Webs of theridiid spiders : construction, structure and evolution

Benjamin, Suresh P. and Zschokke, Samuel. (2003) Webs of theridiid spiders : construction, structure and evolution. Biological journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 78. pp. 293-305.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249119

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Understanding the web construction behaviour of theridiid (comb-footed) spiders is fundamental to formulating specific evolutionary hypotheses and predictions regarding the reduction of orb-webs. We describe for the first time in detail the web construction behaviour of Achaearanea tepidariorum, Latrodectus geometricus, Theridion sisyphium and T varians as well as webs of a range of other theridiids. In our survey we distinguish four major web types. Among webs with gumfooted lines, we distinguish between webs with a central retreat (Achaearanea-type) and those with a peripheral retreat (Latrodectus-type). Among webs without gumfooted lines, we distinguish between those which contain viscid silk (Theridion-type) and those with a sheet-like structure, which do not (Coleosoma-type). Theridiid gumfoot-webs consist of frame lines that anchor them to surroundings and support threads which possess viscid silk. Building of gumfooted lines constitutes a unique stereotyped behaviour and is most probably homologous for Nesticidae and Theridiidae. Webs remained in place for extended periods and were expanded and repaired, but no regular pattern of replacement was observed. We suggest that the cost of producing and maintaining viscid silk might have led to web reduction, at least in theridiids. (C) 2003 The Linnean Society of London.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Zschokke, Samuel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Academic Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:03

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