Diversity of predatory spider fauna in maize ecosystem
Investigations conducted on the identification of predatory spider fauna in maize ecosystem throughout the crop growth, in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore during 2013-2014 yielded around 2821 spiders, belonging to 16 species under 10 genera of 6 families from seedling to maturity stage. Majority of the spiders collected belonged to the families Lycosidae (1671 individuals), Salticidae (459 individuals), Oxyopidae (352 individuals), Gnaphosidae (178 individuals), Corinnidae (96 individuals) and Clubionidae (65 individuals). The predatory spider species dominating in the maize ecosystem included the species Lycosa barnesi, L. pseudoannulata, Pardosa birmanica, Salticus sp. and Hippasa lycosina. Dendrogram analysis of spiders revealed that the families, Clubionidae and Gnaphosidae were closely related when compared to other predatory spider families. Correlation analysis with the weather parameters showed that the predatory spider population had non-significant positive correlation with relative humidity at 14:22 hrs and negative correlation with all other weather parameters viz., maximum temperature, minimum temperature, relative humidity at 07:22 hrs, rainfall, sunshine hours and rainy days.
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