Carparachne aureoflava (Wheeling spider)
(animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra >
Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata
> Arachnida > Araneae
> Araneomorpha > Family: Sparassidae (huntsman
spiders) > Genus: Carparachne
Carparachne aureoflava (Wheeling spider).
[photo John Leroy ©]
Native to Namibia. Smaller than
Carparachne alba (body length
averaging 18 mm as opposed to 24 mm in C. alba). Known as the wheeling spider due
to its habit of folding its legs and cart wheeling down sand dunes to escape
predatory spider hunting wasps.
Distribution and habitat
Endemic to Namibia.
Known as the Wheeling spider due to its habit of folding
its legs and cart-wheeling down sand dunes to escape predatory spider hunting
It can run at speeds of 0.9-1.4 metres per second for up to 2 metres and then
has to rest for 10 seconds. Cartwheeling at 44 turns per minute allows it to
cover a greater distance, at 1.5 metres per second down a dune slope of 15°,
allowing it to escape the wasp.
Tube video of this wheeling behaviour.
The burrow consists of a long (478 mm) narrow tube bound
together with silk.
Derivation of name
The genus name is in honour of a Bernard Carp; the Greek arachne
means spider. The specific name is from Latin albus meaning white.
- Henschel JR. 1990. Spiders wheel to escape. South African Journal of
Science 86: 151–152.
- Henschel JR. 1994. Diet and foraging behaviour of huntsman spiders in
the Namib dunes (Araneae: Heteropodidae). Journal of Zoology 234(2):