The effect of predator-prey distance and prey profitability on the attack behaviour of the orb-web spider Argiope keyserlingi (Araneidae)

F. E. Champion de Crespigny, M. E. Herberstein*, M. A. Elgar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The foraging behaviour of central-place foragers is thought to be strongly influenced by the distance between the forager and the food source (predator-prey distance). Orb-web spiders are uniquely suited for investigating this idea because they make active foraging decisions towards prey entangled in the web, and they define the dimensions of their foraging arena when they construct the web. Here we manipulate the physiological condition of Argiope keyserlingi and present the spiders with prey of varying quality, in terms of size and accessibility (location within the web and distance from the spider). We found that these spiders adjust their foraging behaviour primarily in response to their physiological condition but, in contrast to other central-place foragers, are indiscriminant of predator-prey distance or the likelihood of escape of the prey. We suggest that these factors are incorporated into the design of the web, and thus increase foraging success through efficient web design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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