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Spiders: Family Agelenidae
Agelena gaerdesi Benoitia ocellata Mistaria zuluana
Spiders: Family Amaurobiidae
Chresiona invalida
Spiders: Family Ammoxenidae
Ammoxenus amphalodes female Ammoxenus amphalodes male Rastellus kariba female
Spiders: Family Cheiracanthiidae
Common name: Sac spider. Medically significant. Long-legged Sac Spiders are common and found in most habitats. Nocturnal hunters resting during the day in sac-like silken retreats mostly in vegetation. They often come indoors, resting e.g. in folds of fabric. Fangs are large and black and as they often come into close contact with humans, account for about 75% of known spider bites in South Africa. Venom is cytotoxic (cell destroying) and bites cause necrotic wounds which take several weeks to heal completely. Abundance: common. (Marita Beneke)
Cheiracanthium aculeatum Cheiracanthium furculatum
Spiders: Family Corinnidae
Common name: Antlike and dark sac spiders. This is a moderately large and diverse family. More than half of the species are ground-living while some are plant dwellers. Some mimic ants and some again, are found in leaf litter. Size: 2 – 10 mm. Legs long and thin. Abundance: common. (Marita Beneke)
Merenius alberti
Spiders: Family Ctenidae
Ctenus gulosus Stasimopus coronatus female
Spiders: Family Deinopidae
Menneus camelus
Spiders: Family Eresidae
Common name: Velvet spiders. “The velvet spiders are medium-sized to large spiders with a soft, velvety appearance. They have diverse life-styles, making retreat webs under stones and under bark, or communal nests in trees or burrows in the soil. (Spiders of the Savanna Biome – Dippenaar-Schoeman, Foord & Haddad). The genus which has been photographed here is Stegodyphus – Community Nest Spiders. Some of them are social and live together in large retreats, while other species are solitary. The retreat has numerous tunnels and chambers in structures such as shrubs, fences etc attached by sheetlike webs in which prey is trapped. Abundance: rare. (Marita Beneke)
Dresserus colsoni Gandanameno fumosa Seothyra schreineri Stegodyphus dumicola
Spiders: Family Hersiliidae
Common name: Long-spinnered bark spider. 3 genera and 11 species in South Africa. Diverse life-styles but most of the species are arboreal. Free-living and beautifully camouflaged to blend with e.g. bark. Extremely fast, running in quick, jerky spurts. Colour variation depends on the bark colour on which they are found. They attack pedestrian prey by circling it and covering it with silk strands. Difficult to see, except when the sun reflects on their untidy guide threads. Harmless to humans. Abundance: rare. (Marita Beneke)
Hersilia aborea Tyrotama australis female
Spiders: Family Idiopidae
Ctenolophus fenoulheti female Galeosoma planiscutatum female Galeosoma planiscutatum male Segregara transvaalensis female Segegara transvaalensis male
Spiders: Family Palpimanidae
Diaphorecellus biplagiatus Palpimanus transvaalicus
Spiders: Family Philodromidae
Common name: Small Running Spiders. They are either terrestrial or plant-living. The ground-living species are free-running, often encountered under rocks or pebbles and often occur in areas infested with termites. Very agile and fast. Very few setae on the body. Plant-living Philodromids are also free-running and commonly found on grass. Well camouflaged on either, grass, bark or leaves. Harmless to humans. Abundance: common. (Marita Beneke)
Gephyrota glauca Philodromus grossi Thanatus africanus female Tibellus minor female Tibellus minor male Philodromus species
Spiders: Family Pholcidae
Common name: Daddy-long-leg-spiders. Pholcids are among the dominant web-building spiders in many tropical and subtropical areas. They occupy a wide variety of habitats ranging from leaf-litter to tree canopies, and several species occur in caves and in close proximity to humans. 2-10mm in size (both males and females). When disturbed they will vibrate. This is called “whirling the web” meaning they move their bodies rapidly around in circles with the legs remaining on the web. Their diet consists mainly of ants and other spiders. Also important predators of malaria mosquitoes in Africa. Harmless to humans. Abundance: very common. (Marita Beneke)
Smeringgopus natalensis male Smeringgopus natalensis female
Spiders: Family Phyxelididae
Vidole sothoana female
Spiders: Family Scytodidae
