Economies of scale shape energetics of solitary and group living spiders and their webs

Samantha Straus, Angélica Gonzalez, Philip Matthews & Leticia Avilés
Metabolic scaling, whereby larger individuals use less energy per unit mass than smaller ones, may apply to the combined metabolic rate of group-living organisms as group size increases. Spiders that form groups in high disturbance environments can serve to test the hypothesis that economies of scale benefit social groups. Using solitary and group-living spiders, we tested the hypothesis that spiders exhibit negative allometry between body or colony mass and the standing mass of their webs...
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