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Comparison of Different Sampling Methods and Effect of Pesticide Application on Spider Populations in Lime Orchards in South Florida

Divina M. Amalin, Jorge E. Peña, Robert Mcsorley, Harold W. Browning, Jonathan H. Crane
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0046-225X-30.6.1021 1021-1027 First published online: 1 December 2001


A survey of predatory arthropods in lime orchards at Homestead, FL, showed that spiders significantly outnumbered the other predatory arthropods (the green lacewing Chrysoperla rufilabris, coccinellid Harmonia sp., and the ant Myrmelachista sp.). The spider community consisted of nine families, 25 genera, and 15 species. The abundance and diversity of the predatory spiders in lime orchards suggests their possible role in regulating the increase of arthropod pest populations. In general, comparison of three sampling methods revealed that the visual sampling method provided the highest number of spiders collected followed by the shake-cloth method and the DVAC suction method collected the least. However, our data showed that the choice of sampling method depends on the species of interest. For instance, spider species in the hunting group were collected frequently using the visual method followed by the shake-cloth method; whereas, most of the species in the web-building group were collected by the three sampling methods with similar frequencies. The difference in the efficiency of the sampling methods may be explained by the retreating habits of the different spider species. The data gathered in sampling the predatory arthropods in sprayed and nonsprayed lime orchards demonstrated the probable nontarget effect of the different pesticides used in the orchards.

  • predatory arthropods
  • diversity
  • sampling methods
  • web spiders
  • hunting spiders
  • ambushers
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