Get access

Sublethal pesticide exposure disrupts courtship in the striped lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus (Araneae: Oxyopidae)

Authors

  • C. Hanna,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA, USA
    • Correspondence

      Chadwick Hanna (corresponding author), Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Avenue, California, PA 15419, USA. E-mail: hanna@calu.edu

    Search for more papers by this author
  • C. Hanna

    1. Department of Science, Robert Morris University, Moon Township, PA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The striped lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus, is a dominant predator of pests in agricultural crops where pesticides are readily applied. While past research shows pesticides directly affect the mortality of agricultural pest predators, recent research has found that pesticide exposure may cause sublethal effects in these organisms. This study examined how residues of three common pesticides (active ingredients: bifenthrin, carbaryl, malathion) impact courtship behaviour of O. salticus. Males provided with cues left by females readily performed courting behaviours. However, when females left cues on a substrate containing bifenthrin and carbaryl, males were less likely to perform courtship behaviours and did so for less time. While males on the malathion treatment showed a trend for reduced courting, this was not significantly different from the treatment without pesticides. The cue produced by females is unknown in this species. However, our study found males reduced their courting over time, suggesting that the cue is ephemeral and not long lived. This study adds important insight into the growing evidence that pesticides greatly impact the ecology of agricultural pest predators and other non-target organisms by altering their behaviour.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary