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Nephila pilipes, Bangunjiwo, Bantul 2015-09-19 04.jpg
Female Nephila pilipes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Superfamily: Araneoidea
Family: Nephilidae
Simon, 1894

see text

4 genera, 73 species

Nephilidae is a spider family with 75 described species in four genera. The various genera in Nephilidae were formerly grouped in the families Araneidae and Tetragnathidae. The genus Singafrotypa was moved to Araneidae in 2002.

All nephilid genera partially renew their webs.[1]


The family has a pan-tropical distribution: species of Nephilia, in particular, are found in tropical and subtropical environments in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Reproductive behavior[edit]

The genera Herennia and Nephilengys have both undergone extreme sexually driven selection. The pedipalps of these genera have become highly derived by evolving enlarged, complex palps which break off inside of the females' copulatory openings after copulation. The broken palps serve as mating plugs, which makes future matings with a mated female more difficult.[2] These genera of spiders also participate in mate guarding; a mated male will stand guard by his female and chase off other males, thereby increasing the mated male's paternity share. Mated males are castrated in the process of mate plugging, though this may be an advantage in mate guarding, as mated males have been observed to fight more aggressively and win more frequently than virgin males.[3] So while the female spiders are still polyamorous, the males have become monogamous.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kuntner, Matjaž (2005). "A revision of Herennia (Araneae : Nephilidae : Nephilinae), the Australasian 'coin spiders'". Invertebrate Systematics. CSIRO Publishing. 19 (5): 391–436. doi:10.1071/IS05024. 
  2. ^ Kuntner, Matjaž; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Schneider, Jutta M. (2009). "Intersexual arms race? Genital coevolution in nephilid spiders (Araneae, Nephilidae)". Evolution. Wiley. 63 (6): 1451–1463. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00634.x. PMID 19492993. 
  3. ^ Fromhage, Lutz; Schneider, Jutta M. (2005). "Virgin doves and mated hawks: contest behaviour in a spider". Animal Behaviour. Elsevier. 70 (5): 1099–1104. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.02.020. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kuntner, M. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of the Gondwanan nephilid spider lineage Clitaetrinae (Araneae, Nephilidae). Zoologica Scripta 35(1):19-62. PDF
  • Kuntner, M. & G. Hormiga. 2002. The African spider genus Singafrotypa (Araneae, Araneidae). Journal of Arachnology 30:129-139. PDF
  • Kuntner, M. 2002. The placement of Perilla (Araneae, Araneidae) with comments on araneid phylogeny. Journal of Arachnology 30:281-287. PDF
  • Agnarsson I. 2003a. Spider webs as habitat patches - The distribution of kleptoparasites (Argyrodes, Theridiidae) among host webs (Nephila, Tetragnathidae). Journal of Arachnology 31(3):344-349. PDF
  • Nephila of Southern Africa

External links[edit]