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Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Department of Biology
Corey L. Cleland
Insects respond to aversive stimuli such as wind, looming and heat by escaping in a direction opposite the stimuli. Spiders have 8 legs, which offers the spider more gait options for escape than insects, which have 6 legs. However, there are few published studies on the escape response of spiders, and there is no information that shows how location or direction of the stimulus will affect escape patterns. Therefore, the specific goal of my research was to determine the relationship between the stimulus location and direction of response in two species of spider – Regal Jumping spiders (Phidippus regius) and juvenile Chilean Rose tarantulas (Grammostola rosea) - for heat stimuli delivered to the spider’s eight tarsi (legs). Results show that spiders will always move away from the heat stimulus. Additionally, spiders will translate (movement of the center of mass without turning) almost directly away from the stimulus without turning. The initial position of the leg does not affect response, demonstrating that there is no proprioceptive feedback (feedback on where the body is in space) when exposed to aversive heat stimuli.
Thomas, Madison, "Escape Behavior of the Grammostola rosea Tarantula and Phidippus regius Spider in Response to Heat Stimuli" (2018). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 608.