Assessment of Predation Capability of Four Species of Spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) to Green Apple Aphid, Aphis pomi De Geer (Homoptera: Aphididae)

Akhtar Ali Khan


Experiments in laboratory conditions were performed to determine the functional response of four species of spiders, Pardosa altitudis Tikader and Malhotra (Lycosidae), Leucage celebesiana Walckenaer (Teragnathiade), Neoscona sillongensis Tikader, (Araneidae), Theridion manjithar Tikader (Theridiidae) preying on different densities of green apple aphid, Aphis pomi De Geer (Homoptera: Aphididae). All four species of spiders exhibited a type II functional response on different densities of prey as determined by a non-linear logistic regression model. The estimates of maximum prey consumption per day were 58.9 for N. sillongensis, 53.4 for P. altitudis, 40.2 for L. celebesiana, and 34.5 for T. manjithar at highest density of green apple aphids (320 aphids). The search rates and handling time were estimated as 3.073 h-1 and 0.393 h for P. altitudis, 3.032 h-1 and 0.553 h for L. celebesiana, 3.043 h-1 and 0.362 h for N. sillongensis, 2.970 h-1 and 0.575 h for T. manjithar, respectively. Estimates of handling times of T. manjithar and L. celebesiana were significantly greater than those of N. sillongensis and P. altitudis and however, coefficient of search rate, didn’t vary significantly in most of the treatments. Among all predator species, N. sillongensis and P. altitudis were more capable against green apple aphids as compared to L. celebesiana and T. manjithar. N. sillongensis was found to be the most potent predator as it possessed the high search rate with lowest handling time.


Biological Control; Search Rate; Predation Capability; . Handling Time; . Functional Response


Blackman, R.I. and Eastop, V.F. 2007. Taxonomic Issues: Aphids as Crop Pests. CAB International, Trowbridge, 717 pages.

Cloarec, R.G (1991) Handling time and multiple preys capture by water bug. Animal Behaviour 42: 607-613.

Farhadi, R.; Allahyari, H. and Juliano, S.A. 2010. Functional response of larval and adult stages of Hippodamia variegata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to different densities of Aphis fabae (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Environmental Entomology 39:1586-1592.

Frechette, B.; Cormier, D.; Chouinard, G.; Vanoosthuyse, F. and Lucas, E. 2008. Apple aphid, Aphis spp. (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and predator populations in an apple orchard at the non-bearing stage: The impact of ground cover and cultivar. European Journal of Entomology 105: 521–529.

Hamilton, G.C.; Swift, F.C. and Marini, R. 1986. Effect of Aphis pomi (Homoptera: Aphididae) density on apples. Journal of Economic Entomology 79: 471–478.

Hassell, M.P. 1978. The Dynamics of Arthropod predator- Prey Systems. Princeton University Press Cambridge.

Hassell, M.P.; Lawton, J.H. and Beddington, J.R. 1976. The components of arthropod predation-I. The prey death rate. Journal of Animal Ecology 45: 135-164.

Heong, K.L. and Rubia, E.G. 1989. Functional response of Lycosa pseudoannulata on brown plathoppers (BPH) and green leaf-hoppers (GLH). International Rice Res Newsletter 14: 29-30.

Holling, C.S. 1959. Some characteristics of simple types of predation and parasitism. The Canadian Entomologist 91: 85-398.

Holling, C.S. 1966. The functional response of invertebrate predators to prey density. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 48: 5-86.

Juliano, S. 2001. Nonlinear curve fitting: predation and functional response curves. Pages 178-196, In: Scheiner, S. and Gurevitch, J. (Editors) Design and Analysis of Ecological Experiments, 2nd edition. Chapman & Hall, New York,

Khan, A.A. 2013. Evaluation of the biological control efficiency of spiders using functional response experiments. The Bioscan 8: 1123-1128.

Khan, A.A. 2011. Spider fauna (Arachnida: Araneae) in temperate fruit orchards of Kashmir. Journal of Biological Control 25:103–113.

Khan, A.A. 2012a. Diversity and foraging behaviour of spider (Arachnida: Araneae) in the temperate maize ecosystem of Kashmir. Journal of Biological Control 26: 179-189.

Khan, A.A. 2012b. Functional response of four spiders, Pardosa altitudis Tikader and Malhotra, Teragnatha maxillosa Thorell, Neoscona mukherjei Tikader and Theridion sp. to rice grass hopper. Oryza 49: 39-44.

Khan, A.A. 2012c. Comparison of spider diversity in relation to pesticide use in apple orchards of Kashmir. Journal of Biological Control 26: 1-10.

Khan, A.A. 2009. Biodiversity of spider fauna (Arachnida: Araneae) in horticultural ecosystem of Kashmir. Indian Journal of Ecology 36: 59-64.

Khan, A.A. and Mir, R.A. 2008. Functional response of four predaceous coccinellids Adalia tetraspilota (Hope), Coccinella septempunctata (L.), Calvia punctata (Mulsant) and Hippodamia variegata (Goeze) feeding on the green apple aphid, Aphis pomi De Geer (Homoptera: aphididae). Journal of Biological Control 22: 291–298.

Khan, A.A.; Mir, R.A. and Zaki, F.A. 2007. Relative abundance of predacious ladybird beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Kashmir. Journal of Aphidology 21: 23–30.

