- Pumice Plain sampling produced 125 ballooning spider species in 68 genera.
Ballooning spiders have often been monitored while airborne (Glick, 1939; Greenstone et al., 1987), but ballooner arrival has never been adequately quantified, a lack which we believe has led to widespread underestimation of its importance (e.g., by Platnick, 1976; Decae, 1987; Wise, 1993).
During this stage, shown in Figure 1, a ballooning spider
orients itself facing the wind while raising its abdomen and straightening its back legs.
hasselti could disperse by these means, but other ballooning spider
species have been recorded landing on ships up to 300 km from land (Gertsch 1979), indicating that ballooning spiders
may travel substantial distances.
in Missouri, USA, and New South Wales, Australia: family and mass distributions.
Additionally, as there are multiple grassland habitats in close proximity to the burned grassland at the Gwynne Conservation Area, and ballooning spiders
were observed on sampling days after the prescribed bum, it is likely that recolonization was also occurring.
Greenstone MH, Morgan CE, Hultsch A, Farrow RA and Dowse JE (1987) Ballooning spiders
in Missouri, USA, and New South Wales, Australia: Family and mass distributions.
We had three levels of this treatment: no holes (to prevent cursorial dispersal but allow ballooning spiders
), holes (triangles with 5 cm sides were cut at ground level to allow for cursorial dispersal in addition to ballooning; six of these were cut, meaning about 18% of the perimeter was open to cursorial spiders), and control (no enclosures).
To the ecologist, he will be best known for attempting to unravel the mechanics of ballooning spiders
which had captured the attention of a number of eminent scientists since the 17th century, most notably Martin Lister (1684) who recognized that it was silk that dragged spiders into the atmosphere (Fig.
caught by a suction trap in an agricultural landscape in Switzerland.
Size and phenology of ballooning spiders
at two locations in eastern Texas.
We also describe the construction of a simulated individual (SI) which could later be used to estimate the distance travelled by ballooning spiders
in the field.