By Friedrich G. Barth

ISBN-10: 3642075576

ISBN-13: 9783642075575

Spiders are excellent creatures. Their diverse and intricate diversity of habit and hugely constructed sensory platforms are excellently tailored to the environmental stipulations - as is confirmed through their evolutionary luck. Over four hundred million years, spiders have built their sensory organs to a desirable technical perfection and complexity.
In his exciting e-book, Professor Friedrich G. Barth places this technical perfection into the context of "biology", within which the interplay among surroundings and sensory organs and the selectivity of the senses as a hyperlink among atmosphere and behaviour play an immense position.

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Example text

For such tests, too, this species is very useful because of its size and the ease with which it can be bred and kept in the laboratory. The two venom glands are of the "endocephalous" type according to the old classification by Millot (1931}; this type is also characteristic of the Pisauridae, Agelenidae, Linyphiidae, Lycosidae and Pholcidae. Figure 1 shows the position and the impressive dimensions of the venom glands of C. salei. They extend far into the prosoma, within which is situated the cylindrically shaped main gland with a slight constriction in its middle region.

Barth, Seyfarth et al. 1988) Fig. 6 a, b. Water balance in Cupiennius. a Relationship between the evaporation rate and body mass in different spiders under roughly similar environmental conditions. 2 cmls, 60% RH. b Lethal water loss for different spider species in percent of the initial body mass. In the case of Cupiennius each value from measurements of six animals. Tarentula is now called Alopecosa. (Parry 1954; CloudsleyThompson 1970; Pulz 1987; Mitter 1994) 22 terrestrial arthropod with a large surface-to-volume ratio, this is potentially a serious problem (re spiders see Pulz 1987).

Furthermore, when the light-dark alternation was suddenly reversed (LD-+ DL), it took only 48 hours for the animals to become synchronized with the new DL rhythm. This last finding had major implications for us experimental zoologists: It means that under laboratory conditions it is easy to turn our daytime into nighttime for Cupiennius, so that we can have active animals available for observation at a time when we ourselves are normally active (Figs. 2 and 3). The importance of studying Cupiennius salei at the right time of day, even when we were interested in supposedly simple and stereotyped forms of behavior, had been clear to us since we had found that certain leg-muscle reflexes can be triggered much more easily during twilight or in a darkened laboratory than in the light phase of the day (Seyfarth 1978a).

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