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Keywords:

  • overwintering;
  • survival;
  • body mass;
  • spider;
  • Hygrolycosa rubrofasciata

Body size is often considered to be an important trait affecting individual fitness. In arthropods, females commonly benefit from larger size directly through increased fecundity (Roff, 1992), and males through increased mating success (Andersson, 1994). It has also been suggested that larger individuals may in general have a better survival than smaller individuals (Calder, 1983; Peters, 1983). From this suggestion it may be predicted that during stressful environmental conditions larger individuals should do better than smaller individuals.