Date of this Version
Poster presentation, UCARE Research Fair, Spring 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Predator-prey interactions between organisms provide a window into behaviors, adaptions, and evolutionary histories of both groups. One group of organisms of would be female spider-specialist mud-dauber wasps (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) who seek out and sting spiders to bring back to their nests for their larvae to feed upon. This interaction provides a unique means of quantifying the diversity and abundance of the prey they capture. In this study, we inventoried spiders from within collected nests of mud-dauber wasps Sceliphron caementarium (Drury) and Chalybion californicum (Saussure) from agricultural land and in a forest corridor. It was found that nests collected in agricultural land had significantly more spiders and developing larvae compared to nests collected within the forest corridor. The data obtained provides information on the foraging behaviors of the mud-dauber wasps and can be used in further studies to determine possible antipredator adaptations and behaviors of spiders.