Abstract The foraging behaviour, web characteristics and prey availability of two sympatric orb‐weaving spiders, Nephila plumipes and Eriophora transmarina (Araneae: Araneoidea), are compared. The spiders are similarly sized but have different temporal foraging patterns. Nephila plumipes spins a relatively permanent web and captures most of its prey during the day. Eriophora transmarina only forages at night, spinning a new web every night and usually dismantling it at dawn. These different foraging activities are most likely to be responsible for the observed differences in the types and rates of prey capture: E. transmarina captured mostly Lepidoptera that were more abundant at night than during the day, while N. plumipes captured mostly Hymenoptera that were more abundant during the day than at night. While nocturnal E. transmarina have less time available for foraging than the diurnal N. plumipes, the former has a substantially higher nocturnal prey capture rate. We argue that the difference between the species in their prey capture rates are likely to be due to differences in the architecture of their webs.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Australian Journal of Ecology|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
- Eriophora transmarina
- Nephila plumipes
- orb‐weaving spiders