Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Biol. 2009 Oct 13;19(19):R892-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.08.049.

Herbivory in a spider through exploitation of an ant-plant mutualism.


Spiders are thought to be strict predators. We describe a novel exception: Bagheera kiplingi, a Neotropical jumping spider (Salticidae) that exploits a well-studied ant-plant mutualism, is predominantly herbivorous. From behavioral field observations and stable-isotope analyses, we show that the main diet of this host-specific spider comprises specialized leaf tips (Beltian food bodies; Figure 1A) from Vachellia spp. ant-acacias (formerly Acacia spp.), structures traded for protection in the plant's coevolved mutualism with Pseudomyrmex spp. ants that inhabit its hollow thorns. This is the first report of a spider that feeds primarily and deliberately on plants.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center