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Table 1 Overview of the nine selected traits of Archegozetes longisetosus measured in this study, as well as a definition of each character and general descriptions of these traits in a general ecological context

From: Nutritional quality modulates trait variability

  Trait definition (this study) Trait description References
Chemistry
 Amount Amount of defensive secretions of one individual, standardized by its dry weight (ng/μg) In reservoir based chemical defense the amount is a primary factor to predict how often an animal is able to defend itself against predators and competitors [66, 67]
 Composition Relative composition (%) of the defensive secretion of one individual The composition of a defensive chemical blend can determine its effectivity against predators, but can also be a consequence of physiological changes/stress of an individual [66, 68, 69]
 Regeneration Percentage of individuals (%) per group (n = 10) which regenerated their defensive secretions over time The regeneration of defensive secretion is essential to be defended against predators at all, but also to understand the costs of secretion regeneration [45, 70, 71]
Life-history
 Developmental time Weighted arithmetic mean of developmental time of one females’ offspring The first three life-history parameters (developmental time, survival and number of offspring) describe the reproductive fitness [20, 35, 72]
 Survival Percentage (%) of surviving offspring of one female based on the counted number of laid eggs and newly enclosed adults   
 Offspring Counted number of surviving offspring of one female   
 Output Dry weight of one females’ entire offspring The biomass output may also describe the fitness, but also quantifies the ability of a mother to translocate biomass from the resource to her offspring [73, 74]
Morphology
 Body mass Dry weight of the initially used females (mothers) Body mass is a universal predictor of many ecological processes (e.g., metabolism, abundance, or predation) [75,76,77]
 Morphometry Eleven morphometric characters of the initially used females (for details see Additional file 2) The shape of an individual plays an important role in basic physiological processes, but also influences predation (by altered handling approaches by predators) and may be used to predict other characters [22, 78, 79]