Date Approved

2006

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Committee Member

Dr. Cara Shillington, Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Peter Bednekoff

Committee Member

Dr. Tamara Greco

Abstract

This study examined the effect of different periods of food deprivation on resting metabolic rates (RMR) and foraging activities in tarantulas (Phormictopus cancerides). Juvenile tarantulas were separated into two feeding groups and fed once either every 5 or 30 days. Monthly feeding trials were preceded by RMR measurements. During feeding trials I compared differences between the two groups in (1) prey capture rates, (2) time to prey capture, (3) locomotory activity, and (4) the predator’s prey detection distance. RMRs increased for the well-fed group but remained consistent for individuals, fed only once a month. Time to prey capture decreased for food-limited individuals, and the proportion of individuals that ate in the 30-day group was higher than in the well-fed group, but the results for locomotory activity and detection distances were inconclusive. Overall, changes in metabolism and behavior were more noticeable in the well-fed group compared to individuals fed once a month.

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