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H. cf. papuana, from New Guinea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Genus: Herennia
Thorell, 1877

See text.

11 species

Herennia is a genus of spiders in the Nephilidae family with Australasian distribution. While two species have been known since the 19th century, nine new species were described in 2005. Spiders in this genus are sometimes called coin spiders.

While H. multipuncta is invasive and synanthropic, all other known species are endemic to islands.[1]

Like in the related genus Nephilengys, the much smaller males mutilate and sever their pedipalps, which are often found stuck in the epigynum or female genital openings. It is suggested that they act as mating plugs to prevent other males from mating with the female and thereby ensure the paternity of offspring. The males cannot mate subsequently and such "eunuch" individuals continue to stay near the female.[1][2][3]


Herennia Etruscilla was the wife of Trajan Decius. There are coins bearing her image, which were probably the source for Thorell to name the genus. The non-scientific name coin spiders was proposed because of this fact.[1]


H. multipuncta


  1. ^ a b c Kuntner, M. (2005). "A revision of Herennia (Araneae:Nephilidae:Nephilinae), the Australasian 'coin spiders'" (PDF). Invertebrate Systematics. 19 (5): 391–436. doi:10.1071/IS05024. 
  2. ^ Kuntner, M; Kralj-Fiser, S; JM Schneider; D. Li (2009). "Mate plugging via genital mutilation in nephilid spiders: an evolutionary hypothesis" (PDF). Journal of Zoology. 277: 257–266. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00533.x. 
  3. ^ Kuntner, M; I Agnarsson; M Gregoric (2009). "Nephilid spider eunuch phenomenon induced by female or rival male aggressiveness" (PDF). The Journal of Arachnology. 37: 266–271. doi:10.1636/st08-67.1. 

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