Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas C. Jones

Committee Members

Darrell Moore, Karl Joplin


This study examines locomotor activity in samples of Frontinella pyramitela collected over its active season (April-October) to investigate whether seasonality and/or age may help explain the exceptional variability typically found in spider clock systems. Despite its noteworthy variability (%CV= 7.7), we have found that Frontinella has a mean free-running period of 28.4±2.18 hours that does not significantly vary over time. There is no correlation between day length and free-running period, indicating that varying length of FRP is not a function of photoperiod length. In LD 12:12 h, the window of activity is significantly smaller in April, gradually widening as the season continues, which may be evident of a shift in foraging strategy. Frontinella’s clock appears to mature before its entrainment mechanisms are fully developed, and towards the end of its season, there is strong evidence of circadian misalignment which may be a product of physiological age.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Biology Commons