Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


A simple device to collect, store and study samples of two-dimensional spider webs



Silk production and spinning are the most prominent characteristics of spiders (Araneae). The high diversity of web architectures correlates both with preying behaviors and with the ultra-structure of the silk threads that compose the webs, which in turn have a corresponding diversity of silk gland spigot complements. The details of web construction, thread structure, and gland spigot morphology have proven extremely informative for phylogenetic hypotheses (e.g., Eberhard 1982, 1988; Eberhard & Pereira 1993; Coddington 1989; Griswold et al. 2005; Hormiga et al. 1995; Lopardo & Ramírez 2007; Platnick et al. 1991; Agnarsson & Blackledge 2009; Eberhard 2010), and a fascinating system to study spider diversification and evolutionary trends (e.g., Opell 1996; Opell & Bond 2000; Blackledge et al. 2009, 2012; Dimitrov et al. 2012).



Araneae, Spider

Full Text:

PDF/A (2.31 MB)


Agnarsson, I. & Blackledge, T.A. (2009) Can a spider web be too sticky? Tensile mechanics constrain the evolution of capture spiral stickiness in orb weaving spiders. Journal of Zoology, 277, 134–140.

Blackledge, T.A., Scharff, N., Coddington, J.A., Szuts, T., Wenzel, J.W., Hayashi, C.Y. & Agnarsson, I. (2009) Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 106, 5229–5234.

Blackledge, T.A., Kuntner, M., Marhabaie, M., Leeper, T.C. & Agnarsson, I. (2012) Biomaterial evolution parallels behavioral innovation in the origin of orb-like spider webs. Scientific Reports, 2 (833), 1–6.

Carico, J.E. (1977) A simple dusting device for coating orb webs for field photography. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 4, 100.

Coddington, J.A. (1989) Spinneret silk spigot morphology: evidence for the monophyly of orbweaving spiders, Cyrtophorinae (Araneidae), and the group Theridiidae plus Nesticidae. Journal of Arachnology, 17, 71–95.

Dimitrov, D., Lopardo, L., Giribet, G., Arnedo, M.A., Álvarez-Padilla, F. & Hormiga, G. (2012) Tangled in a sparse spider web: single origin of orb weavers and their spinning work unravelled by denser taxonomic sampling. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279, 1341-–1350.

Eberhard, W.G. (1982) Behavioural characters for the higher classification of orb-weaving spiders. Evolution, 36, 1067–1095.

Eberhard, W.G. (1988) Combing and sticky silk attachment behaviour by cribellate spiders and its taxonomic implications. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 7, 247–251.

Eberhard, W.G. (2010) Possible functional significance of spigot placement on the spinnerets of spiders. Journal of Arachnology, 38, 407–414.

Griswold, C.E., Ramírez, M.J., Coddington, J.A. & Platnick, N.I. (2005) Atlas of phylogenetic data for entelegyne spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae), with comments on their phylogeny. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 4th Series, 56 (Supplement II), 1–324.

Hormiga, G., Eberhard, W.G. & Coddington, J.A. (1995) Web-construction behaviour in Australian Phonognatha and the phylogeny of nephiline and tetragnathid spiders (Araneae: Tetragnathidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 43, 313–364.

Lopardo, L. & Ramírez, M.J. (2007) The combing of cribellar silk by the prithine Misionella mendensis, with notes on other filistatid spiders (Araneae: Filistatidae). American Museum Novitates, 3563, 1–14.[1:tcocsb];2

Opell, B.D. (1996) The material cost and stickiness of capture threads and the evolution of orb-weaving spiders. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 62, 443–458.

Opell, B.D. & Bond, J. (2000) Capture thread extensibility of orb-weaving spiders: testing punctuated and associative explanations of character evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 70, 107–120.

Opell, B.D. & Hendricks, M.L. (2009) The adhesive delivery system of viscous capture threads spun by orb-weaving spiders. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212, 3026–3034.

Opell, B.D., Tran, A.M. & Karinshak, S.E. (2011) Adhesive compatibility of cribellar and viscous prey capture threads and its implication for the evolution of orb-weaving spiders. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology, 315, 376–384.

Platnick, N.I., Coddington, J.A., Forster, R.R. & Griswold, C.E. (1991) Spinneret morphology and the phylogeny of haplogyne spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae). American Museum Novitates, 3016, 1–73.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa