On the use of ampullate gland silks by wolf spiders (Araneae, Lycosidae) for attaching the egg sac to the spinnerets and a proposal for defining nubbins and tartipores


The means by which female wolf spiders attach an egg sac to their spinnerets was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. In four Pardosa species, we observed that silk fibers emerging from ampullate gland spigots had been affixed to the surface of the egg sac. More specifically, primary (1°) and secondary (2°) major ampullate (MaA) glands and 1° and 2° minor ampullate (MiA) glands all contributed fibers for this purpose. The diameters of the 2° MaA and 2° MiA fibers were greater than those of the 1° MaA and 1° MiA fibers and, correspondingly, the widths of the 2° ampullate spigots were clearly greater than those of the 1° ampullate spigots. Larger 2° ampullate spigots were also observed in adult females of species from three other lycosid genera. Thus, 2° ampullate glands, which in araneoids function only in juveniles during proecdysis, are not only functional in adult female lycosids (and adult females of several other families), but they appear to play a greater role than the 1° ampullate glands in egg sac attachment. Observations made on the 1° and 2° ampullate spigots of adult females from species belonging to several other families are also presented. Cuticular structures referred to as nubbins and tartipores are present in some spinning fields on spinnerets. A proposal is made for defining these terms by a criterion, namely their different origins, which differs from that applied previously.


Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

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Journal of Arachnology


American Arachnological Society

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