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23 February 2021 Spider use of caterpillar shelters
Douglass H. Morse
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Although caterpillars commonly construct shelters on vegetation that other species subsequently occupy, few studies have focused on the spiders that often recruit to them. Fern moth larvae Herpetogramma theseusalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) produce large, roughly circular shelters on ferns that provide them with food and protection. Female jumping spiders Phidippus clarus Keyserling, 1885 (Salticidae) with brood or first-instar young made up over two-thirds of the spiders tallied in a study of abandoned fern moth shelters. The only other species tending young, the sac spider Clubiona bishopi Edwards, 1958 (Clubionidae), made up less than 10% of the total. Only eight species of spiders used these shelters, one-half to one-fourth that of three other studies and differing in the prevalence of jumping spiders, as opposed to a prevalence of sac spiders in the other studies. Although fern moth shelters provide important nest sites for two spiders, these sites did not enhance diversity of the spider community.

Douglass H. Morse "Spider use of caterpillar shelters," The Journal of Arachnology 48(3), 284-287, (23 February 2021).
Received: 23 March 2020; Published: 23 February 2021
Clubiona bishopi
fern moth
Phidippus clarus
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