Amblypygids (Order: Amblypygi) can be found across different habitat types, each with very different microhabitat structure, including rainforests, deserts, and caves in the tropics and subtropics. Most prior studies on amblypygid microhabitat use have focused on characteristics of trees and their relationship with amblypygid abundance, though many species regularly occupy refuges away from trees. Here we explore microhabitat use in the amblypygid Paraphrynus laevifrons Pocock, 1894 through mark-recapture surveys conducted along creeks and trails in a secondary forest in southeastern Costa Rica. We identified (1) microhabitat characteristics associated with abundance of P. laevifrons and (2) resighting ratio—the likelihood of finding individual P. laevifrons over multiple nights, potentially in association with a particular area (a putative territory). We measured four microhabitat characteristics: (i) number of visible refuges, (ii) surface area of vertical substrate, (iii) estimated plant cover of substrate, and (iv) presence/absence of an overhang. We found that the number of P. laevifrons sighted did not differ across wet and dry seasons, but P. laevifrons were sighted in greater numbers in creeks than trails. The abundance of P. laevifrons was positively affected by the presence of overhangs, there was no effect of plant cover, and the positive effect of number of refuges was stronger in trails, where overhangs were less common, than in creeks. Our results support earlier studies showing that amblypygids can be found more abundantly in areas with greater available refuges and potential shelter, suggesting that predation may be a strong source of selection on amblypygid microhabitat use.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2