Evarcha culicivora is an East African salticid spider that eats mosquitoes, as well as plants. The immature spiders visit plants primarily for nectar meals and adult spiders visit plants primarily as mating sites.
The researchers hypothesised that relevant odours are involved in decision-making by E. culicivora to plant odour. The article shows that prey odour prepares juvenile spiders and adults to respond to seeing prey, mate odour prepares adults to respond to seeing mates, and plant odour prepares juveniles to respond to seeing flowers. However, plant odour appears to prepare adults to respond to seeing a mate associated with a plant.
This is an output of the ‘Research on Predatory Arthropods’ programme. It was partly funded by the UK Department for International Development, a core donor of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
Carvell G. E., Jackson R. R. and Cross F. R. (2017) Ontogenetic shift in plant-related cognitive specialization by a mosquito-eating predator. Behavioural Processes 138, 105–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2017.02.022
Ontogenetic shift in plant-related cognitive specialization by a mosquito-eating predator