A diversity of spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) from a cashew ecosystem in Kerala, India

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Mamparambath Subramanian Smitha
Ambalaparambil V. Sudhikumar


An exhaustive study was conducted to document spider fauna in cashew orchards of the Cashew Research Station, Madakkathara, Kerala, India from January 2015 to July 2017.  A total of 63 species of spiders under 52 genera belonging to 14 families were recorded.  The most species-rich families were Salticidae and Araneidae representing 33 and 27 per cent, respectively, of the total spider fauna.  A guild structure analysis revealed six feeding guilds, viz.: stalkers, orb-web builders, foliage runners, scattered line weavers, ground runners, and ambushers.  The occurrence of spiders was at a maximum during the monsoon with 59 species, followed by 26 during winter, 16 species during summer, and eight species being present all-round the year.


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