A STUDY ON WEB ASYMMETRY AND PREY CAPTURE IN ARGIOPE PULCHELLA THORELL, 1881 (ARANEAE: ARANEIDAE)Sangeeta Das, Jatin Kalita and Nilutpal Mahanta
For a sit and wait forager like Argiope spiders, the web is their ultimate foraging strategy, therefore investment in web building is crucial for their survival. For understanding this foraging strategy, studying of web architecture and web symmetry become essential as any change in web can severely affect the prey capture success. The present study focused on studying the web asymmetry in Argiope pulchella Thorell, 1881, from juvenile to the adult stage. We observed a deviation from the original circular orb web as the spider grows. Adult webs had higher vertical asymmetry in comparison to the juvenile webs. The reason for such asymmetry was tested by correlating it with the number of prey captured in the upper and lower halves of the webs. The study showed significant relationship between the lower web area and the number of prey captured in the webs. This study concludes that web transition takes place from symmetrical to asymmetrical as the spider matures and larger lower web parts in adult spiders aids in higher prey capture success.