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Beautiful gallery! I find the very diverse web patterns the most fascinating aspect of it. Is it known what the stabilimenta are for? Is it a mating display?
August 9, 2012 at 9:25 am
Thanks! I agree that the diversity of webs is incredible! There are several hypotheses as to the function of the stabilimentum, each with some supporting evidence: visibility to larger animals, such as birds birds and mammals, to prevent them from accidentally destroying the web; making the spider appear larger; providing camouflage for the spider; or attracting prey species by reflecting ultraviolet light. Although mating display or mate attraction also seems like a very logical explanation I’m not sure there is any empirical evidence supporting it…yet! With the diversity of spiders there is probably one species out there in which the use of a stabilimentum has evolved to serve this purpose!
August 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm
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