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Spider's webs reflect the builders behaviour pattern; yet there are aspects of the construction behaviour that cannot be "read" from the geometry of the finished web alone. Using computerised image analysis we developed an automatic surveillance method to track a spider's path during web-building. Thus we collected data on two orb-weaving spiders--the cribellate Uloborus walckenaerius and the ecribellate Araneus diadematus--for web geometry, movement pattern and time allocation. Representatives of these two species built webs of similar geometry but they used different movement patterns both spatially (which we describe qualitatively) and temporally (which we analyse quantitatively). Most importantly, temporal analysis showed that the two spiders differed significantly in some but not all web-building stages; and from this we deduce that Uloborus--unlike Araneus--was constrained by speed of silk production during the construction of its capture but not its auxiliary spiral.

Original publication




Journal article


Physiol Behav

Publication Date





1167 - 1173


Animals, Behavior, Animal, Female, Motor Activity, Spiders, Time Factors