Common name: Spitting spiders. There is a single genus of the family Scytodidae in South Africa, namely Scytodes with 30 species (ADS). They spit their venom which then congeals into a gel as it hits the prey. Harmless to humans. Abundance: rare. (Marita Beneke)
Scytodes constellata Scytodes maritima Scytodidae species
Spiders: Family Segestriidae
Ariadna bilineata Ariadna corticola
Spiders: Family Selenopidae
Common name: Wall crab spiders, flatties because of their dorsally flattened bodies. Named after the Greek moon goddess, Selene. Nocturnal and free-ranging and well camouflaged on or under their usual habitat of rocks or on trees where their flattened bodies enable them to retreat into small cracks and crevices. Also common in houses and easily seen on walls and other surfaces, often retreating into small crevices such as those behind skirting boards and picture frames. They are extremely agile and able to move very rapidly in any direction. 2 Southern African genera, Selenops and Anyphops. They are very useful in controlling insect pests such as mosquitoes, fishmoths and cockroaches. Indeed very useful creatures in our homes. Harmless to humans. Abundance: very common. (Marita Beneke)
Anyphops leleupi Anyphops species female Selenops ansiae female Selenops radiatus Selenops species
Spiders: Family Sicariidae
Hexophthalma hahni Loxosceles simillima
Spiders: Family Sparassidae
Common name: Huntsman spiders. Large nocturnal plant-dwelling spiders that wander around in search of prey. Rain spiders (Palystes sp) often frequest houses. Prey: large insects as well as small reptiles and other spiders. They make large silken nests often between leaves which they fasten together with silk strands. The female guards the nest diligently until the, often hundreds, of spiderlings leave the nest. Although quite scary to look at because of their size, they are harmless to humans. Abundance: rare. (Marita Beneke)
Olios correvoni Olios species Palystes superciliosus Pseudomicrommata longipes
Spiders: Family Tetragnathidae
Common name: Long-jawed orb weavers. Small family comprising 5 genera in South Africa.Tetragnathids are cryptically coloured in shades of brown and cream and green for those species that occur amongst foliage. Nocturnal although sometimes diurnal. They make a delicate orb-web usually over streams or bodies of water. The web is taken down and reconstructed daily. Very well camouflaged often resembling dry grass as the front 2 pairs of legs are projected forward and the back pairs backward. Harmless to humans. Abundance: common. (Marita Beneke)
Leucauge festiva Leucauge kibonotensis Tetragnatha boydi Tetragnatha demissa Tetragnatha nitens Tetragnatha species
Tetragnatha species          
Spiders: Family Theridiidae
Common names: Tangle Web Spiders. Comb-footed spiders. Large and diverse family – 15 genera in South Africa. The Theridiidae family includes the genus Latrodectus, the medically important widow or button spiders. There are approximately 31 species of venomous spiders in this genus. Black button spiders in southern Africa do not have the red double triangle markings under the abdomen but can have a variety of pretty red and gold markings on the upper side, although usually there is only a dull red dot above the spinnerets. Egg sacs are smooth, usually spherical, sometimes tear-drop shaped and about the size of a large green pea. Webs are 3-dimensional made of very tough silk, usually outdoors. Black Button spiders are regarded as the most dangerously venomous spiders found in southern Africa. Although they are reluctant to bite, preferring to “play dead” if disturbed, proven button spider bites must be taken seriously and medical attention sought. The potent venom affects the nervous system, causing severe systemic symptoms and local pain, but in South Africa, an anti-venom is available. No recorded human deaths in South Africa for more than 6 decades. The Brown Button Spider's bite is also venomous but much less so. Abundance: very common. (Marita Beneke)
Latrodectus geoometricus Steatoda capensis
Spiders: Family Trachelidae  
Orthobula radiata
Spiders: Family Trochanteriidae
Platyoides walteri
Spiders: Family Uloboridae
Miagrammopes brevicaudus Uloborus plumipes female Uloborus plumipes male
Spiders: Family Zodariidae
Capheris decoratus Capheris langi Ranops caprivi Systenoplacis vandami

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