Introduction: Spider biology

Marie E. Herberstein, Anne Wignall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The introductory chapter has been written especially for readers unfamiliar with the finer details of spider systematics, terminology and biology. The introduction is by no means intended to be a complete account of spider biology, which can be found in the excellent Biology of Spiders by Rainer Foelix (1996). Instead, here we concentrate on those aspects of spider biology that prepare the reader for the behavioural chapters to follow. The sections on systematics, fossil record and evolutionary milestones will help place the various behaviours discussed into an evolutionary context. The biology section will familiarise the reader with the spider-specific terminology and reveal some of the peculiarities of spiders: did you know that in modern spiders females have two separate copulatory openings and that spiders can produce up to seven different types of silk? For readers already familiar with spiders, the introduction offers a succinct and up-to-date summary of spider biology. Scope of this book. The aim of this book is to illustrate the incredible diversity and often bewildering complexity of spider behaviour. Researchers that regularly work with spiders are well aware of their behavioural potential, and yet spiders still surprise us constantly with behaviours and phenomena that are intriguing, often bizarre and uncommon in other animals. Here we aim to enthuse readers that may have not considered spiders as models for behavioural studies, perhaps assuming that they are limited in their behavioural repertoires.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpider Behaviour: Flexibility and Versatility
EditorsMarie Elisabeth Herberstein
Place of PublicationCambridge; New York
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages1-30
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780511974496
ISBN (Print)9780521765299, 0521765293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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