The exoskeleton of spiders is the primary structure that interacts with the external mechanical stimuli, thus playing a crucial role in spider life. In particular, fangs, legs, and prosoma are the main rigid structures of the exoskeleton and their properties must be measured to better understand their mechanical behaviours. Here we investigate, by means of nanoindentation, the mechanical properties of the external sclerotized cuticles of such parts in the spider Harpactira curvipes. Interestingly, the results show that the leg’s cuticle is stifer than the prosoma and has a stifness similar to the one of the tip fangs. This could be explained by the legs’ function in perceiving vibrations that could be facilitated by higher stifness. From a broader perspective, this characterization could help to understand how the same basic material (the cuticle, i.e. mainly composed of chitin) can be tuned to achieve diferent mechanical functions, which improves the animal’s adaptation to specifc evolutive requirements. We, thus, hope that this work stimulates further comparative analysis. Moreover, these results may also be potentially important to inspire the design of graded materials with superior mechanical properties.

The mechanical characterization of the legs, fangs, and prosoma in the spider Harpactira curvipes (Pocock 1897) / Residori, Sara; Greco, Gabriele; Pugno, Nicola M.. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 12:1(2022), pp. 1-11. [10.1038/s41598-022-16307-y]

The mechanical characterization of the legs, fangs, and prosoma in the spider Harpactira curvipes (Pocock 1897)

Residori, Sara;Greco, Gabriele;Pugno, Nicola M.
2022

Abstract

The exoskeleton of spiders is the primary structure that interacts with the external mechanical stimuli, thus playing a crucial role in spider life. In particular, fangs, legs, and prosoma are the main rigid structures of the exoskeleton and their properties must be measured to better understand their mechanical behaviours. Here we investigate, by means of nanoindentation, the mechanical properties of the external sclerotized cuticles of such parts in the spider Harpactira curvipes. Interestingly, the results show that the leg’s cuticle is stifer than the prosoma and has a stifness similar to the one of the tip fangs. This could be explained by the legs’ function in perceiving vibrations that could be facilitated by higher stifness. From a broader perspective, this characterization could help to understand how the same basic material (the cuticle, i.e. mainly composed of chitin) can be tuned to achieve diferent mechanical functions, which improves the animal’s adaptation to specifc evolutive requirements. We, thus, hope that this work stimulates further comparative analysis. Moreover, these results may also be potentially important to inspire the design of graded materials with superior mechanical properties.
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Residori, Sara; Greco, Gabriele; Pugno, Nicola M.
The mechanical characterization of the legs, fangs, and prosoma in the spider Harpactira curvipes (Pocock 1897) / Residori, Sara; Greco, Gabriele; Pugno, Nicola M.. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 12:1(2022), pp. 1-11. [10.1038/s41598-022-16307-y]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/351661
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