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ABSTRACT. Orb-webs constructed by members of the spider family Araneidae are composed of sticky and non-sticky threads deposited in a stereotypic fashion. This study examines how changes in a spider's nutritional condition affect the capture thread properties and architectural details of its web. It does so by characterizing the features of successive webs constructed by unfed spiders that were not allowed to recycle previous webs. The volume of a capture thread's viscous material and the threads' inferred stickiness decreases in successive webs, although the capture thread's extensibility does not change. The lengths of both capture thread and non-sticky thread decrease at similar rates in successive webs. The decreasing stickiness of capture threads reduces the stickiness per unit capture area. We did not detect asymmetry in the spacing of either spiral or radial threads of first and last webs, nor did we observe differences in the sizes of viscous droplets in outer and inner spiral turns. This suggested that these spiders assessed their silk resources before they initiated web construction and altered their behavior to produce a highly regular web of an appropriate size for their silk reserves. Keywords: Nutrition, hunger, silk allocation, spider, thread extensibility, thread stickiness

GENRE
Science & Nature
RELEASED
2006
May 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
21
Pages
PUBLISHER
American Arachnological Society
SELLER
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.
SIZE
201.4
KB

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