Diel and seasonal activity of ground dwelling spiders (Araneae) in a sandy grassland habitat


Abstract: The paper concerns the diel and seasonal activity of ground dwelling spiders on a sandy grassland in the Bug River Valley in East-Central Poland. The spiders were captured using pitfall traps in 2009 and 2010 from May to July. The material was collected one day a week, day and night. Traps were checked every 3 h, eight times a day. It was found that for spiders with larger bodies, from the families Lycosidae and Philodromidae, the peak of their activity was in the afternoon, and smaller spiders belonging to the families Linyphiidae and Tetragnathidae showed the greatest activity in the morning. Species Pardosa palustris and Xerolycosa miniata were dominant spiders of the studied grassland. The time of their highest diel activity was different by several hours. It was observed that P. palustris individuals were more numerous in that habitat in early June and X. miniata spiders from mid-June. Spiders of the dominant family Lycosidae were in the highest numbers in the second half of May and in early June, while most of the spiders of other families were captured before or after the period of prevailing presence of dominant spiders.

Keywords: pecies competition, cooccurrence, Xerolycosa miniata, Pardosa palustris

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