Event Title

High Individual Variation but No Plasticity in the Web Architecture of Latrodectus hesperus Black Widow Spiders (Araneane: Theridiidae)

Presenter Information

Cory Thompson

Mentor 1

Rafael Rodriguez

Mentor 2

Clint Sergi

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

A spider's web architecture is an extended phenotype and direct product of behavior. Variation within web architecture may be the result of genetic dissimilarities or variation in individual experience. We analyzed variation in L. hesperus web architecture by testing two hypotheses: (i) intrinsic individual differences, which predicts a high degree of repeatability; and (ii) plasticity, which predicts the impact of experiences of the site of prey capture. We used treatments involving alterations in feeding regimen: sheet-feeding only, gum-footed feeding only, and alternating between sheet and gum-footed strands equally. We found considerable consistent individual variation and no plasticity, suggesting that differences in web architecture are due to genetic variation or to longer-term experience of prey capture.

Keywords: Phenotype, plasticity, spider web, Latrodectus, behavior.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

High Individual Variation but No Plasticity in the Web Architecture of Latrodectus hesperus Black Widow Spiders (Araneane: Theridiidae)

Union Wisconsin Room

A spider's web architecture is an extended phenotype and direct product of behavior. Variation within web architecture may be the result of genetic dissimilarities or variation in individual experience. We analyzed variation in L. hesperus web architecture by testing two hypotheses: (i) intrinsic individual differences, which predicts a high degree of repeatability; and (ii) plasticity, which predicts the impact of experiences of the site of prey capture. We used treatments involving alterations in feeding regimen: sheet-feeding only, gum-footed feeding only, and alternating between sheet and gum-footed strands equally. We found considerable consistent individual variation and no plasticity, suggesting that differences in web architecture are due to genetic variation or to longer-term experience of prey capture.

Keywords: Phenotype, plasticity, spider web, Latrodectus, behavior.