Journal article

Wrap attack activates web-decorating behavior in Argiope spiders

Andre Walter, Mark A Elgar, Peter Bliss, Robin FA Moritz

BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY | OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC | Published : 2008

Abstract

Various orb-weaving spiders add extra silk structures - "web decorations" - to their webs. The adaptive value of these web decorations is still unclear, and the suite of functional hypotheses remains controversial. Spiders in the genus Argiope decorate their webs with densely woven zigzag ribbons made of fibrous aciniform silk. This type of silk is also used by the spiders for "wrap attacks" to immobilize the prey by wrapping it with a dense silk cover. Previous studies suggested that the spiders use accumulated excess silk for building web decorations due to a constant secretion in the aciniform glands. We test if this hypothesis holds for 3 species, which construct different types of web d..

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University of Melbourne Researchers