Argiope bruennichi, stabilimentum and recycling




All too often I walk down my garden without seeing many little neighbors of mine living down there.This Sunday was a sunny one and it was impossible not to see this working guy-Argiope bruennichi, spinning under hot sun(I say guy as females are much smaller). I took some pics immediately ,for at least three reasons.First ,look at his prey-isn’t he quiet a catcher? Second,look at white silk zig-zag pattern-it is interesting that it is still uncertain why spiders build stabilimenta. Third,so many people hate or are afraid of spiders-without reason(at rational level at least)!Fourth,this guy is actually recycling his silk web (have a look down here)!

Wasp spider
Argiope bruennichi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Argiope
Species: A. bruennichi
Binomial name
Argiope bruennichi
(Scopoli, 1772)The spider builds a spiral orb  web at dawn or dusk, commonly in long grass a little above ground level, taking it approximately an hour. The prominent zigzag shape called the  stabilimentum,  or web decoration, featured at the centre of the orb is of uncertain function, though it may be to attract insects.When a prey item is first caught in the web, Argiope bruennichi will quickly immobilise its prey by wrapping it in silk. The prey is then bitten and then injected with a paralysing  venom and a protein dissolving enzyme.From:

Originally the decorations were thought to stabilize the web (hence the term stabilimentum)[citation needed], though this theory has since been dismissed. One more recent theory is that web decorations attract prey by reflecting  ultraviolet light.[4] Light in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum is known to be attractive to many species of insects.[4]While the most conspicuous and well-studied decorations are constructed entirely of silk (for example in Argiope), some spiders combine silk with other items such as egg sacs and debris (for example in  Cyclosa).From :

Webs allow a spider to catch prey without having to expend energy by running it down. Thus it is an efficient method of gathering food. However, constructing the web is in itself an energetically costly process because of the large amount of protein required, in the form of silk. In addition, after a time the silk will lose its stickiness and thus become inefficient at capturing prey. It is common for spiders to eat their own web daily to recoup some of the energy used in spinning. The silk proteins are thus recycled.From

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