The dynamics of spiders present in abandoned Trinervitermes trinervoides (Sjöstedt) termite mounds were studied over a period of one year, from March 1999 to January 2000, with five mounds excavated on a bimonthly basis. All spiders present in the mound were collected by hand and preserved in 70% ethanol. A total of 771 spiders represented by 21 families and 82 species were collected from the 30 mounds during the course of the study. The most abundant were the Gnaphosidae, which represented 37.87% of all spiders collected, followed by the Salticidae (12.97%), Pholcidae (10.51%) and Oonopidae (9.60%). These were the only families that represented more than 5% of the spider fauna. The most abundant species were Zelotes fuligineus (Purcell 1907) (Gnaphosidae) (11.69%), Smeringopus sambesicus Kraus 1957 (Pholcidae) (10.51%), Heliophanus sp. (Salticidae) (9,86%) and a Gamasomorphinae sp. (Oonopidae) (9.21%). A correlation was found between spider abundance and mound height, surface perforation of the mound and season of collection. Spider numbers were highest in mounds with a high surface degradation, while a tendency existed for an increase in numbers with increased mound height. Web-building spiders (Pholcidae and Theridiidae) were largely limited to mounds with a cavity in the structure.
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