On the spider diversity of Salbardi forest and upper
Wardha Dam Amravati India
Ujjwala Shivaji Deshmukh
Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology Goverment Vidarbha Institute of Science and Humanities,
Amravati. 444604 (M.S.), India
Present study was carried out to explore the diversity and abundance of spiders from Salbardi Forest and catchment area
of Upper Wardha Dam, Dist. Amravati, Maharashtra, India, for consecutive 2 year (2011-2013). The study areas were
surveyed by making quadrants of approximately of 10 x 10 meters. The  oor, undergrowth, rocks,  rewood and stones
were systematically searched for spiders. Each site was surveyed from early morning 8 AM to 6 PM at the interval of
7 days. During this survey 142 species of spiders from 62 genera of 21 families were recorded. The most diverse fam-
ily observed was the Aranidae with 33 species followed by Salticidae 30, Oxyopidae and Thomisidae 11, Lycosidae 9,
Gnaphosidae 8, Tertragnathedae 7, Philodromidae 4, Clubionidae, Erasidae, Pholcidae, Pisauridae, Theridiidae and Ulo-
boridae 3 each, Hersilidae, Miturgidae, Scytodiidae and Sparassidae 2 each and Nephilidae, Sicariidae and Theridioso-
matidae 1 species each. Abundance and diversity of spiders was recorded highest during August to December while least
was recorded during summer. Amongst all families spiders from Salticidae were recorded throughout the year. However
Lycosidae, Oxyopidae, Hersilidae and Thomisidae were predominantly observed during late monsoon and early winter.
Seasonal variation showed a great impact on diversity and abundance of spiders. Their food consists of common insect
pests; they are important predators in nature and may serve as bio-indicator species for speci c ecosystem.
Biosci. Biotech. Res. Comm. 11(4): 687-690 (2018)
Corresponding Authors: ujjwaladeshmukh@rediffmail.com
Received 12
July, 2018
Accepted after revision 21
Nov, 2018
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Online ISSN: 2321-4007 CODEN: USA BBRCBA
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Online Contents Available at:
DOI: 10.21786/bbrc/11.4/20
Ujjwala Shivaji Deshmukh
Spiders belong to phylum Arthropoda, class Arachnida,
a large group of animals with jointed legs and rank sev-
enth in total species diversity among all other group of
organisms. Spiders are ancient animals with a history
going back over 350 million years. They are abundant
and widespread in almost all ecosystems and consti-
tute one of the most important components of global
biodiversity. The current global list of Spider fauna is
approximately 42,055 belonging to 3821 genera and
110 families (Platnick, 2014). Although the fossils record
of spiders is considered poor, almost 1000 spiders have
been described from fossils. The oldest known amber
that contains fossils arthropods dates from 130 million
years ago in the early cretaceous period.
Spiders are generalist feeders with great species rich-
ness in every type of terrestrial habitat and play an
important role in the structure of communities and food
webs, both as an individual numbers and as energy con-
sumers. Spiders acting as ecological indicator are cos-
mopolitan in distribution and locally abundant in terms
of individuals and taxa. Their small body size allows
them to maintain their community in small area. Spiders
are insectivorous animal and insect fauna changes with
the change in vegetation. Spiders play a signi cant eco-
logical role by being exclusively predatory and thereby
maintaining ecological equilibrium.
Spiders have a very signi cant role to play in ecology
by being exclusively predatory and thereby maintain-
ing ecological equilibrium. Bastawade (2004) described
arachnid fauna of orders Araneae, Scorpionida and Soli-
fugi from Melghat Tiger Reserve, Amravati, Maharashtra
State. Spiders of protected areas in India are studied by
Gajbe (1995a) in Indravati Tiger Reserve and recorded
13 species and Gajbe (1995b) 14 species from Kanha
Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. Gajbe (2003) prepared
a checklist of 186 species of spiders in 69 genera under
24 families distributed in Madhya Pradesh and Chhat-
tisgarh. Patel (2003) described 91 species belonging to
53 genera from Parabikulum Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.
