Lyriform slits sense organs (LSSO) are a precise assembly of stress detecting cuticular slit sensilla found on the appendages of arachnids. While these structures on the legs of the wandering spiderCupennius salei are well studied in terms of morphology, function and contribution to behaviour, their distribution on pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders is not well explored. A study was therefore carried out to observe the distribution of LSSO on pedipalps and spinnerets of some spider species. Haplogyne spiders belonging to familyPholcidae have a simple complement of LSSOs represented by one or two LSSOs on their femur. The entelegyne spiders possess a complex assembly of LSSOs on the distal segments of their pedipalps. Various types of LSSOs are found on the pedipalps indicating a capacity for analysis of complex cuticular stress. It is suggested that the complexity of LSSOs on pedipalps of entelegyne spiders relates to courtship and spermatophore transfer and may help in reproductive isolation. Lack of LSSOs on the distal segments of pedipalps leads us to infer that unlike legs, pedipalps are less likely to receive vibratory input through their distal segments.
Spinnerets have a relatively simple complement of LSSOs. One LSSO is found only on anterior spinnerets and it is a common feature observed among spiders, irrespective of the variations in web building behaviour. The orb-weaving araneidArgiope pulchella, however, has two LSSOs on the anterior spinneret. As non-web builders and orb weavers do not differ markedly in terms of LSSOs on the spinnerets and LSSOs are simple in nature (type A), it is likely that spinning and weaving are not largely regulated by sensory input from LSSOs on the spinnerets.
Volume 45, 2020
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