DISTRIBUTION OF SPARASSIDAE (ARANEOMORPHAE: ARANEAE: ARACHNIDA) IN INDIA
Prof. Rajendra Singh*
Prof. Rajendra Singh*
The present article deals with the faunal diversity and distribution of one of the spider family Sparassidae (Araneomorphae: Araneae: Arachnida), commonly known as huntsman spiders, giant crab spiders, wood spiders, rain spiders or lizard-eating spiders, in different Indian states and union territories and provides an update checklist based on the literature published up to February 18, 2021. It includes 94 species of spiders described under 19 genera in 24 states (except Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Telangana) and 6 union territories (except Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu), out of which 63 species are endemic. Five species were considered to be erroneous report. In India, Heteropoda Latreille, 1804 is the largest genus consisting of 26 species followed by Olios Walckenaer, 1837 (21 species) and Pseudopoda Jäger, 2000 (14 species). The records demonstrated that only 8 species of these spiders are widely distributed: viz. Heteropoda venatoria (Linnaeus, 1767) (in 20 Indian states and union territories); Olios milleti (Pocock, 1901) (in 14 Indian states); Olios tener (Thorell, 1891) (in 12 Indian states); Heteropoda sexpunctata Simon, 1885 and Spariolenus tigris Simon, 1880 (each in 11 Indian states); and Heteropoda leprosa Simon, 1884, Heteropoda nilgirina Pocock, 1901, and Heteropoda phasma Simon, 1897 (each in 11 Indian states). Maximum 27 species of these spiders were recorded in Tamil Nadu followed by 25 species in West Bengal, 22 species in Kerala, 20 species in Uttarakhand, 17 species each in Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra, 16 species in Assam, 13 species Uttar Pradesh, and less number of species are recorded in other states. Despite their role as insect predators and being crucial to the health of terrestrial ecosystems, none of the species recorded in India is listed in IUCN Red List.[Full Text Article]
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