Variation in the Social Grouping Tendency of a Communal Web-Building Spider

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Aug 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4559, pp. 547-549
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4559.547


The orb web-building spider, Metepeira spinipes, from Mexico occurs solitarily and, more frequently, in aggregations of 5 to 150 or more individuals. Although communal, individuals maintain webs and retreats within the colony and capture their own prey. Group size and interindividual distance apparently vary in response to climate and availability of prey.