Predation by Cosmopolitan Spiders Upon the Medically Significant Pest Species Loxosceles reclusa (Araneae: Sicariidae): Limited Possibilities for Biological Control
Author: Sandidge, Jamél
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 97, Number 2, April 2004 , pp. 230-234(5)
Publisher: Entomological Society of America
Abstract:Interspecific predation of three cosmopolitan house spiders, Achearanea tepidariorum (Kock 1841) (Theridiidae), Steotoda triangulosa (Walckenaer 1802) (Theridiidae), and Pholcus phalangioides (Doleschall 1859) (Pholcidae), and the medically significant brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa (Sicariidae) were examined to evaluate transitive predatory relationships and to explore the potential use of cosmopolitan spiders as effective biological control agents on L. reclusa. Fifty houses from northeastern Kansas were visually inspected from May to December 2002 for cosmopolitan spiders and L. reclusa. In 25 houses, insect monitoring traps were used to sample spider diversity and abundance. The remaining 25 houses were monitored to examine intraguild predation and spider behavior. If cosmopolitan spiders have the ability to regulate or decrease L. reclusa populations, houses with large cosmopolitan spider populations are expected to have significantly fewer L. reclusa than houses without cosmopolitan spiders. Predation and/or evidence of predation by all three cosmopolitan spiders on L. reclusa was detected in 68% of houses. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis showed overall positive relationships between population densities of cosmopolitan spiders and L. reclusa. When evaluated independently, the presence of both A. tepidariorum and S. triangulosa showed negative, yet nonsignificant, relationships with L. reclusa densities, whereas P. phalangioides showed a positive nonsignificant relationship. Although statistical tests showed a decrease in L. reclusa population densities with increased population densities of two cosmopolitan species, alluding to a potential beneficial interaction for biological control, observations of spider behavior, web positioning (niche partitioning), and predation showed little possibility of biological control capabilities.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2004
- Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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