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Title: A specialized araneophagic predator's short-term nutrient utilization depends on the macronutrient content of prey rather than on prey taxonomic affiliation
Authors: Toft, S.
Li, D. 
Mayntz, D.
Keywords: Araneae
Behaviour specialist
Metabolic generalist
Prey utilization
Issue Date: Dec-2010
Citation: Toft, S., Li, D., Mayntz, D. (2010-12). A specialized araneophagic predator's short-term nutrient utilization depends on the macronutrient content of prey rather than on prey taxonomic affiliation. Physiological Entomology 35 (4) : 317-327. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: A specialist predator that has a specialized diet, prey-specific prey-capture behaviour and a preference for a particular type of prey may or may not be specialized metabolically. Previous studies have shown that jumping spiders of the genus Portia prey on other spiders using prey-specific prey-capture behaviour, prefer spiders as prey to insects and gain long-term benefits in terms of higher survival and growth rates on spider diets than on insect diets. However, it is unclear whether there are substances uniquely present in spiders on which Portia depends, or, alternatively, spiders and insects all contain more or less the same nutrients but the relative amounts of these substances are such that Portia perform better on a spider diet. These questions are addressed by testing the hypothesis that prey specialization includes metabolic adaptations that allow Portia an enhanced nutrient extraction or nutrient utilization efficiency when feeding on spider prey compared with insect prey. Three groups of Portia quei Zabka are fed either their preferred spider prey or one of two types of flies (Drosophila melanogaster Meigen) that differ in nitrogen and lipid content. Portia quei shows a higher feeding rate of high-protein flies than of high-lipid flies and spiders but, after 5 days of feeding, there is no significant difference in growth between treatments, and the diets lead to significant changes in the macronutrient composition of P. quei as a result of variable extraction and utilization of the prey. The short-term utilization of spider prey is similar to that of high-lipid flies and both differ in several respects from the utilization of high-protein flies. Thus, the short-term nutrient utilization is better explained by prey macronutrient content than by whether the prey is a spider or not. The results suggest that spider prey may have a more optimal macronutrient composition for P. quei and that P. quei does not depend on spider-specific substances. © 2010 The Authors. Physiological Entomology © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society.
Source Title: Physiological Entomology
ISSN: 03076962
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3032.2010.00746.x
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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