In this study, we investigated whether two plesiomorphic zodariid species, Lachesana insensibilis Jocque´ 1991 and Pax islamita (Simon 1873), both from Israel, possess adaptations for myrmecophagy similar to those of apomorphic zodariid genera. Our analysis focused on the predatory behavior and potential prey of these two spider species. We deduced that P. islamita does not feed on ants in nature since these were not present in its microhabitat. In the habitat of L. insensibilis, however, ants were very abundant, and thus they may serve as an important diet component. In the laboratory, both species were able to subdue a wide variety of prey and therefore should be considered polyphagous. They used a conditional capture strategy. Safe prey was handled by grasping and holding it in a basket-like manner. Dangerous prey such as ants were attacked, released, and finally held in the chelicerae while the spider held its own legs at a safe distance. Both species were able to overcome ants if they were not larger than the spiders. We conclude that both species possess behavioral pre-adaptations for myrmecophagy.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Arachnology|
|State||Published - 5 May 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science