Several species of spiders construct conspicuous and elaborate 'decorative' features in their webs. The features are termed 'stabilimenta' - incorrectly, since they are now known that they are not related to structural stability.
The practice is thought to have evolved via (at least) nine different evolutionary routes.
Many different ideas have been put forward to try to explain their seemingly enigmatic purpose - given that the decoration might alert some prey to the presence of the web. Some recent research has suggested that the decorations might actually reduce the number of captured insects (see: Behavioral Ecology, Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 372–376) - though it might also prevent larger animals (e.g. birds) from accidentally destroying the web.
Further info (with photos) Wikipedia
Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.
If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !
Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.
( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)
You are currently viewing an auto-translated version of Wikenigma
Please be aware that no automatic translation engines are 100% accurate, and so the auto-translated content will very probably feature errors and omissions.
Nevertheless, Wikenigma hopes that the translated content will help to attract a wider global audience.