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Homology, behaviour and spider webs : web construction behaviour of Linyphia hortensis and L-triangularis (Araneae : Linyphiidae) and its evolutionary significance

Benjamin, Suresh P. and Zschokke, Samuel. (2004) Homology, behaviour and spider webs : web construction behaviour of Linyphia hortensis and L-triangularis (Araneae : Linyphiidae) and its evolutionary significance. Journal of evolutionary biology, Vol. 17, H. 1. pp. 120-130.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249096

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Abstract

Linyphiidae is the second largest family of spiders. Using Linyphia hortensis and L. triangularis, we describe linyphiid sheet-web construction behaviour. Orb-web construction behaviour is reviewed and compared with that of nonorb-weaving orbicularians. Phylogenetic comparisons and the biogenetic law are applied to deduce behavioural homology. Linyphia webs were constructed gradually and in segments over a period of many days and had a long lifespan. Two construction behaviours, supporting structure and sticky thread (ST) (within the sheet) were observed. ST construction behaviour in linyphiids is considered homologous to sticky spiral construction in orb-weavers. Overall web construction conformed to the pattern of alternate construction of sticky and nonsticky parts as observed in theridiids. Linyphiids had no problem in switching between structure construction and ST construction even during a single behavioural bout. Both web construction behaviours in linyphiids were nonstereotypic, which is unusual in orbicularians. This might be due to the loss of control mechanisms at genetic level, probably by macro mutation. Lack of stereotypic behaviour might have played a substantial role in the origin of the diverse web forms seen in nonorb-weaving orbicularians. This hypothesis is consistent with patterns observed in the orbicularian phylogeny.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Natur- Landschafts- und Umweltschutz > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Zschokke, Samuel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Blackwell
ISSN:1010-061X
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 14:04

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