Metabolic rate in the whip-spider, Damon annulatipes (Arachnida: Amblypygi)

J Insect Physiol. 2004 Jul;50(7):637-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2004.04.010.


Metabolic rate estimates as well as a measure of their repeatability and response to laboratory acclimation are provided for the amblypygid Damon annulatipes (Wood). This species (mean +/- S.E. mass: 640+/-66 mg) shows continuous gas exchange, as might be expected from its possession of book lungs, and at 21 degrees C has a metabolic rate of 30.22+/-2.87 microl CO2 h(-1) (approximately 229.6+/-21.8 microW, R.Q. = 0.72). The intraclass correlation coefficient (r=0.74-0.89) indicated substantial repeatability in metabolic rate which did not change with laboratory acclimation over a period of 2 weeks. By contrast, absolute metabolic rate declined by c. 16-33%, although this was not a consequence of changes in mass (which were non-significant over the same period). Rather, it appears that a reduction in overall stress or activity in the laboratory might have been responsible for the decline in mass-independent metabolic rate. At the intraspecific level, metabolic rate scaled as microW = 342 M(0.857), where mass is in grams. Metabolic rates of this species are in keeping with its sedentary behaviour such that for a given body size they are lower than those of most arthropods (spiders and insects), higher than the very sedentary ticks, and equivalent to scorpions. These findings have implications for the understanding of the evolution of metabolic rates in arthropods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spiders / metabolism*