Efficiency of sampling techniques in the study of spider fauna of Awka, Nigeria
The use of different sampling protocols has been found to give a more reliable detail of the faunal composition of spider fauna of any given community. In the present study, pitfall trapping, sweep netting and jarring methods were used to sample spiders from three different sites within Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. Sampling was done once every month for twelve months (April 2017 to March 2018). Out of the 680 individuals in 17 families caught, 63 % was by pitfall trap, 20 % and 17 % were respectively from sweep net and jarring method. At p<0.05, the sampling effort of pitfall trap was significantly better than the other two methods. Pitfall trap also recorded all taxonomic groups found in the study except Sparassidae and Uloboridae that were exclusively caught by sweep net and jarring methods respectively. Zodariidae, Ctenidae, Pisauridae, Pholcidae and Nesticidae were exclusively recorded by pitfall trap. There was a record of catch for all the three sampling techniques in all the twelve sampling attempts. Based on our finding, several sampling methods should be used in community survey for more reliable information on species richness, distribution and abundance.
Keywords: Spiders, Sampling methods, Pitfall trapping, Sweep netting, Jarring, Efficiency