Hunting without a web: How lycosoid spiders subdue their prey

Eggs, Benjamin; Wolff, JO; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia Gerda; Gorb, SN; Nentwig, Wolfgang (2015). Hunting without a web: How lycosoid spiders subdue their prey. Ethology, 121(12), pp. 1166-1177. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/eth.12432

[img] Text
Eggs_et_al-Ethology2015.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

More than half of all spider species hunt prey without a web. To successfully subdue their prey, they use adapted capture behaviour and efficient grasping mechanisms to interrupt the prey’s locomotion, and to restrain it from escaping during the subsequent handling for final envenomation. In this study, we investigated how the prey capture behaviour of different lycosoid spider species is related to leg morphology and venom efficiency;using high speed videography, feeding experiments, stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and LD 50 venom bioassays. We found that different species employed different techniques when grasping their prey and these differences strongly correlate with the distribution and size of hairy adhesive leg pads (so-called scopulae on pro- and retrolateral parts of legs) and erectable spines, which act in a complementary way. Our results indicate that the grasping and handling behaviour and leg morphology is crucial in restricting the prey’s movements. However, none of these traits is directly related with venom efficiency.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Eggs, Benjamin, Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia Gerda, Nentwig, Wolfgang


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Alexander Strauss

Date Deposited:

16 Nov 2016 15:40

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:59

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback