Original Research

Spider checklist for the Blouberg, in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, South Africa

Stefan Foord, Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman, Charles R. Haddad, Colin Schoeman, Norbert Hahn, Robin Lyle
Bothalia | Vol 49, No 1 | a2455 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v49i1.2455 | © 2019 Stefan Foord, Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman, Charles R. Haddad, Colin Schoeman, Norbert Hahn, Robin Lyle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 April 2019 | Published: 30 September 2019

About the author(s)

Stefan Foord, Department of Zoology, Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman, Department of Zoology, Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa; and, ARC – Plant Health and Protection, National Collection of Arachnida (non-mites), Pretoria, South Africa
Charles R. Haddad, Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Colin Schoeman, Department of Zoology, Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Norbert Hahn, Department of Zoology, Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Robin Lyle, ARC – Plant Health and Protection, National Collection of Arachnida (non-mites), Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The north-eastern mountainous region of South Africa has been identified as a spider diversity hotspot and centre of endemisim. The Blouberg is an isolated inselberg that forms part of the Soutpansberg geological complex, the northernmost mountain in South Africa.

Objectives: This article provides an updated species list of the Blouberg spiders, which includes details of the distribution patterns and conservation statuses of all taxa. Exotic species and species of special conservation concern are identified.

Method: Surveys were conducted between 2005 and 2012, and a range of collecting methods were used to sample both the ground and field layers.

Results: A total of 47 families were sampled in 210 genera and 346 species. The families of Salticidae (45 spp.), Gnaphosidae (32 spp.), Thomisidae (31 spp.), Araneidae (26 spp.) and Lycosidae (24 spp.) were the most diverse. Five species are of conservation concern, one species is Vulnerable, one is possibly exotic and 62 species are South African endemics.

Conclusion: Presently, 17% of South African species are protected on the mountain and its surrounding foothills. The latter are of particular conservation concern, while the mountaintop and its associated habitats are under-sampled.


Keywords

South African Survey of Arachnida; conservation status; endemicity; exotic species; threats; Limpopo province

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