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Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2000) 70: 325339. With 3 figures doi:10.1006/bijl.1999.0384, available online at http://idealibrary.com on
 

Summary: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2000) 70: 325­339. With 3 figures
doi:10.1006/bijl.1999.0384, available online at http://idealibrary.com on
Nomadic behaviour and colony fission in a
cooperative spider: life history evolution at the
level of the colony?
LETICIA AVILE´S
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721,
U.S.A.
Received 1 December 1998; accepted for publication 5 July 1999
The concept of colony-level life history evolution is introduced for the cooperative spiders
by describing the life cycle and demography of Aebutina binotata (Araneae: Dictynidae), a
species living in groups containing up to several dozen adult females plus their offspring. In
a life cycle remarkably similar to that of army ants, the colonies of A. binotata were found to
reproduce by fission and to alternate nomadic and sedentary phases in tight association with
their internal demography. Colonies of other cooperative spiders, on the other hand, remain
stationary as they grow for a number of generations before producing propagules that are
relatively small subsets of the maternal colony. It is suggested that A. binotata's peculiar life
cycle may have unfolded as a consequence of the two-dimensional architecture of its nests.
Expanding two-dimensional nests may fragment more easily than the three-dimensional nests
characteristic of other species. A long distance group migration or nomadic phase, described

  

Source: Avilés, Leticia - Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology