Lycosidae, microbiome, excretia


Many diverse animal models have been used to explore the interactions between host organisms and their microbiota. Increased understanding of microbe-host interactions could lead to improved healthcare and drug development. Spiders have venom, digestive fluid, and body fluid components that have been suggested to possess antimicrobial properties that could lead to new and interesting host-microbe interactions. While studies have been published on interactions between bacteria affecting the immune function and behavior of spiders, the spider microbiome has not been established to date. Excreta and body swabs were collected from Rabidosa rabida, a wolf spider typically found on tall grass or low vegetation. Bacteria were cultured on tryptic soy agar, an all-purpose media known to grow most common bacterial strains, plates and 53 bacterial samples were Gram stained, catalase, and coagulase tested using aseptic technique. Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus sp., and a Gram-positive bacillus were found on the excreta samples while Staphylococcus sp., Gram-negative bacilli, and Gram-negative cocci were found on the body swabs. Most of the excreta samples had little to no growth. The body swabs had multiple types of microorganisms that were limited to body location. A better understanding of this relatively simple host-microbe interaction can provide an understanding of the factors affecting these interactions allowing us to then understand more complex interactions such as those found in humans.