun-Xia; Maddison, Wayne P

    2014-08-14

    Six new species of marpissoid jumping spiders from Sarawak, Borneo, are described in the new genus Tisaniba Zhang & Maddison. They are the type species, T. mulu Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., as well as the species T. bijibijan Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., T. dik Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., T. kubah Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., T. selan Zhang & Maddison sp. nov., and T. selasi Zhang & Maddison sp. nov. The spiders are small and brown to black, living in leaf litter in the tropical forest. Phylogenetic analyses based on 28s and 16sND1 genes indicate that they are a distinctive group within the marpissoids. Diagnostic illustrations and photographs of living spiders are provided for all species.

  1. Behavioural responses of two-spotted spider mites induced by predator-borne and prey-borne cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyuris, Enikő; Szép, Erna; Kontschán, Jenő; Hettyey, Attila; Tóth, Zoltán

    2017-11-01

    Applying predatory mites as biological control agents is a well established method against spider mites which are major pests worldwide. Although antipredator responses can influence the outcome of predator-prey interactions, we have limited information about what cues spider mites use to adjust their behavioural antipredator responses. We experimentally exposed two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) to different predator-borne cues (using a specialist predator, Phytoseiulus persimilis, or a generalist predator, Amblyseius swirskii), conspecific prey-borne cues, or both, and measured locomotion and egg-laying activity. The reactions to predator species compared to each other manifested in reversed tendencies: spider mites increased their locomotion activity in the presence of P. persimilis, whereas they decreased it when exposed to A. swirskii. The strongest response was triggered by the presence of a killed conspecific: focal spider mites decreased their locomotion activity compared to the control group. Oviposition activity was not affected by either treatment. Our results point out that spider mites may change their behaviour in response to predators, and also to the presence of killed conspecifics, but these effects were not enhanced when both types of cues were present. The effect of social contacts among prey conspecifics on predator-induced behavioural defences is discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. A spider elevator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butylkin, A.V.; Butylkin, V.A.; Izosimov, A.M.

    1983-01-01

    A spider elevator is proposed which contains a body, a wedge clamp with wedges hinged to each other, a subassembly for holding the wedge clamp in the open and closed positions and a mechanism for changing the wedge clamp, which is made in the form of levers with ears for cleats and installed in the body with the capability of turning. To increase reliability in the operational mode through using the external force for clamping the pipe, the free ends of the levers are hinged with the body by a power cylinder.

  3. Magnesium isotope systematics in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magna, Tomáš; Hu, Yan; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Mezger, Klaus

    2017-09-01

    Magnesium isotope compositions are reported for a suite of Martian meteorites that span the range of petrological and geochemical types recognized to date for Mars, including crustal breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. The δ26Mg values (per mil units relative to DSM-3 reference material) range from -0.32 to -0.11‰; basaltic shergottites and nakhlites lie to the heavier end of the Mg isotope range whereas olivine-phyric, olivine-orthopyroxene-phyric and lherzolitic shergottites, and chassignites have slightly lighter Mg isotope compositions, attesting to modest correlation of Mg isotopes and petrology of the samples. Slightly heavier Mg isotope compositions found for surface-related materials (NWA 7034, black glass fraction of the Tissint shergottite fall; δ26Mg > -0.17‰) indicate measurable Mg isotope difference between the Martian mantle and crust but the true extent of Mg isotope fractionation for Martian surface materials remains unconstrained. The range of δ26Mg values from -0.19 to -0.11‰ in nakhlites is most likely due to accumulation of clinopyroxene during petrogenesis rather than garnet fractionation in the source or assimilation of surface material modified at low temperatures. The rather restricted range in Mg isotope compositions between spatially and temporally distinct mantle-derived samples supports the idea of inefficient/absent major tectonic cycles on Mars, which would include plate tectonics and large-scale recycling of isotopically fractionated surface materials back into the Martian mantle. The cumulative δ26Mg value of Martian samples, which are not influenced by late-stage alteration processes and/or crust-mantle interactions, is - 0.271 ± 0.040 ‰ (2SD) and is considered to reflect δ26Mg value of the Bulk Silicate Mars. This value is robust taking into account the range of lithologies involved in this estimate. It also attests to the lack of the Mg isotope variability reported for the inner Solar System bodies at current

  4. Chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaefer, M.W.

    1990-01-01

    The chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere is discussed. The early Martian ocean can be modeled as a body of relatively pure water in equilibrium with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. The chemical weathering of lavas, pyroclastic deposits, and impact melt sheets would have the effect of neutralizing the acidity of the juvenile water. As calcium and other cations are added to the water by chemical weathering, they are quickly removed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate and other minerals, forming a deposit of limestone beneath the surface of the ocean. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide pressure and the temperature decrease, the Martian ocean would be completely frozen. Given the scenario for the chemical evolution of the northern lowland plains of Mars, it should be possible to draw a few conclusions about the expected mineralogy and geomorphology of this regions

  5. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Satterwhite, C.; Allton, J.; Stansbury, E.

    1998-01-01

    To date the ANSMET field team has collected five martian meteorites (see below) in Antarctica and returned them for curation at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Meteorite Processing Laboratory (MPL). ne meteorites were collected with the clean procedures used by ANSMET in collecting all meteorites: They were handled with JSC-cleaned tools, packaged in clean bags, and shipped frozen to JSC. The five martian meteorites vary significantly in size (12-7942 g) and rock type (basalts, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenite). Detailed descriptions are provided in the Mars Meteorite compendium, which describes classification, curation and research results. A table gives the names, classifications and original and curatorial masses of the martian meteorites. The MPL and measures for contamination control are described.

  6. Ontogenesis, gender, and molting influence the venom yield in the spider Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Herzig, Volker

    2010-01-01

    The demand for spider venom increases along with the growing popularity of venoms-based research. A deeper understanding of factors that influence the venom yield in spiders would therefore be of interest to both commercial venom suppliers and research facilities. The present study addresses the influence of several factors on the venom yield by systematically analyzing the data obtained from 1773 electrical milkings of the Australian theraphosid spider Coremiocnemis tropix. Gender and ontoge...

  7. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  8. Prediction of abundance of forest spiders according to climate warming in South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of spiders will be changed as climate warms. Abundance of spider species was predicted nationwide in South Korea. Abundance of spiders was projected using temperature species distribution model based on a nationwide data (366 forest sites according to climate change scenario RCP 4.5 and 8.5. The model predicts that 9 out of 17 species will increase in abundance while 8 species will decrease. Based on this finding, a qualitative prediction (increase or decrease was conducted on the species with more than 1% occurrence: 68 species are expected to decrease, 9 to increase, and 8 to change a little. In pooled estimation, 76 species (75% are expected to decrease, 18 species (18% to increase, and by 8 species (8% to have little change. The projection indicates that majority of spider species will decrease, but minority of species will increase as climate warms, suggesting great increase of remained species in lowlands.

