Genus: Neoscona

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida > Araneae > Araneomorpha > Family: Araneidae

Neoscona sp. [image N. Larsen ] Neoscona sp. [image N. Larsen ]

The genus Neoscona is similar to Caerostris being nocturnal and cryptically coloured. It is also referred to as the hairy field spider and has a globose (round) abdomen which overhangs the carapace. The legs are equipped with numerous spines. During the day this spider takes refuge amongst leaves and in or under bark. Neoscona species are very variable in colour. This is the spider responsible for the mysterious orb web found spanning from gutter to balustrade at night only to be missing next morning. The orb-web is constructed at night, shortly after dark. once complete the host will position herself head down at the hub (centre) of the web waiting for prey to fly into the web. Insects are attracted to the window light and it is quite remarkable how the spider knew to select such an unnatural but useful site. At the first sign of sunrise, or be fooled at the rise of a full moon,  the spider will remove its web only leaving the bridge line and a few supporting threads for construction next evening. Neoscona will be found resting under the gutter during the day. As the common name implies these spiders occur in the veld among grasses and bushes. There are 14 species known from South Africa. It is hoped to update and name the species on photographs at a later date after reexamining the specimens.

Species indigenous to southern Africa

Two of the 14 known species from southern Africa are listed here.

Neoscona hirta

11-17mm body length, occurs from east Africa to Cape Town in South Africa.

 

Neoscona rufipalpis

11-13mm, occurs through tropical Africa to the western Cape in South Africa.

 

 

Text by Norman Larsen .


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