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      Spiders in caves

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      Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

      The Royal Society

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="d7119754e181">World experts of different disciplines, from molecular biology to macro-ecology, recognize the value of cave ecosystems as ideal ecological and evolutionary laboratories. Among other subterranean taxa, spiders stand out as intriguing model organisms for their ecological role of top predators, their unique adaptations to the hypogean medium and their sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance. As the description of the first eyeless spider ( <i>Stalita taenaria</i>), an array of papers on subterranean spider biology, ecology and evolution has been published, but a comprehensive review on these topics is still lacking. We provide a general overview of the spider families recorded in hypogean habitats worldwide, we review the different adaptations of hypogean spiders to subterranean life, and we summarize the information gathered so far about their origin, population structure, ecology and conservation status. Finally, we point out the limits of the knowledge we currently have regarding hypogean spiders, aiming to stimulate future research. </p>

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          Most cited references 63

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          Dispersal Gene Flow and Population Structure

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            The cave environment.

             Carl White,  T Poulson (1969)
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              Ecology of the True Spiders (Araneomorphae)

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                Proc. R. Soc. B
                The Royal Society
                0962-8452
                1471-2954
                April 26 2017
                April 26 2017
                : 284
                : 1853
                : 20170193
                Article
                10.1098/rspb.2017.0193
                5413924
                28446696
                © 2017

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