Web damage and feeding experience influence web site tenacity in the orb-web spider Argiope keyserlingi karsch

Kate Chmiel, Marie E. Herberstein, Mark A. Elgar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For orb-web spiders, the decision to remain at a particular site or to relocate elsewhere will ultimately depend on the quality of the site. In the past, the quality of the site has been measured in terms of prey availability; spiders experiencing large numbers of prey items are less likely to relocate. However, regular web damage caused by larger nonprey animals may also contribute to the quality of a particular site. Laboratory experiments revealed that the frequency and extent of web relocation by the orb-web spider Argiope keyserlingi was influenced by the feeding regime and the rate of nonprey web damage. Daily movement patterns were influenced by web damage, and these movements were in the direction away from the source of damage. However, the cumulative distance moved during the 7 days of the experiment was influenced by the frequency with which spiders were fed. Spiders that were not given prey moved further than spiders that obtained prey. These data indicate that spiders respond to web damage on a daily basis, but the cumulative movement of spiders over a longer period is influenced mostly by the history of prey ingestion rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-826
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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