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Spider WebsBehavior, Function, and Evolution$
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William Eberhard

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226534602

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226534749.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

The building behavior of orb-weavers

The building behavior of orb-weavers

(p.277) 6 The building behavior of orb-weavers
Spider Webs

William Eberhard

University of Chicago Press

Orb construction behavior can be analyzed at several levels of organization, and these different levels show different patterns in both intra-individual flexibility and inter-specific diversity. At the very low level of leg and body movements, the behavior of even a single individual is extremely variable, and the old image of an orb weaver as a simple automaton is especially inappropriate. For instance, a spider building the sticky spiral above the hub in a vertical orb makes quite different movements than she does below the hub. These lower level variations are highly patterned, however, in ways that enable the behavior at the next level up to be relatively stereotyped: large amounts of variation at a lower level produce smaller amounts of variation at a higher level. Lower level adjustments are made and the individual movements are coordinated smoothly and rapidly to produce the higher level invariability. For each attachment of the sticky spiral, for instance, the spider Micrathena duodecimspinosa (AR) accomplished at least ten decisions and seven different operations/attachment, and could make >1 attachment(s).

Keywords:   exploration, hub transition, primary radii and primary frames, secondary radii and secondary frames, hub loops, temporary spiral, tertiary radii, sticky spiral, removal of hub center, orb web repair

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