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The lethal and sublethal effects of three pesticides on the striped lynx spider (Oxyopes salticus Hentz)



Catherine Hanna (corresponding author), Department of Science, Robert Morris University, Moon Township, PA, USA. E-mail:


The striped lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus Hentz, is found in high abundances in agricultural fields where it forages on many agricultural pests. Pesticides are applied to these fields and can therefore impact these natural pest predators. Researchers have examined the effects of a number of pesticides on this spider and other pest predators, but many of these studies only examine how these pesticides affect mortality. More recently, researchers have begun to examine the sublethal effects of these chemicals. We examined both the lethal and sublethal effects of three common pesticides with the active ingredients bifenthrin, carbaryl and malathion. We found that only malathion significantly reduced the post-exposure lifespan of these spiders; however, each pesticide had sublethal effects on behaviour. Exposure to malathion reduced jumping, likely an important foraging and escape behaviour. Spiders exposed to bifenthrin spent increased time grooming, which can reduce the time spent performing other important behaviours. Finally, spiders that were exposed to carbaryl surprisingly increased their prey capture rate. We show here that pesticides can not only directly affect the lifespan of the striped lynx spider but that each pesticide can cause different sublethal effects that likely impact the survival and ecology of these important pest predators.