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1 February 2014 Substrate Preferences for Attaching Gumfoot Lines in Latrodectus geometricus (Araneae: Theridiidae)
Pablo E. Gutiérrez-Fonseca, Lelanee Ortiz-Rivas
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Spider web construction is energetically costly, but it plays an important role in survivorship and reproduction. Studies have revealed facultative changes in spider web construction to adjust to available attachment sites. We used rectangular cardboard frames and two contrasting substrates to determine preferences in placement of gumfoot lines. This study demonstrated that mature females and first-instar nymphs of the brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus, display preferences for smooth substrates as sites to attach the gumfoot lines of their webs. First-instar nymphs also preferred to attach to the peaks when offered a wrinkled substrate. The preference of first-instar nymphs supports the hypothesis that substrate preferences for gumfoot line attachment may already be a selected behavior and not learned from previous experience.

Pablo E. Gutiérrez-Fonseca and Lelanee Ortiz-Rivas "Substrate Preferences for Attaching Gumfoot Lines in Latrodectus geometricus (Araneae: Theridiidae)," Entomological News 123(5), 371-379, (1 February 2014).
Received: 12 June 2013; Accepted: 25 October 2013; Published: 1 February 2014
brown widow spider
Puerto Rico
substrate preferences
web construction
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