Evol Ecol Res 9: 697-704 (2007)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The effect of dietary restriction on the lifespan of males in a web-building spider

Michal Segoli,1* Yael Lubin2 and Ally R. Harari1,3

1Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva,  2Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus and  3Department of Entomology, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: msegoli@bgu.ac.il


Question: Do web-building spider males respond to dietary restriction by increased lifespan, as is observed in many other organisms?

Hypothesis: Adult males normally do not feed, have extremely high extrinsic mortality rates during mate search, and mate only once, hence they are less likely to benefit from increased lifespan in terms of future reproductive success. Accordingly, they are not expected to respond to dietary restriction by increased lifespan.

Organism: Adult white widow spider (Latrodectus pallidus) males.

Methods: Virgin adult males were kept on a low diet or fed ad libitum. Longevity of males was recorded.

Results: As opposed to our predictions we found that food-restricted male spiders survived longer than males that fed ad libitum.

Keywords: dietary restriction, lifespan, web-building spider.

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