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The use of digital photography to study spider coloration

Grant number: 19/26323-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): January 27, 2021
Effective date (End): July 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Theoretical Ecology
Principal Investigator:João Vasconcellos Neto
Grantee:Yuri Fanchini Messas
Supervisor abroad: Martin Stevens
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Exeter, Penryn, England  
Associated to the scholarship:19/06244-5 - The role of flourescence and ultraviolet rays reflection on prey attraction by spiders, BP.PD

Abstract

The ability of some sit-and-wait spiders to actively attract their prey due to spectral properties has been attracting the interest of ecologists over the last years. Here we aim to test the prey attraction hypothesis in British spiders using a recently created photographic technique coupled to software programs and packages for image analysis. We will conduct the study in the around of Penryn, Cornwall, United Kingdom. We will photograph sit-and-wait spiders using a calibrated digital single-lens reflex camera to obtain the reflectance data of each species. We will use the packages "multispectral image calibration and analysis toolbox" and "PATGEOM" of the software Image J to analyze the color, reflectance, and patterns, as well as to investigate the spiders' coloration considering the visual system of their prey. Finally, we will conduct a field experiment to investigate if UV reflectance and fluorescence are related to prey attraction. The purpose of this project is manifold: we expect to elucidate some adaptative meanings of spider coloration; and that the posterior application of the photographic technique in Brazilian researches will bring to our country new perspectives for the study of animal coloration.