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Family: Araneidae


Araneus himalayaensis Tikader, 1975

Family: Araneidae
Size: 8-10 mm
Distribution: India, China
Habitat: Moist Deciduous forests.

This is an orb web builder. They rest to the side of the web in a dull coloured silken retreat which may be spun up between the leaves of shrubs. The tips their front legs can often be seen sticking out of the retreat, in contact with a signal thread which runs directly to the centre of the web.


Argiope anasuja Thorell, 1887

Family: Araneidae
Size: Female: 8-12 mm; Male: 3.5-4.5 mm
Distribution: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives
Habitat: Moist Deciduous forests in the sunny parts

These spiders construct vertical webs in shrubby plants and decorate their webs with stabilimenta. They usually rest in a head down position on the web. As one approaches the web, they hold their position until the last moment before slipping round in a flash to hide on the other side of the stabilimentum. Argiope is spread across tropics to temperate regions.


Cyclosa bifida (Doleschall, 1859)

Family: Araneidae
Size:
Distribution: India: Kerala, Sikkim, Meghalaya; Sri Lanka, New Guinea, Malaysia
Habitat: Moist Deciduous forests

Spiders of this species spin vertical orb webs in the vegetation, usually found at height of about one meter above the ground. Across the diameter of the web, a stabilimentum is present formed of pieces of debris and egg sacs. The spider sits at the centre of the orb among debris, the cryptic colouration and its habit of hiding among the debris in the stabilmentum makes the species inconspicuous. The genus Cyclosa occurs world wide, ranging from the temperate regions to the tropics.


Cyrtophora moluccensis (Doleschall, 1857)

Family: Araneidae
Size: 8-9 mm
Distribution: India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Papua New Guinea
Habitat: Gardens

These spiders build more or less horizontal orbs in shrubs and other plants. A typical web can be some 30 cm in diameter and is held in position by the combination of a substantial tangle of silken threads attached to the shrub, both above and below the orb. Communal web consists of the webs of numerous familyes. These spiders rest on a platform near the end of the orb web. There is a special mark on the dorsal side of the abdomen. Medium sized spiders. Cyrtophora is widespread throughout the tropics and subtropics with


Eriovixia laglaisei (Simon, 1877)

Family: Araneidae
Size: 5-9 mm
Distribution: India: Kerala, Tamil Nadu; Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea
Habitat: Moist Deciduous forests, Urban localities

This is one of the commonest spiders in Kerala and most people might have seen their webs in the backyards. The spider has a flattish abdomen covered with off white hairs. The posterior end of abdomen has tail like extension. It spins vertical orb webs and is usually found on plants, shrubs even on those in gardens. The under surface of abdomen has a black median patch bordered by white lateral patches. Species exhibit much variation in colour, some are white and some brownish. In its typical resting posture legs are pulled in around the abdomen and carapace thus forming a circular outline. Often near the spider there are some flecks of white silks. Eriowixia ranges from Africa to Papua New Guinea.


Gasteracantha geminata (Fabricius, 1798)

Family: Araneidae
Size: 7.7mm
Distribution: India: Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu; Sri Lanka
Habitat: Moist Deciduous forests

This is one of the commonest spiders in Kerala, observed in almost all the districts of Kerala. They are characterized by the presence of hard shell like flattish bodies; and black and white transverse bands on the abdomen. The colouration and shell like body are thought to be providing protection to the spider. The abdomen has three pairs of long stout lateral spines or projections, these lateral spines are actually modified simple spines. Abdomen is also characterized by number of pit like depressions or sigilla. Typically these pits or imprints are dark coloured. They construct vertical orb webs, often in open spaces between the branches of tall shrubs. In its typical posture the front portion of abdomen covers the thoracic portion of cephalothorax and only the cephalic portion is visible from above. The genus Gasteracantha is widespread in the tropics.


Neoscona rumpfi (Thorell, 1878)

Family: Araneidae
Size: 7-9 mm
Distribution: Cosmopolitan.
Habitat: Gardens

These spiders rest on a platform near the end of the orb web. There is a special mark on the dorsal side of the abdomen. Medium sized spiders.


Parawixia dehaani (Doleschall, 1859)

Family: Araneidae
Size: 18-20 mm
Distribution: India, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Japan.
Habitat: Gardens, waste lands

The only one species of this genus is P. dehaani. The female is essentially a large, dark brown spider but with variable patterns on the abdomen. The most noticeable characteristic in the field is the triangular area having corners at the sharp "thorns". The female spins a fairly large, loosely woven orb in a space, low down in the vegetation. The spider hides underneath a leaf in the vegetation nearby during the day. When disturbed, it will drop to the ground and "play dead", with the legs retracted and close to the body. This spider is distributed throughout the tropics.


Family: Clubionidae


Clubiona drassodes O. P.-Cambridge, 1874

Family: Clubionidae
Size: 5-7mm
Distribution: Cosmopolitan
Habitat: Foliage in garden.

