effect of urticating setae to insects

quirinus

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Dec 17, 2019
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i am currantly having a little fungus gnat problem. my A geniculata never used to kick hair in the past, but since the fungus gnat thing started it kicks a lot. i've never seen it kicking, but i guess it is because of the gnats.
i wonder of the the setae effects the gnats and helps "fighting" them? not that it would change anything, just curious.
 

kingshockey

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i dont think the hairs would do anything to the gnats aside from a place to land the gnats are probably landing on the but hairs of the t hence the kicking of hairs
 

Scorpiobsession

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It's also likely from the stress of the gnats. Unless a fungus gnat was actually hit and poisoned with the hair and died then it wouldn't make a difference. Even if gnats were killed there would be too many for a few being killed to make a difference.
 

viper69

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i am currantly having a little fungus gnat problem. my A geniculata never used to kick hair in the past, but since the fungus gnat thing started it kicks a lot. i've never seen it kicking, but i guess it is because of the gnats.
i wonder of the the setae effects the gnats and helps "fighting" them? not that it would change anything, just curious.
Highly unlikely- as gnats are predators of Ts
 

Edan bandoot

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It's also likely from the stress of the gnats. Unless a fungus gnat was actually hit and poisoned with the hair and died then it wouldn't make a difference. Even if gnats were killed there would be too many for a few being killed to make a difference.
poisoned?
 

Braden

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I'm sure there is venom on them, a tiny barbed hair won't cause swelling/hives on it's own, maybe itching though.
 

Edan bandoot

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I'm sure there is venom on them, a tiny barbed hair won't cause swelling/hives on it's own, maybe itching though.
I doubt there is venom in them. What organ would create that venom, how would it be transported?
 

Blueandbluer

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Oh good, you found the right answer before one of the old timers flayed you. :rofl: That's correct, there is no "venom" on them and animals can't be "poisoned" by them. For that reason they are very unlikely to affect insects. The fungus gnats are annoying the T, the T does what any NW T does when annoyed, and kicks. It doesn't reason "oh it's a gnat and they won't be bothered by the hair." T brains don't work like that. It's just "ANNOYING THING, KICK KICK."
 

Edan bandoot

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Oh good, you found the right answer before one of the old timers flayed you. :rofl: That's correct, there is no "venom" on them and animals can't be "poisoned" by them. For that reason they are very unlikely to affect insects. The fungus gnats are annoying the T, the T does what any NW T does when annoyed, and kicks. It doesn't reason "oh it's a gnat and they won't be bothered by the hair." T brains don't work like that. It's just "ANNOYING THING, KICK KICK."
lol I was trying to avoid something like that.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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I did some more research and it turns out that they don't contain venom. They're made of proteins that typically cause allergic reactions. There's a brief discussion on it here: https://arachnoboards.com/threads/do-urticating-hairs-have-venom.313093/
It is not that the urticatious setae are made up of proteins that cause and allergic reaction, the allergic reaction is caused by the small barbed hairs penetrating the skin. There is no evidence to show that the chemical composition of urticatious setae is any different from other types of hairs on a tarantula's body that do not cause any irritation.

The barbed nature of the urticatious setae are quite capable of penetrating and killing small soft bodied insects such as ants or phorid fly larvae (Bertani 2013). So it would be quite reasonable to assume that they could be used as an effective defense against gnats. It would be very unlikely, however, that the gnats would come into contact with the hairs when airborne as the hairs diffuse into the air. The gnats would have to come into direct contact with a field of hairs when walking on the ground near the tarantula.

I included a picture of type 1 and type 3 urticatious setae from my Brachypelma boehmei using darkfield illumination on my microscope. The long pointy end is the business end that sticks into the skin; the barbs point backwards. When you see these things in real life, you can understand how they can cause a strong reaction in some people. They look very brutal. :)

Type_3_Type_1_Brachypelma_boehmei.jpg
 
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