Eco-localization of a prey in a spider orb web Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2022

start page

  • 1229

end page

  • 1238


  • 11-12


  • 28

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1077-5463

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-2986


  • Orb web spiders locate the position of a perturbation in the web because of a prey impact through highly sensitive slit sensilla at the tip of their legs. Thus, the web serves as a self-made extension of its sensory space which transmits vibrations from the perturbation point to the spider location. These vibrations may contain the information required by the spider to rapidly identify the position where the prey has impacted and approach to it before it flies away. For axially symmetric orb webs supported at the boundary and for a spider which stays at the center of the web, it was shown that the knowledge of the transverse deflection time history at the eight spider legs, for a sufficiently large interval of time, contains enough information to localize the position of the prey. In this article, we address the same inverse problem of localization of the prey, but we suppose that the spider knows only a small number of selected information of the transverse displacement, such as, for example, the maxima of the response of the time history at the eight control points. We show how this reduced information still allows the spider to obtain a fairly accurate angular localization of the prey, for different prey and orb web characteristics.


  • Materials science and engineering


  • inverse problems; identification of sources; spider orb web; vibration; membrane