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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Superphylum: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Classis: Arachnida
Ordo: Araneae
Subordo: Araneomorphae
Infraordo: Araneomorphi
Series: Entelegynae
Superfamilia: Araneoidea
Familia: Nephilidae
Genera: Clitaetra - Herennia - Nephila - Nephilengys


Nephilidae Simon, 1894


* Kuntner, M. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of the Gondwanan nephilid spider lineage Clitaetrinae (Araneae, Nephilidae). Zoologica Scripta 35: 19-62. PDF
* Kuntner, M., J.A. Coddington & G. Hormiga. 2008. Phylogeny of extant nephilid orb-weaving spiders (Araneae, Nephilidae): testing morphological and ethological homologies. Cladistics 24(2):147-217. PDF
* Platnick, N. I. 2008. The World Spider Catalog, version 9.0. American Museum of Natural History. [1]

Vernacular names
English: Nephilidae
日本語: ジョロウグモ科
한국어: 무당거미과

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.[1]


Species of this family occur worldwide in the tropics.

Reproductive behavior

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.[2] 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.[3] So while the female spiders are still polyandrous the males have become monogamous.


Clitaetra Simon, 1889 (Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka)
Herennia Thorell, 1877 (South Asia, Australia)
Nephila Leach, 1815 (Pantropical)
Nephilengys L. Koch, 1872 (Pantropical)


^ Kuntner, M. 2005. A revision of Herennia (Araneae, Nephilidae, Nephilinae), the Australasian ‘coin spiders’. Invertebrate Systematics 19(5):391–436. PDF
^ Kuntner, M., J. A. Coddington, and J. M. Schneider. 2009. Intersexual arms race? Genital coevolution in nephilid spiders (araneae, nephilidae). Evolution 63(6):1451-1463.
^ Fromhage,L., and J.M. Schneider. 2005. Virgin doves and mated hawks: Contest behaviour in a spider. Animal Behaviour 70(5):1099-1104

Further reading

Kuntner, M. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of the Gondwanan nephilid spider lineage Clitaetrinae (Araneae, Nephilidae). Zoologica Scripta 35(1):19-62. PDF
Kuntner, M. & G. Hormiga. 2002. The African spider genus Singafrotypa (Araneae, Araneidae). Journal of Arachnology 30:129-139. PDF
Kuntner, M. 2002. The placement of Perilla (Araneae, Araneidae) with comments on araneid phylogeny. Journal of Arachnology 30:281-287. PDF
Agnarsson I. 2003a. Spider webs as habitat patches - The distribution of kleptoparasites (Argyrodes, Theridiidae) among host webs (Nephila, Tetragnathidae). Journal of Arachnology 31(3):344-349. PDF
Nephila of Southern Africa

Biology Encyclopedia


Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License