Clitaetra irenae

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

Clitaetra irenae female. [photo Matjaž Kuntner ©]

Clitaetra irenae female. [photo Matjaž Kuntner ©]

This spider lives in trees (arboricolous) that inhabit the coastal plain forests of Maputaland in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, extending inland to woodlands in Malawi. It also occurs in Madagascar. The ecological niche of Clitaetra irenae is flexible; it normally constructs a permanent web against the bark on suitable trees that supply a partially closed canopy. The web changes from an orb-web and extends downwards to form a ladder-web allowing the spider to live against a single tree with the hub place at the top. Webs are constructed with white silk.

Publications (by date)

  • Kuntner M. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of the Gondwanan nephilid spider lineage Clitaetrinae (Araneae, Nephilidae). Zoologica Scripta 35: 19-62.
  • Kuntner M, Haddad CR, Aljančič G, Blejec A. 2008. Ecology and web allometry of Clitaetra irenae, an arboricolous African orb-weaving spider (Araneae, Araneoidea, Nephilidae). Journal of Arachnology 36: 583-594.
  • Kuntner M, Agnarsson I. 2009. Phylogeny accurately predicts behavior in Indian Ocean Clitaetra spiders (Araneae: Nephilidae). Invertebrate Systematics 23: 193-204. doi 10.1071/IS09002

Text by Norman Larsen ©

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