Deshmukh and Raut (2014) reported 92 species from
Salbardi forest, Satpura range Maharashtra. Manju
Siliwal et al. (2003) recorded 116 species from 66 genera
and 25 families of spiders from Purna wildlife Sanctu-
ary, Dangs, Gujarat. Hippargi, et al. (2011 b) reported
occurrence of spiders from 19, 25, 31 families from
Lonar, Melghat and Southern Tropical Thorn forest,
Solapur respectively. Hore and Uniyal (2008a, 2008b)
worked on the spider assemblage and the diversity and
composition of spider assemblages in different vegeta-
tion types in Terai Conservation Area (TCA). Hore and
Uniyal (2008) worked on spiders as indicator species for
monitoring of habitat condition in TCA. They also stud-
ied on the effect of prescribed  re on spider assemblages
in TCA. Sebastin and Peter (2009) studied spider fauna
from irrigated rice ecosystem in central Kerala. Spi-
ders provide vital control of the invertebrate population.
They are skilled and ef cient hunters of insects. Recent
studies have investigated the importance of spiders as
ecological indicators. Terrestrial arthropods, of which
spiders are amongst, have long been monitored for early
warning sign of environmental changes. The aim of this
study was to investigate the spider species composi-
tion in different habitat type within Salbardi forest and
Upper wardha Dam area.
Study area: Present study was carried out to explore the
diversity and abundance of spiders from Salbardi For-
est (The Latitude and Longitude of salbardi is 21.4183
and 78.0113 respectively) and catchment area of Upper
Wardha Dam (The Latitude and Longitude of Upper
Wardha Damis 21.2764 and 78.0572 respectively), Dist.
Amravati, Maharashtra, India, (2011-2013). The study
areas were surveyed by making quadrants of approxi-
mately of 10 x 10 meters. Salbardi is about 8 km. (5 miles)
North of Morshi, District Amravati, on the border lying
partly in the Betul District of Madhya Pradesh on Madu
River. Salbardi is named from its abundance of Sal trees
and the stony character of its soil, Upper Wardha Dam
is situated on Wardha River near to Morshi. Catchment
area of both the sites comprises dry deciduous forest.
Field Methods: For adequate sampling the spiders
from various spots were collected every weekend. The
collection methods such as trapping, sweeping, beating,
pitfall trap and visual search for webs or retreats were
used. Only mature spiders were collected as well as rep-
etition of collection was avoided. Collected spiders were
identi ed using standard identi cation keys of Barrion
and Litsinger (1995), Biswas and Biswas (2004), Gajbe
(1999), Plantnick (1989), Tikader (1974, 1980, 1982 a
and b, 1987).
Spiders were sampled from various habitats by making
the quadrants approximately of 10x10 m. Consecutive
two years survey result shows that total 142 species of
spiders belonging to 61 genera and 21 families were
identi ed. Table 1. Abundance and richness of spiders
was at the peak during September to January. As spiders
feeds exclusively on insects or other arthropods, which
were abundantly found during the same season as sea-
sonal  ora is also at the peak. Among the specimen most
of the individuals were females while very few number
Ujjwala Shivaji Deshmukh
tailed spiders found on barks of trees, very much mim-
icking to habitat, spinnerets of these spiders are long
just like tail. Lycosidae (9 species from 3 genera) or Wolf
spider were recorded from ground and bushes. Miturgi-
dae (2 species from 1genus) or Dark sac spider observed
on vegetation mimicking to environment. Nephilidae (1
species from 1genus) or giant wood spiders, these were
observed on huge webs constructed on large trees, with
the average diameter of 8-10 meters. Female is large and
rest at the centre while 3-4 males comparatively small,
were found on web at the periphery. Oxyopidae or lynx
spiders, these are colourful spiders observed abundantly
during rainy season on seasonal  ora, males of these
were found in large number along with females. Philo-
dromidae (4 species from 4 genera) or elongated crab
spider or running crab spider are dull colored- brown,
gray or yellowish spiders and do not build webs, but use
silk for draglines and for egg sacs. These are observed
running very fast on ground and grass. Pholcidae (3 spe-
cies from 2 genera) commonly known as daddy long
legs, observed in humid and shady areas. Many times
females were observed carrying their egg sacs. Pisuiri-
dae (3 species from 2 genera) or Nursery web spiders,
carry their egg sacs by means of their jawsandpedi-
palps these spiders were observed at river site or near
water bodies. Scytodidae (2 species from 1 genus) or
spitting spiders, have sixeyesarranged in three pairs,
found under bark and leaf-litter. Sicariidae (1 species
from 1 genus) observed in dense forest. Six-eyed,ven-
omous spidersknown for their allegedlynecroticbites.
