Largest Web-Spinning Spider Found
Meet the newest odd couple of the animal kingdom: the giant female and tiny male of the largest web-spinning spider known to science: Nephila komaci.
The female of the species has a leg span of up to 5 inches (12 centimeters), while the male—which spends much of its time clambering on its partner's back—barely reaches an inch (2.5 centimeters), a new study says.
Part of a well-known group of golden orb-weaver spiders—which can spin webs up to three feet (one meter) wide—N. komaci was first identified in a South African museum collection in 2000.
But it wasn't until a 2007 field survey, which discovered three individuals in South Africa's Tembe Elephant Park, that scientists knew the spider still existed in the wild.
The newfound spider, detailed October 20 in the journal PLoS One, is the first addition to the Nephila genus since 1879.
Much is still unknown about