The adult lifespan of common linyphiid spider species of the Netherlands was significantly longer in species living at ground level than in species living in the vegetation (almost twice as long). This was predicted from our earlier laboratory study on fewer linyphiid species and several other common spider families in the Netherlands. In contrast, the pre-adult lifespan of the ground-level linyphiid species was significantly shorter than that of vegetation-inhabiting linyphiid species, i.e. more than three times shorter. The adaptive value (reproductive benefit) of a long lifespan at ground level might come from food resources being sufficient for reproduction throughout the whole year including winter time. Higher up in the vegetation the extremely restricted food quantity in winter is probably not sufficient for staying alive and reproducing. Hence, the vegetation species resort to mass reproduction compressed at the end of the warm season and they need a long pre-adult lifespan in order to grow large enough for producing the large egg masses. The ground-level species, on the contrary, might benefit from a long adult lifespan because food might be abundant enough during wintertime for producing egg-sacs.

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B. Heuts, & T. Brunt. (2006). Adulte en pre-adulte levensduur van dwergspin-soorten (Linyphiidae) hangt samen met hun habitat-hoogte boven grondniveau. Nieuwsbrief SPINED, 22, 9–12.