Araneae, coastal dunes, <i>Steatoda capensis</i>, Theridiidae

Population monitoring of the endangered New Zealand spider, Latrodectus katipo, with artificial cover objects

The endangered New Zealand widow spider, Latrodectus katipo, is believed to have undergone marked population decline over the last 30 years, but as monitoring methods are time- and labour-intensive, and require observers to have a high level of experience, the current status of many populations is unknown. We investigated the use of artificial cover objects (ACOs) as an alternative monitoring tool for L. katipo at three sites at Himatangi Beach, Manawatu, New Zealand, from late 2004 through to mid-2005.