Earlier this year one of Bennelongia’s Principal Scientists Bruno Buzatto published a paper investigating long-distance dispersal in mygalomorph spiders. Tarantulas, trapdoor and curtain-web spiders are known for poor dispersal abilities, but some species can disperse aerially, via dropping on drag lines from elevated positions and being passively blown off. Named ‘suspended ballooning’, this behaviour was first recorded 135 years ago, but we still know very little about it. Using occurrence data, Bruno and collaborators showed that suspended ballooning increases species ranges in Australian trapdoor spiders, and identified some families that might employ suspended ballooning or another efficient but undiscovered dispersal mechanism.
Bruno was also interviewed by Faculti where he discussed information available on Mygalomorphae long-distance dispersal mechanisms from observations that are often spread throughout the taxonomic literature. You can listen to his interview here or have a read of the paper here.