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Predation on the gecko Phyllodactylus gerrhopygus (Wiegmann) (Squamata: Gekkonidae) by the six-eyed sand spider Sicarius thomisoides (Walckenaer (Araneae: Sicariidae) PDF

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Preview Predation on the gecko Phyllodactylus gerrhopygus (Wiegmann) (Squamata: Gekkonidae) by the six-eyed sand spider Sicarius thomisoides (Walckenaer (Araneae: Sicariidae)

Nota Note www.biotaxa.org/RSEA. ISSN 1851-7471 (online) Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina 79(2): 48-51, 2020 Predation on the gecko Phyllodactylus gerrhopygus (Wiegmann) (Squamata: Gekkonidae) by the six-eyed sand spider Sicarius thomisoides (Walckenaer) (Araneae: Sicariidae) TAUCARE-RIOS, Andrés1,* & PIEL, William H.2,3 1 Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Arturo Prat. Iquique, Chile. * E-mail: [email protected] 2 Yale-NUS College. Singapore, Republic of Singapore. 3 Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Singapore, Republic of Singapore. Received 19 - I - 2020 | Accepted 11 - IV - 2020 | Published 29 - VI - 2020 https://doi.org/10.25085/rsea.790207 Depredación sobre el gecoPhyllodactylus gerrhopygus(Wiegmann) (Squamata: Gekkonidae) por la araña de arena de seis ojosSicarius thomisoides(Walckenaer) (Araneae: Sicariidae) RESUMEN. Durante el atardecer del 9 de Enero de 2020, una hembra adulta de Sicarius thomisoidesfue hallada bajo una roca consumiendo un geco de la especiePhyllodactylus gerrhopygus.LaobservaciónserealizóenMamiña,provinciadelTamarugal,enelnortede Chile. Este hallazgo constituye el primer caso documentado en el que un sicárido depreda sobre un vertebrado. Específicamente, este evento corresponde a un caso particular de depredaciónintragremio,yaqueambasespeciessoninsectívorasycompartenmicrohábitats similares en el norte de Chile. PALABRAS CLAVE.Desierto.Microhabitat.Veneno. ABSTRACT.DuringtheeveningofJanuary9th,2020,anadultfemaleofSicariusthomisoides wasfoundunderarockfeedingonageckoPhyllodactylusgerrhopygus.Theobservationwas madeatMamiña,TamarugalprovinceinnorthernChile.Thisfindisthefirstdocumentedcase ofasicariidpreyingonavertebrate.Specifically,thiseventcorrespondstoaparticularcase ofintraguildpredation,sincethesespeciesareinsectivorousandusesimilarmicrohabitatsin northern Chile. KEYWORDS.Desert.Microhabitat.Venom. All spider species in the family Sicariidae are However, theSicariusvenom is particularly potent, with generally considered potentially harmful to humans powerful hemolytic and necrotic effect as toxicology (Dos-Santos&Cardoso,1992;Binfordetal.,2009)and studies have demonstrated (Binford & Wells, 2003; by extension are likely dangerous to most small Binford et al., 2009; Magalhães et al., 2013). In the vertebrates. In America, the family consists of two absence of direct evidence of vertebrate predation by genera, Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe and Sicarius sicariids, Zobel-Thropp et al. (2012) attributed the Keyserling. Both have potent necrotizing venoms that dermonecrotic effects of SMase D on humans as “an contain the dermonecrotic agent sphingomyelinase D accidentalevolutionarybyproduct,”duetothefactthat (SMase D) (Binford & Wells, 2003). Bites in the theprimaryfunctionofthisenzymeispurelytohelpwith Neotropical region have been attributed toLoxosceles, invertebrate prey immobilization. and thus far, there is no specific evidence that Sicariusspeciesarecommonlycalledsix-eyedsand envenomation by new world Sicariuskills vertebrates. spiders or “arañas blancas de la arena” in reference to Copyright TAUCARE-RIOS, A. & PIEL W.H.- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0) 48 Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina 79(2): 48-51, 2020 Fig. 1. Female of Sicarius thomisoides preying on Phyllodactylusgerrhopygusin Mamiña, northern Chile. Photograph: William H. Piel. Scale: 10 mm. theirhabitsofcoveringupandburyingthemselveswith fine particles of sand. This genus includes 21 species found in the xeric environments of South and Central America, mostly in deserts and seasonally dry tropical forests (Binford et al., 2009; Magalhães et al., 2013, 2017;WSC, 2020). Sicariusthomisoides(Walckenaer) is a large spider in relation to other species of the same genus in Chile, measuring between 12 and 20 mm in body length. It inhabits mainly desert and arid areas in northern and central Chile and is active at night. It generally builds shelters under rocks over a sandy substrate, and is extremelycommoninurbanareaswithalotofhousehold