Eco-Ethology of Spiders

Indian Academy of Sciences sponsored study on eco-ethology of Lycosidae spider 
Illustration of Pardosa sutherlandi

In 2000, the Indian Academy of Science provided me a grant to work under the mentorship of Dr.Raghavendra Gadagkar, then director of Center for Ecological Studies at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The subject of the study was looking at the ecology and behaviour of a Wolf Spider Pardosa sutherlandi belonging to Family Lycosidae

The study looked in detail this species unique extended maternal care behavior where the female spider protects and carries the spiderlings on its back for several weeks before they disperse. The observation also extended to the interactions between spiderlings, their hunting behaviour as well as the hunting and feeding behaviour of the female spider.

The experiments and observations were carried out in the field as well as in the laboratory and was recorded on video for future studies.

 

Habitat of Pardosa sutherlandi

Habitat of Pardosa sutherlandi

Pardosa sutherlandi spiderlings at the entrance to its tunnel like chamber

Pardosa sutherlandi spiderlings at the entrance to its tunnel like chamber

Pardosa sutherlandi in front of its leaf covered entrance

Pardosa sutherlandi in front of its leaf covered entrance

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Pardosa sutherlandi  tunnel like chamber

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#1 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: Identify prey

#3 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: Bites from the rear

#3 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: Bites from the rear

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#1 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: Identify prey

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Illustration of hunting sequence - biting prey

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Laboratory set-up for observation of Pardosa sutherlandi behavior

#2 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: A quick check

#2 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: A quick check

#4 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: The prey dies

#4 Hunting sequence of Pardosa sutherlandi spiderling: The prey dies

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Illustration of hunting sequence - identifying prey

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Illustration of hunting sequence - feeding on prey

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Extended maternal care behaviour with the female spider carrying spiderlings on back

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Extended maternal care behaviour with the female spider carrying spiderlings on back

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Female hunting for spiderlings

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Female hunting for spiderlings

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Spiderlings feeding off the prey

© Anirban Dutta Gupta 2020 - 2021

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