  9. Local and Landscape Correlates of Spider Activity Density and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otoshi, Michelle D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Urbanization is a major threat to arthropod biodiversity and abundance due to reduction and loss of suitable natural habitat. Green spaces and small-scale agricultural areas may provide habitat and resources for arthropods within densely developed cities. We studied spider activity density (a measure of both abundance and degree of movement) and diversity in urban gardens in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties in central California, USA. We sampled for spiders with pitfall traps and sampled 38 local site characteristics for 5 mo in 19 garden sites to determine the relative importance of individual local factors. We also analyzed 16 landscape variables at 500-m and 1-km buffers surrounding each garden to determine the significance of landscape factors. We identified individuals from the most common families to species and identified individuals from other families to morphospecies. Species from the families Lycosidae and Gnaphosidae composed 81% of total adult spider individuals. Most of the significant factors that correlated with spider activity density and richness were local rather than landscape factors. Spider activity density and richness increased with mulch cover and flowering plant species, and decreased with bare soil. Thus, changes in local garden management have the potential to promote diversity of functionally important spiders in urban environments. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Electrodynamics of the Martian Ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledvina, S. A.; Brecht, S. H.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of the Martian crustal magnetic fields makes a significant modification to the interaction between the solar wind/IMF and the ionosphere of the planet. This paper presents the results of 3-D hybrid simulations of Martian solar wind interaction containing the Martian crustal fields., self-consistent ionospheric chemistry and planetary rotation. It has already been reported that the addition of the crustal fields and planetary rotation makes a significant modification of the ionospheric loss from Mars, Brecht et al., 2016. This paper focuses on two other aspects of the interaction, the electric fields and the current systems created by the solar wind interaction. The results of several simulations will be analyzed and compared. The electric fields around Mars due to its interaction with the solar wind will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the electric field constituents (∇ X B, ∇Pe, ηJ). Regions where the electric field is parallel to the magnetic field will be found and the implications of these regions will be discussed. Current systems for each ion species will be shown. Finally the effects on the electric fields and the current systems due to the rotation of Mars will be examined.

  11. Detail design of the beam source for the SPIDER experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marcuzzi, D.; Agostinetti, P.; Dalla Palma, M.; Degli Agostini, F.; Pavei, M.; Rizzolo, A.; Tollin, M.; Trevisan, L.

    2010-01-01

    The ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility (PRIMA-Padova Research on Injector Megavolt Accelerated) is planned to be built at Consorzio RFX (Padova, Italy). PRIMA includes two experimental devices: a full size plasma source with low voltage extraction called SPIDER (Source for Production of Ion of Deuterium Extracted from RF plasma) and a full size neutral beam injector at full beam power called MITICA (Megavolt ITER Injector Concept Advancement). SPIDER is the first experimental device to be built and operated, aiming at testing the extraction of a negative ion beam (made of H - and in a later stage D - ions) from an ITER size ion source. The main requirements of this experiment are a H - /D - current of approximately 70 A/50 A and an energy of 100 keV. This paper presents an overview of the SPIDER beam source design, with a particular focus on the main design choices, aiming at reaching the best compromise between physics, optics, thermo-mechanical, cooling, assembly and electrical requirements.

  12. Analysis for the brazing deformation of AFA3G spider

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Feng

    2015-01-01

    Spider, the key component of the AFA3G cluster control assemblies (RCCA), is brazed with body, vanes and fingers. Vacuum brazing is crucial in the spider process and it is directly relevant to the final product quality. This paper analyze the deformation of the AFA3G spider in vacuum brazing procedure based on a large amount of data. The results indicate that the parallelism of the finger is most affected by the brazing and its deformation has obvious regularity. Deformation is mainly caused by the different contraction directions of components along with the interactions among them during cooling process. An optimized design of the brazing fixture based on the regularity and the value of the deformation greatly improves the parallelism of the fingers. Besides, the vacuum brazing procedure also affects the hole diameter of the finger, however, we could reduce the deformation by using columnar pin on the brazing fixture. (author)

  13. Water in Pyroxene and Olivine from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, A. H.

    2012-01-01

    Water in the interior of terrestrial planets can be dissolved in fluids or melts and hydrous phases, but can also be locked as protons attached to structural oxygen in lattice defects in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) like olivine, pyroxene, or feldspar [1-3]. Although these minerals contain only tens to hundreds of ppm H2O, this water can amount to at least one ocean in mass when added at planetary scales because of the modal dominance of NAM in the mantle and crust [4]. Moreover these trace amounts of water can have drastic effects on melting temperature, rheology, electrical and heat conductivity, and seismic wave attenuation [5]. There is presently a debate on how much water is present in the martian mantle. Secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) studies of NAM [6], amphiboles and glass in melt inclusions [7-10], and apatites [11, 12] from Martian meteorites report finding as much water as in the same phases from Earth's igneous rocks. Most martian hydrous minerals, however, generally have the relevant sites filled with Cl and F instead of H [13, 14], and experiments using Cl [15] in parent melts can reproduce Martian basalt compositions as well as those with water [16]. We are in the process of analyzing Martian meteorite minerals by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) in order to constrain the role of water in this planet s formation and magmatic evolution

  14. Where to search for martian biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasch, Paul

    1997-07-01

    Martian Salt. Terrestrial halite containing negative crystals which entrapped drops of viscous fluid yielded viable bacteria. The fluid has a Br/Mg ratio which chemist W.T. Holser characterized as a `Permian bittern.' All relevant salt on Mars should be inspected for negative crystals and possible ancient bacterial tenants. Martian Water. Moist soil in the regolith, cooled hydrothermal fluids, sediments of recurrent oceanic water, and related to inferred strand lines, even limited water in future SNC-type meteorites, upper atmosphere liquid water or water vapor, and North Polar liquid water or ice--all liquid water in any form, wherever, should be collected for microbiological analysis. Vent Fauna. Living or fossil thermophiles as trace fossils, or fauna metallicized in relation to sulphide ores. Iron Bacteria. Limonitized magnetite ore (USSR) in thin section showed structures attributed to iron bacteria. Biogenic magnetite, produced by both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and its significance. Carbonaceous chondrites (non martian) (Ivuna and Orgueil) yielded apparent life forms that could not be attributed to contamination during the given study. Are they extraterrestrial?

  15. The age and evolution of sociality in Stegodyphus spiders: a molecular phylogenetic perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johannesen, Jes; Lubin, Yael; Smith, Deborah R.

    2007-01-01

    suggested to be unstable in evolutionary time, and hence sociality a rare phenomenon in spiders. Based on a partial molecular phylogeny of the genus Stegodyphus, we address the hypothesis that social spiders in this genus are evolutionary transient. We estimate the age of the three social species, test...

  16. Differences among plant species in acceptance by the spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boom, van den C.E.M.; Beek, van T.A.; Dicke, M.

    2003-01-01

    The spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch has a broad range of host plants. However, the spider mite does not accept all plants to the same degree because of differences in nutritive and toxic constituents. Other factors, such as the induction of secondary metabolites, the morphology of a leaf

  17. The influence of vegetation structure on spider species richness, diversity and community organization in the Apšuciems calcareous fen, Latvia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Štokmane, M.; Spuņģis, V.

    2016-07-01

    Calcareous fens are considered to be among the most threatened ecosystems of Europe. They are also one of the most diverse habitats as they support an incredibly rich and diverse range of plant and animal species. However, in spite of their diversity, calcareous fens are still poorly investigated, especially when referring to fen invertebrates, such as spiders. Because spiders are good bioindicators, knowledge of their ecology in rare and threatened habitats is of interest. The aim of this study was to document the composition and diversity of spider species, families and foraging guilds in the ground– and grass–layers of the Apšuciems calcareous fen, and to evaluate the influence of vegetation structure on spider community organization. In summer 2012, we collected ground–dwelling spiders using pitfall traps and grass–dwelling spiders using sweep–netting. A total of 2,937 spider individuals belonging to 19 families and 80 species was collected in the Apšuciems fen. Our results indicate that spider species and families tend to be stratified across the vertical structure of the habitat; the spider composition in the ground stratum differed from that in the grass stratum. On the contrary, however, the spider foraging guild structure between the ground–layer and the grass–layer was similar. Each of the two studied strata presented similar guilds in similar proportions. Our results also showed that spider composition differed considerably between fen parts and that much of this variability could be explained by the architectural properties of the habitat. More diverse vegetation generally supported a higher number of spider species. (Author)

  18. Compositional changes in spider (Araneae) assemblages along an urbanisation gradient near a Danish town

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horváth, R.; Elek, Zoltán; Lövei, Gabor L

    2014-01-01

    Spider (Araneae) assemblages were studied over two years by pitfall trapping along an urbanisation gradient of forested habitats (rural forest - suburban forest fragment - urban forest fragment) in a Danish town, using the Globenet protocol. During the two years, we collected 4340 individuals of 90...... species, with money spiders (Linyphiidae) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) being most numerous. One species, Ero aphana, was new to the Danish fauna. In 2004, 45-47 species were captured in the habitats in various stages of urbanisation, while in 2005 (with a smaller collection effort), 28 (urban) - 37 (rural...