waste in northern regions of the country (Magalhaes et al., 2017; Taucare-Ríos et al., 2017). The information Fig. 2. Spider bite to the gecko. a. Possible dermonecrotic on the natural prey of Sicarius is limited. In the field, effects of Sicarius thomisoides venom on gecko tissue. thesespidershavebeenobservedeatingsmallinsects, b. Enlarged view of the bite area. Photograph: Andrés scorpions, and other spiders, but thus far no Taucare-Ríos. Scales: a. 5 mm; b. 1 mm. consumption of vertebrates has ever been reported (Reiskind, 1966, 1969; Levi, 1968; Magalhães et al., (see below) was deposited in the herpetological 2013,2017). collection of the National Museum of Natural History, The gecko Phyllodactylusgerrhopygus(Wiegmann) Santiago, Chile (Curator: Jhoann Canto). is small in size and widely distributed in northern Chile In the evening of January 9th, 2020 (7:30 pm) an adult female of S. thomisoides was found under a rock biting and southern Peru, which includes records within the and feeding on a P. gerrhopygus individual on the lower Coastal Desert, and locations up to 2,750 m altitude part of its abdomen, near the base of the tail (Fig. 1). The (Donoso-Barros, 1966;Pérez & Balta, 2011). This reptile spider measured approximately 20 mm, whereas the hasnocturnalhabits,stayinghiddenunderrocksduring gecko measured 28 mm in body length. The gecko was daylight hours. It has a general diet, but feeds mainly already dead when the observation was made and it is on insects (Dixon & Huey, 1970; Pérez & Balta, 2011). unknown how long it had been diseased. The spider was Spiders and geckos occupy similar microhabitats in immobile, already feeding on the fluids from the partially these desert environments. It is common to find them digested body of P. gerrhopygus. When captured in a both under large rocks during the day. dry vial, the spider refused to release the prey, only The objective of this contribution is to record a case eventually abandoning the prey after returning it to its of predation byS.thomisoidesonP.gerrhopygus. The observations were made outside the town of Mamiña, habitus to be photographed and then recapturing it. province of Tamarugal, Tarapaca region. We followed The area damaged by the bite shows dark tissue, Magalhães et al. (2017) for spider identification, and possibly due to the dermonecrotic effects of the venom Capetilloetal.(1992)forthegecko.Thecollectedgecko (Fig.2).Inthisregard,Binfordetal.(2009)havealready 49 TAUCARE-RIOS, A. & PIEL, W.H. Sicarius thomisoides preying on a gecko Table I. Studies showing similar predatory interaction between spiders and geckos in the Neotropical region. identified enzymes with hemolytic and dermonecrotic thomisoides, and provides new information about its role activity in Sicarius, quite similar to those present in in an arid ecosystem where it serves as a dominant Loxosceles. predator in this environment. Other observations of this This finding is interesting from an ecological point interaction will tell if they occur regularly or if this finding of view. These spiders are territorial in the occupation was just occasional. of rocks, eating arthropods that interact with them, includingotherconspecifics(Taucare-Ríosetal.,2017). ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Both spider and gecko likely compete for space and food. The nocturnal activity and the insectivorous diet The authors thank Rick Vetter and Claudio Reyes for of both species, together with the low availability of useful comments in the manuscript. Additionally, grant thermallyoptimalrocks(Pérez&Balta,2011;Magalhães MOE2016-T2-2-137 from the Ministry of Education, et al., 2017; Taucare-Ríos et al., 2017), would likely Singapore, provided financial support for W.H. Piel. cause these two species to compete over suitable shelters.Inthissense,intraguildpredationisconsidered LITERATURE CITED an extreme case of interference competition between Almeida, R.P.S., Rosario, I.R., & Días, E.J.R. (2015) predators. By eating a guild member, an individual not Coleodactylus meridionalis. Predation. Herpetology Review, only directly gains nutrients, but also reduces potential 4466((33)), 432-433. competition, especially in desert ecosystems (Polis & Binford,G.J.,&Wells,M.A.