Mechanics and morphology of silk drawn from anesthetized spiders

Naturwissenschaften. 2000 Mar;87(3):148-53. doi: 10.1007/s001140050694.


CO2 and N2 anesthetized Nephila spiders produced dragline silk with mechanical properties that differed from control silk as a function of time under anesthesia. Silk from CO2 spiders had a significantly lower breaking strain and breaking energy, significantly higher initial modulus, and marginally lower breaking stress. At the onset of anesthesia the silk diameter became highly variable. During deep anesthesia silk either became thinner or retained cross-section but fibrillated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Insect Proteins / chemistry*
  • Insect Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Silk
  • Spiders*
  • Stress, Mechanical


  • Insect Proteins
  • Silk