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C R Biol. 2004 Jan;327(1):84-92.

Web-building management in an orb-weaving spider, Zygiella x-notata: influence of prey and conspecifics.

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"Expression et evolution des comportements", UFR STB, université Henri-Poincaré, Nancy-I, BP 239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France.


According to optimal foraging theory, spiders should adapt their web building to environmental variations. Until now, there was no data on the influence of simultaneous information coming from different environmental factors on web building behaviour. Under laboratory conditions, we studied the behaviour of Zygiella x-notata in the presence of prey, conspecifics, or both simultaneously. There was a stimulating effect of prey, but web building was not affected by the presence of conspecifics. When spiders and prey were present simultaneously, the effect was similar to that of prey alone; it seemed that there was no interactive influence of both factors. We discussed about the use of environmental information by spiders in foraging behaviour.

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