Effect of Kleptoparasitic Ants on the Foraging Behavior of Social Spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum

The term kleptoparasitism is used to describe the stealing of nest material or prey of one animal by another. Foraging and food handling behaviors of social spiders increase the vulnerability to kleptoparasitism. Kleptoparasites namely four species of spiders and two species of ants were observed and collected from the nest and webs of Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch 1891. The ants were found to be the most dominant among them. The influence of a facultative kleptoparasitic ant, Oecophylla smaragdina on the foraging behavior of S. sarasinorum was studied and the experiments suggested that the web building behavior was influenced by the exposure to ants. However, exposure to ants caused no significant effect on the prey capture, handling time of prey and prey ingestion behaviors of this spider.
Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch 1891
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