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Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter

Bjorkman-Chiswell, Bojun T., Kulinski, Melissa M., Muscat, Robert L., Nguyen, Kim A., Norton, Kim A., Symonds, Matthew R. E., Westhope, Gina E. and Elgar, Mark A. 2004, Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter, Naturwissenschaften, vol. 91, no. 5, pp. 245-248, doi: 10.1007/s00114-004-0524-x.

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Title Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter
Author(s) Bjorkman-Chiswell, Bojun T.
Kulinski, Melissa M.
Muscat, Robert L.
Nguyen, Kim A.
Norton, Kim A.
Symonds, Matthew R. E.ORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew R. E. orcid.org/0000-0002-9785-6045
Westhope, Gina E.
Elgar, Mark A.
Journal name Naturwissenschaften
Volume number 91
Issue number 5
Start page 245
End page 248
Total pages 4
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publication date 2004
ISSN 0028-1042
1432-1904
Summary 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.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00114-004-0524-x
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060808 Invertebrate Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30039050

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