(2003)Thephylogeneticdistribution McCormick, 1987;Polis & Holt, 1992). of sphingomyelinase D activity in venoms of haplogyne Sicariusthomisoidesusuallypreysonalargenumber spiders.ComparativeBiochemistryandPhysiologyPartB, of epigeal insects that inhabit desert environments 113355, 25-33. (Reiskind, 1966, 1969; Magalhães et al., 2017). Based Binford, G.J., Bodner, M.R., & Cordes-Matthew, H.J. (2009) on available information, S. thomisoides is not Molecular evolution, functional variation, and proposed considered to be a scavenger, so it is likely that the nomenclature of the gene family that includes sphingomyelinase D in sicariid spider venoms. Molecular gecko was captured and killed by the spider. The Biology and Evolution,2266, 547-566. present finding represents the first predation record on Capetillo, J., Northland, I., & Iturra, P. (1992) Caracterización a vertebrate by any sicariid. This observation suggests morfológica y cromosómica de Phyllodactylusinaequalis that its bite could be adapted to affect vertebrates, Cope y Phyllodactylus gerrhopygus (Wiegmann) including mammals, which may be why it is especially (Gekkonidae):nuevadistribucióngeográficaenelnortede dangerous to humans. This observation offers an Chile.Acta Zoológica Lilloana,4411, 219-224. alternative hypothesis to the assertion that the potent Diniz, S. (2011) Predation and feeding on the tropical house effect of sphingomyelinase D on vertebrates is purely geckoHemidactylusmabouia(Squamata: Gekkonidae) by the giant orb-weaver spider Nephilengys cruentata “an accidental evolutionary by product” (Zobel-Thropp (Araneae: Nephilidae).Herpetology Notes,44, 357-358. et al., 2012). Dixon,J.R.,&Huey,R.B.(1970)Systematicsofthelizardsofthe Other authors have documented similar predatory gekkonidgenusPhyllodactylusofmainlandSouthAmerica. interaction between spiders and geckos in the LosAngelesCountyMuseum,ContributionsinScience,119922, Neotropical region (Table I), but this is the first in Chile 1-78. and the first with Sicarius. The record presented here Donoso-Barros, R. (1966) Reptiles de Chile. Ediciones increases the number of preys attributed to S. Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile. 50 Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina 79(2): 48-51, 2020 Dos-Santos, M.C., & Cardoso, J.L.C. (1992) Lesão Pérez, Z., & Balta, K. (2011) Ecología de Phyllodactylus dermonecrótica por Sicarius tropicus, simulando angustidigitus y P. gerrhopygus (Squamata: loxoscelismo cutâneo.RevistadaSociedadeBrasileirade Phyllodactylidae)delaReservaNacionaldeParacas,Perú. Medicina Tropical,2255, 115-123. Revista Peruana de Biología,1188((22)), 217-223. Filipiak, D., & Lewis, T. (2012)Gonatodesalbogularis(Yellow- Polis, G.A., & Holt, R.D. (1992) Intraguild predation: the headed Dwarf Gecko). Predation. Herpetology Review, dynamicsofcomplextrophicinteractions.TrendsinEcology 4433((33)), 486. and Evolution,77, 151-155. Hernández-Ruz, E.J., Carvalho, J.C., & Oliveira, E.A. (2014) Polis,G.A.,&McCormick,S.J.(1987)Intraguildpredationand Chatogekko amazonicus. Predation. Herpetology competition among desert scorpions.Ecology,6688, 332-343. Review,4455((11)), 126. Quintero-Angel, A., & Carr, J.L. (2010) Lepidoblepharis Koski, D.A., Koski, A.P.V., Mercon, L., & Messas, Y.F. (2013) xanthostigma (Orange-tailed Gecko). Predation. Hemidactylusmabouia(Tropical House Gecko). Predation. Herpetology Review,4411((11)), 80. Herpetology Review,4444((33)), 509. Reiskind,J.(1966)Self-buryingbehaviorinthegenusSicarius Lanschi, F.A., & Ferreira, R.B. (2012) Hemidactylusmabouia (Araneae, Sicariidae).Psyche,7722, 218-224. (Tropical House Gecko). Predation. Herpetology Review, Reiskind, J. (1969) Stereo typed burying behavior inSicarius. 4433((11)), 133-134. American Zoologist,99((11)), 195-200. Levi,H.W.(1968)Predatoryandsexualbehaviorofthespider Taucare-Ríos, A., Veloso, C., & Bustamante, R.O. (2017) Sicarius(Araneae: Sicariidae).Psyche,7744, 320-330. Microhabitat selection in the sand recluse spider (Sicarius Magalhães, I.L.F., Brescovit, A.D., & Santos, A.J. (2013) The thomisoides): the effect of rock size and temperature. six-eye sand spiders of the genus Sicarius (Araneae: Journal of Natural History,5511, 37-38. Haplogynae: Sicariidae) from the Brazilian Caatinga. WSC (2020) World Spider Catalog. Version 21.0. Natural History Zootaxa,33559999, 101-135. Museum Bern, available online at http://wsc.nmbe.ch Magalhães, I.L.F., Brescovit, A.D., & Santos, A.J. (2017) Zobel-Thropp, P.A., Kerins, A.E., & Binford, G.J. (2012) Phylogeny of Sicariidae spiders (Araneae: Haplogynae), Sphingomyelinase D in sicariid spider venom is a potent with a monograph on Neotropical Sicarius. Zoological insecticidal toxin.Toxicon,6600((33)), 265-271. Journal of Linnean Society,117799, 767-864. 51

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