Type of resources
Invertebrates dominate the animal world in terms of abundance, diversity and biomass and play critical roles in maintaining ecosystem function. Despite their obvious importance, disproportionate research attention remains focused on vertebrates, with knowledge and understanding of invertebrate ecology still lacking. Due to their inherent advantages, usage of camera traps in ecology has risen dramatically over the last three decades, especially for research on mammals. However, few studies have used cameras to reliably detect fauna such as invertebrates or used cameras to examine specific aspects of invertebrate ecology. Twenty-four Reconyx PC800 HyperfireTM cameras were deployed on 7th July 2016 at Main Camp and left until 12th October 2016 (98 days, or 2352 h of deployment) in the Simpson Desert, south-western Queensland, capturing 372 time-lapse images of Wolf spiders (Family Lycosidae). Images were tagged with camera location, position, angle, camera ID and presence of lycosids. Additionally, spotlight surveys were conducted in October 2016 every hour between dusk (19:30 h) and dawn (05:30 h) over three nights with a total of 352 lycosids observed. This data set was used to determine whether: 1) camera traps provide a viable method for detecting wolf spiders, 2) diel activity patterns of the spiders can be ascertained, and 3) patterns in spider activity vary with environmental conditions, specifically between burned and unburned habitats and the crests and bases of sand dunes. This data presents a useful example of the utility of cameras as a tool for determining the diel activity patterns and habitat use of larger arthropods such as wolf spiders. Please note: Camera trap images are not provided and only species occurrence records are included. Also, image files were renamed after collection, resulting in a number versus time conflict. However, dates and times of sightings provided are correct.