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Year-round preference for spiders by Mediterranean Great Tits Parus major

Pagani-Núñez, Emilio; Hernández-Gómez, Sergio; Riyahi, Sepand; Senar, Juan-Carlos

Authors

Sergio Hernández-Gómez

Sepand Riyahi

Juan-Carlos Senar



Abstract

A key topic in foraging ecology is whether a particular prey type is consumed because it is more abundant or easier to catch, or because there is a specific preference for it. The great tit Parus major is an ideal species for studying this topic. Although it is traditionally regarded as a caterpillar specialist, in certain periods, e.g. during the breeding season, or areas, such as the Mediterranean forests, the great tit seems to show a preference for spiders. We conducted food choice experiments with captive birds to ascertain which of these two main prey types (caterpillars vs. spiders) was preferred outside the breeding season when there was an opportunity to prey on both food types. In conclusion, we found that, regardless of any variation in the supply-demand ratio and the amount of food available, Mediterranean great tits showed a preference for spiders.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 1, 2014
Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date Nov 2, 2022
Journal Ardeola
Print ISSN 0570-7358
Publisher BioOne
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 61
Issue 2
Pages 257-267
DOI https://doi.org/10.13157/arla.61.2.2014.257
Keywords Arachnids, arácnidos, área mediterránea, captivity, caterpillars, cautividad, Mediterranean area
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2946684