During the last two decades a great number of studies dealing with arctic and boreal spiders have been published, both in the Palaearctic and the Nearctic. Such an increase in information makes it possible to analyze basic patterns of spider diversity in the North as well as to show areas where further studies are still necessary. The number of species found in faunas of larger areas north of 60°N varies from 620 (Finland) to 250 (Polar Urals) and 300 (Yukon), when island faunas are excluded. Two areas, divided by the Bering Strait, Northeastern Siberia and north-western North America have marked proportion of endemic taxa (ca. 8 %) belonging to several spider families. Considerable number of endemic spiders are known also in Middle Siberia. The number of spiders in local faunas of the boreal zone varies around 300 species. Study of species composition in more than 20 local northern faunas reveals that proportion of Lycosidae species in each local fauna varies in smallest range (7–12 % of all species found) in comparison to other families. Thus Lycosidae can be used as an indicator group of general species diversity of spiders in local faunas.
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