Diversity and Distribution of Spiders in Gogi, Yadgir District: A Semi-arid Landscape in Southern India

Sunil Nautiyal, Y.D. Imran Khan, Harald Kachele, K. Bhaskar


Anthropogenic activities such as the use of pesticides in agriculture field, intensive grazing, and human interferences can affect spider populations and assemblages. The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), a Government of India enterprise under the Department of Atomic Energyhas setup uranium ore mining site at Gogi, Yadgir District of Karnataka in 2012. Therefore, this study was undertaken as baseline to understand the status, population, and distribution of spiders in different ecosystems viz., natural, agro, and domestic ecosystems of a semiarid region in southern India. The natural and agroecosystems were further divided into three habitats each: the natural ecosystems: grasslands, treescapes (land dominated by trees) and barren land; the agroecosystems: red gram field, rice paddy field and cotton field. Spider assemblages were sampled using pitfall traps, beating and netting for density, abundance and frequency measurements in all the selected habitats. A total of 82 spider species belonging to 19 families were found. Lycosidae was the dominant family represented by 17 species. Barren lands had the greatest spider diversity of 64 species with a density of 13 individuals m-2 from 15 families (Araneae) as compared with the other habitats tested. Functional groups were also studied depending upon the hunting behaviour and daily activityof the spider taxa. Majority of species were diurnal-web builders (35) and diurnal-hunter (29). However, twelve species were found to be diurnal-ambusher, five species nocturnal-hunter and one species nocturnal-web builder. By elucidating diversity of spiders in Gogi, this study enables further investigation of the contribution of ecosystem services by these invertebrates in semi-arid landscapes dominated by agricultural practices.


Arachnida; Semiarid Ecosystem; Habitat; Ecosystems; Diversity


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