Effect of architectural angularity on refugia selection by the brown spider, Loxosceles gaucho

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Some brown spider species infest man-made environments and pose a threat to human health. Because habitat architecture affects spider populations, I evaluated the preferences of individuals of Loxosceles gaucho (Gertsch) (Araneae: Sicariidae) for refugia with different angular structures. Four differently angled refugia models (acute-, right-, obtuse-angled and cylindrical) were placed on the litter of a forest fragment and observed each month for 1 year. Females of this species were found to prefer refugia with acute angles. This finding brings new information to our understanding of brown spider infestations in man-made environments: refugia with acute angles are likely to offer more protection for females and their offspring.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Anthropic environment
  • Arachnidism
  • Brown recluse spider
  • Habitat selection
  • Loxosceles
  • Loxoscelism
  • Refugia architecture
  • Spider control
  • Urban entomology

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  • A. A. Stropa

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