Structure, building and evolution of spider webs

Samuel Zschokke , Stefanie Countryman (BioServe Space Technologies), Paula Cushing (Denver Museum of Nature & Science)

The survival of web-spinning spiders depends largely on the quality of the web, which in turn reflects the behaviour of the spider during web construction. During the last few hundred million years or so, spider webs evolved from presumably one simple structure into the diversity of complex webs we can observe today.
In this project we study the macrostructure of spider webs to gain a better understanding of its function and we compare web-building patterns among different species to draw conclusions about the evolution of spider webs.

Keywords: Araneoidea - animal tracking - behavioural pattern - biomechanics - ethology - evolution - resource allocation - spider web - orb-web - web building

Selected publications

Zschokke S & Nakata K (2015) — Vertical asymmetries in orb webs — Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 114: 659–672

Zschokke S & Nakata K (2010) — Spider orientation and hub position in orb webs — Naturwissenschaften 97: 43–52

Nakata K & Zschokke S (2010) — Upside-down spiders build upside-down orb webs: web asymmetry, spider orientation and running speed in Cyclosa — Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B - Biological Sciences 277: 3019–3025

Zschokke S, Hénaut Y, Benjamin SP & García-Ballinas JA (2006) — Prey-capture strategies in sympatric web-building spiders — Canadian Journal of Zoology 84: 964–973

Benjamin SP & Zschokke S (2004) — Homology, behaviour and spider webs: web construction behaviour of Linyphia hortensis and L. triangularis (Araneae: Linyphiidae) and its evolutionary significance — Journal of Evolutionary Biology 17: 120–130

Benjamin SP & Zschokke S (2003) — Webs of theridiid spiders: construction, structure and evolution — Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 78: 293–305

Zschokke S (2003) — Spider-web silk from the Early Cretaceous — Nature 424: 636–637


List of all publications related to this project






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