For reprints, visit            ResearchGate     or        Google Scholar

REFEREED PUBLICATIONS: *most significant contributions; U = undergrad; G = grad; P = postdoc.

2019 – 2020

Haberkern, A. G, P. Fernandez-Fournier, and L. Avilés. 2020. Spinning in the rain: interactions between spider web morphology and microhabitat use. Biotropica, in press. DOI: 10.1111/btp.12752   Journal link       in the news

Camacho, L.G and Avilés. 2019. Decreasing predator density and activity explain declining predation rates along elevational gradients. Am Nat, 194: 334-343. DOI: 10.1086/704279.  Journal link


Robertson, M.GAvilés, L. 2018. Rain, predators, and vegetation lushness may structure web-building spider communities along precipitation gradients. Ecological Entomology. In press. Graphical abstract ResearchGate Journal link

Fernandez-Fournier PG, Straus SG, Sharpe RVG & Avilés L. 2018. Behavioral modification of a social spider by a parasitoid wasp. Ecological Entomology. In Press. Graphical abstract ResearchGate Journal link

*Straus S, & Avilés, L. 2018. Effects of host colony size and hygiene behaviors on social spider kleptoparasite loads along an elevation gradient. Functional Ecology. 10.1111/1365‐2435.13225. Plain language summary ResearchGate Journal link

Harwood GG, &  Avilés, L. 2018. The shortfall of sociality: how group living affects hunting performance of individual social spiders. Behavioral Ecology. In press. Journal link

*Fernandez-Fournier, P.G, Guevara, J.P, Hoffman, C. & L. Avilés. 2018. Trait overdispersion and the role of sociality in the assembly of social spider communities across the Americas. PNAS. 201721464. ResearchGate Journal link

Fernandez-Fournier PG, Avilés, L. 2018. Environmental filtering and dispersal as drivers of metacommunity composition: Complex spider webs as habitat patches. Ecosphere. 9(2): e2101. ResearchGate Journal link

Lichenstein, JLL., Kamath, A., Bengston, SE., Avilés, L., & Pruitt, JN. 2018. Female-biased sex ratios increase colony survival and reproductive output in the spider Anelosimus studiosus. The American Naturalist. 143: 155- 165. ResearchGate Journal link

Ludwig, L., Barbour, M., Guevara, J. P, Avilés, L., &, Gonzalez, A. 2018. Caught in the web: spider web architecture affect prey specialization and spider prey stoichiometric relationships. Ecology and Evolution. 8: 6449–6462. ResearchGate Journal link PDF

Straus, S.G & Avilés, L. 2018. Estimating consumable biomass from body length and order in insects and spiders. Ecological Entomology. 43: 69-75. ResearchGate Journal link


Pruitt, J. a& Avilés L. 2017. Social spiders: Mildly successful social animals with much untapped research potential. Animal Behavior Online version 14 Sep 2017 ResearchGate Journal link

Avilés, L. & GuevaraP, J. 2017. Sociality in Spiders. Pp. 188-223, in Rubenstein DR and P Abbot, eds. “Comparative Social Evolution”. Cambridge University Press (invited and peer reviewed) ResearchGate Publisher link

* Hoffman, C.RG. & Avilés, L. 2017. Rain, predators, and spider sociality: a manipulative experiment. Behavioral Ecology 28:589-596. ResearchGate Journal link


Sharpe, R.V. & Avilés, L. 2016. Prey size and scramble vs. contest competition in a social spider: implications for population dynamics. Journal of Animal Ecology 85:1401-1410. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12559. ResearchGate

Guevara, JGAvilés, L. 2015. Ecological predictors of spider sociality in the Americas. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24: 1181-1191. ResearchGate

Hart, E.M. P & Avilés, L. 2014. Reconstructing local population dynamics in noisy metapopulations—the role of catastrophes and Allee effects. PLoS ONE, vol 9, doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0110049. ResearchGate

Harwood, G. G & Avilés, L. 2013. Differences in group size and the extent of individual participation in group hunting may contribute to differential prey-size use among social spiders. Biology Letters, 9: 3-7. ResearchGate

Samuk, K. G & Avilés, L. 2013. Indiscriminate care of offspring predates the evolution of sociality in alloparenting social spiders. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 67: 1275-1284. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Agnarsson, I.P, Avilés, L, & W.P. Maddison.  2013. Loss of genetic variability in social spiders: genetic and phylogenetic consequences of population subdivision and inbreeding. J Evol Biol, 26: 27-37. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12022. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Guevara, JG. &  Avilés, L.  2013. Community-wide body size differences between diurnal and nocturnal insects. Ecology, 94: 537-543. Google Scholar ResearchGate


Avilés, L. & Harwood, GG2012. A quantitative index of sociality and its application to group-living spiders and other social organisms. Ethology 118: 1219-1229.  DOI: 10.1111/eth.12028 Google Scholar ResearchGate

