A Stochastic Simulation Model for Anelosimus Studiosus During Prey Capture: A Case Study for Determination of Optimal Spacing

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In this paper, we develop a stochastic differential equation model to simulate the movement of a social/subsocial spider species, Anelosimus studiosus, during prey capture using experimental data collected in a structured environment. In a subsocial species, females and their maturing offspring share a web and cooperate in web maintenance and prey capture. Furthermore, observations indicate these colonies change their positioning throughout the day, clustered during certain times of the day while spaced out at other times. One key question was whether or not the spiders spaced out "optimally" to cooperate in prey capture. In this paper, we first show the derivation of the model where experimental data is used to determine key parameters within the model. We then use this model to test the success of prey capture under a variety of different spatial configurations for varying colony sizes to determine the best spatial configuration for prey capture.