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Researchers spot unlisted spider genus near Sasvad

City-based researchers Mandar Kulkarni and Avinash Harpude have spotted a rare spider species — Two-tailed Spiders (genus Murricia),which is not listed in the inventory of spiders in the state — near Sasvad.

Written by SushantKulkarni | Pune |
July 2, 2010 3:20:49 am

City-based researchers Mandar Kulkarni and Avinash Harpude have spotted a rare spider species — Two-tailed Spiders (genus Murricia),which is not listed in the inventory of spiders in the state — near Sasvad. All the specimens collected by the two were found to be ground-dwellers,as opposed to tree and wall-dwellers commonly found in the region.

Kulkarni and Harpude,carrying out a study of spiders in and around Pune as part of a research project funded by non-governmental organisation

RANWA,spotted the species in parts of Bapdeo Ghat,near Sasvad. They had been working in the area last month.

“Spiders constitute an important part of the food chain by feeding on insects,including flies and mosquitoes. But there is only limited data available on spiders.

“And whatever available do not cover all aspects of their life cycle. A lot of work is yet to be done.” says Kulkarni,a post-graduate student of Abasaheb Garware College.

The name,two-tailed spider,is basically a nomenclature for the lay man. The tail-like limbs of the spider are basically its spinnerets that they use for weaving the web.

“After we spotted the spiders of this genus and collected the specimens,we compared it with the earlier listed species. This finding will prove to be a great input for our further work on spiders,” says Harpude,a zoology graduate and a wildlife photographer.

“We have realised that if we want to talk about effects of climate change on various species,we must have adequate information about those species with us.”

Researcher Hemant Ghate,who has been guiding the duo on spider-related studies,said,“They definitely have found out a genus of spiders not listed earlier in Maharashtra. It is also a lesser known specie.”

Kulkarni said,“The tree and wall-dwelling species consume insects in their respective habitats.

“If our assumption about the ground-dwelling of these newly-found spiders is confirmed by international bodies in arachnology (study of spiders and scorpions),it will open a new avenue in the research on spiders.”

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