Spiders of Taleigao Plateau, Goa, India

Spiders have utilitarian value. The present study is the first comprehensive documentation of the spider fauna from the Taleigao plateau, Goa, India and has revealed occurrence of 74 species of spiders belonging to 17 families. The investigation was carried out for 8 months from July 2016 to February 2017. Through this research, some new families, genera and species were reported for Goa, some of which are endemic to India. The methods included active searching and visual surveys. Salticids were the most dominant and diverse group of spiders in the study, yet it is one of the least studied families in India. The spiders such as Hersilia savignyi, Plexippus petersi were the predominant species of spiders in the study area. The spiders belonged to 9 foraging guilds. The present study has emphasized the need for conservation of this ecosystem by characterizing species diversity and highlighting endemic species. It has definitely filled the lacuna of spider study in Goa to some extent and forms a basis for further investigations on the spider diversity in the areas in and around the state. Future research on the spiders of Taleigao plateau can certainly expect innumerable discoveries.

Author(s): Rupali Pandit and Pai IK