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Background Pt. 3

Submitted by mmaliha on Sat, 11/03/2018 - 18:09

We want to contrast two different periods of starvation (3-days vs. 7-days) and see the impact on spiders’ eating habits (feeding rate, feeding interval) and movement. We also want to observe the combined impact of various environmental stressors and starvation (heat and cold) on spiders’ morphology and behavior. Since a study on long-term starvation revealed that there was difference in the behavior of wolf male and wolf female spiders after food deprivation ( ), we want to observe any difference in behavior due to short-term food deprivation. We also want to observe the impact of competition on predatory behavior after food-deprivation.

    We hypothesize that there would be no difference in morphology after a short starvation period, since metabolism is adjusted and resources are reallocated over a long time (Wilson, 2014). However, we expect there to be significant behavioral change between the not-starved spider and the 7-day-starved spider in terms of feeding speed and feeding amount. We expect the environmental stressors to negatively impact web-building abilities and feeding for all groups of spiders. And, we expect female wolf spiders to feed in a more uniform pattern compared to their male counterparts (reference ). We also expect there to be more aggression present (in the competitive group) between the 7-day starved spiders compared to both the 3-day starved spiders and not-starved spiders.


Background Pt. 2

Submitted by mmaliha on Sat, 11/03/2018 - 18:09

These studies of long-term starvation also reveal two fundamental facts about spider metabolism. During starvation period, resources will be reallocated from reproductive potential and growth to maintenance and survival to ensure that reproduction can take place when conditions improve (Wilson, 2014; ). Spiders do not adjust metabolism to maintain a constant body weight, rather their lipid is stored efficiently and prepare them for long periods of food deprivation (Jensen et al., 2010).

    Although the effect of long-term starvation has been widely studied on spider morphology, behavior and movement, research is scarce about the impact of short-term food deprivation. This scenario is a much more likely one in the real world, especially for house spiders whose insect supply is limited. Due to our regular interaction with these kinds of spider much of our surrounding environment is shaped by their predatory behaviors. In this proposal, we aim to look into the impacts of short-term starvation on the morphology, behavior and movement of common spiders in Amherst: wolf spiders and cellar spiders.


Background Pt. 1

Submitted by mmaliha on Sat, 11/03/2018 - 18:08

The feeding behavior of any species can tell us a lot about its metabolism, movement patterns, predatory instincts, and overall ecological impact on its surrounding biomass. Most species of spiders (order: Araneae) are predators, who feed on insects and small invertebrates through the synthesis of sticky webs. Their feeding pattern is mainly influenced by the size and shape of the prey and whether the spider has enough strength to overpower it: preys are supposed to be smaller than the spider’s body but larger than its head. Web-weaver spiders can also survive a long time without food due to spending minimal energy (reference.)

    Due to their unique metabolism and ability to survive without food for extended periods of time, the effect of long-term starvation has been widely studied in spiders. And, the results indicate that starvation still affects various spiders’ morphology, feeding behavior and movement patterns without causing prompt death. Southwestern longlegs spider, Physocyclus mexicanus, exhibit smaller body size, reduced weight, and smaller testis size under severe dietary restrictions (Wilson, 2014). Running crab spider, Philodromus rufus, feed at a higher rate after being starved (Haines and Sisojevic , 2012). The wolf spider, Pardosa agrestis, is more susceptible to cannibalistic tendencies when hungry (Samu et al., 1999). Food-limited wolf spider, Tigrosa helluo, show more locomotive activity than their satiated counterparts (Walker et al., 1999). And, spiders of various species show distinct aeronautic dispersal and ballooning movements after starvation (Mestre and Bonte, 2012; Weyman and Sunderland, 1994).

Abstract Draft

Submitted by mmaliha on Sat, 11/03/2018 - 18:06

The feeding pattern of spiders reveal a lot about their metabolism, locomotive behavior, predatory instincts, and ecological impact on surrounding biomass. Long-term starvation affects all of these variables to different extent in different species. However, it is not well-understood how short-term starvation may affect spiders’ feeding behavior and movement. In this proposal, we aim to assess the impact of short-term starvation on feeding behavior and movement of cellar spiders and wolf spiders, under various environmental stressors and in presence of competition. Spiders (n=3) will be placed in individual clear containers and starved for either a 3-day or 7-day period, and their behavior will be contrasted with their satiated counterparts. To understand the combined effect of environmental stressors and food deprivation, some cellar spiders will be placed in cold (18 C) or hot (30 C) environments. The difference in feeding pattern between male and female wolf spiders after short-term starvation will be recorded. And, to assess the impact of competition after starvation, multiple cellar spiders will receive a limited amount of food. All data should be collected in a qualitative manner, outside of feeding rate and mortality of spiders ,and will be analyzed in comparison to the control group of not-starved spiders. Understanding the impact of short-term starvation on spiders’ predatory and locomotive behavior will broaden our knowledge of their metabolic activities and will help us better utilize them for pest control.

