The present study was an attempt to assess and evaluate the distribution, diversity and occurrence of spider community in Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary. India has 59 of the 110 spider families and at least, 1442 formally described species of the 39,000 known worldwide. Documenting spider assemblages assumes greater importance in the context of current rate of loss and degradation of forests which is known to have detrimental effect on many invertebrate groups. In order to assess the diversity and distribution of spiders at four sites during the months of May, June, July, October and December 2012, standard protocol was used to collect the spider community across the study area. The spider community was found to be represented by 18 taxa. Araneidae was dominant family followed by Lycosidae, Linyphiidae, Pholcidae, Salticidae, Sparassidae and Clubionidae. Differences in vegetation cover or human use showed variation in diversity and composition of spiders between different sites. Forest sites showed relatively higher diversity as compared to meadow sites.
Key words: Spider community, diversity, Araneidae, Gulmarg.