Khan, A.A. and Misra, D.S. 2009. Impact of prey-size and predator-size on predation of rice green leafhopper, Nephotettix virescens (Distant) by wolf spider, Lycosa pseudoannulata Boeseberg and Strand (Araneae: Lycosidae). Indian Journal of Ecology 36: 65-70.

Khan, A.A.; Zaki, F.A.; Khan, Z.H. and Mir, R.A. 2009. Biodiversity of predacious ladybird beetles (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae) in Kashmir. Journal of Biological Control 23: 43–47.

Lucas, J.R. 1985. Partial prey consumption by antlion larvae. Animal Behaviour 33: 945-958.

Marc, P.; Canard, A, and Ysnel, F. 1999. Spiders (Araneae) useful for pest limitation and bioindication. Agriculture Ecosystem and Environment 74: 229-273.

Mills, N.J. 1982. Satiation and the functional response: A test of a new model. Ecological Entomology 7: 305-315.

Montserrat, M.; Albajes, R. and Castane, C. 2000. Functional response of four heteropteran predators preying on greenhouse whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) and western flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Environmental Entomology 29: 1075-1082.

Mushtaq, T. and Khan, A.A. 2010a. Functional Response of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) to different densities of Aphis craccivora Koch and Aphis pomi De Geer (Homopetera: Aphididae). Indian Journal of Agriculture Sciences 80: 93-95.

Mushtaq, T. and Khan, A.A. 2010b. Functional and aggregation response of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chry-sopidae) to different densities of Bravicoryne brassicae (Homo-petera: Aphididae). Journal of Biological Control 24: 28-34.

Nakamura, K. 1977. A model for the functional response of a predator to varying prey densities; based on the feeding ecology of wolf spiders. Bulletin of the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (Tokyo), Series C 31: 29-89.

Nilsson, P.A. 2001. Predatory behaviour and prey density: evaluating density-dependent intraspecific interactions on predator functional responses. Journal of Animal Ecology 70: 14-19.

Nyffeler, M. and Benz, G. 1987. Spiders in natural pest control: a review. Journal of Applied Entomology 103: 321-339.

Nyffeler, M.; Sterling, W.L. and Dean, D.A. 1994. How spiders make a living. Environmental Entomology 23: 1357-1367.

Persons, M.H. 1999. Hunger effects on foraging responses to perceptual cues in immature and adult wolf spider (Lycosidae). Animal Behaviour 57: 81-88.

Provencher, L. and Coderre, D. 1987. Functional response and switching of Tetragnatha laboriosa Hentz (Araneae: Tetragnathidae) and Clubiona pikei Gertsh (Araneae: Clubionidae) for the aphids Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch) and Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) (Homoptera: Aphididae). Environmental Entomology 16: 1305-1309.

R Development Core Team. 2014. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, URL

Riechert, S. and Harp, J. 1987. Nutritional ecology of spiders. Pages 645-672, In: Slansky, F. and Rodriguez, J.G. (Editors) Nutritional Ecology of Insect, Mites, Spiders and Related Invertebrates. John Wiley, New York,

Riechert, S.E. 1999. The hows and whys of successful pest suppression by spiders: insights from case studies. Journal of Arachnoloy 27: 387-396.

Riechert, S.E. and Lockely, T. 1984. Spiders as biological control agents. Annual Review of Entomology 29: 299-320.

Riechert, S.E. and Bishop, L. 1990. Prey control by an assemblage of generalist predators: spiders in garden test systems. Ecology 71: 1441-1450.

Rogers, D. 1972. Random search and insect population models. Journal of Animal Ecology 41: 369-383.

Royama, T. 1971. A comparative study of models for predation and parasitism. Researches on Population Ecology Supplement 1: 1-91.

Rypstra, A.L. 1995. Spider predators reduce herbivory; both by direct consumption and by altering the foraging behavior of insect pests. Bulletin of Ecological Society of America 76: 383.

Samu, F. 1993. Wolf spider feeding strategies: optimality of prey consumption in Pardosa hortenesis. Oecologia 94: 139-145.

Samu, F. and Biro, Z. 1993. Functional response, multiple feeding and wastful killing in wolf spider (Araneae: Lycosidae). European Journal of Entomology 90: 471–476.

Shivakumar, M.S. and Kumar, D. 2010. Biological control potential of male and female oxyopes shweta (Araneae: Oxyopidae) against polyphagous insect. Journal of Ecobiotechnology 2: 20-24.

Smith, R.B. and Wellington, W.G. 1983. The functional response of a juvenile orb-weaving spider. Pages 275-279, In: Proceeding of 9th International Congress of Arachnology. Smithsonian Institute Press, Panama.

Snyder, W.E. and Wise, D.H. 1999. Predator interferences and the establishment of generalist predator populations for biocontrol. Biological Control 15: 283-292.

Sunderland, K.D.; Fraser, A.M. and Dixon, A.F.G. 1986. Field and laboratory study on monkey spiders (Linyphidae) as predator cereal aphid. Journal of applied Ecolology 23: 433-447.

Trexler, J.C.; Mc Culloch, C.E. and Travis, J. 1988. How can the functional response best be determined? Oecologia 76: 206-214.

Wyss, E.J.; Niggli, U. and Nentwig, W. 1995. The impact of spiders on aphid populations in a strip-managed apple orchard. Jouran of Applied Entomology 199: 473-478.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.