Full spectrum lighting induces behavioral changes and increases cortisol immunoreactivity in captive arachnids

Journal article


Somerville, S., Baker, S., Baines, F., Trim, S. and Trim, C.M. 2020. Full spectrum lighting induces behavioral changes and increases cortisol immunoreactivity in captive arachnids. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2021.1872027
AuthorsSomerville, S., Baker, S., Baines, F., Trim, S. and Trim, C.M.
Abstract

The use of full spectrum illumination, including ultraviolet (UV), during captive husbandry of arachnids such as scorpions and theraphosids (tarantulas) is common practice in zoological institutions and amongst some hobbyists, as confirmed by a survey undertaken in this study. The effect of such lighting on captive arachnids has not been previously investigated. Comparison of key behavioral changes and haemolymph cortisol immunoreactivity was undertaken with and without full spectrum lighting. Two representative large arachnid species - king baboon spiders, Pelinobius muticus and Indian giant scorpions, Heterometrus swammerdami were selected for the study. Both organisms spent all their time hidden when exposed to full spectrum light compared to low-level ambient light except for one instance, in one spider, for one observation. There was no significant difference in burrowing and webbing in P. muticus when exposed to full spectrum lighting. There was a decrease in the number of behaviors or postures expressed in full spectrum lighting compared to ambient light for both species. Cortisol immunoactivity of both species were significantly elevated after exposure to full spectrum lighting compared to the same period of ambient light. This study provides the first evidence of detectable cortisol immunoactivity in arachnid haemolymph. These levels changed in response to full spectrum illumination and were linked to behaviorial changes. This suggests that a common husbandry practice may be detrimental to these animals.

KeywordsUV light; Behavior; Behaviour; Cortisol; Tarantulas; Theraphosid; Scorpians; Ultraviolet light
Year2020
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN1088-8705
1532-7604
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2021.1872027
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2021.1872027
Publication dates
Online09 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Dec 2020
Deposited14 Dec 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8wx7z/full-spectrum-lighting-induces-behavioral-changes-and-increases-cortisol-immunoreactivity-in-captive-arachnids

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