Purcell, J.G, Brelsford, AG, & Avilés, L. 2012. Co-evolution between sociality and dispersal: the role of synergistic cooperation benefits.  J Theor Biol, 312: 44-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.07.016 Google Scholar ResearchGate

Pruitt, J.N.G, Oufiero, C.E., Avilés, L., & S.E. Riechert.  2012.  Iterative evolution of increased behavioral variation characterizes the transition to sociality in spiders and proves advantageous.  Am. Nat., 180: 496-510.  DOI: 10.1086/667576 Google Scholar ResearchGate

Corcobado, G.G, Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Moya-Laraño, J. & L. Avilés. 2012. Sociality level correlates with dispersal ability in spiders. Functional Ecology, 26: 794-803. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2012.01996.x Google Scholar

* Avilés, L. & Purcel, J G2012. The evolution of inbred social systems in spiders and other organisms: From short-term gains to long term evolutionary dead-ends?  Invited synthesis paper, Advances in the Study of Behavior, 44: 99-133.  DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394288-3.00003-4. Google Scholar   Research Gate

Purcell, J.G, Vasconcellos-Netto, J., Gonzaga, J M., Fletcher, J.,  & Avilés, L. 2012. Spatio-Temporal differentiation and sociality in spiders. PLOS ONE, 7: 4, e34592   DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034592. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Pruitt, J.N. G, Iturralde, G. U, Riechert, S. E., & Avilés, L2011. Amazonian social spiders share similar within-colony behavioural variation and behavioural syndromes.  Animal Behaviour, 82: 1449-1455. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Samuk, K. G, LeDue, E. U & Avilés, L2011. Sister clade comparison reveal reduced maternal care behavior in social cobweb spiders.  Behavioral Ecology, 23: 35-43. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arr146 Google Scholar

* Guevara, J. GAvilés, L2011.  Influence of body size and level of cooperation on the prey capture efficiency of two sympatric social spiders exhibiting an included niche pattern. Functional Ecology, 25: 859-867. Google Scholar ResearchGate

* Guevara, J. G, Gonzaga, M., Vasconcellos-Netto, J. & Avilés, L2011. Sociality and resource use: Insights from a community of social spiders in Brazil. Behavioural Ecology, 22: 630-638. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L. & Purcell, J G2011. Anelosimus oritoyacu, a cloud forest social spider with only slightly female-biased primary sex ratios.  Journal of Arachnology, 39:178–182. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Salomon, M. P, Sponarski, C. U, Larocque, A. U, & Avilés, L2010.  Social organization of the colonial spider Leucage sp. in the Neotropics: vertical stratification within colonies. Journal of Arachnology 38: 446 – 451. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Van Veelen, M., García, J., & Avilés, L2010. It takes grouping and cooperation to evolve sociality. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 264: 1240-1253. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Agnarsson, I.P, Maddison, W., & Avilés, L. 2010. Complete separation along matrilines in a social spider metapopulation inferred from hypervariable mitochondrial DNA region.  Molecular Ecology, 19: 3052-3063. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Pruit, J.N., Riechert, SE., Iturralde, G.U, Vega, M. U, Fitzpatrick, B. M., & Avilés, L2010Population differences in behavior are explained by shared within-population trait correlations.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 748-756. Google Scholar ResearchGate

2007 – 2009

Guevara, J.GAvilés, L. 2009.  Elevational changes in the composition of insects and other terrestrial arthropods at tropical latitudes: a comparison of multiple sampling methods and social spider diets. Insect Conservation and Diversity 2: 142-152. Google Scholar ResearchGate

*Yip, E.CU, K.S. PowersG, &  Avilés, L. 2008. Cooperative capture of large prey solves scaling challenge faced by large spider societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105: 11818-11822. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Purcell, J.G & Avilés, L. 2008.  Gradients of precipitation and ant abundance may contribute to the altitudinal range limit of subsocial spiders. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 275: 2617-2625. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Bilde, T., K.S. Coates, K. Birkhofer, T. Bird, A. Maklakov, Y. Lubin, & Aviles, L2007. Survival benefits select for group living in a social spider despite reproductive costs.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20: 2412-2426. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L., Agnarsson, I.P, Salazar, P. G, Purcell, J.G, Iturralde, G.U, Yip, E. U, Powers, K.S.G, & Bukowski, T.P. 2007.  Altitudinal patterns of spider sociality and the biology of a new mid-elevation social Anelosimus species in Ecuador. The American Naturalist 170: 783–792. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Powers, K.S.G & Avilés, L2007.  The role of prey size and abundance in the geographical distribution of spider sociality.  Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 995-1003. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Guevara, J.U/G , & Avilés, L2007.  Multiple sampling techniques confirm differences in insect size between low and high elevations that may influence levels of sociality in spiders. Ecology 88: 2015-2033. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Purcell, J.G, & Avilés, L2007.  Smaller colonies and more solitary living mark higher elevation populations of a social spider.  Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 590-597. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Agnarsson, I.P, Maddison, W., & Avilés, L2007.  The phylogeny of the social Anelosimus spiders (Araneae: Theridiidae) inferred from six molecular loci and morphology.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43: 833-851. Google Scholar ResearchGate

