Influence of prey species on the supercooling ability of the redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii (Araneae: Theridiidae).
Influence of prey animals on the supercooling ability of L. hasseltii was examined. Supercooling points (SCPs) of this spider varied widely according to the prey items. The spiders fed on laboratory-cultured insects (Drosophila melanogaster, Mythimna separata, Hypera punctata and Periplaneta japonica) were lower in SCPs than those supplied with field-collected ants (Formica japonica). This suggested that the field-collected animals have efficient ice nucleators compared to the laboratory-reared animals. However, the correlation in supercooling points between the spiders and prey species was not perfect. This would be in part due to differences in quality or/and quantity of ice nucreators derived from prey species.