Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mathers, C. K.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Spider webs


Various parts of the orb web, spun by Araneus diadematus Cl., were eliminated in an attempt to show the extent of repair. Spiders were placed, one each, in 10 boxes during an experimental period beginning in the middle of August, 1965, and ending in the middle of October, 1965. Photographs were used to record the ex­tent of repair in each situation. Behavioral patterns, in response to web damage, consisted of three basic locomotor movements: the spider fled from the web, repaired the web, or destroyed the web. The process of repair appeared to be of a conservative nature in that only minimal repairs were made. Repair threads consisted of non-viscid, dragline silk only. Damaged radii, viscid spirals, and hub threads were never replaced. It can be concluded that repair of webs by orb-weavers appears to be an established behavioral process in response to web damage under laboratory conditions. Orb web repair may be characterized as increasing the functional capacity of the damaged web with the smallest possible effort and expenditure of silk.


Includes bibliographical references (leaf [42])


viii, [42] pages




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