Nephala Clavipes Females Have Accelerated Dietary Requirements

TitleNephala Clavipes Females Have Accelerated Dietary Requirements
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHiggins, L, Goodnight, CJ
JournalJournal of Arachnology
KeywordsAraneae, Female gigantism, Nephilidae, sexual size dimorphism, SSD

Nephila spiders are famous for extreme sexual size dimorphism, with females an order of magnitude larger than
males. The proximal developmental mechanism for the sexual size dimorphism is extended development in females: they
have many more juvenile instars than males. During an experimental rearing of Nephila clavipes (Linnaeus 1767) from two
populations, we discovered that females cannot reach sexual maturity on diets that are qualitatively and quantitatively
sufficient for male maturation. Here we describe the dietary regimes that produced sexually mature females and the life
history implications of these requirements.

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