Agelenids of the World

Systematics and Taxonomy of Agelenidae, a Worldwide distributed Spider Family

Spatial and temporal distribution patterns of Agelena labyrinthica (Clerck, 1757) webs (Agelenidae) in an unfertilized, calcareous grassland in the Swiss Jura mountains

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1998
Authors:S. Ledergerber, Baur B.
Journal:Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft
Date Published:1998
ISBN Number:0036-7575
Keywords:[Switzerland / / Jura mountains, & site tenacity] [Webs / / Spatial distribution, Agelena labyrinthica (Araneae)., Agelena labyrinthica [Population density / / temporal patterns, Animal constructions, calcareous grassland] [Distribution within habitat / / Web distribution, density, density & size], Ecology, Eurasia, Europe, Habitat, Land zones, maintenance] [Grassland / / Web distribution, Palaearctic region, Population dynamics, size &, Terrestrial, Vicques].

The spatial distribution, density and size of sheet-funnel webs of the spider Agelena labyrinthica (CLERCK, 1757) were examined in a nutrient-poor, calcareous grassland in the Northwestern Swiss Jura mountains over a period of four years (1993-1996). Individuals of A. labyrinthica are known for their high web-site tenacity. Webs of A. labyrinthica showed an aggregated dispersion pattern. Web density was significantly higher in 1993 (0.23 webs/ml) than in the three succeeding years (0.06, 0.07 and 0.05 webs/m2). In each year there was a pronounced spatial heterogeneity of web density in the grassland examined. There was also a considerable variability in web size (area of the horizontal sheet) within and between years (range of yearly mean values: 50.2-96.8 cm2). However, web size was not affected by web density. After successful hibernation spiderlings frequently chose the same positions for web construction as did spiders of the parent generation in the preceding year. This indicates that certain spots in the grassland might be particularly suitable for webs of A. labyrinthica.

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