The so called “tropical” caves (most of which are also geographically “tropical”) are distinguished from the “temperate” caves by the much larger trophic resources. Spiders are common in both kinds of caves, but the groups present in one kind are mostly absent in the other (notwithstanding that many families are distributed over at least one temperate and one tropical region). As in all temperate caves more or less the same groups of spiders can be found, so the tropical caves have a typical spider fauna, composed of different groups (often also more than those present in the temperate caves). In the temperate caves the most typical groups are the Leptonetidae, the Dysderidae, many Araneoidea and some Agelenidae; these groups are either absent or rare in the tropical caves. In these the typical groups are some Orthognatha and many primitive spiders of the Haplogynae (Oonopidae, Tetrablemmidae, Ochyroceratidae, Scytodidae, Pholcidae, Telemidae) with a few Araneoidea (Theridiosomatidae and Symphytognathidae). From an ecological point of view, the detriticolous groups are not common in temperate caves, but are exceedingly common in tropical caves. In these live also often some groups which could be considered not strictly detriticolous, but more exactly “microcavernicolous” (i.e. living “normally” in more or less permanent crevices etc. of soil and rocks). In temperate caves are on the other hand more common groups living typically on vegetation, not very close to the soil. Ethologically, in tropical caves the existence of groups is possible which either ambush their prey or search for it actively whereas most spiders of temperate caves capture it with a web.
Brignoli, Paolo Marcello.
II popolamento di ragni nelle grotte tropicali (Araneae).
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol5/iss3/10