Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » ABADRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #299243

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACHES FOR PROTECTION OF ANIMALS FROM VECTOR-BORNE PATHOGENS

Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research

Title: Extended survival of spiders (Aranaeae) feeding on whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) honeydew

Author
item Pfannenstiel, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2014
Publication Date: 4/1/2015
Citation: Pfannenstiel, R.S. 2015. Extended survival of spiders (Aranaeae) feeding on whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) honeydew. Journal of Entomological Science. 50(2):110-118.

Interpretive Summary: Honeydew produced by sucking insects such as aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs, can be abundant in some crops and may represent an important food resource for spiders. Woolly whiteflies are common in south Texas citrus, and spiders consistently make up a large percentage of the predators in citrus and may benefit from honeydew resources. Feeding on woolly whitefly honeydew was studied for its contribution to spider survival for five species. When provided honeydew, survival of all five spiders was improved over those provided water alone, however, the improvement in survival varied between species. Honeydew provisioning increased survival from 73.5% for running crab spider (32.1 vs. 18.5 d on water alone) to 1102.5% for a ghost spider (48 vs. 4 days on water alone). Sugar resources are important for spiders, but the value of any one sugar source can vary between species.

Technical Abstract: Honeydew produced by homopteran insects such as aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs, can be abundant in some crops and may represent an important food resource for spiders and other honeydew feeding natural enemies. Woolly whiteflies are common in south Texas citrus, and spiders consistently make up a large percentage of the predatory arthropods in citrus and may benefit from honeydew resources. Feeding on woolly whitefly honeydew was assayed for its contribution to spider survival for five species from different arachnid families. When provided with whitefly honeydew, survival of all five species was significantly better than when provided water alone. However, the improvement in survival varied significantly between species. Honeydew supplementation increased survival by 73.5% for Apollophanes punctipes (32.1 vs. 18.5 d on water alone), 266.7% for Cesonia bilineata (Gnaphosidae), 352.6% for Dictyna sp. nr. bellans hatchi (Dictynidae), 130.9% for Thiodina sylvana, and 1102.5% for Hibana futilis.(48 vs. 4 days on water alone). Sugar resources appear important for spiders from many families, but the value of any one sugar source can vary between species.