Locomotion and kinematics of arachnids

Jonas O. Wolff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


A basic feature of animals is the capability to move and disperse. Arachnids are one of the oldest lineages of terrestrial animals and characterized by an octopodal locomotor apparatus with hydraulic limb extension. Their locomotion repertoire includes running, climbing, jumping, but also swimming, diving, abseiling, rolling, gliding and -passively- even flying. Studying the unique locomotor functions and movement ecology of arachnids is important for an integrative understanding of the ecology and evolution of this diverse and ubiquitous animal group. Beyond biology, arachnid locomotion is inspiring robotic engineers. The aim of this special issue is to display the state of the interdisciplinary research on arachnid locomotion, linking physiology and biomechanics with ecology, ethology and evolutionary biology. It comprises five reviews and ten original research reports covering diverse topics, ranging from the neurophysiology of arachnid movement, the allometry and sexual dimorphism of running kinematics, the effect of autotomy or heavy body parts on locomotor efficiency, and the evolution of silk-spinning choreography, to the biophysics of ballooning and ballistic webs. This closes a significant gap in the literature on animal biomechanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number2
Early online date18 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Animal biomechanics
  • Animal performance
  • Kinematic analysis
  • Movement ecology
  • Octopedal locomotion

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