Herbivory in a spider through exploitation of an ant–plant mutualism

@article{Meehan2009HerbivoryIA,
  title={Herbivory in a spider through exploitation of an ant–plant mutualism},
  author={Christopher J. Meehan and Eric J. Olson and Matthew W. Reudink and T K Kyser and Robert Lawrence Curry},
  journal={Current Biology},
  year={2009},
  volume={19},
  pages={R892-R893}
}
Spiders are thought to be strict predators. We describe a novel exception: Bagheera kiplingi, a Neotropical jumping spider (Salticidae) that exploits a well-studied ant-plant mutualism, is predominantly herbivorous. From behavioral field observations and stable-isotope analyses, we show that the main diet of this host-specific spider comprises specialized leaf tips (Beltian food bodies; Figure 1A) from Vachellia spp. ant-acacias (formerly Acacia spp.), structures traded for protection in the… Expand

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