author={Brook O. Swanson and Todd A. Blackledge and Adam P. Summers and Cheryl Y. Hayashi},
  booktitle={Evolution; international journal of organic evolution},
Abstract The evolution of biological materials is a critical, yet poorly understood, component in the generation of biodiversity. For example, the diversification of spiders is correlated with evolutionary changes in the way they use silk, and the material properties of these fibers, such as strength, toughness, extensibility, and stiffness, have profound effects on ecological function. Here, we examine the evolution of the material properties of dragline silk across a phylogenetically diverse… 
Spider capture silk: performance implications of variation in an exceptional biomaterial.
A large comparative data set is presented that allows examination of capture silk properties across orb-weaving spider species, finding that material properties vary greatly across species and some material and mechanical properties are evolutionarily correlated.
High-performance spider webs: integrating biomechanics, ecology and behaviour
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.
Physicochemical Property Variation in Spider Silk: Ecology, Evolution, and Synthetic Production.
Assessment of the research done and the techniques used to determine distinct forms of spider silk chemical and physical property variability suggest that more research should focus on testing hypotheses that explain spider silk property variations in ecological and evolutionary contexts.
Biomaterial evolution parallels behavioral innovation in the origin of orb-like spider webs
This work shows convergence between pseudo-orb-weaving Fecenia and true orb spiders, and suggests how constraints limit convergent evolution and provides insight into the evolution of nature's toughest fibers.
The evolution of complex biomaterial performance: The case of spider silk.
New data on material properties of silk from nine species of spiders in the Mesothelae and Mygalomorphae, the two basal clades of spiders, support the hypothesis that the success and diversity seen in araneomorph spiders is associated with the evolution of this high-performance fiber.
Bioprospecting Finds the Toughest Biological Material: Extraordinary Silk from a Giant Riverine Orb Spider
Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial, and this hypothesis predicts that rapid change in material properties of silk co-occurred with ecological shifts within the genus, and can be tested by combining material science, behavioral observations, and phylogenetics.
Spider Silk: Molecular Structure and Function in Webs
All spiders produce silk, and most produce multiple types of silk fibers. How these silks function in prey capture webs provides a crucial link between the molecular biology of silk and spider
Web building and silk properties functionally covary among species of wolf spider
This study definitively showed an ecological influence over spider silk properties, and expects that the presence of the MaSp2‐like proteins and the subsequent nanostructures improves the mechanical performance of silks within the webs.
Evolution of supercontraction in spider silk: structure–function relationship from tarantulas to orb-weavers
SUMMARY Spider silk is a promising biomaterial with impressive performance. However, some spider silks also ‘supercontract’ when exposed to water, shrinking by up to ∼50% in length. Supercontraction
Protein families, natural history and biotechnological aspects of spider silk.
This review presents descriptions of members from each family of spidroin identified from five spider species of the Brazilian biodiversity, and an evolutionary study of them in correlation with the anatomical specialization of glands and spider's spinning behaviors.


Variation in the material properties of spider dragline silk across species
It is suggested that the spectrum of dragline silk sequences and material properties that have been produced over evolutionary time provides a rich resource for the design of biomimetic silk fibers.
Modular evolution of egg case silk genes across orb-weaving spider superfamilies.
Spider fibroin TuSp1 appears to be the major component of tubuliform gland silk, a fiber exclusively synthesized by female spiders for egg case construction, and repetitive architecture is a general feature of this gene family, consistent with a single origin of this ortholog group.
Variability in the mechanical properties of spider silks on three levels: interspecific, intraspecific and intraindividual.
The ecological and evolutionary interdependence between web architecture and web silk spun by orb web weaving spiders
It is proposed that the evolution of alternative web building behaviours is a consequence of the general, phyletic trend to small size among araneoids, and where high energy absorption is not an exacting feature of web design, web architecture should not be tightly constrained to the orb.
Molecular studies of a novel dragline silk from a nursery web spider, Euprosthenops sp. (Pisauridae).
Analysis of major ampullate silk cDNAs from two non-orb-weaving spiders.
Four partial cDNA clones representing major ampullate spider silk gene transcripts from two non-orb weavers are isolated and sequenced, indicating that the repeats encoding conserved amino acid motifs that are characteristic of some orb-weaving spider silks are also found in some of the cDNAs reported in this study.
Are three-dimensional spider webs defensive adaptations?
It is argued that mud-dauber wasps are major predators of orbicularian spiders, and exert a directional selective pressure to construct three-dimensional webs such that three- dimensional webs are partly defensive innovations.