Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Food Webs (2019) 21: e00122.


Copyright 2019, Elsevier. Used by permission.


Spiders in the genus Tetragnatha feed on emerging aquatic insects, including mosquitoes and midges, but there is little known about the foraging behavior of these spiders. We hypothesized that female spiders actively developing egg sacs would increase food consumption to provide more energy to produce and provision their eggs. We tested this hypothesis by measuring foraging rates of Tetragnatha spiders kept in jars and provisioned with different levels of midges. We then tested for a difference in the functional response of spiders that did or did not lay egg sacs in their jars. Egg-laying and non-egg-laying spiders showed significantly different functional responses, indicating that Tetragnatha spiders can change their behavior or web structure to increase their foraging rate, presumably to accommodate increased energy demand for reproduction.