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Original Research

A check list of the spider fauna of the Western Soutpansberg, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae)

S.H. Foord, Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman, M. van der Merwe

Koedoe; Vol 45, No 2 (2002), 35-43. doi: 10.4102/koedoe.v45i2.25

Submitted: 14 December 2002
Published:  14 December 2002


By virtue of its geological history and geographical location the Soutpansberg constitutes a refuge for a high diversity of organisms. The Western Soutpansberg forms part of the Savanna Biome and is presently the area with the highest concentration of Natural Heritage Sites in South Africa. A unique private initiative is under way to improve its national and international conservation status in a bid to conserve the mountain. A checklist of the spider species of the Western Soutpansberg collected over a five-year period is presented. Forty-six families, represented by 109 genera and 127 species have been collected. Of the species collected, 81 (64 %) were wandering spiders and 46 (36 %) web builders. The Thomisidae have the highest number of species (15) followed by the Araneidae and the Salticidae with 10 species each. Ninety-six genera are represented by a single species. Ninety six percent of the species collected are new records for the area. This survey is the first for the area and forms part of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA).

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Author affiliations

S.H. Foord, University of Venda, South Africa
Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman, ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute, South Africa
M. van der Merwe, University of Venda, South Africa


Biodiversity; Guilds; Conservancy


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ISSN: 0075-6458 (print) | ISSN: 2071-0771 (online)

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