  19. A molecular phylogeny of nephilid spiders: evolutionary history of a model lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Arnedo, Miquel A; Trontelj, Peter; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2013-12-01

    The pantropical orb web spider family Nephilidae is known for the most extreme sexual size dimorphism among terrestrial animals. Numerous studies have made Nephilidae, particularly Nephila, a model lineage in evolutionary research. However, a poorly understood phylogeny of this lineage, relying only on morphology, has prevented thorough evolutionary syntheses of nephilid biology. We here use three nuclear and five mitochondrial genes for 28 out of 40 nephilid species to provide a more robust nephilid phylogeny and infer clade ages in a fossil-calibrated Bayesian framework. We complement the molecular analyses with total evidence analysis including morphology. All analyses find strong support for nephilid monophyly and exclusivity and the monophyly of the genera Herennia and Clitaetra. The inferred phylogenetic structure within Nephilidae is novel and conflicts with morphological phylogeny and traditional taxonomy. Nephilengys species fall into two clades, one with Australasian species (true Nephilengys) as sister to Herennia, and another with Afrotropical species (Nephilingis Kuntner new genus) as sister to a clade containing Clitaetra plus most currently described Nephila. Surprisingly, Nephila is also diphyletic, with true Nephila containing N. pilipes+N. constricta, and the second clade with all other species sister to Clitaetra; this "Nephila" clade is further split into an Australasian clade that also contains the South American N. sexpunctata and the Eurasian N. clavata, and an African clade that also contains the Panamerican N. clavipes. An approximately unbiased test constraining the monophyly of Nephilengys, Nephila, and Nephilinae (Nephila, Nephilengys, Herennia), respectively, rejected Nephilengys monophyly, but not that of Nephila and Nephilinae. Further data are therefore necessary to robustly test these two new, but inconclusive findings, and also to further test the precise placement of Nephilidae within the Araneoidea. For divergence date estimation

  20. Emotion regulation in spider phobia: role of the medial prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Axel; Walter, Bertram; Stark, Rudolf; Vaitl, Dieter; Schienle, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Phobic responses are strong emotional reactions towards phobic objects, which can be described as a deficit in the automatic regulation of emotions. Difficulties in the voluntary cognitive control of these emotions suggest a further phobia-specific deficit in effortful emotion regulation mechanisms. The actual study is based on this emotion regulation conceptualization of specific phobias. The aim is to investigate the neural correlates of these two emotion regulation deficits in spider phobics. Sixteen spider phobic females participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in which they were asked to voluntarily up- and down-regulate their emotions elicited by spider and generally aversive pictures with a reappraisal strategy. In line with the hypothesis concerning an automatic emotion regulation deficit, increased activity in the insula and reduced activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was observed. Furthermore, phobia-specific effortful regulation within phobics was associated with altered activity in medial prefrontal cortex areas. Altogether, these results suggest that spider phobic subjects are indeed characterized by a deficit in the automatic as well as the effortful regulation of emotions elicited by phobic compared with aversive stimuli. These two forms of phobic emotion regulation deficits are associated with altered activity in different medial prefrontal cortex subregions. PMID:19398537

  1. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.

    2016-11-01

    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  2. Spider and burnable poison rod combinations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, L.A.

    1980-01-01

    A description is given of an improved design of burnable poison rods and their associated spiders used in the fuel assemblies of pressurized water power reactor cores which allows the rods to be installed and removed more quickly, simply and gently than in previously described systems. (U.K.)

  3. Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    The surface of Mars is characterized on the basis of reformatted Viking remote-sensing data, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Topics examined include impact craters, ridges and faults, volcanic studies (modeling of surface effects on volcanic activity, description and interpretation of volcanic features, and calculations on lava-ice interactions), the role of liquid water on Mars, evidence for abundant ground ice at high latitudes, water-cycle modeling, and the composition and dynamics of Martian dust

  4. Active optical sensor assessment of spider mite damage on greenhouse beans and cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch is an important pest of cotton in mid-southern United States and causes yield reduction, and deprivation in fiber fitness. A greenhouse colony of the spider mite was used to infest cotton and pinto beans at the three-leaf and trifoliate stages, r...

  5. The Martian Water Cycle Based on 3-D Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houben, H.; Haberle, R. M.; Joshi, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of Martian water is a major goal of the Mars Surveyor program. However, until the bulk of the data from the nominal missions of TES, PMIRR, GRS, MVACS, and the DS2 probes are available, we are bound to be in a state where much of our knowledge of the seasonal behavior of water is based on theoretical modeling. We therefore summarize the results of this modeling at the present time. The most complete calculations come from a somewhat simplified treatment of the Martian climate system which is capable of simulating many decades of weather. More elaborate meteorological models are now being applied to study of the problem. The results show a high degree of consistency with observations of aspects of the Martian water cycle made by Viking MAWD, a large number of ground-based measurements of atmospheric column water vapor, studies of Martian frosts, and the widespread occurrence of water ice clouds. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  6. Intercropping With Fruit Trees Increases Population Abundance and Alters Species Composition of Spider Mites on Cotton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haiqiang; Pan, Hongsheng; Wang, Dongmei; Liu, Bing; Liu, Jian; Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Yanhui

    2018-05-05

    With the recent increase in planting of fruit trees in southern Xinjiang, the intercropping of fruit trees and cotton has been widely adopted. From 2014 to 2016, a large-scale study was conducted in Aksu, an important agricultural area in southern Xinjiang, to compare the abundance and species composition of spider mites in cotton fields under jujube-cotton, apple-cotton, and cotton monocrop systems. The abundance of spider mites in cotton fields under both intercropping systems was generally higher than in the cotton monocrop. The species composition of spider mites also differed greatly between cotton intercropped with apple or jujube compared to the cotton monocrop. The relative proportion of Tetranychus truncates Ehara (Acari: Tetranychidae) in the species complex generally increased while that of another spider mite, Tetranychus dunhuangensis Wang (Acari: Tetranychidae), decreased under fruit tree-cotton systems. More attention should be paid to the monitoring and management of spider mites, especially T. truncates in this important region of China.

  7. Ultra-high Thermal Conductivity of Spider Silk: Protein Function Study with Controlled Structure Change and Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-23

    induced increase in energy transport capacity of silkworm silks , Biopolymers , (10 2014): 0. doi: 10.1002/bip.22496 Shen Xu, Zaoli Xu, James Starrett...SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: In the past three years, we have conducted extensive research to study the structure of spider silks and investigate how the...manually spun spider silks demonstrates that the alignment of the antiparallel beta-sheet crystals in spider silks plays one of the most important

  8. The influence of vegetation structure on spider species richness, diversity and community organization in the Apšuciems calcareous fen, Latvia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Štokmane, M.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Calcareous fens are considered to be among the most threatened ecosystems of Europe. They are also one of the most diverse habitats as they support an incredibly rich and diverse range of plant and animal species. However, in spite of their diversity, calcareous fens are still poorly investigated, especially when referring to fen invertebrates, such as spiders. Because spiders are good bioindicators, knowledge of their ecology in rare and threatened habitats is of interest. The aim of this study was to document the composition and diversity of spider species, families and foraging guilds in the ground– and grass–layers of the Apšuciems calcareous fen, and to evaluate the influence of vegetation structure on spider community organization. In summer 2012, we collected ground–dwelling spiders using pitfall traps and grass–dwelling spiders using sweep–netting. A total of 2,937 spider individuals belonging to 19 families and 80 species was collected in the Apšuciems fen. Our results indicate that spider species and families tend to be stratified across the vertical structure of the habitat; the spider composition in the ground stratum differed from that in the grass stratum. On the contrary, however, the spider foraging guild structure between the ground–layer and the grass–layer was similar. Each of the two studied strata presented similar guilds in similar proportions. Our results also showed that spider composition differed considerably between fen parts and that much of this variability could be explained by the architectural properties of the habitat. More diverse vegetation generally supported a higher number of spider species.

