Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Life Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

PDF

Theses/Dissertations

2013

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Ontogeny Of Venom Use And Venom Composition In The Western Widow Spider Latrodectus Hesperus, David Roger Nelsen Jun 2013

Ontogeny Of Venom Use And Venom Composition In The Western Widow Spider Latrodectus Hesperus, David Roger Nelsen

Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects

I investigated the behavioral ecology of venom and venom use by the western widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus), emphasizing the role of ontogeny. In an introductory paper, I reviewed existing definitions of venom and poison, and refined these by adding a third category of toxic biological secretions: toxungen. These three can be distinguished by mode of toxin delivery and presence of a wound. In the first of four empirical studies, I investigated venom use by adult females in the context of threat assessment. A single brief poke at the lowest threat level elicited primarily avoidance responses ("move" and "retract"), repeated prodding ...