Agelenids of the World

Systematics and Taxonomy of Agelenidae, a Worldwide distributed Spider Family

The evolution of prey-wrapping behaviour in spiders

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:G. Barrantes, Eberhard W. G.
Journal:Journal of Natural History
Date Published:2007
ISBN Number:0022-2933
Keywords:Animal constructions, Appendages, Araneae (Arachnida)., Araneae [Silk / / Evolutionary origins of use in prey wrapping, behaviour] [Phylogeny / / Prey wrapping behaviour, Ecology, Evolution, evolutionary origins, Feeding behaviour, General morphology, Nesticidae, Nesticidae (Araneae)., Nutrition, of silk use] [Cocoons / / ]., possible synapomorphy] [Food handling /, Prey wrapping / Involvement of legs IV] [Phylogeny / Synapomorphy / Prey, Silk glands, Synotaxidae, Synotaxidae (Araneae)., Systematics, Theridiidae (Araneae)., Theridiidae [Prosomal legs / Legs IV / Prey, use of legs IV]., wrapping behaviour, wrapping behaviour involvement

We traced the evolution of silk use by spiders in attacks on prey by combining previous publications with new observations of 31 species in 16 families. Two new prey-wrapping techniques are described. One, in which the spider holds a tense line (often covered with viscid silk) with both legs IV and applies it to the prey with a simultaneous movement of both legs, may be a synapomorphy linking Theridiidae, Nesticidae, and Synotaxidae. The other, in which the spider stands over the prey and turns in place, is apparently very ancient; it occurs in Theraphosidae, Tengellidae, and Agelenidae. The use of legs IV to wrap prey is described for the first time in Filistatidae and Scytodidae. Using a recent phylogeny of spiders, we propose that prey wrapping with legs IV has evolved convergently at least four times. We propose that prey wrapping originally evolved from egg-sac construction behaviour.

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