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Collective prey capture and feeding behaviours of Anelosimus jabaquara Levi 1956 (araneae: theridiidae)

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In this study we report on the predatory behaviour of Anelosimus jabaquara considering the frequency of bites in each prey body part during the immobilization phase, the proportion of the consumption time expended in each of these parts and the relative participation on capture and feeding processes by spiders of different body sizes. Generally, few individuals actively take part in prey immobilization events, biting mostly on fly's legs (body segments which promote vibrations strong enough to attract spiders, but not to dissuade attacks). However, many spiders usually take part in the consumption of this medium size prey item. During the consumption phase appendages were rarely used, probably due to the higher nutritional value and biomass availability of central body segments (thorax, abdomen and head). Non-aggressive contests over displaced prey body parts were frequently seen during collective feeding in natural colonies, but not in small artificial groups in laboratory.

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