Palpimanoid Spiders
 
Hannah Marie Wood
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South Africa
January 2011
 
   For this expedition we collected mostly in the southeast province of Kwazulu-Natal. Our collecting localties are shown in the image below. While there I collected with Charles Griswold from California Academy of Sciences and Charles Haddad from the University of the Free State.
    In South Africa we were mostly working in the afromontane forests, where archaeid spiders are found, including areas along the southern coasts as well as high altitude grasslands. Below are some photos from the trip.
    

 


 
 
 

The Drakensberg Mountains, here we found archaeid spiders living in high-altitude tufts of grass.
 

Charles hiding under a rock to escape a thunderstorm.
 
In Ithala National Park dung beetles have the right of way.
     
Archaeid habitat on a rainy day.
     

Can you spot the archaeid? This one is easy to find because her light yellow eggcase gives her away, and also the surface of the rock she is on is relatively smooth and debris free: she is lying to the immediate right of the eggcase, playing dead. Now imagine trying to find an archaeid without an eggcase that is hidden in lots of vegetation, dirt and twigs - their total body length is around 2 millimeters.
     
Exploring the canopy for invertebrates.
     
Afrarchaea cornutus, a South African archaeid with a long neck, guarding her recently hatched eggcase, upon which the juveniles are sitting.   A female palpimanid spider guarding her eggcase in her retreat. Palpimanids belong to the same superfamily as archaeid spiders.