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Journal of Entomology
  Year: 2012 | Volume: 9 | Issue: 2 | Page No.: 79-88
DOI: 10.3923/je.2012.79.88
 
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Seasonal Abundance and Distribution of the Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria (Sparassidae: Araneae) in Banana Agro-ecosystems in Cameroon

N.N. Ntonifor, M.C. Parr and J.A. Ewunkem

Abstract:
This study was conducted to elucidate the frequent occurrences of the tropical vagrant huntsman spider, Heteropoda venatoria in bananas, for which, the spider habitats, temporal abundance, distribution and dynamics were studied in banana agro-ecosystems in Cameroon. Seasonal observations of banana plantations and associated management practices revealed that banana agro-ecosystems and host plant architecture offered diverse suitable habitats for H. venatoria. The spider inhabited the soil litter spots/mulches, loose leaf sheaths (barks) of pseudostems and stumps, leaf petioles, spaces between banana flower bracts and clusters and those between fingers of bunches. Spider densities in these habitats varied with plant phenology and seasons. The spiders inhabited the loose leaf sheaths around pseudostems and their stumps, the stout tube-like leaf petioles and leaf sheaths of pre-flowering plants during dry spells or seasons. During the rains or when farms were under irrigation, the relatively more sheltered inner parts of flower bracts and spaces between the fruit clusters and those between the fingers of bunch were preferred. Higher densities of H. venatoria were recorded in pseudostems and stumps around refuse areas with distinct population gradients in the order of 0-10>10-20>20-30>30-40 m from the refuse. Spider densities in pseudostems and litter spots were lower during the rainy than the dry season. In contrast, highest and lowest spider densities in bunches were recorded during the rainy and dry seasons, respectively. This ecological information is vital in the sustainable management of the spider populations so as to advantageously exploit their beneficial predatory effects in banana agro-ecosystems.
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How to cite this article:

N.N. Ntonifor, M.C. Parr and J.A. Ewunkem, 2012. Seasonal Abundance and Distribution of the Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria (Sparassidae: Araneae) in Banana Agro-ecosystems in Cameroon. Journal of Entomology, 9: 79-88.

DOI: 10.3923/je.2012.79.88

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=je.2012.79.88

COMMENTS
24 November, 2011
Mbua Christopher Parr:
I am the author of this wonderful work. We took a lot of time and sacrifice to do it. We hope to do better and more studies on this huntsman spider.
Good luck
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