Web decorations and alternative foraging tactics of the spider argiope appensa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spiders in the genus Argiope frequently decorate their webs with highly visible silk structures. To investigate the possible function of these curious decorations in the foraging behavior of Argiope appensa, several free-ranging populations were studied on Guam, Mariana Islands. The mean area of decorated webs was consistently and significantly smaller than the mean area of undecorated webs. Decorated webs also suffered significantly more damage per unit area than undecorated webs and decorated upper web quadrants tended to exhibit more damage patterns than undecorated quadrants. Estimates of individual foraging success, however, showed no significant difference between decorating and non-decorating spiders. These data suggest that A. appensa is engaged in a mixed foraging strategy with two alternative tactics. Spiders which spin smaller, decorated webs achieve similar foraging success to those which spin larger, undecorated webs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalEthology Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Foraging tactics
  • Guam
  • Mixed strategies
  • Predator
  • Prey attraction
  • Stabilimenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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