“Spiders customise webs based on diet”, Australian Geographic, March 19, 2015.
‘The findings indicate that spiders adjust the type of webs they spin to adapt to what food source is around. If there are more flies, for example, spiders don’t seem to waste the extra energy needed to build stronger, stickier webs.
Alternatively, spiders may actually be targeting crickets or spiders, depending on their energy needs.
“It’s possible that there is an enforced compromise where protein intake limits the web they can build,” says Sean. “On the other hand, it could be a foraging strategy to try to catch certain types of prey.”
Associate Professor Marie Herberstein from Macquarie University, an expert on spider behaviour and evolution, says that this new research provides insight into spider web evolution.
“Major changes in the nutritional landscape of spiders (e.g. the loss of a major prey group or the introduction of a new prey group) may lead to the evolution of new webs and silks,” says Marie.’