Publication details.

Paper

Year:2019
Author(s):T. Hesselberg, D. Simonsen, C. Juan
Title:Do cave orb spiders show unique behavioural adaptations to subterranean life? A review of the evidence
Journal:BEHAVIOUR
ISSN:0005-7959
JCR Impact Factor:1.019
Volume:156
Issue No.:10
Pages:969-996
D.O.I.:10.1163/1568539X-00003564
Web:https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003564
Abstract:© The authors, 2019.Interest for subterranean biology has risen sharply in recent years due to the simplicity of the cave environment. However, most studies have focussed on morphology with few studies looking at behaviour. The cave orb spiders show some unique behavioural adaptations compared to other orb spiders, including rudimentary orb webs, off-web foraging and a complex life cycle with a surface phase. Here, we compare these behavioural adaptations in the European Meta menardi and Meta bourneti to similar behaviours in surface-dwelling orb spiders. We find that current data suggest (1) an extreme reduction in the number of frame threads, (2) evidence of capturing non-flying prey, but not necessarily evidence for off-web foraging and (3) dispersal through a surface-dwelling life stage, but with data lacking on the role of ballooning and their return to caves. We conclude that Meta spiders have potential as model organisms for studies on behavioural adaptations and flexibility.

Related staff

  • Carlos Eduardo Juan Clar
  • Related departments

  • Animal and Microbial Biodiversity
  • Related research groups

  • Ecology and Evolution