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Saturday, 7 November 2009

Largest Web-Spinning Spider Discovered

The largest web-spinning spider in the world, known as the Nephila Komaci, which is a member of the golden orb-web spider species was recently discovered in a nature reserve in South Africa (October 2009). The species can spin webs more than three feet (1 meter) wide, and what a web it is! Researchers say that the specimens are possibly rare within their small habitats in South Africa and Madagascar. Golden orb weavers have been known for their large webs as well as the extreme sexual size dimorphism, in other words, the males are five times smaller than the females. However, the males, with a leg span of almost one inch (2.5 cm), are in fact normal-size spiders; it is the females, with a leg span of five inches (12 cm), who are giants.

Much is still to be discovered about the species biology, but one thing’s for sure; the discovery of this new species is “just further evidence that it´s an amazing world we live in…”

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