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Spiderwebs reflect UV to attract prey

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
So spiderwebs reflect UV. That is shown in your picture. What the picture does not show is whether a web which would not reflect UV would attract less preys.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So spiderwebs reflect UV. That is shown in your picture. What the picture does not show is whether a web which would not reflect UV would attract less preys.
Jerome,

When UV reflecting spiders are small it’s likely that UV reflectivity of the web could very well protect it by camouflage.

But “attracting insects” seems worthy of bringing in other supportive evidence no so far mentioned.

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I don't have to, it has been published here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232692128_Ultraviolet_reflectance_of_spiders_and_their_webs and my interest was to see if I could prove that....
Thank you for the citation. The following passage may be of particular interest as to the role of UV reflectance of spider webs:

Bird vision is more similar to that of humans, but it often—like that of insects—extends into the UV (Finger & Burkhardt 1994).Consequently, stabilimenta are probably quiteconspicuous to birds. Since birds are only rarely the prey of spiders, it may be concluded that the main function of stabilimentum is probably deterrence against birds, rather than attraction of prey; thus confirming the studies of e.g., Lubin (1975), Horton (1980), Eisner & Nowicki (1983), Schoener & Spiller (1992) and Blackledge & Wenzel (1999). However, before any final conclusions can be drawn, much more must be learned about the way different potential prey and predators perceive spiders and their webs.
 
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