Send to

Choose Destination
J Insect Physiol. 2010 Sep;56(9):1095-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2010.03.001. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Metabolic consequences of feeding and fasting on nutritionally different diets in the wolf spider Pardosa prativaga.

Author information

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


We investigated whether spiders fed lipid-rich rather than protein-rich prey elevate metabolism to avoid carrying excessive lipid deposits, or whether they store ingested lipids as a buffer against possible future starvation. We fed wolf spiders (Pardosa prativaga) prey of different lipid:protein compositions and measured the metabolic rate of spiders using closed respirometry during feeding and fasting. After a 16-day feeding period, spider lipid:protein composition was significantly affected by the lipid:protein composition of their prey. Feeding caused a large and fast increase in metabolism. The cost of feeding and digestion was estimated to average 21% of the ingested energy irrespective of diet. We found no difference in basal metabolic rate between dietary treatments. During starvation V ₀₂ and V(CO)₂decreased gradually, and the larger lipid stores in spiders fed lipid-rich prey appeared to extend survival of these spiders under starvation compared to spiders fed protein-rich prey. The results show that these spiders do not adjust metabolism in order to maintain a constant body composition when prey nutrient composition varies. Instead, lipids are stored efficiently and help to prepare the spiders for the long periods of food deprivation that may occur as a consequence of their opportunistic feeding strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center