Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Spiders (Araneae) Co-occurring on the Ground of Vineyards from Douro Demarcated Region

Fátima Gonçalves, Vera Zina, Cristina Carlos, Luís Crespo, Irene Oliveira, Laura Torres


This study, held in vineyards from Douro Demarcated Region, aimed to: a) identify the communities and main functional groups of spiders and ants; b) check patterns of co-occurrence between the two communities; and c) evaluate the impact of ground cover and adjacent non-crop habitats in the proximity of vineyards, on the two communities. Samplings were done using pitfall trapping. Twenty species of ants and 44 species of spiders were identified, which included respectively three and nine Iberian endemic species. Aphaenogaster gibbosa (Latreille 1798), Aphaenogaster iberica Emery 1908, Cataglyphis hispanica (Emery 1906), Cataglyphis iberica (Emery 1906), Messor barbarus (L. 1767) and Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander 1856) totalized 71.21% of ants. Alopecosa albofasciata (Brullé 1832), Callilepis concolor Simon 1914, Eratigena feminea Simon 1870, Zodarion alacre (Simon 1870) and Zodarion styliferum (Simon 1870) accounted for 38% of spiders. Abundance of both ant-mimicking and ant-eating spiders were positively correlated with Formicinae, while only ant-eating spiders showed positive correlation with Myrmicinae ants. All genera/ species of ant-associated spider were associated with one or more genera/ specie of ants. The abundance of specialist spiders was higher in areas where abundance of ants was also higher. Sheet web weavers spiders were found to be positively correlated with the percentage of ground cover. The present study a) stresses that vineyard agroecosystem support a rich assemblage of ants and spiders evincing that wine production and species conservation is possible and b) the co-occurrence between some species of this two groups is not determined by random patterns.


Formicinae; Myrmicinae; Zodarion; co-occurrence; myrmecophagy; myrmecomorphy

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