Large wandering spiders in Amazonian forests

Ancylometes hewitsoni with a frog

Thierry Gasnier during nocturnal excursion

Ancylometes are not dangerous at all

Since 1992 Thierry Gasnier, Hubert Höfer and Antonio Brescovit (and others) study biology and ecology of the large wandering spiders living on the ground of Amazonian forests. Starting point of their interest in factors and traits allowing coexistence of several abundant Ctenid species in the same habitat were observations of spatial and temporal patterns of abundances during nocturnal excursions in the famous Reserva Ducke near Manaus. But first the taxonomy of the species had to be resolved and several species were (re-)described (Höfer et al. 1994, Brescovit & Von Eickstedt 1995, Brescovit 1996), Höfer & Brescovit 2000, Brescovit & Simó 2007, Polotow & Brescovit 2012). 

On this basis Thierry Gasnier analysed numerous nocturnal samples along transects (Gasnier 1996). The results of several subsequent studies (Vieira & Höfer 1994, 1998, Gasnier & Höfer 2001, Salvestrini & Gasnier 2001, Gasnier et al. 2002, Rego et al. 2007, Mestre & Gasnier 2008) contributed to a model on the coexistence of the species (Gasnier et al. 2009), on which work continues (Torres-Sanchez & Gasnier 2010, Portela et al. 2013).

More on these fascinating wandering spiders of the family Ctenidae can be found on "Wandering Spiders of the Amazon".

Selected Publications

Portela E., Willemart R.H., Gasnier T.R. (2013):
Soil type preference and the coexistence of two species of wandering spiders (Ctenus amphora and C. crulsi: Ctenidae) in a rainforest in Central Amazonia (short communication). Journal of Arachnology. 41: 85-87  PDF-Download of the publication
Polotow D., Brescovit A.D. (2012):
Redescription of five Amazonian species of Ctenus Walckenaer (Araneae, Ctenidae, Cteninae). Zootaxa. 3338: 49-59
Torres-Sanchez M.P., Gasnier T.R. (2010):
Patterns of abundance, habitat use and body size structure of Phoneutria reidyi and P. fera (Araneae: Ctenidae) in a Central Amazonian rainforest. Journal of Arachnology. 38: 433-440  PDF-Download of the publication
Gasnier T.R., Höfer H., Torres-Sanchez M.P., Azevedo C.S. (2009):
História natural de algumas espécies de aranhas das famílias Ctenidae, Pisauridae, e Lycosidae na Reserva Ducke: bases para um modelo integrado de coexistência. In: A fauna de Artrópodes da Reserva Florestal Ducke, Editora INPA, Manaus.: 223-229  PDF-Download of the publication
Mestre L.A.M., Gasnier T.R. (2008):
Populações de aranhas errantes do gênero Ctenus em fragmentos florestais na Amazônia Central. Acta Amazonica. 38: 159-164 pdf unter www.scielo.br/pdf/aa/v38n1/v38n1a18.pdf
Brescovit A.D., Simó M. (2007):
On the Brazilian Atlantic Forest species of the spider genus Ctenus Walckenaer, with the description of a neotype for C. dubius Walckenaer (Araneae, Ctenidae, Cteninae). Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society. 14: 1-17
Rego F.N.A.A., Venticinque E.M., Brescovit A.D. (2007):
Effects of forest fragmentation on four Ctenus spider populations (Araneae: Ctenidae) in central Amazonia, Brazil. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment. 42: 137-144
Folly-Ramos E., Almeida C.E., Carmo-Silva M., Costa J. (2002):
Natural history of Ctenus medius Keyserling, 1891 (Araneae, Ctenidae): Life cycle and aspects of reproductive behavior under laboratory conditions. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 62: 787-793
Gasnier T.R., Azevedo C.S., Torres-Sanchez M.P., Höfer H. (2002):
Adult size of eight hunting spider species in central Amazonia: temporal variations and sexual dimorphisms. Journal of Arachnology. 30: 146-154  PDF-Download of the publication
Gasnier T.R., Höfer H. (2001):
Patterns of abundance of four species of wandering spiders (Ctenidae, Ctenus) in a forest in Central Amazonia. Journal of Arachnology. 29: 95-103  PDF-Download of the publication
Salvestrini F.M.D., Gasnier T.R. (2001):
Differences in the activity of juveniles, females and males of two hunting spiders of the genus Ctenus (Araneae, Ctenidae): active males or inactive females?. Journal of Arachnology. 29: 276-278
Simó M., Brescovit A.D. (2001):
Revision and cladistic analysis of the Neotropical spider genus Phoneutria Perty, 1833 (Araneae, Ctenidae), with notes on related Cteninae. Bulletin of the British arachnological Society. 12: 67-82  PDF-Download of the publication
Höfer H., Brescovit AD. (2000):
A revision of the Neotropical spider genus Ancylometes Bertkau (Araneae: Pisauridae). Insect Systematics & Evolution. 31: 323-360
Vieira R.S., Höfer H. (1998):
Efeito do forrageamento de Eciton burchelli (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) sobre a araneofauna de liteira em uma floresta tropical de Terra Firme na Amazônia central. Acta Amazonica. 28: 345-351
Höfer H., Brescovit A.D. (1997):
On Ctenus maculisternis Strand (Araneae, Ctenidae). Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin. 73: 89-93
Brescovit A.D. (1996):
Revisao do gênero Centroctenus Mello-Leitão (Araneae, Ctenidae, Cteninae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia. 40: 301-313
Gasnier T.R. (1996):
Ecologia comparada de quatro espécies de aranhas errantes do gênero Ctenus (Walckenaer) (Araneae, Ctenidae) em uma floresta na Amazônia Central: Bases para um modelo integrado de coexistência. Ph.D. Thesis., Manaus: 1-77
Brescovit A.D., Von Eickstedt V.R.D. (1995):
Ocorrência de Cupiennius Simon na América do Sul e redescriçäo de Cupiennius celerrimus Simon (Araneae, Ctenidae). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia. 12: 641-646  PDF-Download of the publication
Höfer H., Brescovit A.D., Gasnier T.R. (1994):
The wandering spiders of the genus Ctenus (Ctenidae, Araneae) of Reserva Ducke, a rainforest reserve in central Amazonia. Andrias. 13: 81-98
Vieira R.S., Höfer H. (1994):
Prey spectrum of two army ant species in central Amazonia, with special attention on their effect on spider populations. Andrias. 13: 189-198