Behaviour of the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus over different contexts, time, and stimuli

Hernandez Duran, Linda, Wilson, David Thomas, and Rymer, Tasmin Lee (2022) Behaviour of the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus over different contexts, time, and stimuli. Toxicon: X, 13. 100093.

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Atrax robustus is an iconic Australian spider because the venom can be lethal to humans. Moreover, some of the venom biomolecules have promise as therapeutic and bioinsecticidal leads. Nonetheless, aspects related to the life history and behaviour of this species, which might influence changes in venom components, have been overlooked. We assessed different behavioural traits (antipredator behaviour, defensiveness and activity) of juveniles and adult females across different contexts (predation, conspecific tolerance and exploration of a new territory) and stimuli (puff of air versus prod) over time. Adults responded to a puff of air faster than juveniles, but in response to a prod, both juveniles and adults become more defensive over time. No differences were observed between adults and juveniles for conspecific tolerance and exploration. Understanding behaviour of venomous species is important because behaviours may affect physiological traits, such as venom, and the ability of spiders to adapt to different conditions.

Item ID: 74605
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2590-1710
Keywords: Antipredator behaviour, Atrax robustus, Contexts, Defensiveness, Threatening stimuli
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2022 02:02
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310901 Animal behaviour @ 100%
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