Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Yesitha Rodrigo ©


Sri Lanka is a tropical island established near the southern tip of India. The invertebrate fauna is as extensive as it isn’t surprising to different areas of the world. There are around 2 million types of arthropods found on the planet, and still, it is counting. Such huge numbers of new species are found up to this time moreover. So it is extremely entangled and hard to summarize the specific number of species found inside a specific region.

The accompanying review is about Spiders found in Sri Lanka.

Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs that infuse venom. Anatomically, spiders vary from different arthropods in that the typical body parts are intertwined into two tagmata, the cephalothorax, and abdomen, and joined by a little, round and hollow pedicel. In contrast to creepy crawlies, spiders don’t have antennae. In all aside from the primary groups, the Mesothelae, spiders have the most centralized sensory systems of all arthropods, as all their ganglia are combined into one mass in the cephalothorax. In contrast to most arthropods, spiders have no extensor muscles in their appendages and rather broaden them by hydraulic pressure.

As of November 2015, at least 45,700 spider varieties, and 114 families have been documented by taxonomists. In any case, there has been dispute inside established researchers with regards to how every one of these families ought to be classified, as proved by the more than 20 distinct characterizations that have been proposed since 1900.

While considering the arachnid decent variety in South Asia, which includes India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka, there are very little broad spiders scientific categorization has uncovered. Just in India, there is an exact inventory of spiders are archived by arachnologists. In the various South Asian nations, the logical investigation is a lot lesser than that of India. In Sri Lankan spider fauna, the vast majority of the articles and distributions on spiders were finished by Eugène Simon, C.L. Koch before, and presently by Channa Bambaradeniya, K. B Ranawana, V. A. M. P. K Samarawickrama and Ranil P. Nanayakkara. However, the greater part of them was keen on tiger spiders of Sri Lanka – genus Poecilotheria, very little work done in other arachnid categories.

In the 2012 IUCN National Red List of Sri Lanka, a significantly more exhaustive investigation on spiders and other nearby fauna had occurred. A short time later, two books named An introduction to common Spiders of Sri Lanka and Tiger Spiders by Ranil P. Nanayakkara was distributed in 2014 and 2013 separately. Various productions and agendas have been made up from that point forward and interest in the spider’s fauna emerged in the country. Three new jumping spiders were distinguished in 2016.

The accompanying rundown gives the spiders at present recognized in Sri Lanka. These works have impacted by crafted by above-named arachnologists joined by the agenda by Manju Siliwal and Sanjay Molur’s comprehensive checklist of spiders of South Asia including the 2006 amendment of the Indian spider checklist. This checklist gave all the portrayed spider types of South Asia and parts of South-East Asia as well.

Right now, Sri Lanka has 387 types of spiders that have a place with 45 families and 213 genera. Out of these 387 species, 275 are endemic spiders to Sri Lanka with 22 endemic genera.

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Pholcidae sp | Chamod Goonathilake ©
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Pholcidae sp | Chamod Goonathilake ©

Spider anatomy

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Spider anatomy
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Spider anatomy

Spiders are chelicerates and many features shared with other arthropods. As arthropods they have: fragmented bodies with jointed limbs, all canvassed in a fingernail skin made of chitin and proteins; heads that are made out of a few portions that intertwine during the improvement of the embryo. Being chelicerates, their bodies comprise of two tagmata, sets of fragments that serve comparable capacities: the preeminent one, called the cephalothorax or prosoma, is a finished combination of the sections that in a spider would frame two separate tagmata, the head, and thorax; the back tagma is known as the stomach area or opisthosoma. In spiders, the cephalothorax and belly are associated with a little round and hollow segment, the pedicel. The example of portion combination that structures chelicerates’ heads are exceptional among arthropods, and what might ordinarily be the principal head fragment vanishes at a beginning time of advancement, so that chelicerates lack the antennae characteristic of most arthropods. In fact, chelicerates’ just extremities in front of the mouth are a couple of chelicerae, and they need whatever would work straightforwardly as “jaws”. The main limbs behind the mouth are called pedipalps, and serve various capacities inside various gatherings of chelicerates.

A new species of spider named after Joaquin Phoenix

Spiders and scorpions are individuals from one chelicerate gathering, the arachnids. Scorpions’ chelicerae have three areas and are utilized in feeding. Spiders’ chelicerae have two segments and end in teeth that are commonly venomous, and overlap away behind the upper segments while not being used. The upper areas, for the most part, have thick “facial hair” that sift strong irregularities through of their nourishment, as spiders can take just fluid food. Scorpions’ pedipalps by and large structure enormous hooks for catching prey, while those of spiders are genuinely little members whose bases likewise go about as an expansion of the mouth; furthermore, those of male spiders have expanded last segments utilized for sperm transfer.


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In spiders, the cephalothorax and stomach area are joined by a little, tube-shaped pedicel, which empowers the midriff to move autonomously while creating silk. The upper surface of the cephalothorax is secured by a solitary, curved carapace, while the underside is secured by two rather level plates. The midriff is delicate and egg-moulded. It gives no indication of division, then again, actually the crude Mesothelae, whose living individuals are the Liphistiidae, have portioned plates on the upper surface.

Circulation and respiration

Like different arthropods, spiders are coelomates in which the coelom is decreased to little regions around the reproductive and excretory systems. Its place is generally taken by a hemocoel, a cavity that runs a large portion of the length of the body and through which bloodstreams. The heart is a cylinder in the upper piece of the body, with a couple of ostia that go about as non-return valves permitting blood to enter the heart from the hemocoel yet keep it from leaving before it arrives at the front end. However, in spiders, it possesses just the upper piece of the midriff, and blood is released into the hemocoel by one supply route that opens at the backside of the abdomen area and by expanding corridors that go through the pedicle and open into a few pieces of the cephalothorax. Henceforth spiders have open circulatory systems. The blood of numerous spiders that have book lungs contains the respiratory color hemocyanin to make oxygen transport more efficient.

