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Prey capture in a mantid (Gonatista grisea): does geotropy promote success?

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Gonatista grisea (Fabricius) is one of many arboreal arthropods and reptiles that orient downwards to ambush prey. To investigate if orienting downwards increases hunting success, a 2 × 2 factorial experiment was performed using mantid orientation (upwards, downwards) and direction of prey approach (posterior, anterior) as factors and prey capture success as the response variable. The results indicated that the mantid captures prey equally well when oriented upwards or downwards but that it is less effective when the prey approaches posteriorly. Because prey likely climb upwards more frequently than downwards, these findings suggest that G. grisea increases its hunting success with its downwards orientation.

Gonatista grisea (Fabricius) est l'une des nombreuses espèces d'arthropodes et de reptiles arboricoles qui se tiennent la tête vers le bas lors de l'embuscade de leurs proies. Une expérience factorielle 2 × 2 qui utilise la position de la mante (orientée vers le haut ou vers le bas) et la position de la proie (antérieure, postérieure) comme facteurs et le succès de la capture de la proie comme variable dépendante a permis de vérifier si l'orientation vers le bas augmente le succès de la chasse. Les résultats démontrent que les mantes peuvent capturer leurs proies avec autant de succès, qu'elles soient orientées vers le haut ou le bas, mais que la chasse est moins efficace lorsque les proies s'approchent par l'arrière. Parce que les proies sont susceptibles de se déplacer plus souvent vers le haut que vers le bas, nos résultats laissent croire que G. grisea améliore le succès de sa chasse en s'orientant vers le bas.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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