By Friedrich G. Barth
Spiders are extraordinary creatures. Their various and complicated variety of habit and hugely built sensory structures are excellently tailored to the environmental stipulations - as is confirmed through their evolutionary luck. Over four hundred million years, spiders have constructed their sensory organs to a desirable technical perfection and complexity.
In his fascinating booklet, Professor Friedrich G. Barth places this technical perfection into the context of "biology", during which the interplay among setting and sensory organs and the selectivity of the senses as a hyperlink among surroundings and behaviour play an immense position.
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Extra resources for A Spider's World: Senses and Behavior
Peters and Pfreundt (1986) tried to correlate differences in the slit sense organs possessed by various spiders with differences in their modes of life. The result is not very impressive, because the similarity among spiders is considerably more striking than the difference. It did turn out that hunting spiders have slightly fewer slits in their lyriform organs than the web-building spiders that had previously been examined. However, no far-reaching interpretations of this finding are possible, especially since these authors did not include single slits and loose groups in their analysis.
According to Habermehl (1976) the species of five genera can be categorized as really dangerous to humans. They are responsible for several thousand spider-bite incidents each year, of which a few hundred end in death. This horror list comprises the following genera: • Latrodectus (Theridiidae), the black widows; their poison is neurotoxic and they live in North and South America, in Africa and also in the Mediterranean region, sometimes in large numbers. • Atrax (Dipluridae), which is limited to Australia.
5 a. 5 0. 9 C. salei Q 2 ......... 2 m tei. '. c. getaziQ C. gelazi cf 4 4 2 2 ~ ~ ............ Time [h) Fig. 4a-f. Daily locomotor activity patterns of adult males and females of Cupiennius salei, C. coccineus, and C. getazi (in all cases n =10); mean (thick line) and standard error (thin line, only lower limits shown). Horizontal lines indicate SOo/o values of activity and the shaded areas the time periods of maximum activity.