Nephila inaurata

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Red-legged nephila
Nephila inaurata dsc07682.jpg
Nominate subspecies in Réunion
Giant spider (6841558439).jpg
N. i. subsp. madagascariensis in Mozambique
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Nephila
Species:
N. inaurata
Binomial name
Nephila inaurata
Synonyms

Epeira inaurata
Epeira geniculata
Epeira nigra
Nephila ardentipes
Araneus geniculatus

Nephila inaurata, commonly known as the red-legged golden orb-weaver spider or red-legged nephila, is a species of golden orb-weaver spider. It is native to southern and East Africa, besides several islands of the western Indian Ocean (Madagascar, the Seychelles, Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues).

Habits[edit]

Like other spiders in the subfamily Nephilinae it can weave webs so strong that sometimes even birds and bats get caught.[citation needed] Its webs can be found in damp places such as large trees and unpolluted areas to which no cars have access; normally several are strung together to form enormous "homes" so as to cover as much surface area as possible.[citation needed]

Prey[edit]

This species feeds on flies, mosquitoes, moths, wasps and unfortunate beetles who happen to get tangled up.

Subspecies[edit]

In addition to the nominate subspecies (N. i. inaurata) of Mauritius and Réunion,[2] a second subspecies is currently recognized: N. i. madagascariensis (Vinson, 1863), which occurs from South Africa to the Seychelles.

Captive breeding[edit]

This species is commonly kept in captivity. Egg sacs the size of a small marble are made of thick silk and contain 100-200 eggs which hatch after two months, they start out with a 2mm leg span and grow rapidly. Males mature in one to two months depending on the form. A small percentage of males mature early and resemble a small, black crab spider with only an 8-10mm leg span. Most males mature later and resemble the form of the female but have very little color and only a 25-30mm leg span. Females mature in four months with an approximate 100mm leg span.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Taxon details Nephila inaurata (Linnaeus, 1767)", World Spider Catalog, Natural History Museum Bern, retrieved 2017-05-15
  2. ^ "Family: Araneidae Clerck, 1757". World Spider Catalog Version 19.0. Natural History Museum Bern. 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Golden Silk Spiders", Invertebrate-Magazine Vol.4, Issue 2 March 2005