Pitfall traps are a common and inexpensive sampling method for epigeal spiders. They are most effective when the top edge of the trap is flush with the soil surface, which is not always possible if soil disturbance is prohibited, the soil layers are thin or the substrate is only exposed rock. Ramp traps are also inexpensive to construct and do not require soil disturbance, making them an appealing alternative to pitfall traps. We tested the efficacy of ramp traps for capturing wandering spiders at the Fort Pierre National Grassland in central South Dakota, USA. We set parallel transects of pitfall and ramp traps during three sampling periods from late May to early August 2010. Ramp traps captured twice as many individuals and, on average, 1.1 ± 0.34 SE more species than pitfall traps. Overall, ramp traps outperformed pitfall traps, and ramp traps are better for non-permanent sampling at point-specific locations.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3