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小蜘蛛打败大蚂蚁

标签: 小蜘蛛 大蚂蚁
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摘要 : 类似大卫和歌利亚的传说(以弱胜强的事例),以色列的一种小蜘蛛能“撂倒”大小是其4倍的巨型蚂蚁。
小蜘蛛打败大蚂蚁

类似大卫和歌利亚的传说(以弱胜强的事例),以色列的一种小蜘蛛能“撂倒”大小是其4倍的巨型蚂蚁。但这个针头大的小东西——Zodarion cyrenaicum是如何完成这一壮举的呢?科学家研究其策略后发现,发育完全的蛛形纲动物会从敌人后方快速进攻并狠咬一口,之后撤退至安全地带直到毒素进入敌人体内。年幼的蜘蛛采取同样的有毒攻击战略,但并不撤退,体型足够小的它们会依附在蚂蚁背部直到蚂蚁受伤。这项发现发表在近日的《自然科学期刊》上。

原文摘要:

David and Goliath: potent venom of an ant-eating spider (Araneae) enables capture of a giant prey

Stano Pekár, Onřej Šedo, Eva Líznarová, Stanislav Korenko, Zdeněk Zdráhal

It is rare to find a true predator that repeatedly and routinely kills prey larger than itself. A solitary specialised ant-eating spider of the genus Zodarion can capture a relatively giant prey. We studied the trophic niche of this spider species and investigated its adaptations (behavioural and venomic) that are used to capture ants. We found that the spider captures mainly polymorphic Messor arenarius ants. Adult female spiders captured large morphs while tiny juveniles captured smaller morphs, yet in both cases ants were giant in comparison with spider size. All specimens used an effective prey capture strategy that protected them from ant retaliation. Juvenile and adult spiders were able to paralyse their prey using a single bite. The venom glands of adults were more than 50 times larger than those of juvenile spiders, but the paralysis latency of juveniles was 1.5 times longer. This suggests that this spider species possesses very potent venom already at the juvenile stage. Comparison of the venom composition between juvenile and adult spiders did not reveal significant differences. We discovered here that specialised capture combined with very effective venom enABLes the capture of giant prey.

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