Sociality in spiders
Sozialisation bei Spinnen
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Social living in adult spiders is extremely rare, occurring in less than 0.1% of about 30 000 living spider species. However, within the eresid spider genus Stegodyphus sociality evolved three times independently. We therefore studied African Stegodyphus species in the field in East and South Africa as well as in the laboratory to analyze the proximate mechanisms how sociality evolved, and the ultimate consequences why sociality is phylogenetically preserved.
Semi-adult colony members of Stegodyphus dumicola attacking a large hymenopteran    © Seibt
The Genus Stegodyphus (Eresidae) comprises 17 species, forming three species groups (africanus, mirandus, dufouri). Each species group evolved one social species that has one solitary sister species.

© Seibt & Wickler