Nephilidae Simon, 1894
* Kuntner, M. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of the Gondwanan nephilid spider lineage Clitaetrinae (Araneae, Nephilidae). Zoologica Scripta 35: 19-62. PDF
The Nephilidae are a spider family with 75 described species in four genera. They were formerly grouped in the families Araneidae and Tetragnathidae. The genus Singafrotypa was moved to Araneidae in 2002.
All nephilid genera partially renew their webs.
Species of this family occur worldwide in the tropics.
The genera Herennia and Nephilengys have both undergone extreme sexually driven selection. The pedipalps of these genera have become highly derived by evolving enlarged, complex palps which break off inside of the females copulatory opening after copulation. The broken palps serve as mating plugs which makes future matings with a mated female more difficult. These genera of spiders also participate in mate guarding, a mated male will stand guard by his female and chase off other males, there by increasing the mated males paternity share. Mated males are castrated in the process of mate plugging, though this may be an advantage in mate guarding as it has been observed that mated males fight more aggressively and win more frequently than virgin males. So while the female spiders are still polyandrous the males have become monogamous.
Clitaetra Simon, 1889 (Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka)
^ Kuntner, M. 2005. A revision of Herennia (Araneae, Nephilidae, Nephilinae), the Australasian ‘coin spiders’. Invertebrate Systematics 19(5):391–436. PDF
Kuntner, M. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of the Gondwanan nephilid spider lineage Clitaetrinae (Araneae, Nephilidae). Zoologica Scripta 35(1):19-62. PDF
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License