2000 – 2006

Agnarsson, I.P, Avilés, L., Coddington, J., & Maddison, W.  2006.  Sociality in Theridiid spiders: repeated origins of an evolutionary dead end.  Evolution 60: 2342-2351. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L., Maddison, W., & Agnarsson, I.P2006. A new independently derived social spider with explosive colony proliferation and a female size dimorphism.  Biotropica, 36: 743-753.  Featured in Science Magazine Editor’s Choice, Dec 2006. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L. and Bukowski, T.P2006.  Group living and inbreeding depression in a subsocial spider. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: 270: 157-163. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Klein, B.G, Bukowski, T.P, and Avilés, L2005.  Male residency and mating patterns in a subsocial spider. Journal of Arachnology, 33: 703-710. Google Scholar ResearchGate

*Avilés, L., Fletcher, J.P, and Cutter, A.C. G2004.  The kin composition of social groups: Trading group size for degree of altruism. The American Naturalist 164: 132-144. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Powers, K.S.G and Avilés, L.  2003.  Natal dispersal patterns of a subsocial spider Anelosimus cf. jucundus (Theridiidae).  Ethology 109: 725-737. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Cutter, A.G, Avilés, L., and Ward, S.  2003.  The determinants of male frequency in C. elegans populations.  Genetical Research 81: 91-102. Google Scholar

*Avilés, L.  2002.  Solving the freeloaders paradox: Genetic associations and frequency dependent selection in the evolution of cooperation among nonrelatives. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 99(22):14268-14273. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Bukowski, T.P and Avilés, L.  2002.  Asynchronous maturation of the sexes may limit close inbreeding in a subsocial spider. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 193-198. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L., Abbot, P.G and Cutter, A.G2002.  Population ecology, nonlinear dynamics, and social evolution I: Associations among nonrelatives. The American Naturalist 159: 115-127. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L., Maddison, W., Salazar, P.U, Estévez, G.U, Tufiño, P.U and Cañas, G.U. 2001.  Social spiders of the Ecuadorian Amazonia, with notes on previously undescribed social species.  Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, 74 (3): 619-638. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Miller, D.P and L. Avilés.  2000.  Sex ratio and brood size in a monophagous outcrossing gall aphid, Tamalia coweni (Homoptera: Aphididae).  Evolutionary Ecology Research, 2: 745-759 Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L., J. McCormackU, A. CutterG, and T. BukowskiP. 2000.  Precise highly female-biased sex ratios in a social spider. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 267: 1445-1449. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L. 2000. Nomadic behaviour and colony fission in a cooperative spider: life history evolution at the level of the colony?  Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 70: 325-339. Google Scholar ResearchGate

prior to 2000

*Avilés, L.  1999.  Cooperation and non-linear dynamics: An ecological perspective on the evolution of sociality. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 1: 459-477. Google Scholar

Avilés, L., C. VarasG, and E. DyresonG1999.  Does the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola control the sex of individual offspring?  Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 46: 237-243. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L. and P. SalazarU1999.  Notes on the social structure, life cycle, and behavior of Anelosimus rupununiJournal of Arachnology 27: 497-502. Google Scholar ResearchGate

*Avilés, L. and P. TufiñoU1998.  Colony size and individual fitness in the social spider Anelosimus eximiusThe American Naturalist 152: 403-418.  Research Gate Google Scholar

Avilés, L.  1998.  Cooperation, non-linear dynamics and the levels of selection.  Interjournal on Complex Systems, ms. # 256. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L. and G. GelseyU1998.  Natal dispersal and demography of a subsocial Anelosimus species and its implications for the evolution of sociality in spiders.  Canadian Journal of Zoology 76: 2137-2147. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Rowell, D. and L. Avilés.  1995.  Sociality in a bark-dwelling  huntsman spider from Australia, Delena cancerides (Araneae: Sparassidae). Insectes Sociaux 42:287-302. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L. 1994.  Social behavior in a web building lynx spider, Tapinillus sp. (Araneae: Oxyopidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 51:163-176. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L.  1993.  Newly-discovered sociality in the neotropical spider Aebutina binotata Simon (Araneae, Dictynidae).  Journal of Arachnology 21:184-193. Google Scholar ResearchGate

*Avilés, L. 1993.  Interdemic selection and the sex ratio: a social spider perspective.  The American Naturalist 142:320-345. Google Scholar ResearchGate

Avilés, L. and W. Maddison.  1991.  When is the sex ratio biased in social spiders?: embryo and male meiosis chromosome studies in Anelosimus spp.  Journal of Arachnology 19:126-135. Google Scholar

Avilés, L. 1986. Sex-ratio bias and possible group selection in the social spider Anelosimus eximius.  The American Naturalist 128:1-12. Google Scholar ResearchGate