Detritus decorations as the extended phenotype deflect avian predator attack increasing fitness in an orb‐web spider

Nina Ma, Long Yu, Deyong Gong, Zeyuan Hua, Hua Zeng, Luyao Chen, Aijia Mao, Zhizhao Chen, Ruxing Cai, Yubing Ma, Zengtao Zhang, DQ Li, Jing Luo & Shichang Zhang
A number of strategies that divert attacks of visually guided predators, such as birds, have evolved multiple times in animals. Detritus web decorations built by certain orb-web spider species are thought to deflect avian predator attacks away from spiders and towards their web decorations. Still, empirical evidence for this function and its adaptive significance is lacking. The orb-web spider, Cyclosa monticola, adorns its web using a linear detritus decoration consisting of moults, egg sacs, prey...
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