Fishing behavior in a giant tailess whip spider.

Ladle, R J and Velander, Kathy (2003) Fishing behavior in a giant tailess whip spider. Journal of Arachnology, 31 (1). pp. 154-156. ISSN 0161-8202

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Whip spiders (Amblypygi) are a small and understudied group of arachnids characterised by long antenniform legs and raptorial pedipalps. Due to their nocturnal habits, secretive nature and geographical distribution there have been very few studies of feeding behaviour in this group. Here we report a remarkable foraging strategy adopted by the giant tropical whip spider Heterophrynus cheiracanthus (Gervais 1844) inhabiting rocky outcrops adjacent to mountain streams running through primary tropical rainforest on the Caribbean island of Tobago. Heterophrynus
cheiracanthus positions itself close to the stream edge on a vertical rock surface with pedipalps fully extended and antenniform legs frequently entering the shallow water. Freshwater prawns of the genus Macrobrachium are caught while still submerged in the water despite the whip spider being unable to use the trichobothria on the walking legs. Possible methods of prey detection are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0161-8202
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amplypygi; Predation; Tobago;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology) > 595 Arthropods
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology) > 591 Specific topics in natural history > 591.5 Behaviour
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Item ID: 1714
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2008 09:18
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2010 15:01

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