Even these solo operators probably have their own personalities, but for comparison, researchers Grinsted, Jonathan Pruitt, Virginia Settepani and Trine Bilde looked at S. sarasinorum female colony members that work together to handle common tasks. Those include duties like prey capture, feeding, brood care and building and maintaining the silk nest and capture web.
These spiders are impressive when capturing prey, such as big grasshoppers or beetles, which are more than five times their size. The female spiders will often cooperate in subduing the victims in the web.
The first females to run out tended to be the biggest, but size had no influence on whether they would attack. The boldest spiders would tend to be the attackers.
"We do expect that shy spiders that do not help out in prey capture do specialize in other group activities, such as brood care," Grinsted said of the other females.
Genetics and environmental differences help to forge such personalities.
Pruitt, of the University of Pittsburgh, further suggested that personalities are more pronounced in social species, perhaps explaining why individuals among humans, dolphins, dogs, cats, parrots and other social animals behave in very distinctive ways.