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      The fishing mantid: predation on fish as a new adaptive strategy for praying mantids (Insecta: Mantodea)

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      Journal of Orthoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Observations in unmanipulated, semi-natural conditions were made of a single individual of the praying mantid Hierodulatenuidentata, while hunting and capturing an unusual prey for this kind of insect, guppy fish, Poeciliareticulata. This repetitive fishing behavior, recorded daily, is reported here for the first time and discussed in relation to the adaptive behavioral plasticity of praying mantids. We speculate regarding learning from experience as a hunting strategy.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Pollinator deception in the orchid mantis.

          Mimicry has evolved in contexts such as camouflage, predator deterrence, luring of prey, and pollinator attraction. Mimicry of flowers has until now been demonstrated only in angiosperms, yet it has been hypothesized that the Malaysian orchid mantis Hymenopus coronatus mimics a flower to attract pollinators as prey. Despite the popularity of this charismatic insect, this long-discussed hypothesis has never been experimentally investigated. We found that, as predicted for mimicry, the color of H. coronatus is indistinguishable from the color of sympatric flowers for hymenopteran pollinators. Field experiments show that isolated mantises attract wild pollinators at a rate even higher than flowers and capture these pollinators as prey items. After more than a century of conjecture, we provide the first experimental evidence of pollinator deception in the orchid mantis and the first description of a unique predatory strategy that has not been documented in any other animal species.
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            Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern

            More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders – observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens – are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2–6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the ‘swimming’ huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders’ body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance.
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              Predation on young treefrog (Osteocephalus taurinus) by arthropods (Insecta, Mantodea and Arachnida, Araneae) in Central Brazil

              Praying mantis and spider species are common food items in the diet of several anuran species. Nevertheless, in this study we report the predation of young treefrogs Osteocephalus taurinus by two spider species, a Pisauridae and a Trechaleidae (Neoctenus sp.) and by the praying mantis Eumusonia sp. in Mato Grosso, Central Brazil. The great abundance of this treefrog in the region, combined with its small body size during the juvenil stage, favor its predation by generalists predators. Indeed, more studies are needed to quantify the real influence of invertebrate predators on anuran populations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Orthoptera Research
                JOR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1937-2426
                1082-6467
                September 20 2018
                September 20 2018
                : 27
                : 2
                : 155-158
                Article
                10.3897/jor.27.28067
                © 2018

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