Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What limits the population and distribution of vinagaroons?

Justin O. Schmidt, ponerine@dakotacom.net, Southwestern Biological Control Institiue, 1961 Brichta Drive, Tucson, AZ

Vinegaroons, Mastigoproctus giganteus, are the top arthropod predators in some desert grassland and riparian areas. The typically are considered rare or uncommon by most biologists, a mistaken impression based mainly on infrequent encounters with them. In my study site in Cochise Co., Arizona, their populations reach a density of 66,000/km2. Climatic, soil, predator-prey, food resource, livestock grazing, and catastrophic event factors affect or potentially affect their distribution and populations.

Species 1: Arachnida Theliphonidae Mastigoproctus giganteus (vinegaroon)
Keywords: predator-prey interaction