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Data from: Mismatch between dietary requirements for lipid by a predator and availability of lipid in prey

Citation

Wiggins, Will D.; Wilder, Shawn M. (2017), Data from: Mismatch between dietary requirements for lipid by a predator and availability of lipid in prey, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.13173

Abstract

Growth is an important factor in predicting an organism's overall success as an adult. Understanding how abiotic and biotic factors influence body size is key to predicting how environmental changes will impact organisms and predicting optimal behaviors under varying conditions. Food items can vary widely in nutrient content and this variation can affect growth. We tested how the quantity and macronutrient content of live prey affected the growth of juvenile jumping spiders, Phiddipus audax, using 420 spiderlings raised on one of 21 diets. In addition, we measured the nutrient content of prey from the field and compared average prey nutrient content with the diet at which spiders maximized growth. Our results show that the quantity and nutrient content of prey have significant and interacting effects on the growth of an actively hunting predator. In particular, spiders grew larger in body size (tibia/patella length and posterior lateral eye width) and were heavier on diets with higher lipid content. Yet, data on the nutrient content of prey from the field shows that most potential prey have high protein and low lipid content in their bodies. This apparent mismatch between spider nutritional requirements and prey nutrient availability likely presents a challenge to spiders seeking to maximize growth in the field. Several hypotheses for how these predators overcome this challenge to reach the large body sizes observed in the field are discussed.

Usage Notes

Location

Southwest United States of America