Lab Paper Presentation

Submitted by mmaliha on Fri, 11/02/2018 - 14:32

Previous studies show that oxidative stress is both necessary and sufficient for triggering ISC proliferation. However, the mechanisms behind oxidative stress and mitogenic signals are relatively poorly understood. This figure displays that TRP1 and RyR genes are required for ISC self-renewal but not differentiation. MARCM clones are analyzed along with their control counterparts 10 d after clone induction. The bar graph represents number of cells per clone, 5 guts were analyzed per genotype, and data shows the average + SEM. MARCM, or mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker, relies on recombination during mitosis  mediated by the Flp-FRT system. Flp-FRT is a site-directed recombination technology. (FRT= flippase recognition target). According to the researchers, the cells still proliferate but not a lot of them are stem cells. So, these genes TRP1 and RyR are recognized to be important for ISC self-renewal but not for differentiation. 

Persuasive Assignment 3

Submitted by mmaliha on Sun, 10/28/2018 - 10:27

Beagles are a popular breed of sweet, intelligent and gentle dogs, who will guide you in your home life and outside. They will accompany your children and your family for a very long time, due to having better health than most other dog breeds. Due to their close genetic relation with other dog breeds (Harriers, Southern Hounds, etc.), in time, we can hope to retrieve some of our closest friends with scientific advance.

Persuasive Assignment 2

Submitted by mmaliha on Sun, 10/28/2018 - 10:26

Alongside its many logical advantages, we have a rich history with beagles. Their friendship with man can be traced back as far as Ancient Greece, when hounds of similar size and shape were used to help hunters. Both King Edward II and King Henry VII had packs of glove beagles and Queen Elizabeth I was very fond of her pocket beagle.  After the modern breed was developed by Revered Honeywood in England, The National Beagle Club of America was formed in 1888. Beagles were ranked #1 among American Kennel Club’s registered breeds between 1953 and 1959, and they made a reappearance as #5 (out of 155 registered breeds) in 2005 and 2006 (American Kennel Club). In recent times, Snoopy from the popular children’s series and comic strip, Peanuts, has made beagles a favorite household name all over the world.

Persuasive Assignment 1

Submitted by mmaliha on Sun, 10/28/2018 - 10:26

Man’s best friend is now under attack from nature. But in this terrible time, we must react both logically and emotionally, and save at least one dog breed rather than let all of them perish. And, if we can only save one breed of domestic dog from this terrible new retrovirus, it must be a pregnant beagle and her babies.

The beagle will accompany and support you in both your home life and the outside world. It is a very intelligent and even-tempered breed of dog. With a gentle disposition and friendly nature, it is neither timid nor aggressive. It will easily be your child’s favorite playmate and your family’s favorite pet. But, it will still retain its natural properties as a scent hound: its superior tracking instinct and sense of smell. So, you can take it hunting or observe it at airports helping law enforcement for detection of illegal items. The beagle is also in excellent shape, with an inherited lack of health problems and good longevity.

Methods Draft

Submitted by mmaliha on Sun, 10/28/2018 - 10:23


  • Have one spider each in a  tupperware container, (sample size of 3= 3 spiders in 3 tupperware containers). They would be fed at the same time, 6 PM, every day for 7 days- 3 flies put into their web each day. Observe feeding speed, spider movement, web activity/building, etc. daily.

  • Have one spider each in a tupperware container (sample size of 3). They would be fed at the same time, 6 PM, every day regularly for 4 days. Then they would be starved for 3 days, and presented with 3 flies on the 7th day’s 6 PM. Observe feeding speed, spider movement, web activity/building, etc daily.

  • Have one spider each in a tupperware container (sample size of 3). They would be starved (kept inside the container  and not given any food) for 6 days. They would be presented with 3 flies on the 7th day’s 6 PM. Observe feeding speed, spider movement, web activity/building, etc. daily.

Experimental Design

Submitted by mmaliha on Sun, 10/28/2018 - 10:22

Cellar spiders can survive without food for four to eight weeks, since they don’t use too much energy. We don’t expect to see significant behavioral change (feeding habits, aggression) between the 0-d and 3-d starved spiders. But, we expect to see significant difference in behavior for the 0-d/3-d and 7-d spiders, where the 7-d spiders will feed faster or act more aggressively.


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