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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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Cues Directing Web Construction Behavior

Cues Directing Web Construction Behavior

(p.313) 7 Cues Directing Web Construction Behavior
Spider Webs

William Eberhard

University of Chicago Press

The earliest stages of orb construction are the most mysterious, both because they are the least studied and also because they are when the spider probably performs the most demanding analyses. She apparently assesses both the size and shape of the area which her web will occupy (largely determined in nature by the unique array of sites where supports are available and the open spaces between them), and assesses the silk resources that she has available. Circumstantial evidence indicates that orb weavers probably use path integration to perceive sizes and shapes of spaces. The spider then translates this information (via unknown processes) into criteria for making various decisions during construction. These include where to build frame lines, how far apart to space radii, where to lay the outer loop of sticky spiral, how far apart to place loops of sticky spiral, and how thick to make the lines and the covering of sticky material on these sticky spiral lines.

Keywords:   orb construction in human terms, orb construction, location of inner loop, TSP distance, memory of TSP distance, distance between radii, angle of radius with gravity, sticky spiral placement

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