Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Efecto del tamaño de la colonia en la estructura por edades y el comportamiento de Metabus gravidus (Araneidae) en el Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde


Laura Peterson



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Publication Date

May 2007


Metabus gravidus are semi-social orb-weaving spiders living in colonies of up to 70 individuals over slow moving water. Buskirk (1975a) found that the time budget of spider behaviors differs within colonies of various sizes. I recorded the frequency and time spent on orb maintenance, aggressive behavior, spider displacement, and prey capture for spiders of varying sizes. Spider and web sizes were measured and then I observed 21 spiders of each size for an hour to record the time and frequency of the four behaviors. In the twenty-four colonies studied, small spiders were more abundant. Small colonies had a greater number of small spiders and large colonies contained more large spiders. Length of behavior did not correspond with spider size in small, medium, or large colonies, but the frequencies show behavioral trends. A higher frequency of aggressive behavior was found in large spiders and a higher count for maintenance was found in small spiders. It is possible that small spiders are deterred from dispersing to large colonies with a greater number of large spiders because an increase of spider size correlates with an increase in aggressive behavior (Buskirk 1975a). Metabus gravidus es una araña tejedora de orbe que posee un comportamiento semi-social que vive en colonias de hasta 70 individuos sobre el agua de movimiento lento. Buskirk (1975a) encontró que los comportamientos de las arañas difieren en las colonias de diferentes tamaños. Registré la frecuencia y el tiempo dedicado al mantenimiento de la telaraña, el comportamiento agresivo, el desplazamiento de la araña, y la captura de presas para las arañas de diferentes tamaños.


Spiders--Behavior, Arañas--Comportamiento, Orb weavers, Tejedores de orbe, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Monteverde, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Monteverde, CIEE Spring 2007, CIEE Primavera 2007


Student affiliation : Department of Geography, Northern Michigan University Born Digital

Subject: topical

Spiders--Behavior; Arañas--Comportamiento; Orb weavers; Tejedores de orbe; CIEE Spring 2007; CIEE Primavera 2007

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Monteverde; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Monteverde



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Effect of colony size on age structure and behavior of Metabus gravidus (Araneidae)  in the Monteverde Cloud Forest



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