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Natural UAE

Spiders in the UAE

At present little is known about spiders in the Emirates but current investigations by the American Museum of Natural History will soon tell us more. However, the spider fauna of the Sahara region is known, and includes a wide range of spider families such as ground hunting spiders (Gnathosidae ), crab spiders (Thomisidae ), giant crab spiders (Sparassidae ), bark spiders (Hersiliidae ), jumping spiders (Salticidae ), wolf spiders (Lycosidae ), sheet-web spiders (Agelenidae ), comb-footed spiders (Theridiidae ) and orb-weavers (Tetragnathidae and Argiopidae ). All these families probably also occur in the Emirates.

Spiders of the Arabian peninsula as a whole are not well studied. Twenty-nine species of Salticidae have been found, many of which were undescribed but resembled African or Asian spiders (Pruszynski,1993). Eight species from six genera of crab spiders or Thomisidae also occur (Dippenaar-Schoeman,1989). One of these, Thomisus citrinellus, has a wide distribution and probably inhabits UAE. In Saudi Arabia, two species of Linyphiidae have been recorded although they are not normally considered arid-zone species (Jocqu&egrave,1981).

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