Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter.

Journal article


Bjorkman-Chiswell, Bojun T., Kulinski, Melissa M., Muscat, Robert L., Nguyen, Kim A., Norton, Briony, A., Symonds, Matthew R. E., Westhorpe, Gina E. and Elgar, Mark A. 2004. Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter. Naturwissenschaften. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-004-0524-x
AuthorsBjorkman-Chiswell, Bojun T., Kulinski, Melissa M., Muscat, Robert L., Nguyen, Kim A., Norton, Briony, A., Symonds, Matthew R. E., Westhorpe, Gina E. and Elgar, Mark A.
Abstract

The orb-weaving spider Nephila edulis incorporates into its web a band of decaying animal and plant matter. While earlier studies demonstrate that larger spiders utilise these debris bands as caches of food, the presence of plant matter suggests additional functions. When organic and plastic items were placed in the webs of N. edulis, some of the former but none of the latter were incorporated into the debris band. Using an Y-maze olfactometer, we show that sheep blowflies Lucilia cuprina are attracted to recently collected debris bands, but that this attraction does not persist over time. These data reveal an entirely novel foraging strategy, in which a sit-and-wait predator attracts insect prey by utilising the odours of decaying organic material. The spider’s habit of replenishing the debris band may be necessary to maintain its efficacy for attracting prey.

KeywordsOdour; Food cache; Spiders; Prey; Insects
Year2004
JournalNaturwissenschaften
PublisherSpringer
ISSN00281042
14321904
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-004-0524-x
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622984
hdl:10545/622984
Publication dates01 May 2004
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Sep 2018, 09:19
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Archived with thanks to Naturwissenschaften

ContributorsUniversity of Melbourne and James Cook University
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