Microhabitat selection in the sand recluse spider (Sicarius thomisoides): the effect of rock size and temperature
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In spiders, temperature is considered an important environmental variable for microhabitat selection. In this study, we evaluated the effect of temperature and rock size on the presence of the sand recluse spider Sicarius thomisoides and the degree of selectivity in different locations. This species is a large spider that lives under rocks in desert and semi-desert climates and is particularly active during the summer. In Chile, these spiders can be found at both coastal and inland locations under different thermal conditions, where usually the temperatures are lower near the coast. If large-scale climatic conditions are important for this species, they may be expected to select lower rock temperatures on the coast than at inland locations. In addition, we would expect that the spiders would choose larger rocks in inland compared to coast locations, which reduce the effect of high temperatures. We found that the probability of finding individuals of this species increased according to rock temperature and rock size in the field. Our results suggest that S. thomisoides prefers larger and warmer rocks to shelter under during the day, this selectivity being similar at both coastal and inland locations. Thus, this species tends to select rocks with the same thermal and structural conditions, independent of the climatic conditions.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Cita del ítemJournal of Natural History, 51(37-38): 2199-2210
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