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Natal Dispersal Patterns of a Subsocial Spider Anelosimus cf. jucundus (Theridiidae)

Summary: Natal Dispersal Patterns of a Subsocial Spider
Anelosimus cf. jucundus (Theridiidae)
Kimberly S. Powers & Leticia Avile┤ s*
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson,
Species that alternate periods of solitary and social living may provide clues
to the conditions that favor sociality. Social spiders probably originated from
subsocial-like ancestors, species in which siblings remain together for part of their
life cycle but disperse prior to mating. Exploring the factors that lead to dispersal
in subsocial species, but allow the development of large multigenerational
colonies in social species, may provide insight into this transition. We studied the
natal dispersal patterns of a subsocial spider, Anelosimus cf. jucundus, in
Southeastern Arizona. In this population, spiders disperse from their natal nests
in their penultimate and antepenultimate instars over a 3-mo period. We tracked
the natal dispersal of marked spiders at sites with clustered vs. isolated nests. We
found that most spiders initially dispersed less than 5 m from their natal nests.
Males and females, and spiders in patches with different densities of nests,
dispersed similar distances. The fact that both sexes in a group dispersed, the lack
of a sex difference in dispersal distance, and the relatively short distances


Source: AvilÚs, Leticia - Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology