The role of different eyes in prey detection by wolf spiders Denise T. Baldrick and George W. Uetz Department of Biological Sciences .

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Denise Baldrick George Uetz


By Denise Baldrick, Biology

Advisor: George Uetz

Presentation ID: AM_ATRIUM26

Abstract: While most spiders have limited vision, some families, e.g., wolf spiders (Lycosidae) have well-developed eysesight. Wolf spiders have eight eyes of two different sizes arranged in different places on their cephalothorax: the anterior eye row has smaller eyes in a row across the "face" or the spider, while the posterior eyes are larger, and arrayed on top of the cephalothorax. The vision of wolf spiders has been studied in various scenarios; however, the role that different pairs of eyes play in detecting prey is uncertain. We studied use of eyes in prey capture by the wolf spider, Schizocosa ocreata, by occluding different sets of eyes using a non-toxic latex paint. In each eye treatment,, six of the eight spider eyes were occluded, leaving one pair from which the spider could see. Manipulated spiders were placed in an arena with a cricket and several factors were measured: the latency to orient to the cricket, the distance and angle of orientation, and the spider's success at capturing the cricket. Unmanipulated spiders with full vision capabilities served as controls. The results show that spiders that could see out of the posterior lateral eyes (PLEs) detected the cricket just as quickly as the fully sighted spiders, while spiders limited to seeing from other eyes pairs took much longer to orient towards prey. By pinpointing the visual abilities of spiders, evolutionary and ecological understanding is expanded; furthermore, demonstrating the capabilities of natural visual systems may inspire future technological adaptations.

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AM Poster Session -- Atrium -- Sustainability & Biodiversity