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Predator Upon a Flower: Life History and Fitness in a Crab Spider

Monograph

By: Douglass H Morse

377 pages, Figs

Harvard University Press

Hardback | Jun 2007 | #164281 | ISBN-13: 9780674024809
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £48.95 $62/€58 approx

About this book

In the crab spider, Misumena vatia, Douglass H. Morse and his colleagues found an ideal species on which to test basic questions associated with lifetime fitness. From the moment a female crab spider selects a flower on which to sit and wait for her prey, there unfolds a cascade of lifetime fitness variables that determine her evolutionary success. Did she choose a flower that attracts suitable prey? Will she encounter a competitor or predator? Will she survive long enough to breed, and will her offspring contribute to the gene pool?

Ecologists had previously identified variables that shape populations, but lacked the experimental data needed to make comprehensive tests of individuals that made different foraging decisions. Morse found that Misumena is particularly well suited to both field study and laboratory experiments. Over the last 25 years, his simple yet elegant experiments have contributed to our understanding of lifetime fitness and helped to develop study techniques that can be applied to animals with other, more complex, life histories. Predator upon a Flower recounts these influential discoveries in a gracefully crafted narrative that moves ever outward from individuals to communities to ecosystems, and concludes by suggesting directions for future research in spider biology.

Predator upon a Flower is the result of half a lifetime's devotion to the behavior of crab spiders--vicious predators that lurk on flowers and jump out at their prey...It will also become a classic of its kind, summarizing a distinctive approach to the biology of an intriguing organism. -- Matthew Cobb Times Literary Supplement 20071116 I highly recommend this thoughtful work to any individual interested in the natural history, life history parameters, foraging behavior, and fitness of any organism. In addition to containing a wealth of information on the biology of a wide-ranging prarie spider commonly found in the flowerheads of milkweed, goldenrod, and prarie rose, this reasonably priced work may be regarded as a manual of research design and methods useful in undertaking nature studies anywhere. It will make a valuable addition to your library. -- Hank Guarisco Great Plains Research 20080401 I highly recommend this thoughtful work to any individual interested in the natural history, life history parameters, foraging behavior, and fitness of any organism. In addition to containing a wealth of information on the biology of a wide-ranging prarie spider commonly found in the flowerheads of milkweed, goldenrod, and prarie rose, this reasonably priced work may be regarded as a manual of research design and methods useful in undertaking nature studies anywhere. It will make a valuable addition to your library. -- Hank Guarisco Great Plains Research 20080401


Contents

1. Introduction 2. Some Basic Biology 3. Foraging Strategies 4. Fitness Payoffs 5. Constraints on Success 6. Experience, Learning, and Innate Behavior 7. Some Sensory Aspects of Substrate Choice 8. Morphological Variation 9. Male-female Interactions 10. Misumena as Part of the Community 11. Xysticus emertoni, a Cohabiting Crab Spider 12. Conclusions and Future Directions References Index


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Biography

Douglass H. Morse is Hermon Carey Bumpus Professor of Biology Emeritus, Brown University, and the author of Behavioral Mechanisms in Ecology (978-0-674-06461-4 - GBP 15.95 - Pbk).

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