Nephila edulis

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Nephila edulis
Female Nephila Edulis SeanMcClean 2007.jpg
Female Nephila edulis, Perth, Western Australia.[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Genus: Nephila
Species: N. edulis
Binomial name
Nephila edulis
(Labillardière, 1799)
Distribution.nephila.edulis.1.png
Synonyms

Aranea edulis
Epeira edulis
Nephila imperatrix
Nephila eremiana

Nephila edulis is a species of large spider of the Nephilidae family. It is referred to the common name edible golden silk spider or golden silk orb-weaver.[citation needed] They are commonly found in Australia, where it is found in both tropical and temperate regions, and in parts of New Guinea and New Caledonia.

It has a large body size variability, females can reach a body length of about 23 millimetres, males about 6 mm. The cephalothorax is black with a white pattern on the back, and a yellow underside; the abdomen is grey to brown.

The web is about 1 metre in diameter and protected on one or both sides by a strong "barrier" web. N. edulis breeds from February to May, and produces an average of 380 eggs.

Name[edit]

The species name edulis means "edible" in Latin. While it is not entirely clear why this particular species is considered edible, it is known that several Nephila species are considered a delicacy in New Guinea, where they are plucked by the legs from their webs and lightly roasted over an open fire.[2]

The species was first collected and named by Jacques Labillardiere, in Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse (1799),[3] becoming the second Australian spider to be described by a European naturalist.[4]

Further reading[edit]

  • Uhl, G. & Vollrath, F (2000). Extreme body size variability in the golden silk spider (Nephila edulis) does not extend to genitalia. J. Zool. Lond. 251:7-14 PDF
  • Vollrath, F., Madsen, B. & Shao, Z. (2001). The effect of spinning conditions on the mechanics of a spider's dragline silk. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 268:2339-2346 PDF doi:10.1098/rspb.2001.1590

References[edit]

  1. ^ Golden orb weavers Ed Nieuwenhuys, Ronald Loggen 1997, 2002, Jurgen Otto 2005. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
  2. ^ Meyer Rochow, V.B. (1973). Edible insects in three different ethnic groups of Papua and New Guinea. Am J. Clin. Nutr. 26:673-677.
  3. ^ Labillardière, J. 1799. Relation du voyage à la recherche de La Pérouse, fait par ordre de l'Assemblée constituante. Paris Vol. 2 pp. 240-241
  4. ^ Davies, Valerie Todd; et al. (30 Mar 2006). "Order Araneae: Spiders". Australian Faunal Directory. Government of Australia. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 

Gallery[edit]

Images of N. edulis
Side view, Sydney female 
Back view, Sydney female 
Bottom view, Sydney female 
Back view, Western Australia female 
A Queensland female and a locust fight in its web 

External links[edit]