Six Heteropoda Spiders (Araneae: Sparassidae) from Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, China

Shakal Khan Korai, Kai Wang


Due to the fact that they catch and consume insect pests, cockroaches, and other domestic soft-bodied pests in crops, Heteropoda spiders are highly important predator in tropical and subtropical regions. As with other vagrant spiders, pantropical huntsman spiders do not use webs to capture prey. Their great speed and strong chelicerae (jaws) are used to capture the insects on which they feed. Venom is also injected into the prey from glands extending from the chelicerae into the cephalothorax. In this study, more than 227 individuals belonging to six Heteropoda spiders were collected from Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture and brought back to lab, and then stored in 75% ethanol. Among which 64 individuals were males and 163 individuals were females. A total of six known species of the genus Heteropoda are described: Heteropoda dagmarae Jäger and Vedel, 2005, H. onoi Jäger, 2008, H. simplex Jäger and Ono, 2000, H. tetrica Thorell, 1897, H. venatoria (Linnaeus, 1767) and H. zuviele Jäger, 2008. Our findings provide new record for H. dagmarae from China, adding more knowledge to Heteropoda species distribution in China, and may help to study the biogeography and dispersal route of Heteropoda species. Our results also provide a little information for the origin and evolution study of Heteropoda genus, because no author has published any molecular phylogenetic study on this genus. We also provide description, illustration, and distribution map for each species in the current paper


Heteropoda biodiversity; New record; Taxonomy; Yunnan province

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