Ovtcharenko V.I.1, Trachman J.D.2 2009. Spiders (Aranei) and their association with microorganisms // Arthropoda Selecta. Vol.17 (for 2008). No.3–4: 203–209 [in English].
1 Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451 USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451 USA. E-mail: email@example.com
KEY WORDS: Gnaphosidae, Lycosidae, Pisauridae, Salticidae, bacteria, fungi.
ABSTRACT. The paper discusses what has been published in the scientific literature about the microbial carriage by spiders and then presents the results of our own limited study. Spiders for our pilot study were collected in wooded and grassy areas near lakes and streams located in two counties of New York, just upstate of New York City. A vertical sampling of soil, deep and top leaf litter, and tall grasses was undertaken. Eight species of spiders were studied: Micaria pulicaria (Sundevall, 1831), Gnaphosa muscorum (L. Koch, 1866), Pardosa moesta (Banks, 1892), Trochosa terricola (Thorell, 1856), Pisaurina mira (Walckenaer, 1837), Phidippus audax (Hentz, 1845), Salticus scenicus (Clerck, 1757), and Sitticus fasciger (Simon, 1880). Gnaphosa muscorum inhabit soil and leaf litter and this spider carried mainly Bacillus- and Streptomyces-type organisms. Three of our spiders, which inhabit the upper surface of soil and the top of leaf litter, P. moesta, T. terricola and P. mira, carried a large number of microorganisms but of varying diversity. Pisaurina mira carried predominantly Bacillus species, with an occasional pseudomonad and others. Pardosa moesta carried very predominantly a heavily encapsulated microorganism as well as a second – with both possibly being pseudomonads. Trochosa terricola had the most bacterial diversity – with some Bacillus species as well as pseudomonad-type microorganisms. Interestingly, none of these spiders carried fungi. The ground spider species, Micaria pulicaria, like two of the three Salticidae family members, P. audax and S. fasciger, carried molds and did not carry any bacteria. Salticus scenicus lacked fungi and bacteria.