Thursday 15 December 2016

Eriovixia gryffindori: A new species of leaf-mimicking Spider from from the Western Ghats of India.

Spiders of the genus Eriovixia are noted for their triangular, hair-covered abdomens, which have a curious tapering end. About 20 species are known, the majority from China, though the group is found from Papua New Guinea to the Philippines, across East and South Asia to East, Central and West Africa. To date four species have been described from India.

In a paper published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology on 1 December 2016, Javed Ahmed of the Panchavati Housing Society, Rajashree Khalap of Mumbai and Sumukha J. N. of Shivamogga describe a new species of Eriovixia from the Kans Sacred Forest of Shivamogga District in Karnataka State, India.

The new species is named Eriovixia gryffindori, in reference to the fictitious wizard Godric Gryffindor from the novels of JK Rowling, original owner of the magical Sorting Hat at Hogwarts school, which the Spider resembles. The species is described from a single female specimen.

Eriovixia gryffindori, female specimen in lateral view. Ahmed et al. (2016).

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