Final Abstract for URS Program
Aphonopelma hentzi and other tarantula species are greatly understudied organisms. In the Missouri regions there is little knowledge on their mating patterns, gene diversity, or population sizes. The focal glades in this experiment display regional fragmentation, which could prevent tarantulas from traveling and mating between regions of their glades. Due to the lack of knowledge surrounding them, methods for determining gene diversity are harmful to the organism. Our recent work has shown that it is possible to extract genetic information from the molts of burrowing tarantulas. This will allow us to safely determine the lineages and interbreeding patterns of the tarantula populations within our focal regions in Missouri. Through utilizing ISSR analysis and determining Wright's F statistic for each population it will be possible to follow the gene flow patterns.