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Time till death affects spider mobility and web-building behavior during web construction in an orb-web spider

Abstract : It is well known that age influences organism mobility. This was demonstrated in vertebrates (such as mammals and birds) but has been less studied in invertebrates with the exception of Drosophila and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we studied the influence of age on the mobility of the orb-weaving spider Zygiella x-notata during web construction. The orb-web is a good model because it has a characteristic geometrical structure and video tracking can be used to easily follow the spider's movements during web building. We investigated the influence of age (specifically chronological age, life span, and time till death) on different parameters of spider mobility during the construction of the capture spiral (distance traveled, duration of construction, spider velocity, spider movement, and spider inactivity) with a generalized linearmodel (GLM) procedure adjusted for the spidermass. The results showed that neither chronological age, nor life span affected the mobility parameters. However, when the time till death decreased, there was a decrease in the distance traveled, the duration of the construction of the capture spiral, and the spider movement. The spider velocity and the time of inactivity were not affected. These results could be correlated with a decrease in the length of the silky thread deposited for the construction of the capture spiral. Spiders with a shorter time till death built smaller web using less silk. Thus, our study suggests strongly that time till death affects spider mobility during web construction but not the chronological age and thus may be a good indicator of senescence.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 21, 2017 - 11:30:43 AM
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Mylène Anotaux, Camille Toscani, Raymond Leborgne, Nicolas Châline, Alain Pasquet. Time till death affects spider mobility and web-building behavior during web construction in an orb-web spider. Current zoology, 2016, 62 (2), pp.123-130. ⟨10.1093/cz/zow001⟩. ⟨hal-01575599⟩



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