Are three-dimensional spider webs defensive adaptations?

@article{Blackledge2002AreTS,
  title={Are three-dimensional spider webs defensive adaptations?},
  author={Todd A. Blackledge and Jonathan A. Coddington and Rosemary G. Gillespie},
  journal={Ecology Letters},
  year={2002},
  volume={6},
  pages={13-18}
}
Spider webs result from complex behaviours that have evolved under many selective pressures. Webs have been primarily considered to be foraging adaptations, neglecting the potential role of predation risk in the evolution of web architecture. The ecological success of spiders has been attributed to key innovations in how spiders use silk to capture prey, especially the invention of chemically adhesive aerial two-dimensional orb webs. However, araneoid sheet web weavers transformed the orb… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Fecundity increase supports adaptive radiation hypothesis in spider web evolution
TLDR
The prediction that orb and RTA clade spiders are not only more diverse, but also have higher fecundity than other spiders is tested and it is shown that RTAClade spiders average 23% higher fecundy and orb spiders average 123% higher fertility than their ancestors.
Spider webs: Evolution, diversity and plasticity
TLDR
It is argued that that this underappreciated aspect of spider biology renders them superior models for studies investigating behavioural plasticity at the individual level.
Behavioral ecology of wasp-spider interactions : the role of webs, chemicals, and deception
TLDR
By conducting behavioral and chemical assays, it is determined that Sceliphron caementarium wasps recognize araneids as potential prey due to the presence of chemicals present on their silk and cuticle.
Chemical Mediation of Prey Recognition by Spider‐Hunting Wasps
TLDR
Results of a series of behavioral choice assays corroborated the importance of spider chemical cues in mediation of prey recognition by mud-dauber wasps and examine the anti-predator behaviors of 2D and 3D spiders, and consider the role of wasp predation in spider diversification.
Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era
TLDR
A broad higher-level phylogeny of spiders is constructed combining molecular data with traditional morphological and behavioral characters to test the hypothesis that the spider orb web evolved only once, and finds strong support for a single origin of orb webs.
Foraging Benefits in a Colour Polymorphic Neotropical Orb Web Spider
TLDR
It is shown that although yellow morphs attracted more prey, white morphs were in better body condition, and it was shown that model prey such as honeybees are able to discriminate between the morphs.
Anti-Predator Strategies
TLDR
In this chapter, spider anti-predator strategies are presented, and the correlational and causal evidence of anti-Predator adaptations are critically discussed in light of potential costs and benefits they may entail.
High-performance spider webs: integrating biomechanics, ecology and behaviour
TLDR
An integrative, mechanistic approach to understanding silk and web function, as well as the selective pressures driving their evolution, will help uncover the potential impacts of environmental change and species invasions on spider success.
Foraging mode of spiders affects risk of predation by birds
TLDR
The risk of bird predation is a selective force on foraging behaviour of spiders in a forest canopy system and web building in itself is probably part of the protective mechanism, suggesting that webs have dual functions.
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 41 REFERENCES
SILK MEDIATED DEFENSE BY AN ORB WEB SPIDER AGAINST PREDATORY MUD-DAUBER WASPS
TLDR
It is suggested that stabilimenta may function to delay pursuit of spiders as they drop from webs by physically blocking wasps, camouflaging spiders or distracting attacking wasps.
Foraging tactics of two guilds of web-spinning spiders
  • A. Janetos
  • Environmental Science
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
SummaryThe foraging behavior of orbweaving and sheetweb weaving guilds of spiders was investigated. Orbweavers move among web-sites frequently, but sheetweb weavers do not. A simple model that
Orb-web weaving spiders in the early Cretaceous
THE use of a snare woven from spun silk as a means of capturing prey is the most outstanding achievement of spiders. Fossil spider spinnerets are known from the Devonian1 and Carboniferous2 periods.
Vertebrate Predation Does Not Limit Density of a Common Forest-Floor Wolf Spider: Evidence from a Field Experiment
TLDR
Numbers of Schizocosa tended to be lower in the Removal-Exclusion treatment after the first two census dates, evidence that vertebrate natural enemies do not limit densities of this common wolf spider.
Attack strategies of predatory wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae; Sphecidae) on colonial orb web-building spiders (Araneidae: Metepeira incrassata)
TLDR
The purpose of this paper is to describe the success of different attack strategies used by pompilid and sphecid wasps on colonial orb-web building spiders, and to demonstrate that the wasps selectively capture or shift between prey species as their abundance changes in the field.
Adaptive Radiation in Insects and Plants: Time and Opportunity
TLDR
Much of the available evidence from systematics is consistent with Ehrlich and Raven's suggestion that much of insect and plant diversification has been spurred by a series of ecological opportunities over evolutionary time.
BUTTERFLIES AND PLANTS: A STUDY IN COEVOLUTION
TLDR
The relationship between butterflies and their food plants is investigated, the examination of patterns of interaction between two major groups of organisms with a close and evident ecological relationship, such as plants and herbivores.
TESTING ADAPTIVE RADIATION AND KEY INNOVATION HYPOTHESES IN SPIDERS
  • J. Bond, B. Opell
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1998
TLDR
Testing the hypothesis that adaptive radiation and key innovation have contributed to the diversity of the order Araneae shows that the inequality in diversity between the Deinopoidea and the AraneoideA is significant, and that it is associated with the replacement of primitive cribellar capture thread by viscous adhesive thread and a change from a horizontal to a vertical orb‐web orientation.
Bird predation and vegetation structure affecting spruce-living arthropods in a temperate forest
TLDR
It is concluded that in the present system effects due to passerine birds predominate, bird predation is strong and reduces arthropod density and needle density has a less prominent impact in the system.
PREDATORY INTERACTIONS BETWEEN MUD-DAUBER WASPS (HYMENOPTERA, SPHECIDAE) AND ARGIOPE (ARANEAE, ARANEIDAE) IN CAPTIVITY
TLDR
Attempts to maintain two common sphecid wasps in field and laboratory enclosures in order to observe their predatory interactions with the orb-weaving spiders Argiope aurantia Lucas 1833 and A. trifasciata (Forskål 1775) found both species of wasps seemed to locate webs primarily by chance while flying along the tops of the vegetation but differed greatly in their hunting tactics once webs were located.
...
...