  9. Temporal Patterns in the Abundance and Species Composition of Spiders on Host Plants of the Invasive Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogg, Brian N; Mills, Nicholas J; Daane, Kent M

    2017-06-01

    Generalist predators such as spiders may help mitigate the spread and impact of exotic herbivores. The lack of prey specificity and long generation times of spiders may allow them to persist when pests are scarce, and to limit the growth of pest populations before they reach damaging levels. We examined whether resident spiders are likely to play a role in maintaining populations of the invasive light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), below outbreak levels in California. We surveyed the spider community on two E. postvittana host plants, the ornamental Australian tea tree, Leptospermum laevigatum, and the weed French broom, Genista monspessulana, to characterize spider and larval E. postvittana abundance and spider species composition throughout the year. Spider densities and species composition showed slight seasonal changes. Spiders were present during periods of high and low E. postvittana abundance. Anyphaenid hunting spiders, Anyphaena aperta Banks in Australian tea tree and Anyphaena pacifica Banks in French broom, dominated spider species composition at four of five sampled sites, and underwent only slight seasonal variation in abundance. Adult A. aperta were rare at all times of the year, suggesting that high mortality among juvenile A. aperta limits the potential of this species as a predator of E. postvittana. Nevertheless, the continued presence of spiders throughout the year indicates that the resident spider community is likely to play a key role in reducing E. postvittana populations in California. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  10. On the predation of fly, Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) by a spider, Oxyopes sp. Latreille (Oxyopidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, C C; Mohamad, A M; John, J; Baharudin, O

    2008-04-01

    During a forensic entomological study conducted in a palm oil plantation in Tg.Sepat, Selangor in September 2007, a spider (Arachnida), Oxyopes sp. (Oxyopidae) was found to predate on a calliphorid fly (Chrysomya rufifacies). The female spider laid a silk thread, or "drag line", behind it as it moved. This spider bites its prey by using a pairs of chelicerae, and injecting venom into the fly. The fly was moving its wing trying to escape, however, it succumbed to the deadly bite.

  11. Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Ward

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionising radiation field is deleterious to the survival of dormant cells or spores and the persistence of molecular biomarkers in the subsurface, and so its characterisation is of prime astrobiological interest. Here, we present modelling results of the absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface, suitable for calculation of biomarker persistence. A second major implementation of this dose accumulation rate data is in application of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for dating Martian sediments.

    We present calculations of the dose-depth profile in the Martian subsurface for various scenarios: variations of surface composition (dry regolith, ice, layered permafrost, solar minimum and maximum conditions, locations of different elevation (Olympus Mons, Hellas basin, datum altitude, and increasing atmospheric thickness over geological history. We also model the changing composition of the subsurface radiation field with depth compared between Martian locations with different shielding material, determine the relative dose contributions from primaries of different energies, and discuss particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

  12. Martian extratropical cyclones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, G. E.; James, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    Physical properties of summer-season baroclinic waves on Mars are discussed on the basis of vidicon images and infrared thermal mapping generated by Viking Orbiter 1. The two northern-hemisphere storm systems examined here appear to be similar to terrestrial mid-latitude cyclonic storms. The Martian storm clouds are probably composed of water ice, rather than dust or CO2 ice particles.

  13. Seasonal variation of ground spiders in a Brazilian Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Farcic Mineo

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The Brazilian Savanna Ecoregion (Cerrado is one of the richest biomes in the world, with a characteristic highly seasonal climate a dry season between May and September and a rainy season from October through April. Ground-dwelling spiders from three Cerrado phytophysiognomies, "campo cerrado", "cerrado" and "cerrad��o", were sampled using pitfall traps during two years, totaling 111 species and 3,529 individuals. The abundance of individuals and species richness was higher during the wet season. Fifty-eight species were captured exclusively during that period, whereas only nineteen were restricted to the dry season. Only two species were found in all samples. The number of juveniles was higher than the number of adults in all phytophysiognomies and in all species during both seasons. The highest abundance was registered in October and the lowest in April. Overall sex ratio was male-biased in all vegetation types sampled. Distinct climate variables affected the abundance of spiders depending on sex, age and vegetal physiognomy where they were sampled. This study involved the longest sampling of spider abundance and diversity on the ground of a Brazilian Savanna.

  14. In Vitro Evaluation of Spider Silk Meshes as a Potential Biomaterial for Bladder Reconstruction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steins, A.; Dik, P.; Müller, W.H.; Vervoort, S.J.; Reimers, K.; Kubhier, J.W.; Vogt, P.M.; van Apeldoorn, Aart A.; Coffer, P.J.; Schepers, K.

    2015-01-01

    Reconstruction of the bladder by means of both natural and synthetic materials remains a challenge due to severe adverse effects such as mechanical failure. Here we investigate the application of spider major ampullate gland-derived dragline silk from the Nephila edulis spider, a natural biomaterial

  15. Methods of assembling and disassembling spider and burnable poison rod structures for nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, L.A.

    1981-01-01

    A method is described of joining burnable poison rods to the spider arms of a pressurised water power reactor fuel assembly which is proof against the reactor core environment but permits these rods to be removed from the spider simply, swiftly and delicately. (U.K.)

  16. Species status and conservation issues of New Zealand's endemic Latrodectus spider species (Araneae: Theridiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vink, Cor J; Sirvid, Phillip J; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba

    2008-01-01

    New Zealand has two endemic widow spiders, Latrodectus katipo Powell, 1871 and L. atritus Urquhart, 1890. Both species face many conservation threats and are actively managed. The species status of the Latrodectus spiders of New Zealand was assessed using molecular (COI, ITS1, ITS2...

  17. Pupils' Views about Spiders. Learning in Science Project (Primary). Working Paper No. 123.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawe, Eleanor

    The Learning in Science Project (Primary)--LISP(P)--investigated the ideas and interests about spiders held by 8- to 10-year-old children. Data included 303 questions--and answers to some of the questions--about spiders obtained from children in four classes and from responses obtained during individual interviews with 10 children from each age…

  18. Survival benefits select for group living in a social spider despite reproductive costs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bilde, T.; Coates, K.S.; Birkhofer, K.

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of cooperation requires benefits of group living to exceed costs. Hence, some components of fitness are expected to increase with increasing group size, whereas others may decrease because of competition among group members. The social spiders provide an excellent system to investig......The evolution of cooperation requires benefits of group living to exceed costs. Hence, some components of fitness are expected to increase with increasing group size, whereas others may decrease because of competition among group members. The social spiders provide an excellent system...... to investigate the costs and benefits of group living: they occur in groups of various sizes and individuals are relatively short-lived, therefore life history traits and Lifetime Reproductive Success (LRS) can be estimated as a function of group size. Sociality in spiders has originated repeatedly...... and survival in the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola in two populations in Namibia. In both populations, the major benefit of group living was improved survival of colonies and late-instar juveniles with increasing colony size. By contrast, female fecundity, female body size and early juvenile survival...

