Matriphagy in five species of the genus Anelosimus (Araneae: Theridiidae)

In: Behaviour
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  • 1 Entomología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Laboratorio Ecología del Comportamiento, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brasil
  • | 2 Núcleo de Etologia e Evolução, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brasil
  • | 3 Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em estudos inter e transdisciplinares em Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brasil
  • | 4 Departamento de Biologia Animal, Instituto de Biologia, Unicamp, São Paulo, Brasil
  • | 5 Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay
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Parental care has evolved numerous times in many taxonomic groups of animals. Matriphagy, as an extreme example of parental care, is present in many social species, subsocial species, and even in solitary spiders. Here, we describe matriphagy in five species of Anelosimus of different levels of sociality: social (A. dubiosus), intermediate social (A. jabaquara), subsocial (A. vierae, A. baeza), and solitary (A. nigrescens). Each group contained a female and its brood, maintained under standardized laboratory conditions. All species showed matriphagy, regardless of their social level. Further studies are necessary to clarify whether matriphagy is a necessary precondition for the evolution of sociality in spiders, or if it is phylogenetically conserved in some families.

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