Sparasiidae (2 species from 1 genus) or Huntsman spi-
ders found in humid places. Tetragnthidae (7 species
from 2 genera) long-jawed orb weavers, mostly observed
in vegetation near water bodies. Theridiidae (3 species
from 3 genera) or comb-footed spiders, these were col-
lected from on the ground, on plants, in burrows and
caves, often webs were found in dark. Theridiosomatidae
found in damp habitats, among low-growing vegetation.
Thomosidae (11 species from 6 genera) or crab spider /
ower crab spider, were observed Wandering on plant
and ground, mainly on foliage, camou ages with sur-
rounding. Uloboridae (3 species from 2 genera) cribel-
late orb weaversorhackled orb weavers. These are non-
venomous spiders. These were observed in dry as well as
humid habitat on vegetation.
Spiders feeds on insects and other small arthropods,
any speci c selectivity was not observed in selection of
food rather they feed on eggs, larvae of insects along
with adults. Depending upon availability of food spiders
population was observed varied. However spiders can
remain starved for comparatively longer time. Diver-
sity and abundance of spiders depends on population
of insects. Diversity of insects is mostly determined by
ecological conditions,  ora and other environmental
Table 1. Number of genera and number of species
recorded from 21 families.
Sr. No. Family Number of
Number of
1 Araneidae 08 33
2 Clubionidae 01 03
3 Eeasidae 01 03
4 Gnaphocidae 05 08
5 Hersilidae 01 02
6 Lycosidae 03 09
7 Miturgidae 01 02
8 Nephilidae 01 01
9 Oxyopidae 02 11
10 Philodromidae 04 04
11 P Pholcidae 02 03
12 Pisuiridae 02 03
13 Salticidae 14 30
14 Scytodidae 01 02
15 Sicariidae 01 01
16 Sparassidae 01 02
17 Tetragnatidae 02 07
18 Theridiidae 03 03
19 Theriosomatidae 01 01
20 Thomisidae 06 11
21 Uloboridae 02 03
Total 62 142
of males were observed. Chrysilla lauta is only male till
now recorded from Saltisidae family was also observed
during the survey.
Highest number of species were recorded from fam-
ily Araneidae (33 species from 8 genera) or orb viewers,
these spiders were found in all most all spots as well as in
all seasons. Spiders from genus Neoscona was recorded
with high abundance and most of them observed con-
structing their webs in the evening. Second diverse fam-
ily was Saltisidae (30 species from 14genera) or jump-
ing spider, spiders of which were recorded throughout
the year and in all most all places. Only few species as
Opisthoncus, Rhene, Siler, Telamonia were found dur-
ing  owering season. Clubionidae (3 species from a sin-
gle genus) commonly called as leaf rolling spider were
observed through sacs in rolling leaves. Eresidae (3 spe-
cies from a single genus) or Social spiders were observed
through their typical web pattern unkempt irregular and
large webs on trees, shrubs from height 4 feet to max
60 feet. In a single web numbers of spiderlings were
found. Gnaphosidae (8 species from 5 genera), or ground
spider were observed wondering on ground, under lit-
ters or in crevices. Hersilidae (2species from 1genus) or
Ujjwala Shivaji Deshmukh
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