Wolf spiders (Araneae, Lycosidae) are important predators at freshwater-forest ecotones where their distribution may be determined by their ability to respond to, amongst other factors, moisture and prey levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the movement of wolf spiders along a pond-forest boundary at Mountain Lake Biological Station, Virginia. We performed two mark-recapture studies at two temporal and spatial scales (4 h–20 d and 1 m–∼20 m, respectively) to determine the probability of movement by the spiders. Mark-recapture studies are useful for measuring individual movement, but, because of the difficulty of marking small arthropods, are not often used for spiders. This mark-recapture study showed the spiders moved very little over the temporal and spatial scale used: 0–54% per day chance of moving to the adjacent 1-m2 plot around the pond and 0–2% per day chance of moving to the adjacent 1-m2 plot to and from the pond. This finding is in contrast to other studies that have shown wolf spiders to completely exit a 900-m2 quadrant within several days. We discuss possible causes of this low mobility and its implications for wolf spider distribution and abundance at the pond edge.
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