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A description and illustrations are provided for the theridiid spider Rugathodes sexpunctatus (Emerton, 1882), along with discussion of its current distribution, possible means of introduction, habitat, and ecology.
The theraphosid Nesiergus insulanus is a member of a genus endemic to the Seychelles archipelago. Very little is known about the finer-scale distribution, density, and total population size of the species, knowledge of which is essential for conservation purposes. We used transect sampling to estimate these variables on Frégate Island. We show that the species is widely distributed, but geographically restricted as a result of fragmentation due to human activity. Where found, densities can be very high (>100 m-2). The total population on the island was estimated to be well over 100,000, although limitations to dispersal ability may be of conservation concern.
We investigated the predation rates of three common jumping spiders (Salticidae) on mosquitoes (Culicidae) in Southeast Asia. We released mosquitoes from the genus Armigeres in a terrarium together with single predatory spiders for a period of approximately 24 hours. Predation rates differed among spider species and among sexes: mean predation rates (± SE) for Plexippus petersi were 6.0 (±0.8) mosquitoes per day for male spiders and 9.2 (±0.85) for female spiders. Male spiders of the species Plexippus paykulli consumed 4.3 (±1.2) mosquitoes per day and female spiders fed on 10.8 (±1.6) mosquitoes per day. For Menemerus bivittatus the predation rates were 2.7 (±1.3) and 4.7 (±2.3) mosquitoes per day for male and female spiders respectively. For all species, female spiders fed on significantly more mosquitoes than male spiders. Mosquito density positively affected predation rates, but this effect was small. The observed predation rates are high relative to estimates for other mosquito predators, leading to the conclusion that salticids, particularly Plexippus spp, have the potential to be valuable biological control agents for mosquitoes.
Theridion asopi n. sp. is described from Belgium, France and The Netherlands. This species closely resembles T. betteniWiehle, 1960 and T. mystaceum L. Koch, 1870. The spider is not rare in some areas in Belgium but it has been overlooked and misidentified as T. betteni or T. mystaceum in the past. Pictures of these three species, and of T. melanurumHahn, 1831, the fourth member of the so-called T. melanurum group in Belgium, are presented.
A complete, revised check list of British spiders is presented, with explanations for all changes made since the previous list provided by Merrett & Murphy (2000).
The following nine species are added to the list: Theridion hannoniae, Rugathodes sexpunctatus, Diplocephalus graecus, Mermessus trilobatus, Pardosa lugubris, Agroeca dentigera, Clubiona frutetorum, Sitticus distinguendus and Macaroeris nidicolens. The following three species are deleted: Theridion sp., Lepthyphantes beckeri and Gibbaranea bituberculata.
The following previously proposed synonym is accepted: Micaria romana = M. albovittata. Generic changes affect Anelosimus aulicus (transferred to Kochiura), Achaearanea veruculata (transferred to Cryptachaea), Theridion sisyphium and T. impressum (transferred to Phylloneta), Theridion tinctum (transferred to Platnickina), Baryphyma duffeyi (transferred to Praestigia), Trichopterna thorelli (transferred to Trichopternoides), Carorita paludosa (transferred to Karita), Lepthyphantes whymperi (transferred to Mughiphantes), Lepthyphantes obscurus (transferred to Obscuriphantes), Lepthyphantes alacris, L. tenuis, L. zimmermanni, L. cristatus, L. mengei, L. flavipes and L. tenebricola (transferred to Tenuiphantes), Lepthyphantes ericaeus, L. pallidus, L. insignis and L. antroniensis (transferred to Palliduphantes), Lepthyphantes pinicola (transferred to Piniphantes), Lepthyphantes angulatus (transferred to Oryphantes), Lepthyphantes complicatus (transferred to Improphantes), Lepthyphantes expunctus (transferred to Agnyphantes), Zygiella stroemi (transferred to Stroemiellus), and Bianor aurocinctus (transferred to Sibianor). In addition, the genus Phrurolithus is transferred from the Liocranidae to the Corinnidae, Wabasso replicatus is revalidated as a separate species, and Megalepthyphantes collinus occidentalis? is listed here as Megalepthyphantes sp.
Holocnemus pluchei, Steatoda paykulliana, Cryptachaea blattea, Islandianafalsifica, Mermessus maculatus, Frontinellina frutetorum, Zoropsis spinimana, Tegenaria ramblae, Anyphaena sabina, Synema globosum, Philaeus chrysops and Hasarius adansoni are added to the list of other species which have been found in Britain but whose status is uncertain.