  19. Iron Redox Systematics of Shergottites and Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, Kevin; Danielson, L. R.; Martin, A. M.; Newville, M.; Choi, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Martian meteorites record a range of oxygen fugacities from near the IW buffer to above FMQ buffer [1]. In terrestrial magmas, Fe(3+)/ SigmaFe for this fO2 range are between 0 and 0.25 [2]. Such variation will affect the stability of oxides, pyroxenes, and how the melt equilibrates with volatile species. An understanding of the variation of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe for martian magmas is lacking, and previous work has been on FeO-poor and Al2O3-rich terrestrial basalts. We have initiated a study of the iron redox systematics of martian magmas to better understand FeO and Fe2O3 stability, the stability of magnetite, and the low Ca/high Ca pyroxene [3] ratios observed at the surface.

  20. Effects of social information on life history and mating tactics of males in the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cory, Anna-Lena; Schneider, Jutta M

    2018-01-01

    Informed mating decisions are often based on social cues providing information about prospective mating opportunities. Social information early in life can trigger developmental modifications and influence later mating decisions. A high adaptive value of such adjustments is particularly obvious in systems where potential mating rates are extremely limited and have to be carried out in a short time window. Males of the sexually cannibalistic spider Argiope bruennichi can achieve maximally two copulations which they can use for one (monogyny) or two females (bigyny). The choice between these male mating tactics should rely on female availability that males might assess through volatile sex pheromones emitted by virgin females. We predict that in response to those female cues, males of A. bruennichi should mature earlier and at a smaller body size and favor a bigynous mating tactic in comparison with controls. We sampled spiders from two areas close to the Southern and Northern species range to account for differences in mate quality and seasonality. In a fully factorial design, half of the subadult males from both areas obtained silk cues of females, while the other half remained without female exposure. Adult males were subjected to no-choice mating tests and could either monopolize the female or leave her (bigyny). We found that Southern males matured later and at a larger size than Northern males. Regardless of their origin, males also shortened the subadult stage in response to female cues, which, however, had no effects on male body mass. Contrary to our prediction, the frequencies of mating tactics were unaffected by the treatment. We conclude that while social cues during late development elicit adaptive life history adjustments, they are less important for the adjustment of mating decisions. We suggest that male tactics mostly rely on local information at the time of mate search.

  1. Trunk structural traits explain habitat use of a tree-dwelling spider (Selenopidae) in a tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva-Bonilla, German Antonio; Salomão, Adriana Trevizoli; Vasconcellos-Neto, João

    2017-11-01

    Habitat selection by spiders may be strongly influenced by biotic, climatic, and physical factors. However, it has been shown that the selection of habitats by generalist predators (like spiders) is regulated more by the physical structure of the habitat than by prey availability. Yet, the preferences of spiders in relation to plants or plant traits remain poorly explored. In a remnant of the Atlantic forest in Brazil, the spider Selenops cocheleti is frequently detected on the trunks of plants from the Myrtaceae family. Here, we investigated quantitatively and experimentally whether the colonization of trees by S. cocheleti is related to plant species or the presence of specific structures on trunks. We found that S. cocheleti preferentially occurred on plants of the family Myrtaceae. This spider was also strongly associated with trees that have smooth trunks and/or exfoliating bark. Non-Myrtaceae plants that were occupied by this species have exfoliating bark (e.g., Piptadenia gonoacantha) or deep fissures on the trunk (e.g., the exotic species Pinus elliottii). Our results indicate that the selection of host plants by S. cocheleti is not species-specific, but based on the structural characteristics of plants. Trunks with exfoliating bark may benefit spiders by providing shelter against predators and harsh climatic conditions. Smooth surfaces might allow rapid movements, facilitating both attacks on preys and escape from predators. Our study emphasizes the importance of the physical structure of the habitat on spider's distribution. Future studies investigating how specific plant characteristics influence prey acquisition and predator avoidance would improve our understanding of habitat selection by these animals.

  2. Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Martin, A.; Pando, K.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.

    2011-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite [1]. Morris et al. [1] propose that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks [2,3]. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stability of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas [4,5]. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition. Second, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of the same shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar and variable fO2 at 1250 C, and at variable pressure. These two goals will help define not only magnetite stability, but pyroxene-melt equilibria that are also dependent upon fO2.

  3. Extant primitively segmented spiders have recently diversified from an ancient lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xin; Liu, Fengxiang; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Chen, Jian; Xu, Xiang; Zhang, Zhisheng; Ono, Hirotsugu; Pham, Dinh Sac; Norma-Rashid, Y; Arnedo, Miquel A; Kuntner, Matjaž; Li, Daiqin

    2015-06-07

    Living fossils are lineages that have retained plesiomorphic traits through long time periods. It is expected that such lineages have both originated and diversified long ago. Such expectations have recently been challenged in some textbook examples of living fossils, notably in extant cycads and coelacanths. Using a phylogenetic approach, we tested the patterns of the origin and diversification of liphistiid spiders, a clade of spiders considered to be living fossils due to their retention of arachnid plesiomorphies and their exclusive grouping in Mesothelae, an ancient clade sister to all modern spiders. Facilitated by original sampling throughout their Asian range, we here provide the phylogenetic framework necessary for reconstructing liphistiid biogeographic history. All phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Liphistiidae and of eight genera. As the fossil evidence supports a Carboniferous Euramerican origin of Mesothelae, our dating analyses postulate a long eastward over-land dispersal towards the Asian origin of Liphistiidae during the Palaeogene (39-58 Ma). Contrary to expectations, diversification within extant liphistiid genera is relatively recent, in the Neogene and Late Palaeogene (4-24 Ma). While no over-water dispersal events are needed to explain their evolutionary history, the history of liphistiid spiders has the potential to play prominently in vicariant biogeographic studies. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. The PRIMA Test Facility: SPIDER and MITICA test-beds for ITER neutral beam injectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toigo, V.; Piovan, R.; Dal Bello, S.; Gaio, E.; Luchetta, A.; Pasqualotto, R.; Zaccaria, P.; Bigi, M.; Chitarin, G.; Marcuzzi, D.; Pomaro, N.; Serianni, G.; Agostinetti, P.; Agostini, M.; Antoni, V.; Aprile, D.; Baltador, C.; Barbisan, M.; Battistella, M.; Boldrin, M.; Brombin, M.; Dalla Palma, M.; De Lorenzi, A.; Delogu, R.; De Muri, M.; Fellin, F.; Ferro, A.; Fiorentin, A.; Gambetta, G.; Gnesotto, F.; Grando, L.; Jain, P.; Maistrello, A.; Manduchi, G.; Marconato, N.; Moresco, M.; Ocello, E.; Pavei, M.; Peruzzo, S.; Pilan, N.; Pimazzoni, A.; Recchia, M.; Rizzolo, A.; Rostagni, G.; Sartori, E.; Siragusa, M.; Sonato, P.; Sottocornola, A.; Spada, E.; Spagnolo, S.; Spolaore, M.; Taliercio, C.; Valente, M.; Veltri, P.; Zamengo, A.; Zaniol, B.; Zanotto, L.; Zaupa, M.; Boilson, D.; Graceffa, J.; Svensson, L.; Schunke, B.; Decamps, H.; Urbani, M.; Kushwah, M.; Chareyre, J.; Singh, M.; Bonicelli, T.; Agarici, G.; Garbuglia, A.; Masiello, A.; Paolucci, F.; Simon, M.; Bailly-Maitre, L.; Bragulat, E.; Gomez, G.; Gutierrez, D.; Mico, G.; Moreno, J.-F.; Pilard, V.; Kashiwagi, M.; Hanada, M.; Tobari, H.; Watanabe, K.; Maejima, T.; Kojima, A.; Umeda, N.; Yamanaka, H.; Chakraborty, A.; Baruah, U.; Rotti, C.; Patel, H.; Nagaraju, M. V.; Singh, N. P.; Patel, A.; Dhola, H.; Raval, B.; Fantz, U.; Heinemann, B.; Kraus, W.; Hanke, S.; Hauer, V.; Ochoa, S.; Blatchford, P.; Chuilon, B.; Xue, Y.; De Esch, H. P. L.; Hemsworth, R.; Croci, G.; Gorini, G.; Rebai, M.; Muraro, A.; Tardocchi, M.; Cavenago, M.; D'Arienzo, M.; Sandri, S.; Tonti, A.

