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Submitted by fmillanaj on Fri, 12/07/2018 - 10:20

The aim of this study was to determine if there is a relationship present between the body weight of spiders and silk thickness, as well as to determine the relationship between weight and thickness among various species of spiders (Pholcus phalangioides, Araneus diadematus, Nephila edulis, Latrodectus mactans, and Euprosthenops sp). We hypothesized that spider silk thickness would increase with the weight of a spider.

Exploring the various factors that contribute to differences in spider web characteristics, such as thickness, could help us learn more about the factors that contribute to their high elasticity and can be useful for the material engineering of a material that is both strong and soft. The diameter of the web is important because it provides some clue as to what the spider uses the web for. There is some variation in spider silk diameters, as well as the mechanical characterization of silk (Blackledge et. al. 2005).

In this study, three spiders were weighed at the beginning of the experiment and they spun webs for 3 days after being weighed to allow for the production of a sufficient amount of silk. After the third day, the thickness of an individual strand of silk from each web was measured using a microscope and micrometre. The measurements of weight and silk thickness were compared to data retrieved from another study (Shao, Z. Vollrath, F. 1999), in which the same variables were measured under similar conditions to determine if a relationship existed between weight and silk thickness.

The conclusions reached as a result of this experiment is that there is a negative relationship in the spider weight-silk diameter of Pholcus phalangioides. However, out data has a wide range of data and may not be conclusive. According to measurement results retrieved from another article for (Araneus diadematus, Nephila edulis, Latrodectus mactans, and Euprosthenops sp), these spiders do not have a clear pattern between weight and silk thickness. This suggests that there is no correlation between the weight of a spider and the thickness of the silk.