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12 July 2023 Light attraction hypothesis in Arachnids: a new test in neotropical forests
Hadrien Lalagüe, Julien Pétillon
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Patterns of phototaxis are incompletely characterized in arachnids and hardly generalizable because of large variations in orders, families, species, environments, and methods employed. In a neotropical forest of French Guiana, we tested the effect of both light and diameter on pitfall trap catches. Light had a significant effect on capture rates of all arachnids and on Araneae alone, with more individuals caught in lit traps. Without light, pitfall diameter had no effect on capture rates, while in lit traps, significantly fewer individuals were captured only in smaller traps. Light trapping is thus a promising tool to complete inventories in tropical forests. This field experiment calls for further studies of the mechanisms by which arachnids are attracted by light, especially by unraveling an actual phototaxis from indirect effects like prey attraction.

Hadrien Lalagüe and Julien Pétillon "Light attraction hypothesis in Arachnids: a new test in neotropical forests," The Journal of Arachnology 51(2), 111-113, (12 July 2023).
Received: 20 May 2022; Accepted: 1 July 2022; Published: 12 July 2023
diameter effect
French Guiana
pitfall trap
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