Nectivory

Each spider actively endeavoured to extract nectar.
With legs I and II flexed sharply, spiders sometimes
lowered their cephalothoraces and brought their mouthparts
against free nectar encountered on flower. Other
times, they positioned their chelicerae around flowers
and inserted their fangs. Feeding tended to be in a series
of bouts, with the duration of bouts varying from as
short as 2 s to as long as 4 min. Grooming, especially of
the mouthparts, was common between bouts. During
feeding bouts, spiders usually kept legs lowered and
pulled in close to the body, with faint side-to-side and
up-and-down abdominal movement being routine,
sometimes accompanied by quivering of chelicerae.
Spiders sometimes pushed nectar toward their
mouths by using palps and legs I. Appendages were also
used to sop up nectar. To do this, one palp at a time was
dipped into a drop of nectar, then placed between the
chelicerae. Closing the chelicerae around the palp,
nectar was squeezed off the palp and into the spider’s
mouth. Infrequently, legs I were used in a comparable
way except that only the tip of the leg tarsus was dipped
into the nectar.

(Jackson, R.R. et al. (2001). Jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) that feed on nectar. J. Zool., 255, 25-29.)

Put a jumping spider next to a flower and she will drink eagerly. She will wipe her mouth and face.

Sometimes she will dip a palp or leg in and lick the nectar off, like a cat dips a paw into water.

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About abi nighthill

Abi has a BA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago.
This entry was posted in Nonfiction, Poetry and Nonfiction, School, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

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