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Phrynus longipes (Pocock 1894) is a top predator among arboreal invertebrates in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico, but many aspects of its ecology remain poorly understood. We sampled four of the most abundant tree species in the Luquillo Mountains during the dry and wet seasons of 2008 to evaluate microhabitat preferences of this species. In the dry season, P. longipes occurred significantly less frequently on a palm, Prestoea acuminata var. montana (Arecaceae), than the other tree species. Carapace length and the diameter of the tree on which an individual was found were positively correlated, suggesting competition for substrates. Microhabitat selection shifted in the wet season. Individuals occurred as frequently on P. acuminata as on any other species. The seasonal shift in substrate use could result from altered distribution or abundance of prey, an ontogenetic shift in substrate preference or greater competition arising from an increased abundance of P. longipes.

Original Citation

Curtis, C.A. & Bloch, C.P. (2014). Seasonal Patterns of Microhabitat Selection by a Sub-tropical Whip Spider, Phrynus longipes, in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. Journal of Arachnology42(1):126-129. 2014.