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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Cyclosa turbinata (Araneae, Araneidae): Prey discrimination via web-borne vibrations

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Springer (journals)
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  • Robert B. Suter
  • Zoology Department, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

1. The spider orb web is a structure that both restrains prey animals and carries prey-generated signals to the spider. If spiders are to discriminate among prey items without risking movement in the open and contact with potentially dangerous prey, they must be capable of interpreting web-borne vibrational signals appropriately. 2. To assess this ability in one araneid, the behavior of captive Cyclosa turbinata females as they preyed on five insect species was filmed under laboratory conditions. Analysis of the films showed that the movements associated with the spider's approach to live prey items varied quantitatively with prey type (Tables 1–4). 3. The vibrations induced on the web by each of the prey species were recorded on magnetic tape and analyzed with respect to absolute amplitude, amplitude modulation, and frequency components. A comparison of C. turbinata's approach behavior with prey-typical vibrational differences revealed significant positive correlations (Figs. 1 and 3) and establlished a clear connection between the properties of web-borne vibrations and the behaviors elicited by them. 4. An evaluation of the distinctiveness of the vibrations produced by each of the five prey species revealed considerable variability within species and broad areas of overlap between species (Fig. 4). This indicated that accurate prey discrimination by appropriate interpretation of web-borne vibrations is probably not possible on C. turbinata webs.

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  • 1 - health sciences
  • 2 - psychology & cognitive sciences
  • 3 - behavioral science & comparative psychology
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  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - cytologie, morphologie, systematique, floristique et evolution des vegetaux
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  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Animal Science and Zoology
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
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  • 1 - science ; 2 - zoology
  • 1 - science ; 2 - ecology
  • 1 - science ; 2 - behavioral sciences
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Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

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