Upside-down spiders build upside-down orb webs : web asymmetry, spider orientation and running speed in Cyclosa

Nakata, Kensuke and Zschokke, Samuel. (2010) Upside-down spiders build upside-down orb webs : web asymmetry, spider orientation and running speed in Cyclosa. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series B, Biological sciences, Vol. 277, H. 1696. pp. 3019-3025.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6438690

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Almost all spiders building vertical orb webs face downwards when sitting on the hubs of their webs, and their webs exhibit an up–down size asymmetry, with the lower part of the capture area being larger than the upper. However, spiders of the genus Cyclosa, which all build vertical orb webs, exhibit inter- and intraspecific variation in orientation. In particular, Cyclosa ginnaga and C. argenteoalba always face upwards, C. octotuberculata always face downwards, whereas some C. confusa face upwards and others face downwards or even sideways. These spiders provide a unique opportunity to examine why most spiders face downwards and have asymmetrical webs. We found that upward-facing spiders had upside-down webs with larger upper parts, downward-facing spiders had normal webs with larger lower parts and sideways-facing spiders had more symmetrical webs. Downward-facing C. confusa spiders were larger than upward- and sideways-facing individuals. We also found that during prey attacks, downward-facing spiders ran significantly faster downwards than upwards, which was not the case in upward-facing spiders. These results suggest that the spider’s orientation at the hub and web asymmetry enhance its foraging efficiency by minimizing the time to reach prey trapped in the web.
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:The Royal Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:06 Nov 2015 10:21
Deposited On:06 Nov 2015 10:21

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