Activity of The Orb-weaver

Thanks to the careful direct visual observations done by Pascoe, there are six categories of activity this spider was described with:

1.  He defined feeding as any spider in the process of wrapping, biting or consuming prey.

2.  A spider that was hunting was hanging upside down in the hub or center of their orb.

3.  A resting spider was defined as a spider found in a retreat which formed from leaves or those in hollows in the bark of the trunk or branches.

4.  Web constructing was defined as a spider tearing down an old orb, making a new orb or repairing an existing orb.

5.  Hanging was described as a spider dangling on a silk thread from a branch or trunk.

6.  A mating spider was defined as either a female spider having sexual intercourse or otherwise interacting with a mature male spider in her orb, or a male spider having sexual intercourse or waiting for the female at the edge of a female's orb.

Pest Control; A Stabilizing Factor

Spiders are natural enemies to the insects and pests that cause farmers trouble every year. Since reproduction for this species is one time per year, they do not display an extremely strong response to increased prey numbers. Due to this, the particular orb weaver plays more of a stabilizing agent in keeping insect populations down. This can be very beneficial to farmers as long as they also have a more effective way to keep their crops in great condition.


For whatever reason it is, the Neoscona oaxacensis is primarily a nocturnal creature, hiding in its retreat during the day (Pascoe 1980).  Since the orb-weavers' web is generally weaker than other web spinning arachnids, larger prey has an much higher chance of escape (Kerr, Quenga  2004). As this particular spider does not respond as quickly during the day this creates a sort of temporal niche for other spiders. Through personal observations of the spider outside of my own window, I had not seen this spider resting on its web during the day once. These checks were made infrequently and only over a three month period until the spider died around mid October. 

Web-invading spiders

Although rarely found in the rather flimsy web of the Neoscona, there will be Argyrodes argentatus spiders living in the web competing for food with the host and scavenging  off the smaller prey that go unnoticed. The unusual way of gathering food displayed by this web invading spider has earned them the nickname kleptoparasites. This creates direct interspecific competition between the two species (Kerr, Quenga 2004). Also noted in their study was that the Neoscona respond to the invaders by shortening their responses to catch prey  and by relocating their webs. Both of these species tend to inhabit edge areas such as forest gaps.

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