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Changes in Orb Webs of Spiders During Growth (Araneus Diadematus Clerck and Neoscona Vertebrata Mc Cook) 1)2)

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Photographs of the webs of 14 individuals (Araneus diadematus Cl.) hatched from one egg cocoon and 6 individuals (Neoscona vertebrata McCook) were taken while the spiders grew up in the laboratory. The length of the first legs from femur to claws and the size of the catching area in the webs changed in a similar way: webs increased in size during the first two to three months of the spiders' life as long as legs grew longer; after that both stayed about the same size. Body weight seemed related to mesh size. Light animals built webs with relatively many radii and spiral turns, heavy animals wide meshed webs. An explanation is proposed on the basis of the assumption that heavy animals have to build stronger threads with not more material than light spiders. Consequently they have less total length available for a full sized web. A wide meshed web results.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Pharmacology, State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, N. Y.

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