Document Detail

Chemically mediated burrow recognition in the Mexican tarantula Brachypelma vagans female.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18712335     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Chemically mediated communication is common in spiders but has been poorly studied in burrowing tarantulas. This study aimed to determine whether chemical cues influence the behaviour of females of Brachypelma vagans, a Mexican species of tarantula, during encounters with previously inhabited burrows or with extracts from the silk of conspecific females. In laboratory choice tests, female tarantulas entered a burrow that had previously been inhabited by a conspecific female significantly more frequently than a burrow that had never been inhabited. The identity of the previous inhabitant also affected the number of spiders that chose to enter a burrow. Spiders were quicker to choose and enter a burrow previously inhabited by themselves than a burrow previously inhabited by a conspecific or a burrow that had not been previously inhabited. Hexane, methanol and dichloromethane extracts of conspecific silk elicited different responses from female tarantulas when extracts were placed on filter paper disks at one end of an experimental arena with a control filter paper disk, on to which the corresponding solvent alone had been pipetted, placed on the other end of the arena. Spiders showed the strongest responses to hexane extracts of silk, with a significant preference to move towards the hexane extract and a significantly greater period of time spent in proximity to the hexane extract compared to the control disk. Overall and in contrast to expectations, tarantulas were most strongly attracted to the cues left by other conspecific females. As encounters between B. vagans females usually lead to aggression and mortality of one of the participants, we conclude that chemical cues are not signals that are deliberately released by burrow-inhabiting females but may inadvertently escape and cannot be easily suppressed.
Ariane Dor; Salima Machkour-M'Rabet; Luc Legal; Trevor Williams; Yann Hénaut
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-08-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Die Naturwissenschaften     Volume:  95     ISSN:  0028-1042     ISO Abbreviation:  Naturwissenschaften     Publication Date:  2008 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-10-22     Completed Date:  2009-03-24     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400767     Medline TA:  Naturwissenschaften     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1189-93     Citation Subset:  IM    
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Chetumal, Av. Centenario Km 5.5, Chetumal, 77900, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
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MeSH Terms
Housing, Animal
Methylene Chloride
Pattern Recognition, Physiological / physiology
Spiders / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Hexanes; 67-56-1/Methanol; 75-09-2/Methylene Chloride

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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