Morphological adaptation of the calamistrum to the cribellate spinning process in Deinopoidae (Uloboridae, Deinopidae)
Sprache des Titels:
Spiders are famous for their silk with fascinating mechanical properties. However, some can further produce, process and handle nano fibres, which are used as capture threads. These ?cribellate spiders? bear a specialized setae comb on their metatarsus (calamistrum), which modifies cribellate nano fibres to assemble a puffy structure within the capture thread. Among different species, the calamistrum morphology can differ remarkably. Although a model of thread production has been established for Uloborus plumipes, it is not resolved if/how different shaped calamistra influence the production process. We were able to transfer the model without restrictions to spiders with different shaped calamistra. Fibres are not locked between setae but are passing across a rather smooth surface-like area on the calamistrum. This area can be relocated, explaining the first morphological difference between calamistra, without changing the influence of the calamistrum on fibres. By performing an elongated leg movement, contact between fibres and calamistrum could be adjusted after finishing thread production. This movement has to bring the thread in contact with the second morphological peculiarity: cribellate teeth. We suggest these teeth are used to handle the thread independently of the spinnerets, a feature only necessary for spiders, which do not move during web construction.