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SILK MEDIATED DEFENSE BY AN ORB WEB SPIDER AGAINST PREDATORY MUD-DAUBER WASPS

SILK MEDIATED DEFENSE BY AN ORB WEB SPIDER AGAINST PREDATORY MUD-DAUBER WASPS <jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Stabilimenta are zigzag and spiral designs of seemingly conspicuous silk included at the centers of many spider webs. We examined the association of stabilimenta with the ability of spiders to defend themselves against predatory mud-dauber wasps. We found that Argiope trifasciata (Araneae, Araneidae) were significantly more likely to survive attacks by Chalybion caeruleum and Sceliphron caementarium (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae) when spiders included stabilimenta in webs. This association could not be explained by factors such as differences in sizes or conditions of spiders nor locations of webs. We suggest that stabilimenta may function to delay pursuit of spiders as they drop from webs by physically blocking wasps, camouflaging spiders or distracting attacking wasps. Stabilimenta may function in a role very similar to the retreats built by many other genera of spiders and appear to be an adaptation to reduce the predation pressure faced by spiders that have evolved foraging habits at highly exposed diurnal web sites.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behaviour Brill

SILK MEDIATED DEFENSE BY AN ORB WEB SPIDER AGAINST PREDATORY MUD-DAUBER WASPS

Behaviour , Volume 138 (2): 155 – Jan 1, 2001

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2001 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0005-7959
eISSN
1568-539X
DOI
10.1163/15685390151074357
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Stabilimenta are zigzag and spiral designs of seemingly conspicuous silk included at the centers of many spider webs. We examined the association of stabilimenta with the ability of spiders to defend themselves against predatory mud-dauber wasps. We found that Argiope trifasciata (Araneae, Araneidae) were significantly more likely to survive attacks by Chalybion caeruleum and Sceliphron caementarium (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae) when spiders included stabilimenta in webs. This association could not be explained by factors such as differences in sizes or conditions of spiders nor locations of webs. We suggest that stabilimenta may function to delay pursuit of spiders as they drop from webs by physically blocking wasps, camouflaging spiders or distracting attacking wasps. Stabilimenta may function in a role very similar to the retreats built by many other genera of spiders and appear to be an adaptation to reduce the predation pressure faced by spiders that have evolved foraging habits at highly exposed diurnal web sites.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

BehaviourBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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