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Henschel, J.R. 1997. Psammophily in Namib Desert spiders. Journal of Arid Environments, 37(4): 695–707


Description:

Psammophily in Namib Desert spiders.

Summary / Notes:

A community of psammophilous spiders was studied in the central Namib Desert. Of 20 species, 85% were cursorial. Complex setae, claws or keels facilitate digging, sweeping, carrying, and swimming in or walking on sand, while long spigots enable spiders to bind sand with silk when burrowing down to depths with amenable microclimate (10–120 cm). Sand is excavated either by sweeping it up an incline or carrying it vertically up. Other characteristics of dune spiders were large size, polyphagy, low metabolism, longevity, brood care and seasonal foraging and breeding patterns. The large, dominant heteropodid, Leucorchestris, may determine many characteristics of the Namib arthropod community. Keywords: dune, sand-dwelling, burrow, silk application, functional morphology, community ecology.

Year: 1997

Type: Journal Article

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