Study species: Herennia multipuncta
The function of ventral body coloration of the ladder-web spider Herennia multipuncta
In order to escape with little or no damage, many animals exhibit colors, structures, and behaviors that can divert a predator′s attention. Many orb-web spiders build asymmetrical webs, and the ladder webs are extreme examples of modified webs built by several spider species. .Herennia species build highly elongated webs that are as much as seven times taller than wide and are attached against tree trunks. Such web-building behavior allows spiders to maximize web area and foraging intake when they are forced to build webs in space-limited microhabitats. The dorsal side of Herennia is dark gray with black spots, while the ventral side is brightly orange. Herennia usually rests on the upper part of the ladder-web with its brightly ventrum concealed. Comparing to other diurnal and nocturnal web spiders building aerial orb webs and attracting prey with visual lures, Herennia spp. spiders place the ladder web against the tree trunk with cryptic dorsum exposed and conspicuous ventrum concealed. I hypothesize that the brightly ventrum may function to startle or intimidate predators. I will use digital video cameras to record the potential deimatic behaviors of Herennia multipuncta and their interactions with prey and predators day and night. I will then manipulate the colors of this spider’s conspicuous ventrum to evaluate if such body color function to startle the predators.
Updated: Mar-10-2014 01:22:51 (Taiwan, GMT+08:00).