This experiment is part of the Arachnids Challenge Grant. Browse more projects

Why be social? The costs and benefits of sociality in spiders

Raised of $2,700 Goal
Funded on 11/04/16
Successfully Funded
  • $2,835
  • 105%
  • Funded
    on 11/04/16

Parasite exclusion experiment

The purpose of this experiment is to determine if kleptoparasitic spiders and parasitoid wasps have an effect on fitness at both the colony and the individual levels.

  • Locate up to 45 Anelosimus eximius nests
  • Randomly assign nests to one of 3 treatments: no parasites, normal level of parasites and higher than normal level of parasites
  • Surround nests of all three treatments in fine netting to prevent anything from entering or leaving the nest
  • Collect sample of adult females and assess body condition
  • For nests assigned to the no parasites treatment, remove all kleptoparasitic spiders and parasitoid wasp cocoon webs
  • For nests assigned to have higher than normal levels of parasites, introduce extra kleptoparasitic spiders and introduce parasitoid wasp adults
  • Feed spiders the appropriate amount of daily food for its size based on Yip et al. (2008) and results from prey energy input experiments from summer of 2016
  • After 4-6 months, all existing egg sacs will be from experimental period, collect egg sacs from all nests. Count number of eggs and presence clutch parasites
  • Count number of cocoon webs made by spiders infected with parasitoid wasp larvae
  • Collect another sample of adult females and reassess body condition
  • Collect samples of entire nests from all three treatments. Count any parasitoid wasp larvae attached to carapace of spiders

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