MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Many spiders living together in a single web in California... What Species?

Date: Tue Jun 5 19:03:16 2001
Posted By: Clare Williams, Undergraduate, Environmental Biology Bsc, Reading University
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 991686406.Zo

hi Thomas,
As part of my degree I have done a course on spider biology. It is very 
difficult to identify spiders just by their webs or description. some 
species can only be identified from their genitalia. It is not true that 
all spiders are solitary animals. When they emerge from their egg cocoons 
as spiderlings they often live together before dispersing. some species 
are social and recently scientists have begun investigating how far this 
social system works. The spiders do not take on individual tasks such as 
in the eusocial systems of ants and bees but they have a cooperative 
system where all the individuals work together to build the web, capture 
prey etc. I have had some experience in identifying british spider species 
but I cannot help you with californian ones. perhaps you could ask in your 
university or college if there are any arachnologists who will be able to 
Alternatively here are some web addresses that might be useful.

The arachnology home page lists lots of sites to do with spiders -
this site is more specific to california -

I also found the address of The American Arachnological Society=
American Arachnological Society, C/o Jon Reiskind, Department of Zoology, 
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 32611. 

Hope this is useful to you.
from clare williams

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