    2017-08-01

    The ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF), called PRIMA (Padova Research on ITER Megavolt Accelerator), is hosted in Padova, Italy and includes two experiments: MITICA, the full-scale prototype of the ITER heating neutral beam injector, and SPIDER, the full-size radio frequency negative-ions source. The NBTF realization and the exploitation of SPIDER and MITICA have been recognized as necessary to make the future operation of the ITER heating neutral beam injectors efficient and reliable, fundamental to the achievement of thermonuclear-relevant plasma parameters in ITER. This paper reports on design and R&D carried out to construct PRIMA, SPIDER and MITICA, and highlights the huge progress made in just a few years, from the signature of the agreement for the NBTF realization in 2011, up to now—when the buildings and relevant infrastructures have been completed, SPIDER is entering the integrated commissioning phase and the procurements of several MITICA components are at a well advanced stage.

  5. Cryptic color change in a crab spider (Misumena vatia): identification and quantification of precursors and ommochrome pigments by HPLC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riou, Mickaël; Christidès, Jean-Philippe

    2010-04-01

    Mimicry is used widely by arthropods to survive in a hostile environment. Often mimicry is associated with the production of chemical compounds such as pigments. In crab spiders, the change of color is based on a complex physiological process that still is not understood. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the ommochrome pigments and precursors responsible for the color change in the mimetic crab spider Misumena vatia (Thomisidae). A modified high performance reverse phase ion-pair chromatography technique enabled us to separate and quantify the ommochrome pigments, their precursors, and related metabolites in individual spiders. Compounds such as tryptophan, kynurenine, and kynurenic acid occurred only or mainly in white crab spiders. In contrast, compounds such as 3-hydroxy-kynurenine, xanthommatin, and ommatin D occurred only or mainly in yellow crab spiders. Factor analysis ranked the different color forms in accordance with their metabolites. The biochemical results enabled us to associate the different phases of formation of pigment granules with specific metabolites. Yellow crab spiders contain many unknown ommochrome-like compounds not present in white crab spiders. We also found large quantities of decarboxylated xanthommatin, whose role as precursor of new pathways in ommochrome synthesis needs to be assessed. The catabolism of ommochromes, a process occurring when spiders revert from yellow to white, warrants further study.

  6. Evidence for a Heterogeneous Distribution of Water in the Martian Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Srinvasan, Poorna; Santos, Alison R.; Elardo, Stephen M.; Filiberto, Justin; Steele, Andrew; Shearer, Charles K.

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and distribution of H2O within the terrestrial planets, as well as its timing of delivery, is a topic of vital importance for understanding the chemical and physical evolution of planets and their potential for hosting habitable environments. Analysis of planetary materials from Mars, the Moon, and the eucrite parent body (i.e., asteroid 4Vesta) have confirmed the presence of H2O within their interiors. Moreover, H and N isotopic data from these planetary materials suggests H2O was delivered to the inner solar system very early from a common source, similar in composition to the carbonaceous chondrites. Despite the ubiquity of H2O in the inner Solar System, the only destination with any prospects for past or present habitable environments at this time, outside of the Earth, is Mars. Although the presence of H2O within the martian interior has been confirmed, very little is known regarding its abundance and distribution within the martian interior and how the martian water inventory has changed over time. By combining new analyses of martian apatites within a large number of martian meteorite types with previously published volatile data and recently determined mineral-melt partition coefficients for apatite, we report new insights into the abundance and distribution of volatiles in the martian crust and mantle. Using the subset of samples that did not exhibit crustal contamination, we determined that the enriched shergottite mantle source has 36-73 ppm H2O and the depleted shergottite mantle source has 14-23 ppm H2O. This result is consistent with other observed geochemical differences between enriched and depleted shergottites and supports the idea that there are at least two geochemically distinct reservoirs in the martian mantle. We also estimated the H2O content of the martian crust using the revised mantle H2O abundances and known crust-mantle distributions of incompatible lithophile elements. We determined that the bulk martian crust has

  7. The energetic contributions of aquatic primary producers to terrestrial food webs in a mid-size river system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautza, Adam; Mazeika, S; Sullivan, P

    2016-03-01

    Rivers are increasingly recognized as providing nutritional subsidies (i.e., energy and nutrients) to adjacent terrestrial food webs via depredation of aquatic organisms (e.g., emergent aquatic insects, crayfish, fish) by terrestrial consumers. However, because these prey organisms assimilate energy from both aquatic (e.g., benthic algae, phytoplankton, aquatic macrophytes) and terrestrial (e.g., riparian leaf detritus) primary producers, river subsidies to terrestrial consumers represent a combination of aquatically and terrestrially derived energy. To date, the explicit contribution of energy derived from aquatic primary producers to terrestrial consumers has not been fully explored yet might be expected to be quantitatively important to terrestrial food webs. At 12 reaches along a 185-km segment of the sixth-order Scioto River system (Ohio, USA), we quantified the relative contribution of energy derived from aquatic primary producers to a suite of terrestrial riparian consumers that integrate the adjacent landscape across multiple spatial scales through their foraging activities (tetragnathid spiders, rove beetles, adult coenagrionid damselflies, riparian swallows, and raccoons). We used naturally abundant stable isotopes (13C and 15N) of periphyton, phytoplankton, macrophytes, and terrestrial vegetation to evaluate the energetic contribution of aquatic primary producers to terrestrial food webs. Shoreline tetragnathid spiders were most reliant on aquatic primary producers (50%), followed by wider-ranging raccoons (48%), damselflies (44%), and riparian swallows (41%). Of the primary producers, phytoplankton (19%) provisioned the greatest nutritional contribution to terrestrial consumers (considered collectively), followed by periphyton (14%) and macrophytes (11%). Our findings provide empirical evidence that aquatic primary producers of large streams and rivers can be a critical nutritional resource for terrestrial food webs. We also show that aquatically

  8. Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Galindo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    The Martian ionosphere is a plasma embedded within the neutral upper atmosphere of the planet. Its main source is the ionization of the CO2-dominated Martian mesosphere and thermosphere by the energetic EUV solar radiation. The ionosphere of Mars is subject to an important variability induced by changes in its forcing mechanisms (e.g., the UV solar flux) and by variations in the neutral atmosphere (e.g., the presence of global dust storms, atmospheric waves and tides, changes in atmospheric composition, etc.). Its vertical structure is dominated by a maximum in the electron concentration placed at about 120–140 km of altitude, coincident with the peak of the ionization rate. Below, a secondary peak produced by solar X-rays and photoelectron-impact ionization is observed. A sporadic third layer, possibly of meteoric origin, has been also detected below. The most abundant ion in the Martian ionosphere is O2+, although O+ can become more abundant in the upper ionospheric layers. While below about 180–200 km the Martian ionosphere is dominated by photochemical processes, above those altitudes the dynamics of the plasma become more important. The ionosphere is also an important source of escaping particles via processes such as dissociative recombination of ions or ion pickup. So, characterization of the ionosphere provides or can provide information about such disparate systems and processes as the solar radiation getting to the planet, the neutral atmosphere, the meteoric influx, the atmospheric escape to space, or the interaction of the planet with the solar wind. It is thus not surprising that the interest about this region dates from the beginning of the space era. From the first measurements provided by the Mariner 4 mission in the 1960s to the contemporaneous observations, still ongoing, by the Mars Express and MAVEN orbiters, our current knowledge of this atmospheric region is the consequence of the accumulation of more than 50 years of discontinuous

  9. Araneae Sloveniae: a national spider species checklist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostanjšek, Rok; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2015-01-01

    The research of the spider fauna of Slovenia dates back to the very beginning of binomial nomenclature, and has gone through more and less prolific phases with authors concentrating on taxonomy, faunistics, ecology and zoogeographic reviews. Although the body of published works is remarkable for a small nation, the faunistic data has remained too scattered for a thorough understanding of regional biotic diversity, for comparative and ecological research, and for informed conservation purposes. A national checklist is long overdue. Here, a critical review of all published records in any language is provided. The species list currently comprises 738 species, is published online at http://www.bioportal.si/katalog/araneae.php under the title Araneae Sloveniae, and will be updated in due course. This tool will fill the void in cataloguing regional spider faunas and will facilitate further araneological research in central and southern Europe.

