Food choice of the Neotropical harvestman Erginulus clavotibialis (Opiliones: Laniatores: Cosmetidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:M. H. Schaus, Townsend, V. R., Illinik, J. J.
Journal:Journal of Arachnology

Relatively little is known about the food habits of neotropical harvestmen. We used Erginulus clavotibialis (Pickard-Cambridge 1905), a locally abundant species of cosmetid harvestman in Belize, in a food choice experiment. Individuals were presented with fresh fruit (pineapple) and live invertebrate prey (termites) in an experimental chamber. This species showed a strong preference for fruit, as 72% of individuals ate it first and 67% spent the most time in the fruit- containing portion of the experimental chamber. Five E. clavotibialis (13%) consumed termites, confirming this species’ ability to capture and consume live invertebrate prey. Adult males located food more quickly than nymphs. Harvestmen feeding on fruit were also significantly more active than non-feeding individuals or those preying upon termites first. Opportunistic frugivory may be important to E. clavotibialis during times when fruit is available (e.g., wet season). We hypothesize that this species exhibits a generalist diet in the field.

Tue, 2016-06-28 15:19 -- sjl197
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith