Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spiders: Capturing prey in silken netting and sticky hairs

Date:
May 16, 2013
Source:
Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel
Summary:
The great ecological success of spiders is often substantiated by the evolution of silk and webs. Biologists have now found an alternative adaptation to hunting prey: hairy adhesive pads, so called scopulae.

The foot of the jumping spider Euophrys frontalis, showing the paired claws and adhesive pads.
Credit: Copyright Wolff

The great ecological success of spiders is often substantiated by the evolution of silk and webs. Biologists of the Kiel University and the University of Bern now found an alternative adaptation to hunting prey: hairy adhesive pads, so called scopulae.

Related Articles


The scientists published their results in the May issue of the scientific journal PLoS One.

"More than half of all described spider species have abandoned building webs. They seize their prey directly and have to be able to hold and control the struggling prey without getting hurt themselves," explains Jonas Wolff, PhD student in the working group 'Functional Morphology and Biomechanics'. But how do these spiders manage to capture their prey, Wolff and his coworkers Professor Stanislav Gorb, University of Kiel, and Professor Wolfgang Nentwig, University of Bern, wondered.

In order to find out, they turned their attention to the hairy pads, that grow on the legs of hunting spiders. These pads consist of specialized hairs (setae), which split into numerous branches. With these the setae can cling to surfaces very closely, which is necessary to exploit intermolecular adhesive forces.

"Until now, scientists assumed that the spiders mainly use those sticky pads for climbing on smooth surfaces. The earlier hypothesis that the adhesive pads are important for prey retention received scant attention. Our results show, that abandon web building occurred independently for several times. Interestingly, it was often accompanied by the evolution of similar adhesive pads. Specialized foot pads, which enable the spider to climb steep smooth surfaces such as window panes, are further developments derived from the prey capture apparatus," Wolff explains. "These results give us entirely new insights on the evolution of spiders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jonas O. Wolff, Wolfgang Nentwig, Stanislav N. Gorb. The Great Silk Alternative: Multiple Co-Evolution of Web Loss and Sticky Hairs in Spiders. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (5): e62682 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062682

Cite This Page:

Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel. "Spiders: Capturing prey in silken netting and sticky hairs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105251.htm>.
Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel. (2013, May 16). Spiders: Capturing prey in silken netting and sticky hairs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105251.htm
Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel. "Spiders: Capturing prey in silken netting and sticky hairs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105251.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins