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Revista de Etologia

Print version ISSN 1517-2805


NOGUEIRA, Selene Siqueira da Cunha  and  ADES, César. Evidence of learning in the web construction of the spider Argiope Argentata (Araneae: Araneidae). Rev. etol. [online]. 2012, vol.11, n.1, pp.23-36. ISSN 1517-2805.

We investigated the effects of past experience on the web construction by the spider Argiope argentata. The spiders were submitted to periods in horizontal position alternated with periods in vertical position (control phase). The observations revealed an improvement in the quality of the second vertical web when compared to the first; disordered web-building behavior when first in a horizontal phase, with resultant web deformities; improvements in web quality after successive web constructions in a horizontal phase; finally, we observed improvements in spiders' performance and a shorter time needed to build their webs when the spiders were submitted to the horizontal phase for the second time. The results suggest that improvements during the horizontal periods were due to changes in the building patterns in the early stages of spider web construction (mesh, frame and radius constructions). Our results favor the hypothesis that this improvement is due to past experience or learning.

Keywords : orb-weaver spider; gravitational effect; trial and error; experience; web construction; flexibility.

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