Locate up to 45 social spider nests scattered through the landscape and GPS mark every nest
Collect sample of social spiders from each nest
Collect sample of each of the three types of parasites from each nest
Use RAD sequencing techniques to find levels of relatedness between colonies and their respective parasites
If patterns of relatedness of parasites between "habitat patches" (social spider nests) resembles that of the social spiders themselves, we have evidence for vertical transmission (from parent to daughter colony).
If patterns of relatedness differ, we have evidence for horizontal transmission of parasites (transmission between neighboring colonies).