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Free‑standing spider silk webs of the thomisid Saccodomus formivorus are made of composites comprising micro- and submicron fibers

Title data

Haynl, Christian ; Vongsvivut, Jitraporn ; Mayer, Kai R. H. ; Bargel, Hendrik ; Neubauer, Vanessa J. ; Tobin, Mark J. ; Elgar, Mark A. ; Scheibel, Thomas:
Free‑standing spider silk webs of the thomisid Saccodomus formivorus are made of composites comprising micro- and submicron fibers.
In: Scientific Reports. Vol. 10 (19 October 2020) . - No. 17624.
ISSN 2045-2322
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74469-z

Official URL: Volltext

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Abstract in another language

Our understanding of the extraordinary mechanical and physico-chemical properties of spider silk is largely confined to the fibers produced by orb-weaving spiders, despite the diversity of foraging webs that occur across numerous spider families. Crab spiders (Thomisidae) are described as ambush predators that do not build webs, but nevertheless use silk for draglines, egg cases and assembling leaf-nests. A little-known exception is the Australian thomisid Saccodomus formivorus, which constructs a basket-like silk web of extraordinary dimensional stability and structural integrity that facilitates the capture of its ant prey. We examined the physical and chemical properties of this unusual web and revealed that the web threads comprise microfibers that are embedded within a biopolymeric matrix containing additionally longitudinally-oriented submicron fibers. We showed that the micro- and submicron fibers differ in their chemical composition and that the web threads show a remarkable lateral resilience compared with that of the major ampullate silk of a well-investigated orb weaver. Our novel analyses of these unusual web and silk characteristics highlight how investigations of non-model species can broaden our understanding of silks and the evolution of foraging webs.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Biomaterials
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Biomaterials > Chair Biomaterials - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Polymer and Colloid Science
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Advanced Materials
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Molecular Biosciences
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Food and Health Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center for Material Science and Engineering - BayMAT
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2021 10:31
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2021 09:41
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/62592