Aspects of the overwintering habitat of the Wolf spider Pardosa lugubris

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Abstract

Pardosa lugubris occurs in the vicinity of woodlands and overwinters among leaf litter. Field recordings of litter temperatures in winter indicate that temperatures within the litter fluctuate much less than those on the surface and that the lower the air temperature the greater the difference between the temperature of the surface litter and that of the deep litter. Specimens of P. lugubris, in a litter hill constructed in the laboratory, moved into the deeper layers of the litter as the temperature was lowered below freezing. It is suggested that the use P. lugubris makes of leaf litter as an overwintering habitat may account for its close association with woodland and its occurrence in more northerly latitudes compared with other members of the genus.

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