Bourgeois behavior and freeloading in the colonial orb web spider Parawixia bistriata (Araneae, Araneidae)

Wenseleers, Tom, Bacon, Jonathan P, Alves, Denise A, Couvillon, Margaret J, Kärcher, Martin, Nascimento, Fabio S, Nogueira-Neto, Paulo, Ribeiro, Marcia, Robinson, Elva J H, Tofilski, Adam and Ratnieks, Francis L W (2013) Bourgeois behavior and freeloading in the colonial orb web spider Parawixia bistriata (Araneae, Araneidae). American Naturalist, 182 (1). pp. 120-129. ISSN 0003-0147

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Spiders of the tropical American colonial orb weaver Parawixia bistriata form a communal bivouac in daytime. At sunset, they leave the bivouac and construct individual, defended webs within a large, communally built scaffolding of permanent, thick silk lines between trees and bushes. Once spiders started building a web, they repelled other spiders walking on nearby scaffolding with a "bounce" behavior. In nearly all cases (93%), this resulted in the intruder leaving without a fight, akin to the "bourgeois strategy," in which residents win and intruders retreat without escalated contests. However, a few spiders (6.5%) did not build a web due to lack of available space. Webless spiders were less likely to leave when bounced (only 42% left) and instead attempted to "freeload," awaiting the capture of prey items in nearby webs. Our simple model shows that webless spiders should change their strategy from bourgeois to freeloading satellite as potential web sites become increasingly occupied.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Neuroscience
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Depositing User: Jonathan Bacon
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2017 15:30
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 21:49

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