  10. Araneae Sloveniae: a national spider species checklist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rok Kostanjšek

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The research of the spider fauna of Slovenia dates back to the very beginning of binomial nomenclature, and has gone through more and less prolific phases with authors concentrating on taxonomy, faunistics, ecology and zoogeographic reviews. Although the body of published works is remarkable for a small nation, the faunistic data has remained too scattered for a thorough understanding of regional biotic diversity, for comparative and ecological research, and for informed conservation purposes. A national checklist is long overdue. Here, a critical review of all published records in any language is provided. The species list currently comprises 738 species, is published online at http://www.bioportal.si/katalog/araneae.php under the title Araneae Sloveniae, and will be updated in due course. This tool will fill the void in cataloguing regional spider faunas and will facilitate further araneological research in central and southern Europe.

  11. The house spider genome reveals an ancient whole-genome duplication during arachnid evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwager, Evelyn E; Sharma, Prashant P; Clarke, Thomas; Leite, Daniel J; Wierschin, Torsten; Pechmann, Matthias; Akiyama-Oda, Yasuko; Esposito, Lauren; Bechsgaard, Jesper; Bilde, Trine; Buffry, Alexandra D; Chao, Hsu; Dinh, Huyen; Doddapaneni, HarshaVardhan; Dugan, Shannon; Eibner, Cornelius; Extavour, Cassandra G; Funch, Peter; Garb, Jessica; Gonzalez, Luis B; Gonzalez, Vanessa L; Griffiths-Jones, Sam; Han, Yi; Hayashi, Cheryl; Hilbrant, Maarten; Hughes, Daniel S T; Janssen, Ralf; Lee, Sandra L; Maeso, Ignacio; Murali, Shwetha C; Muzny, Donna M; Nunes da Fonseca, Rodrigo; Paese, Christian L B; Qu, Jiaxin; Ronshaugen, Matthew; Schomburg, Christoph; Schönauer, Anna; Stollewerk, Angelika; Torres-Oliva, Montserrat; Turetzek, Natascha; Vanthournout, Bram; Werren, John H; Wolff, Carsten; Worley, Kim C; Bucher, Gregor; Gibbs, Richard A; Coddington, Jonathan; Oda, Hiroki; Stanke, Mario; Ayoub, Nadia A; Prpic, Nikola-Michael; Flot, Jean-François; Posnien, Nico; Richards, Stephen; McGregor, Alistair P

    2017-07-31

    The duplication of genes can occur through various mechanisms and is thought to make a major contribution to the evolutionary diversification of organisms. There is increasing evidence for a large-scale duplication of genes in some chelicerate lineages including two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in horseshoe crabs. To investigate this further, we sequenced and analyzed the genome of the common house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. We found pervasive duplication of both coding and non-coding genes in this spider, including two clusters of Hox genes. Analysis of synteny conservation across the P. tepidariorum genome suggests that there has been an ancient WGD in spiders. Comparison with the genomes of other chelicerates, including that of the newly sequenced bark scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus, suggests that this event occurred in the common ancestor of spiders and scorpions, and is probably independent of the WGDs in horseshoe crabs. Furthermore, characterization of the sequence and expression of the Hox paralogs in P. tepidariorum suggests that many have been subject to neo-functionalization and/or sub-functionalization since their duplication. Our results reveal that spiders and scorpions are likely the descendants of a polyploid ancestor that lived more than 450 MYA. Given the extensive morphological diversity and ecological adaptations found among these animals, rivaling those of vertebrates, our study of the ancient WGD event in Arachnopulmonata provides a new comparative platform to explore common and divergent evolutionary outcomes of polyploidization events across eukaryotes.

  12. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy library for the Martian environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cousin, A.; Forni, O.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover will carry the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy experiment in space: ChemCam. We have developed a laboratory model which mimics ChemCam's main characteristics. We used a set of target samples relevant to Mars geochemistry, and we recorded individual spectra. We propose a data reduction scheme for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy data incorporating de-noising, continuum removal, and peak fitting. Known effects of the Martian atmosphere are confirmed with our experiment: better Signal-to-Noise Ratio on Mars compared to Earth, narrower peak width, and essentially no self-absorption. The wavelength shift of emission lines from air to Mars pressure is discussed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology vacuum database is used for wavelength calibration and to identify the elemental lines. Our Martian database contains 1336 lines for 32 elements: H, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ar, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Cs, Ba, and Pb. It is a subset of the National Institute of Standards and Technology database to be used for Martian geochemistry. Finally, synthetic spectra can be built from the Martian database. Correlation calculations help to distinguish between elements in case of uncertainty. This work is used to create tools and support data for the interpretation of ChemCam results. - Highlights: ► Chemcam: first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy technique on Mars. ► Creation of a LIBS specific database to ChemCam on Mars. ► Data reduction scheme is proposed. ► Best signal under Martian conditions. ► LIBS emission lines database: subset of NIST database for Martian geochemistry.

  13. Male Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae) vary mate-searching behavior but not signaling behavior in response to spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler-Finn, Kasey D.; Al-Wathiqui, Nooria; Cruz, Daniel; Al-Wathiqui, Mishal; Rodríguez, Rafael L.

    2014-03-01

    Finding and attracting mates can impose costs on males in terms of increased encounters with, and attraction of, predators. To decrease the likelihood of predation, males may modify mate-acquisition efforts in two main ways: they may reduce mate-searching efforts or they may reduce mate-attraction efforts. The specific behavior that males change in the presence of predator cues should depend upon the nature of risk imposed by the type of predator present in the environment. For example, sit-and-wait predators impose greater costs to males moving in search of mates. Here, we test whether cues of the presence of a sit-and-wait predator lead to a reduction in mate-searching but not mate-acquisition behavior. We used a member of the Enchenopa binotata complex of treehoppers—a clade of vibrationally communicating insects in which males fly in search of mates and produce mate-attraction signals when they land on plant stems. We tested for changes in mate-searching and signaling behaviors when silk from a web-building spider was present or absent. We found that males delayed flight when spider silk was present but only if they were actively searching for mates. These results suggest that males have been selected to reduce predation risk by adjusting how they move about their environment according to the cues of sit-and-wait predators.

