Context-dependent running speed in funnel-web spiders from divergent populations

Context-dependent running speed in funnel-web spiders from divergent populations,10.1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01623.x,Functional Ecology,Jonathan N. Pruit

Context-dependent running speed in funnel-web spiders from divergent populations   (Citations: 6)
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Summary 1. Locomotor performance can influence individual fitness through several ecological contexts, such as prey capture and predator escape. One means of determining which contexts act as sig- nificant selective forces on running speed is to quantify individual speed in each context. The underlying hypothesis is that animals will exhibit their highest speeds in contexts most crucial to fitness. 2. We measured running speeds in three ecological contexts (prey capture, fleeing predators and territory defence) in lab-reared offspring of the funnel-web spider Agelenopsis aperta collected from two arid grassland and two riparian populations. Arid populations experience little preda- tion pressure, are prey limited, and are highly territorial; riparian populations experience high predation, have high prey availability, and are less territorial in nature. 3. The offspring of arid individuals exhibited their highest burst speeds in territory defence, and ran more slowly in response to predator threats. The offspring of riparian populations, however, ran fastest when responding to predatory threats and displayed lower velocities in prey capture and territory defence. Thus, our findings support the hypothesis that A. aperta are selected to exhibit their highest speeds in contexts most important to their fitness. 4. Contextual use of running speed can differ among conspecific populations experiencing differing selective forces on locomotion.
Journal: Functional Ecology - FUNCT ECOL , vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 165-171, 2010
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    • ...Oneweek after a colony was established, one juvenile A. emertoni (Agelenidiae; Araneae) was placed onto the edge of a colony by removing the container’s lid and guiding the foreign spider onto the web using an opentipped syringe (after Pruitt and Husak 2010)...

    Jonathan N. Pruittet al. Within-group behavioral variation promotes biased task performance and...

    • ...In spiders, burst speed has been examined in both horizontal running and vertical climbing, and studies have addressed predator avoidance, foraging/predatory behaviour and mate searching ability separately [4-8]...
    • ...The generally high repeatability in both climbing and running performance indicates that individual differences in performance are stable over trials and is consistent with previous studies of locomotor performance in web and wandering spiders [5-7], and other animals [17,26]...

    John Prenteret al. Functional relations between locomotor performance traits in spiders a...

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