New Species Of Giant Orb Spider Shows Dramatic Difference Between Males And Females

October 21, 2009

Africa (ChattahBox) – A new species of orb spider has been discovered living mainly in Africa, with some in Madagascar, and researchers hope it will allow them to study the evolutionary differences that are causing the females to increase ten-fold in size.

The Nephila komaci was first seen in 2000, with a specimen that was brought in to biologist Matjaz Kuntner of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Kuntner, along with his colleague Jonathan Coddington, from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, studied over 2,500 specimen samples. The spider didn’t match a single one.

Until recently, Kuntner had assumed that this particular species was extinct. That is, until three more were found living, and it was realized that they still exist in remote regions of Africa and Madagascar.

“Its range is restricted and all known localities lie within two endangered biodiversity hotspots: Maputaland and Madagascar,” Coddington explained in a BBC interview.

The most fascinating detail about these orb spiders, which can spin a web of more than 3.2 feet long, is that the females are gigantic in comparison to the small males.

The average female is 12 cm, or 4.7 inches, long. It is believed that they have increased in size in order to produce more offspring, and save their dying species.

For pictures, see the source link below.

Source


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One Response to “New Species Of Giant Orb Spider Shows Dramatic Difference Between Males And Females”

  1. "New Species Of Giant Orb Spider Shows Dramatic Difference Between Males And Females" and related posts | 7 Article on October 21st, 2009 4:08 pm

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