Agelenids of the World

Systematics and Taxonomy of Agelenidae, a Worldwide distributed Spider Family

Ecology of spiders inhabiting abandoned mines mammal burrows in South African savanna

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1988
Authors:C. Heidger
Journal:Oecologia (Berlin)
Date Published:1988
ISBN Number:0029-8549
Keywords:[Distribution within habitat / / Space requirements] [Habitat, [Transvaal / / Nylsvley Nature Reserve]., / / Mammalia, / Abandoned mammalian burrows] [Distribution within habitat / / Space, abandoned mammalian, Africa, Agelena ocellata (Araneae): [Predator]., Agelena ocellata [Diet / / Arthropod prey records, Animal constructions, arachnid, Araneae (Arachnida)., Araneae [Community structure / / Abandoned mammalian burrows, Associations, brantsi [Nest and burrow fauna / / Araneae (Arachnida), burrows] [Prey / / Arthropoda, colonization / / Artificial mammalian burrows] [Grassland / / ecology, community, Diet, Ecology, Ecology in abandoned burrows, Ecology in abandoned burrows] [Population density / / ], ecology] [Grassland / / arachnid ecology in abandoned burrows], Euprosthenops proximus, Euprosthenops proximus (Araneae)., Habitat, in abandoned mammalian burrows] [Transvaal / / Nylsvley Nature, Land, Mammalia, Mammalia (Vertebrata)., Mammalia [Nest and burrow fauna / / Araneae (Arachnida), Nutrition, Orycteropus afer, Orycteropus afer (Orycteropodidae)., Pedetes capensis, Pedetes capensis (Pedetidae)., Phacochoerus aethiopicus, Phacochoerus aethiopicus (Suidae)., Population dynamics, Records, requirements] [Grassland / / ecology in abandoned mammalian burrows], Reserve]., savanna, savanna] [Burrows / / Abandoned, savanna] [Nest and burrow fauna, savanna] [Population density /, Smeringopus pallidus (Araneae)., Smeringopus pallidus [Nest and burrow fauna / /, South Africa, Tatera, Tatera brantsi (Muridae)., Terrestrial habitat, Transvaal]., utilization, zones

In the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, in the South African savanna, the spider community in 320 abandoned mammal burrows was investigated. Three species, Agelena ocellata (Agelenidae), Euprosthenops proximus (Pisauridae) and Smeringopus pallidus (Pholcidae), coexisted in the burrows. The number of individuals and the number of species inhabiting the burrows increased with burrow size. Gerbil burrows were apparently too small to provide space for more than one individual of any of the three species. Only the burrows of springhares, warthogs, and antbears contained more than one spider. When artificial burrows were provided a rapid increase in settlement resulted. Competition for space therefore seems to be the determining factor influencing the population size. A relatively low number of prey items (136, in 119 webs) were found in agelenid webs only. Kleptoparasitic ants were observed stealing prey items from the webs.

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