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Resource availability, competition, and the web structure of western black widows

Cite this dataset

Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; Toupin, Louis-Philippe; Ratz, Tom (2022). Resource availability, competition, and the web structure of western black widows [Dataset]. Dryad.


This dataset originates from an experiment using black widow spiders (Latrodectus hesperus) originally collected from Davis, California, United-States and brought to the University of Arizona, where they were maintained under laboratory condition for 12 months. Spiders were then transferred to Pierre-Olivier Montiglio's laboratory in Montreal in Canada, where they were kept for a month prior to the experiment. During this time, spiders were housed in individual plastic containers (946 ml) at 23˚C ± 1.50 and 25 % humidity ± 8.94 with a photoperiod of 12h, and fed a single live house cricket (Acheta domesticus) every two weeks.

Spiders were then fed for 8 weeks either a cricket every three weeks (Restricted treatment), a cricket every two weeks (Intermediate treatment), or a cricket every week (Ad libitum treatment) for 8 weeks. Each spider experienced each of the three food treatments in an order that was randomly determined. At the end of each 8-week food treatment, spiders were left to weave a web for a week in an individual standardized cardboard frame (31 x 17 x 24 cm). For each session of web construction, we monitored the structure of the web (i.e., proportion of structural threads over trap threads), body weight loss, and web weight. See Toupin et al. 2022 in Behavioral Ecology for further information on the data and the experiment.

The experiment was designed and conducted by Louis-Philippe Toupin and Pierre-Olivier Montiglio. The data were organized and formatted for Dryad by Pierre-Olivier Montiglio.

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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council