DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE OF SPIDER POPULATION(ARACHNIDA: ARANEAE) IN SOME SELECTED LOCALITIES INAND AROUND MADURAI CITY, INDIAThirukonda Ravindhran Gayathri, Thangavel Rajagopal and PonnirulPonmanickam
A study of spider species diversity was conducted in some selected localities of in and around Madurai cityfrom October 2019 to March 2020. A total of 29 species of spiders belonging to 22 genera from 6 familieswere identified from the study sites. Araneidae and Salticidae were found to be the most dominant familywith species from 6 and 7 genera respectively. Based on guild structure analysis, Orb-web builders andstalkers were the most dominant feeding guilds. There were considerable disparities in spider speciesdiversity and distribution across all study sites during the study period, with Vadipatti (23 species) havingthe highest spider species diversity and Kelavasal (7 species) having the lowest diversity. Spider speciesdiversity (Shannonâs index), richness (Margalefâs index) and evenness (Pielouâs index) indices were higheron Vattipatti (2.23; 3.37; 0.46), and least in the Kelavasal (1.11; 1.06; 0.23). Among 29 species, Argiope anasuja,Cyrtopharacicatrosa, Cyrtophoracitricola, Gasteracanthageminata and Myrmarachne bengalensis were the mostdominant species in Vatipatti and Arasakulam due to the existence of their prey and diverse range ofplants, which influenced that these species were more dominant. The present study revealed that spiderdiversity was higher in rural areas (Vatipatti and Arasakulam) with superior ecological settings, but lowerin urban areas (Thiagarajar College campus and Kelavasal) with the most intact ecological environment.