Saturday, 8 December 2012

Spiders of India

    My friend Julia Ratcliffe has very kindly allowed me to post this great
    photo of a Spider that she and her partner found "in the State of Megalaya
    next state to Assam in the Tribal regions of India. The wettest place on earth
    is called Cherrepunjee. It is a deep jungle valley with loads of bizarre insects
    there. We were told they find new species there often. We saw loads of these
    strange purple and black wasps about the size of your thumb and loads of
    weird spiders".
    Family : Nephilidae
    Genus : Herennia
    Possibly Herennia multipunctata, known as the Fluted orb weaving Spider.
    Many thanks to Mark Bushell for Id.
    H. multipuncta is an invasive species and is synanthropic, often found in
    houses, gardens, farms, roadsides, garbage dumps.
    Like in the related genus Nephilengys, the much smaller males mutilate and
    sever their pedipalps, which are often found stuck in the epigynum or female
    genital openings. It is suggested that they act as mating plugs to prevent other
    males from mating with the female and thereby ensure the paternity of
    offspring. The males cannot mate subsequently and such "eunuch"
    individuals continue to stay near the female. (Wikipedia)
    December 2012
    Photograph by Julia Ratcliffe 

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