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Distribution and Natural History of Purseweb Spiders, Sphodros spp. (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Atypidae), in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama

Paul E. Moler1,*, Dirk J. Stevenson2, Barry W. Mansell1, Jonathan D. Mays1, and Catherine W. Lee1

1Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 1105 SW Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32601. 2Altamaha Environmental Consulting, 414 Club Drive, Hinesville, GA 31313. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist,Volume 19, Issue 4 (2020): 663–672

Two species of purseweb spiders, Sphodros abboti (Blue Purseweb Spider) and S. rufipes (Red-legged Purseweb Spider), are known to occur in northern Florida and southern Georgia, and a third, S. atlanticus (Atlantic Purseweb Spider), has been recorded from northeastern Georgia. Their distributions have not been well defined, and records are sparse for S. rufipes and S. atlanticus. We conducted visual surveys for the distinctive tubular webs of these spiders in a variety of forest types. We report 141 new locality records for S. abboti, including 19 new county records in Florida and 5 in Georgia; 80 new locality records for S. rufipes, including 13 new county records in Florida, 34 in Georgia, and 1 in Alabama; and 3 new locality records for S. atlanticus, including 2 new county records for Georgia. We provide additional information on reproductive biology and habitat use.

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