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THE INFLUENCE OF SIZE ON CANNIBALISM AND PREDATION IN HUNGRY WOLF SPIDERS (LYCOSIDAE, HOGNA CRISPIPES)

  • Author(s): Gonzalez, Daisy N
  • Advisor(s): Mishler, Brent
  • et al.
Abstract

Size is an important factor that affects cannibalism in wolf spiders (Lycosidae). This study investigated the time for cannibalism to occur among pairs of different sized, hungry wolf spiders. In addition, the preference for smaller conspecific prey in the presence of larger alternative prey was examined. This study was the first to look at cannibalism in the wolf spider species found on Mo’orea,Hogna crispipes. Like other genera within the Lycosid family, which are known to have cannibalistic tendencies,Hogna c.spiders are capable of cannibalizing. Cannibalism occurred in 87.5% of the spider pairs. Of the spiders that did not cannibalize, a majority were of the same size. In addition, in the pairs of spiders that did cannibalize there was a strong negative relationship between the time for cannibalism to occur and the difference in size between pairs of spiders. This relationship followed a trend, where the spider pairs that were more similar in size generally took longer to cannibalize than the spider pairs that had larger size differences (>3mm). Lastly medium sized spiders did not have a predation preference for smaller conspecifics over larger alternative prey. This study provides a foundation about cannibalism inH. crispipes.

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