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Abstract

One of the presumed benefits of sociality in spiders is an improved foraging success although it has been shown that group feeding is less efficient than feeding alone. In spiders, communal feeding only occurs amongst kin. The effects of relatedness on the consequences of group feeding were investigated in the subsocial spider Stegodyphus lineatus. A significant difference between short-term intake rates and long-term growth rates was shown in a comparison between groups of siblings and groups of non-siblings. Groups of siblings extracted more out of a prey item in a given time and they had higher growth rates than groups of non-siblings.