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Data from: There’s no place like home: the contribution of direct and extended phenotypes on the expression of spider aggressiveness

Citation

Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; DiRienzo, Nicholas (2016), Data from: There’s no place like home: the contribution of direct and extended phenotypes on the expression of spider aggressiveness, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ng4b0

Abstract

Architectural constructions allow animals to modify their environment in order to improve their reproductive success. Constructions also modulate the expression of individual behavior, ultimately affecting the presence and importance of animal personality within populations. The exact impact of constructions on personality is seldom investigated. We quantified experimentally the impact of web characteristics on individual foraging behavior in the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus). We assayed aggressiveness toward a prey cue, and boldness while individuals resided on their own web versus after being translocated onto webs built by con-specifics. We quantified the importance of individual differences in aggressiveness and boldness while accounting for differences in web characteristics. We tested for relationships between web building, aggressiveness, and boldness. Web characteristics affected spider aggressiveness and interacted with individual web-building behavior to explain up to a fifth of the variation in foraging aggression, but did not affect spider boldness. Even after accounting for web characteristics, individuals still exhibited important differences in aggressiveness. We detected no relationship between an individual’s aggressiveness behavioral type and the characteristics of the web it built. Surprisingly, web characteristics impacted aggressiveness differently from one individual to the next. Hence the effect of web characteristics on foraging behavior might depend on condition or past experience. Webs contributed mostly to the variation in aggressiveness within-individuals. Variation in web building behavior might affect the amount of consistent differences in foraging, mating, and anti-predator behavior among individuals and needs to be accounted for when quantifying individual variation in behavior in spiders.

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