The web of Nuctenea sclopetaria (Araneae, Araneidae)

Relationship between body size and web design

Astrid M. Heiling*, Marie Elisabeth Herberstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship between body size and web design was studied for the nocturnal orbweaving spider Nuctenea sclopetaria. Body measurements (carapace width, leg length, body length and wet weight) taken from 27 adult female and 22 juvenile spiders were related to web dimensions (capture area, number of radii, capture thread length, mesh height) each spider constructed. Carapace width was found to be the most reliable size measure for predicting web dimensions for adult and juvenile spiders. The study also found that the webs showed a distinct asymmetry due to the enlargement of the lower web half and the extent of this asymmetry increased with carapace width. Furthermore, mesh height increased with distance from the hub. The possible effects of web asymmetry on the prey capture success of spiders are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arachnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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