Spiders have evolved, survived and thrived on this planet for more than 300 million years. They are widely distributed around the world in terrestrial habitats and play a vital role in ecosystems. Yet, unlike many other faunal groups, the information available for field identification of these 8-legged wonders is limited.
Spiders belong to a large group of animals classified as arthropods (Greek: arthro = jointed, poda = legs) with eight legs and two fangs. The latter is used to inject venom to stun their prey. Also, the body of a spider is divided into only two parts (cephalothorax and abdomen). Their closest relatives include scorpions, whip scorpions, mites, ticks and harvestmen. To date, scientists have discovered and named about 50,000 species of spiders belonging to 130 families from across the world. They range in size from 0.37mm to 300mm! So far, about 1,900 species of spiders belonging to 63 families have been recorded and described from India. These numbers will keep changing, as we learn more about them.
Explore Spiders of India is an attempt to bridge the gap between inadequate popular literature and detailed scientific works. With an emphasis on easy field identification using visual cues and general characters, this handy guide will be invaluable for both amateurs and arachnophiles as well. This work is a primer, covering 20 families and over 100 genera, which are found in natural habitats, gardens and even at homes. The succinct content and visual layout are designed to encourage observational skills, enabling quick identification of common spiders of India.
About the Author:
Karthikeyan S. has been a keen observer of natural history and a passionate nature educator for close to four decades. An avid birdwatcher, Karthik emphasises the inter-relation between birds, trees, insects, and other life forms. He has authored ‘The Fauna of Bangalore – A Checklist’ published by WWF-India and the popular pocket guide ‘Discover Avenue Trees’, published by EcoEdu. He is also the co author of a booklet titled ‘Ideas for Outdoors – Plants’ and a book on Common Avenue Trees in Kannada. During his early years, Karthik volunteered with WWF – India, and later went on to doing a project with them on the little-known Indian Tree Shrew. He subsequently, joined the same organization and worked there for over a decade. He presently works as the Chief Naturalist at Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd. In 2013, he was conferred the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award. Karthik shares his experiences about the denizens of the wild, both from the urban spaces and across the wilderness of the country on his blog.
The book has been published by Ecoedu and can be purchased on their website.