Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 19–27

Foraging tactics of two guilds of web-spinning spiders

  • Anthony C. Janetos

DOI: 10.1007/BF00296392

Cite this article as:
Janetos, A.C. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1982) 10: 19. doi:10.1007/BF00296392


The foraging behavior of orbweaving and sheetweb weaving guilds of spiders was investigated. Orbweavers move among web-sites frequently, but sheetweb weavers do not. A simple model that examines the adaptive advantages of active foraging and sit-and-wait strategies leads to three predictions: 1) Orbweavers should have a simple decision rule for leaving web-sites, 2) Orbweavers' web-sites should have more variable payoffs than do the web-sites of sheetweb weavers, and 3) Orbweavers should have a lower cost of moving than do sheetweb weavers. Field and experimental data bear out each prediction. In addition, analysis of the residence times of spiders at web-sites that are used more than once reveals that members of the two guilds do not compete with each other for web-sites.

The distinction between active foragers and sit-and-wait predators stems from the relative frequency of the decision to leave a foraging site. Thus active foragers are those predators that move often from patch to patch, and sit-and-wait predators are those that leave patches infrequently. In this sense, orbweaving spiders are active foragers and sheetweb weavers are sit-and-wait predators.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony C. Janetos
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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