Palpimanoid Spiders
Hannah Marie Wood
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Madagascar & South Africa
December 2005 to March 2006
Hannah Wood  I spent three and a half months collecting in Madagascar and South Africa. While I was collecting for the Arachnology Tree of Life project, I also was able to collect archaeid spiders for my own research. This was my first time seeing archaeid spiders alive and I became very interested in their behaviors. The image above was taken at the Valbio Research Center in Ranomafana National Park, Emile Rajeriarison brought me the web of a social Stegodyphus spider.


Jeremy Miller
The last two months of the expedition, Jeremy Miller joined me in the field. Jeremy works on many different spider groups, including Black Widows.
South Africa Map
Madagascar Map  

   The route of the expedition is shown in these images of South Africa and Madagascar (images by J. Miller). We spent two months in Madagascar and one and a half months in South Africa.
    In Madagascar we were mostly working in wet montane rainforests, although we also spent time in the deciduous forests at Kirindy and Isalo, and Toliara has very unique dry, spiny forests. In South Africa we spent time collecting in a variety of habitats like bushveld, dessert, tidepools, sand dunes and montane rainforests.
    In Madagascar we worked extensively with and were helped tremendously by the Fisher/Griswold Madagascar Arthropod Survey team. This team is part of a large 10+ year survey which aims to document the arthropod biodiversity in Madagascar. To learn more about this survey click here and here.
     In South Africa we were able to work with local arachnologist (Dr. Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman, Dr. Leon Lotz, Dr. Charles Haddad, Dr. Stefan Foord) and naturalists (John & Astri Leroy, Marie de Jager, and Norman Larson). Those mentioned above, and many other locals as well, were very generous to us and we are very grateful for their help. Below are some of my favorite pictures from the expedition.

Nosy Be
This is a view from the island Nosy Be, Madagascar. The rainforests in the distance are where I collected the archaeid spider species with the longest neck (E.gracilicollis).
At night you can see many chameleons resting in the vegetation. (Image by J. Miller)
Morondava Baobabs
Baobab trees from Morondava, Madagascar.
  Tana Streets
Antananarivio, called Tana for short, is the capital of Madagascar. This picture was taken just after a big rain.
A halid spider, this lineage is found only in Madagascar. (Image by J. Miller)
  Madagascar House
A Malagasy house, this image was taken on the road from Tana to Ranomafana National Park.
Madagascar friendsKirindy Forest Reserve, Madagascar.   Mouse Lemur
The fat tailed dwarf lemur comes out at night in the Malagasy forest and you can spot them by their eyeshine. (Image by J. Miller)
Spiny Dry Forests
The spiny, dry forests of Toliara, Madagascar, just after the rain.
  Leon Changes a Tire
Dr. Leon Lotz and Jeremy change a tire, something we had to do three times during our 45 days in South Africa. Leon has described many species of assassin spiders.
Chummidae Spider
This chummid spider, of which the entire family is endemic to South Africa, was found in a small patch of forest in the sand dunes at Cholchester, South Africa. (Image by J. Miller)

South Africa Baobab
Another species of baobab tree, this image was taken after the rains very close to the north-eastern border of South Africa.

During a nature walk, a boy observes a scorpion in John Leroy's hand.
  Widow spider
One of the South African widow spiders studied by Jeremy Miller. (Image by J. Miller)
Jeremy and Norm
Jeremy (in the red shirt), Norman Larson (right) and our guide found a widow spider in the bush.

Tidal Spider

We found this intertidal anyphaenid spider during low tide on the Cape Town coast. She made a water-tight web under a seashell (pulled open for the photo) and she has many babies with her in the retreat. (Image by J. Miller)