Using data from the Czech Republic, we studied the distribution of spiders in soils, crevice systems, scree and caves, i.e. subterranean habitats at depths spanning from 10 cm to 100 m. In total, we found 161 species. The number of species declines with increasing habitat depth, with a major drop in species richness at the depth of 10 meters. Thirteen species exhibit morphological adaptations to life in subterranean habitats. At depths greater than 10 meters, spider assemblages are almost exclusively composed of troglomorphic species. We propose a hypothesis of evolution of troglomorphisms during Quaternary climatic cycles.
Růžička, Vlastimil; Petr Šmilauer; and Roman Mlejnek.
Colonization of subterranean habitats by spiders in Central Europe.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol42/iss2/5