Some species of web building spiders use different capture tactics for different prey types. The main factors influencing the attack behaviour are the ability of the insect to escape, the risks of injury to the spiders and prey size. This study evaluated the effects of size and prey type on prey capture behaviour of the social spider Anelosimus eximius as influenced by the number of spiders attracted by prey movements that did not bite until the immobilization (bystanders) and the number of spiders that contributed to prey immobilization (catchers). We carried out a two-factor (prey size and type) experiment offering prey belonging to four orders: Diptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and Orthoptera, in a size gradient within each prey type. Both factors influenced the number of spiders recruited as bystanders, but only prey body size influenced the number of catchers in the subduing process. The possible advantages of the presence of bystanders around the interception site are discussed.