Event Title

Effects of environmental enrichment on exploratory and foraging behaviors in the wolf spider Pardosa milvina

Presenter Information

Kelly Miller
Courtney Purnell

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Matt Persons

Start Date

24-4-2018 12:00 PM

End Date

24-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

Many animals experience shifts in habitat during their lifetime. The fitness costs or benefits associated with these shifts is often difficult to quantify but certainly relates to the interaction between individual personalities and behavioral accommodations by the animal. The wolf spider Pardosa milvina is common in agricultural systems and regularly encounters dramatic seasonal changes in habitat both temporally and spatially. We reared field-collected juvenile spiders within enriched or impoverished environments over forty days. Impoverished environments consisted of bare plastic containers with a single moistened cotton ball. Enriched environments consisted of loose soil, small rocks and coffee stirrers. We then measured shifts in exploratory behavior, activity level, and prey capture performance within novel simple or complex environments different than their rearing environments. We also measured differences in mass, size and mortality over the forty days for all spiders among each rearing environment treatment (N=75). Spiders reared in enriched environments showed significantly more exploratory behavior, shorter attack latencies toward prey and quicker prey capture in novel complex or simple environments compared to spiders reared in impoverished environments. We found no significant difference in body condition, mass or mortality based on rearing environments however. Rearing environments over a one-month period generated significant shifts in spider responses to novel environments. Spiders from enriched environments appeared bolder in general while impoverished environments resulted in more sedentary spiders. Since these behaviors resulted in no significant change in body condition or mortality suggests that these are adaptive behavioral responses to these environments.

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Apr 24th, 12:00 PM Apr 24th, 1:00 PM

Effects of environmental enrichment on exploratory and foraging behaviors in the wolf spider Pardosa milvina

Many animals experience shifts in habitat during their lifetime. The fitness costs or benefits associated with these shifts is often difficult to quantify but certainly relates to the interaction between individual personalities and behavioral accommodations by the animal. The wolf spider Pardosa milvina is common in agricultural systems and regularly encounters dramatic seasonal changes in habitat both temporally and spatially. We reared field-collected juvenile spiders within enriched or impoverished environments over forty days. Impoverished environments consisted of bare plastic containers with a single moistened cotton ball. Enriched environments consisted of loose soil, small rocks and coffee stirrers. We then measured shifts in exploratory behavior, activity level, and prey capture performance within novel simple or complex environments different than their rearing environments. We also measured differences in mass, size and mortality over the forty days for all spiders among each rearing environment treatment (N=75). Spiders reared in enriched environments showed significantly more exploratory behavior, shorter attack latencies toward prey and quicker prey capture in novel complex or simple environments compared to spiders reared in impoverished environments. We found no significant difference in body condition, mass or mortality based on rearing environments however. Rearing environments over a one-month period generated significant shifts in spider responses to novel environments. Spiders from enriched environments appeared bolder in general while impoverished environments resulted in more sedentary spiders. Since these behaviors resulted in no significant change in body condition or mortality suggests that these are adaptive behavioral responses to these environments.