  14. Viewing behaviour of spider phobics and non-phobics in the presence of threat and safety stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, W G T; Tierney, K J; Reinhardt-Rutland, A H; Vivekananda-Schmidt, P

    2004-09-01

    To determine whether spider phobics and spider non-phobics differ in attending to threat and safety stimuli in close proximity, or spatially separated. A sample group of 16 spider-phobic and 16 spider-non-phobic volunteers were drawn from a student population on the basis of their scores on Watts and Sharrock's Spider Phobia Questionnaire. Attention was assessed by way of participants' viewing behaviour using an ASL 501 head-mounted eye-tracking system. In a control condition, participants viewed a neutral stimulus (a TV video) in the absence of the threat stimulus. In two experimental conditions, the threat stimulus (a live Chilean rose tarantula) was introduced (a) immediately beside the safety stimulus (the only exit of the experimental room), or (b) away from the safety stimulus. In the experimental conditions, phobics reduced their viewing of the TV and increased their viewing of the tarantula and of the exit; the biggest changes occurred when tarantula and exit were together. Phobics also made more eye motions across the experimental room. Our results are consistent with previous research employing reaction time to a neutral stimulus as dependent measure. In addition, our results suggest that phobics scan the environment as part of safety behaviour. We suggest that exposure treatments to reduce spider phobia may be facilitated by encouraging patients to stop environmental scanning. Copyright 2004 The British Psychological Society

  15. Innate pattern recognition and categorization in a jumping spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yinnon Dolev

    Full Text Available The East African jumping spider Evarcha culicivora feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by preferentially preying upon blood-fed Anopheles mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria1, using the distinct resting posture and engorged abdomen characteristic of these specific prey as key elements for their recognition. To understand perceptual categorization of objects by these spiders, we investigated their predatory behavior toward different digital stimuli--abstract 'stick figure' representations of Anopheles constructed solely by known key identification elements, disarranged versions of these, as well as non-prey items and detailed images of alternative prey. We hypothesized that the abstract images representing Anopheles would be perceived as potential prey, and would be preferred to those of non-preferred prey. Spiders perceived the abstract stick figures of Anopheles specifically as their preferred prey, attacking them significantly more often than non-preferred prey, even when the comprising elements of the Anopheles stick figures were disarranged and disconnected from each other. However, if the relative angles between the elements of the disconnected stick figures of Anopheles were altered, the otherwise identical set of elements was no longer perceived as prey. These data show that E. culicivora is capable of making discriminations based on abstract concepts, such as the hypothetical angle formed by discontinuous elements. It is this inter-element angle rather than resting posture that is important for correct identification of Anopheles. Our results provide a glimpse of the underlying processes of object recognition in animals with minute brains, and suggest that these spiders use a local processing approach for object recognition, rather than a holistic or global approach. This study provides an excellent basis for a comparative analysis on feature extraction and detection by animals as diverse as bees and mammals.

  16. Innate Pattern Recognition and Categorization in a Jumping Spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolev, Yinnon; Nelson, Ximena J.

    2014-01-01

    The East African jumping spider Evarcha culicivora feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by preferentially preying upon blood-fed Anopheles mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria1, using the distinct resting posture and engorged abdomen characteristic of these specific prey as key elements for their recognition. To understand perceptual categorization of objects by these spiders, we investigated their predatory behavior toward different digital stimuli - abstract ‘stick figure’ representations of Anopheles constructed solely by known key identification elements, disarranged versions of these, as well as non-prey items and detailed images of alternative prey. We hypothesized that the abstract images representing Anopheles would be perceived as potential prey, and would be preferred to those of non-preferred prey. Spiders perceived the abstract stick figures of Anopheles specifically as their preferred prey, attacking them significantly more often than non-preferred prey, even when the comprising elements of the Anopheles stick figures were disarranged and disconnected from each other. However, if the relative angles between the elements of the disconnected stick figures of Anopheles were altered, the otherwise identical set of elements was no longer perceived as prey. These data show that E. culicivora is capable of making discriminations based on abstract concepts, such as the hypothetical angle formed by discontinuous elements. It is this inter-element angle rather than resting posture that is important for correct identification of Anopheles. Our results provide a glimpse of the underlying processes of object recognition in animals with minute brains, and suggest that these spiders use a local processing approach for object recognition, rather than a holistic or global approach. This study provides an excellent basis for a comparative analysis on feature extraction and detection by animals as diverse as bees and mammals. PMID:24893306

  17. Synthetic spider silk sustainability verification by techno-economic and life cycle analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlund, Alan

    Major ampullate spider silk represents a promising biomaterial with diverse commercial potential ranging from textiles to medical devices due to the excellent physical and thermal properties from the protein structure. Recent advancements in synthetic biology have facilitated the development of recombinant spider silk proteins from Escherichia coli (E. coli), alfalfa, and goats. This study specifically investigates the economic feasibility and environmental impact of synthetic spider silk manufacturing. Pilot scale data was used to validate an engineering process model that includes all of the required sub-processing steps for synthetic fiber manufacture: production, harvesting, purification, drying, and spinning. Modeling was constructed modularly to support assessment of alternative protein production methods (alfalfa and goats) as well as alternative down-stream processing technologies. The techno-economic analysis indicates a minimum sale price from pioneer and optimized E. coli plants at 761 kg-1 and 23 kg-1 with greenhouse gas emissions of 572 kg CO2-eq. kg-1 and 55 kg CO2-eq. kg-1, respectively. Spider silk sale price estimates from goat pioneer and optimized results are 730 kg-1 and 54 kg-1, respectively, with pioneer and optimized alfalfa plants are 207 kg-1 and 9.22 kg-1 respectively. Elevated costs and emissions from the pioneer plant can be directly tied to the high material consumption and low protein yield. Decreased production costs associated with the optimized plants include improved protein yield, process optimization, and an Nth plant assumption. Discussion focuses on the commercial potential of spider silk, the production performance requirements for commercialization, and impact of alternative technologies on the sustainability of the system.

  18. Ecotoxicological effects of buprofezin on fecundity, growth, development, and predation of the wolf spider Pirata piratoides (Schenkel).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Lingling; Xu, Muqi; Cao, Hong; Dai, Jiayin

    2008-11-01

    The toxicological effects of buprofezin, an insect growth regulator, on the fecundity, development, and pest control potential of the wolf spider Pirata piratoides (Schenkel) (Araneae: Lycosidae) were investigated in the laboratory. It was shown that buprofezin had low toxicity to P. piratoides and that the median lethal dosage (LD(50)) 48 h and 10% lethal dosage (LD(10)) after topical application for female spiders were 653 and 316 mg buprofezin/mg fresh weight of spider, respectively. Buprofezin significantly reduced the percent hatching of spiders' eggs but had only a slight effect on egg production. No negative effects on the development and growth were observed. However, spider predation rates were strongly affected: Insecticide-treated females predated on fewer prey than the controls, and their predation rate did not recover even 5 days after insecticide application. This indicated that their pest control potential might be influenced by buprofezin, and the use of buprofezin in biological control of insects is discussed.

  19. Ant exclusion in citrus over an 8-year period reveals a pervasive yet changing effect of ants on a Mediterranean spider assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, L; Piñol, J; Barrientos, J A; Espadaler, X

    2013-09-01

    Ants and spiders are ubiquitous generalist predators that exert top-down control on herbivore populations. Research shows that intraguild interactions between ants and spiders can negatively affect spider populations, but there is a lack of long-term research documenting the strength of such interactions and the potentially different effects of ants on the diverse array of species in a spider assemblage. Similarly, the suitability of family-level surrogates for finding patterns revealed by species-level data (taxonomic sufficiency) has almost never been tested in spider assemblages. We present a long-term study in which we tested the impact of ants on the spider assemblage of a Mediterranean citrus grove by performing sequential 1-year experimental exclusions on tree canopies for 8 years. We found that ants had a widespread influence on the spider assemblage, although the effect was only evident in the last 5 years of the study. During those years, ants negatively affected many spiders, and effects were especially strong for sedentary spiders. Analyses at the family level also detected assemblage differences between treatments, but they concealed the different responses to ant exclusion shown by some related spider species. Our findings show that the effects of experimental manipulations in ecology can vary greatly over time and highlight the need for long-term studies to document species interactions.