The carapace is elongated and oval with a creamy white colour. There is a dagger shaped mark on the abdomen. The posterior lateral eyes lie adjacent to the anterior laterals and form a six eyed recurved pattern. The first pair of legs is not larger than the others unlike Cheiracanthium species. These spiders live in folded leaves.


Family: Eresidae


Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch, 1891

Family: Eresidae
Size: 7-10 mm
Distribution: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Orissa; Sri Lanka, Nepal
Habitat: Thorny bushes

This is colonial spider, building large sac like webs. Each nest contains many individuals including young ones. Members of the colony cooperate with each other in building the web, its repair, prey capture. The sac is formed of a sticky silk and any bee or fly coming into contact with these can never escape. The sac or nest has a number of holes on its surface, when disturbed spiders immediately withdrew into the holes of the nest. As the younger generation grows up, the older member's die or some of them go off to found another colony. Though not common in Kerala it is found central Kerala and abundantly in dry areas of the state.


Family: Hersilidae


Hersilia savignyi Lucas, 1836

Family: Hersilidae
Size: 8-10mm
Distribution: Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka
Habitat: Tree trunks

Popularly called two tailed spider, this is common spider in southern India. It lives on tree trunks of large tress and also common on the trunk of coconut palm. Its colour closely matches that of tree trunks in which it lives. It feeds on moths, ants, and other smaller spiders. Cocoon is generally laid in the holes crevices of tress. It can be easily identified by its long spinnerets.


Family: Linyphiidae


Linyphia urbasae Tikader, 1970

Family: Linyphiidae
Size: 5-7mm
Distribution: India
Habitat: Jungle foliage

These are large Linyphid spiders with easily seen, sizeable webs constructed on shrubs, etc. The web consists of a more or less horizontal sheet, often 15-30 cm across, held in position by masses of threads attached to the vegetation above the below the sheet. These spiders have peculiar abdominal patterns. Typically, running the length of the abdomen there is a white chocolate brown stripes which is bounded on each side by lighter stripes. Sometimes egg sacs are carried in mouth.


Family: Lycosidae


Hippasa sp.

Family: Lycosidae
Size: 7-10 mm
Distribution: Cosmopolitan.
Habitat: Grasslands.

These spiders build sheet webs with a silken funnel retreat in short grasses. Carapace is longer than broad with the cephalic part pale and with broad pale submarginal bands and dark streaks radiating from the fovea. The abdomen is elongate and oval. Both the brown cardiac mark and the five pairs of adjacent light spots that follow are all edged with a dark olive brown border. The superior spinnerets are diverging. Legs are vaguely annulated and dark olive brown in colour. There are white dots on the carapace, abdomen and even legs.


Pardosa pseudoannulata (Bösenberg & Strand, 1906)

Family: Lycosidae
Size: 7-10 mm
Distribution: Cosmopolitan.
Habitat: Grasslands, edge of water bodies.

These are fast running spiders found in grassy areas. Carapace is brown with a yellow median stripe and often with continuous or broken yellow lateral stripes. The abdomen is greyish or brown and mottled. There is a dark cardiac mark edged with white and this mark is often followed towards the rear by dark chevrons. The legs are long and annulated. Males have very large black hairy palps. They can run over water surface.


Family: Miturgidae


Cheiracanthium sp.

Family: Miturgidae
Size: 7-9mm
Distribution: Cosmopolitan
Habitat: Trees and shrubs in waste land

These are pale coloured spiders with thin legs. The first pair of legs is very long. The terminal segments of the posterior spinnerets are elongated. The eye region is dark in colour. The carapace is broad, oval, and longer than wide with a broad truncate anterior. There is a dagger shaped mark on the dorsal side of the abdomen. They live in leaf foliages in gardens.


Family: Oxyopidae


Oxyopes birmanicus Thorell, 1887

Family: Oxyopidae
Size: 7-9 mm
Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar.
Habitat: Shrubs in gardens and secondary forests.

Carapace is round from front with hexagonally arranged eyes. A thin black straight line starts from each of the anterior median eyes, down the vertical face, and continues on down the centre of the long, pale chelicerae at the tip. The abdomen is long and thins. The legs are extremely spiny. There are black vertical bands along the side of the abdomen.


Oxyopes sp.

Family: Oxyopidae
Size: 7-9 mm
Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar.
Habitat: Shrubs in gardens and secondary forests.

Carapace is round from front with hexagonally arranged eyes. A thin black straight line starts from each of the anterior median eyes, down the vertical face, and continues on down the centre of the long, pale chelicerae at the tip. The abdomen is long and thins. The legs are extremely spiny. There are black vertical bands along the side of the abdomen.


Peucetia viridana Stoliczka, 1869

Family: Oxyopidae
Size: 12-16mm
Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar.
Habitat: Foliage in rice and vegetable fields

Peucetia is similar to Oxyopes but in general is larger and green in colour. The green abdomen often has a pattern of longitudinal stripes. The long spiny legs are basically pale green in colour with femora reddish below and covered with dense black spots. It is distributed in tropics and subtropics.


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