Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Unknown Orb-Weaver of India

Orb-weaver (Araneus bilunifer), Family Araneidae
Dudwa National Park, Northern India

Explanation: Here is an immature orb-weaver spider. Orb-weavers are cosmopolitan, especially this genus Araneus, and many species of this genus are widespread and well studied.

However ... although first described in 1900, this particular species -- known only by its scientific name, Araneus bilunifer -- appears to be largely unstudied, is little-known, and apparently seldom photographed. It is endemic to India (found nowhere else) and one of 22 species of genus Araneus in India.

This young specimen was no larger than the nail on my little finger. It was clinging to the outside wall of my rustic bungalow in a national park in northern India. In a study of spiders in rice paddies of Kerala, India, only a single specimen of this species was found.

Sebastian, P.A., M.J. Mathew, S.P. Beevi, J. Joseph, and C.R. Biju. 2005. The spider fauna of the irrigated rice ecosystem in central Kerala, India across different elevational ranges. The Journal of Arachnology 33:247-255.

Story or Here



Post a Comment

<< Home