Two jumping spider species discovered from Kerala, Tamil Nadu

Specimens of Afraflacilla kerala were spotted in Irinjalakuda and Kuttanad while Afraflacilla adavathurensis was discovered from Adavathur in Tiruchirappalli

Updated - December 24, 2023 08:44 pm IST

Published - December 24, 2023 08:04 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Afraflacilla kerala

Afraflacilla kerala | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARANGEMENT

A team of researchers from Kerala and Tamil Nadu have discovered two new species of jumping spiders that belong to the genus Afraflacilla. Only three species belonging to the genus had been hitherto discovered in the country.

Afraflacilla adavathurensis

Afraflacilla adavathurensis | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARANGEMENT

Specimens of Afraflacilla kerala were spotted in Kuttanad and Irinjalakuda by researchers Nishi Babu of Kerala University and Rishikesh Tripathi of Christ College, Irinjalakuda, while M. Sampathkumar of ICAR – National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR), Bengaluru, discovered Afraflacilla adavathurensis from Adavathur in Tiruchirappalli.

Both findings were reported and co-authored by John T.D. Caleb of Saveetha University, G. Prasad of the Zoology department of Kerala University, A.V. Sudhikumar of Christ College, A. Mohanasundaram of ICAR – National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirappalli, and G. Mahendiran of NBAIR. The findings were published in the December issue of the peer-reviewed journal Arthropoda Selecta.

According to the researchers, these species have interesting diagnostic features consisting of dark brown carapace with fine bands of white setae covering laterally. Their abdomens are light brown and display white bands formed of white hairs that cover it laterally.

Jumping spiders of the genus Afraflacilla are widespread from Africa to Australia with various known species found in Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, Central, Eastern and Western Europe, numerous African countries and Australia. Recent findings have revealed the presence of the genus in Rajasthan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. With the new findings, the number of known Afraflacilla species has grown to 47 with Africa reporting the most at 19.

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