Predation on Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) by Theridion rufipes (Araneae: Theridiidae) in Puerto Rico.

Autor(es): Fox I

Resumo: Theridion rufipes Lucas was found in rearing cages of Aedes aegypti (L.) in the School of Medicine, San Juan, PR. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the spiders had a continuous existence in the cages and in the room outside the cages. A single spider eventually could eliminate all the mosquitoes in a cage. The behavior of the mosquitoes in the web was observed by isolating spiders individually in glass or plastic flasks. When a mosquito comes in contact with the beads of sticky silk on the web, it is immediately paralyzed before the spider approaches it. The instant immobilization without a struggle as well as other aspects of prey behavior suggest that there is a compound in the sticky webs that causes the paralysis. Analysis of this material might lead to the discovery of a new insecticide. Efforts to control dengue in Puerto Rico should not interfere with the natural enemies of the vector.

Palavras-Chave: Theridion rufipes; Aedes aegypti; Mosquitoes; Spider predation; Spider webs

Imprenta: Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 35, n. 4, p. 611-613, 1998

Identificador do objeto digital: 10.1093/jmedent/35.4.611

Descritores: Aedes aegypti - Dengue

Data de publicação: 1998