Document Type

Peer-Review Article


We determined the effects of chronic heat stress on web construction of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Araneae: Theridiidae) by measuring the survival and web mass of specimens after a 48-h period within a temperature chamber at 21, 30, 35, 40, or 50°C. The 21, 30 and 35°C treatments had the highest mean survival rate (100%), the 50°C treatment had the lowest (0%), and the 40°C treatment was intermediate (58%). The 21, 30, and 35°C treatments had the highest mean web mass, and the 40 and 50°C treatments had the lowest. Web mass did not correlate with spider mass for specimens across all temperature treatments. While acclimation temperature and humidity fluctuated throughout the 3 weeks of the study, neither variable affected web mass. This study demonstrates the sublethal effect of temperature on web construction, an effect that would ultimately be lethal in nature if a spider was unable to construct its web.

Included in

Entomology Commons



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