- Fachoereich Biologie, Philipps-Universität, Karl von Frisch Strasse, D-3550, Marburg/Lahn, Federal Republic of Germany
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.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ethologie animale
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics