Spiders of Mysore Area

Dr Abhijith APC, Indraprastha

Chrysilla volupe male

Commonest Pholcidae, Cellar Spider with egg case

Introduction:

Spiders are arthropods that belong to the order Araneae , like all arthropods lack bones and internal skeleton.

More than 45,700 spider species from 113 families have been currently described worldwide. Spiders are predators which feed on a huge variety of creatures. Insects are major part of their diet. Spiders are one of the key predators which keep arthropod population in check. It is estimated that worlds spider kill 400-800 million tons of prey per year! We can only imagine what would happen if there were no spiders to eliminate these creatures!

Spider status in Mysuru:

Bird watching and Butterfly watching is more popular as a hobby with nature enthusiasts, whereas spider watching is not so popular, resulting in data deficiency. Some of us started a spider watching group called TEAM SAALIGA in order to study the spiders of Karnataka and also to create awareness among public, mainly students. So far, we have recorded 163 species from 29 families in Karnataka. The list has major contribution from Mysuru locality amounting to 107 species from 25 families, as more field trips have been conducted in 13 acres of densely vegetated Indraprastha organic farm, Kalalawadi village. Organic farming and species abundance of spider communities are closely associated; an organic farm supports variety of spiders thus keeping a check on pest, intern enhances the agriculture crop production. Present interim report is part of an ongoing study. In Indraprastha farm, it is observed that spider population increases from April month onwards and reaches peak during September and gradually decreases after December.

Rarities recorded: Icius sp, Bristowia sp, Piranthus sp, Siler sp, Curubis species from salticidae family; Thwaetesia sp-(mirror spider),cf Dipoenura sp from Therididae family; Deinopus sp (Net casting spider) from Deinopidae family; Stegodyphus tibialis from Eresidae family; Cyrterachne sp, Gea sp from Araneidae Family can be considered as rarities.

The spider watching resulted in some interesting observations. Construction of orb webs as nocturnal retreats by jumping spiders. An unidentified jumping spider (cf. Anarrhotus) constructs planar orb webs that serve as nocturnal retreats. These webs are not inhabited during the daytime and do not appear to play a role in prey capture by these spiders. Their construction, involving the attachment of silk lines radiating from a hub or platform that is occupied by the spider at night, resembles the early stages of web construction by orb-weaving spiders of the family Araneidae. https://peckhamia.com/peckhamia/PECKHAMIA_182.1.pdf

Many different insects appear to mimic the appearance of the salticid spiders as viewed from the front. Examples of this mimicry are reviewed with respect to the hypothesis that these are examples of predator mimicry, whereby salticid spiders are less likely to attack prey that present images of other salticid spiders. https://peckhamia.com/peckhamia/PECKHAMIA_179.1.pdf

The jumping spider Myrmarachne plataleoides is a well-known visual mimic of the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina in south and southeast Asia. This spider is thought to gain protection by its association with these ants, but it does not prey on them and warily avoids direct contact. The attack of O. smaragdina on M. plataleoides has been described (Mathew 1954). A photographic documentation of a cooperative attack on a female M. plataleoides by a group of these ants is reported by Pavan R & David EH. https://peckhamia.com/peckhamia/PECKHAMIA_174.1.pdf

Field observations of Asemonea cf. tenuipes in Karnataka are documented. These include a possible case of oophagy by a nesting female as well as corroboration of earlier studies that described the tendency of females to deposit their eggs in straight lines within a simple shelter on the underside of leaves. Changes in colour of the female opisthosoma that include the appearance of a pair of iridescent blue lines are discussed in article https://peckhamia.com/peckhamia/PECKHAMIA_172.1.pdf

A Kleptoparasites Argyrodes with its beautiful egg sac

Mating pair of Nephila kuhlii Golden Orb Weaver

Gasteracantha sp Spiny Orbweaver Araneidae family

Eriovixia species - different coloration

Crematogaster ant mealy bug & its mimic Myrmarachne

Brettus cingulatus juveniles moulting

1.Family : Salticidae

1. Plexipus petarsi

2. Plexipus paykulli

3. Myrmarachne sp

4. Telomonia dimidiata

5. Hyllus semicupreus

6. Carrhotus sp

7. Menemerus bivittatus

8. Rhene

9. Chrysilla sp

10. Chrysilla volupe

11. Chrysilla acerosa

12. Siler

13. Portia

14. Asemonea

15. Epeus indicus

16. Epocilla

17. Brettus cingulatus

18. Hasarius adansoni

19. Thene sp

20. Phintella vitata

21. Thyene cf imperial

22. Harmochirus brachiotus

23. Icius sp

24. Bristowia sp

25. Piranthus

26. Curubis

2. Family : Thomisidae

27. Thomisus sp – crab spider

28. Camaricus sp

29. Amyciae

30. Tmarus sp

31. Oxytate

32. Angaeus

33. Synaema sp

34. Boliscus sp

35. Runcinia sp

36. Diaea sp

37. Henriksenia sp

3. Family : Philodromidea

38. Philodromus sp

39. Tibellus sp

4. Family : Clubionidae

40. Clubbionidae

5. Family : Eutichuridae

41. Cheiracanthium

6. Family : Uloboridae

42. Uloboridae sp – feather legged lace weaver

43. Miagrammopes sp

7. Family : Oxyopidae

44. Oxypoes sp- striped lynx

45. Peucetia sp – green lynx

46. Oxyopes shweta

47. Hamadruas

48. Hamataliwa

8. Family : Therididae

49. Argyrodes - red

50. Argyrodes – dewdrop

51. Tangle web spider

52. Theridid sp

53. Meotipa sp

54. Rhomphaea

55. Chryso sp

56. Chikunia sp

57. Propostira

58. Thwaetesia sp- mirror spider

59. Ariamnes sp

60. Parasteatoda sp

61. Dipoenura sp

9. Family : Theraphosidae

62. Theraphosidae sp- Tarentula

10. Family : Sparassidae

63. Heteropoda sp- common huntsman

64. Olios sp- green

65. Olios sp – lamaracki

11. Family : Gnaphosidae

66. Gnaphosidae sp

12. Family : Corinnidae

67. Castianeira sp

68. Corinnidae sp

13. Family : Pisauridae

69. Pisauridae- fishing spider

14. Family : Deinopidae

70. Deinopus sp

15. Family : Eresidae

71. Stegodyphus sp

72. Stegodyphus tibialis

16. Family : Scytodidae

73. Scytodidae- spitting spider

17. Family : Pholcidae

73. Pholcidae sp – cellar spider

18. Family : Tetragnathidae

74. Leucauge decorata

75. Tetragnatha sp

76. Opodometa fastigata

77. Tyloridae

78. Tylorida cf striata

79. Guizygiella sp

19. Family : Lycosidae

80. Lycosidae sp – hogna

81. Pardosa sp

82. hippasa – funnel web

20. Family : Hersiliidae

83. Hersilia sp

21. Family : Linyphiidae

84. Linyphia sp

22. Family : Araneidae

85. Argiope sp – signature spider

86. Nephila pilipes

87. Nephila kuhli

88. Anepsion

89. Cyclosa sp

90. Cyrtophora sp

91. Parawixa sp

92. Eriovixia sp

93. Cyrterachne sp

94. Araneus mitificus – kidney orb

95. Araneus sp- green

96. Gasterocantha sp

97. Neoscona sp

98. Neoscona – monkey orb weaver

99. Gea sp

100. Herrenia sp

101. Poltys sp round

102. Arachnera sp

103. Larinia sp

104. Araneus Nox

23. Family : Dictynidae

105. Dictynidae sp

24. Family : Oecobiidae

106. Oecobiidae sp

25 .Family : Filistatidae

107. Tricalamus, Pritha

Conclusion:

As mentioned earlier this is an ongoing study and its interim report is presented here. Major study has taken place only in just 13 acres of land. Within a short span of two years we are able to document spider diversity and few unknown behavioural aspects, by having more knowledgeable field observers we will be able to spread our studies to entire Mysuru area in days to come and will be updated.

Acknowledgement:

Thanks are due to SAALIGA friends -Vipin Baliga, Sumukha Jawagal & Pavan Ramachandra who are part of above works. Extended team of SAALIGA supporting by providing species photos and behavioural inputs from different parts of Karnataka are also thanked whole heartedly. I am grateful to Dr David.E.Hill for whole hearted guidance and assistance in research works. Special thanks to Wayne Maddison, Nicky Bay & John Caleb identification help of species.

References:

Mathew, A. P. 1954. Observations on the habits of two spider mimics of the red ant, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabr.). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 1: 61-113.

Interested readers can read more about Spiders in Kukkarahalli Lake here.