Seven Walckenaeria spider species preyed significantly quicker upon spiders of various families than 41 non-Walckenaeria linyphiid species that confronted similar spiders in the laboratory. When presenting a fly and a spider, Walckenaeria significantly preferred to kill and consume the spider first, in contrast to non-Walckenaeria linyphiid species that significantly more often killed the fly before the spider. Walckenaeria, further, showed an anatomical specialization, i.e. significantly shorter forelegs than hindlegs compared to non-Walckenaeria linyphiids and also significantly more ‘top-heavy’ foreleg tibiae. Other behavioural and anatomical specializations of the genus Walckenaeria deserve further study and might give support to its araneophagic specialization in spite of its araneophagy being less extreme than in mimetid and some other spiders that exclusively feed on spiders.

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Nieuwsbrief SPINED

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B. Heuts, & T. Brunt. (2005). Araneophagie en poot-anatomie bij Walckenaeria soorten (Arachnida, Araneae). Nieuwsbrief SPINED, 20, 35–38.