Frame-web-choice experiments with stingless bees support the prey-attraction hypothesis for silk decorations in Argiope savignyi

Dumas Galvez*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There is controversy about the function of silk stabilimenta, also called silk decorations, oil spiders' webs. Most of the proposed hypotheses have been tested using indirect methods. Protection against predators, advertisement for vertebrates to avoid web damage, and increasing prey attraction are the most popular hypotheses. In this study, I tested the prey attraction hypothesis oil the silk decorations of the araneid Argiope savignyi using a trial tunnel built ill the field, ill which 1 exposed stingless bees Tetragonisca angustula to decorated and undecorated webs placed oil wooden frames. I carried out two experiments: 1) a three-frame choice, consisting of a frame bearing it decorated web, one bearing an undecorated web and a control frame without web and spider; 2) a two-frame choice, in which the bees were exposed to only two frames consisting or "decorated web vs. control," "decorated web vs. undecorated web," and "undecorated web vs. control". In favor of the prey attraction function, I found that decorated webs intercepted more bees that) webs deprived of the decoration or controls with no webs. Argiope savignyi's decorations might lure prey to the web by UV-reflectance as it has been suggested for other Argiope species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-253
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of arachnology
    Volume37
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Decorated
    • foraging
    • stabilimenta
    • undecorated
    • ORB-SPINNING SPIDERS
    • GASTERACANTHA-CANCRIFORMIS
    • FORAGING BEHAVIOR
    • WEAVING SPIDER
    • ARANEIDAE
    • ARANEAE
    • STABILIMENTUM
    • PREDATOR
    • TRIFASCIATA
    • ARGENTATA

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