Foraging strategies of Eriophora transmarina and Nephila plumipes (Araneae: Araneoidea): Nocturnal and diurnal orb‐weaving spiders

M. E. HERBERSTEIN, M. A. Elgar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-457
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Ecology
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Eriophora transmarina
  • foraging
  • Nephila plumipes
  • orb‐weaving spiders

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