Bugs have built up a few distinctive respiratory life structures, in view of book lungs, a tracheal framework, or both. Mygalomorph and Mesothelae arachnids have two sets of book lungs loaded up with haemolymph, where openings on the ventral surface of the abdomen area permit air to enter and diffuse oxygen. This is likewise the situation for some basal araneomorph insects, similar to the family Hypochilidae, yet the rest of the individuals from this gathering have quite recently the foremost pair of book lungs flawless while the back pair of breathing organs are halfway or completely adjusted into tracheae, through which oxygen is diffused into the haemolymph or legitimately to the tissue and organs. The tracheal structure has doubtlessly developed in little predecessors to help oppose desiccation. The trachea was initially associated with the environmental factors through a couple of openings called spiracles, yet in most of the bugs, this pair of spiracles has intertwined into a solitary one in the center and moved in reverse near the spinnerets. Spiders that have tracheae, for the most part, have higher metabolic rates and better water saving. Spiders are ectotherms, so environmental temperatures influence their activity.

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Plexippus petersi | Chamod Goonathilake ©
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Plexippus petersi | Chamod Goonathilake ©

How spiders eat and chase

Most species are carnivorous, either catching flies and different bugs in their web or chasing them down. They can’t swallow their nourishment with no guarantees, however—spiders infuse their prey with stomach related liquids, at that point suck out the melted remains.


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Despite the fact that not all spiders assemble networks, each species produces silk. They utilize the solid, adaptable protein fibre for a wide range of purposes: to climb (think Spider-Man), to tie themselves for wellbeing if there should be an occurrence of a fall, to make egg sacs, to wrap up prey, to make homes, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Most Spider species have eight eyes, however, some have six. In spite of those eyes, however, many don’t see well overall. A prominent special case is the jumping spiders, which can see a greater number of hues than people can. Utilizing channels that sit before cells in their eyes, the day-chasing jumping insect can find in the red range, green range, and UV light.

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Pixabay ©
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Pixabay ©

Spider Habitat and Distribution

When you consider where Spiders live, the better inquiry to pose would be the place don’t they live? Spiders can live pretty much anyplace and that is the reason there is such expansion out there. That gives you a smart thought of the range of how they have stretched out. The main spot on the planet where you won’t discover spiders is in Antarctica.

You will have the option to discover Spiders living in dry environments. Some of them have advanced to where they don’t should be around any water whatsoever. They can make due in probably the harshest conditions you could envision. They get the water they need from their food sources.

The tropic regions are likewise home to numerous species of Spiders. In addition to the fact that they are ready to flourish in the atmosphere, they are likewise ready to discover a lot of nourishment assets for them to appreciate. These living animals are referred to as earthly as they quite often live ashore. They might be found in trees, on plants, and in any event, living in the pieces of sod in your yard.

Spiders are very adaptable and they do well in a wide range of natural surroundings. They do need to discover cover however when the cooler temperatures settle in. In any case, their internal heat level can change excessively and they will pass on. This is the reason there are seasons when you may see them bounty and others that you don’t see them around by any stretch of the imagination.

It very well may be hard to completely recognize any Spider natural surroundings in the event that you aren’t generally searching for them. They mix into their regular environment. They can risk hues as well in the event that they have to so as to mix in with what is surrounding them. Not every person accepts that the Spider can live in the wetlands however they do.

Some live along the edges of lakes and lakes as well. They needn’t bother with the water or the dampness there. Rather, this area offers them a prime region to have the option to discover bunches of nourishment and sanctuary. It is a triumphant area for them that causes them to have the option to flourish.

Spiders are in any event, making their home in your home! It doesn’t make a difference in how clean you are or the amount you search for them. They might be in regions, for example, creep spaces, the rear of a storage room, and even outside in a heap of blocks. On the off chance that you have heaps of messiness in your home however you are offering considerably more spaces that make a perfect Spider territory.

Numerous Spiders carry on with any longer life in bondage than they do in nature. In any case, it relies upon how they are thought about. A portion of the bigger spiders doesn’t do prosperity caught in a little territory. They additionally become forceful on the off chance that they are contacted regularly because of their increased faculties.

Nourishment supply has a lot of impact on the Spider living space. This is the reason you will see some of them in specific regions and not others. They should have the option to construct their webs and have enough prey going along for them to endure. Else they need to search for another area where those necessities can be met.

As people keep on disturbing the common living space of the Spider, they are likewise fanning out in new areas. This is the reason even risky spiders are in some cases found in places that they never were. They can get into nourishment shipments and different holders also. This allows them to discover mates and to begin to flourish in places that were once empty of such species.

Web types

There is no reliable connection between the order of spiders and the kinds of web they construct: species in similar variety may manufacture fundamentally the same as or essentially various webs. Nor is there much correspondence between spiders’ order and the synthetic piece of their silks. Merged advancement in web development, as it were utilization of comparative strategies by remotely related species, is wild. Orb web plans and the turning practices that produce them are the best comprehended. The fundamental outspread then-winding succession noticeable in orb webs and the ability to read a compass required to fabricate them may have been acquired from the regular precursors of most spider groups. However, most spiders assemble non-orb webs. It used to be imagined that the clingy orb web was a transformative development bringing about the expansion of the Orbiculariae. Presently, be that as it may, apparently non-orb spiders are a sub-bunch that advanced from orb-web spiders, and non-orb spiders have over 40% more species and are multiple times as rich as orb-web spiders. Their more noteworthy achievement might be on the grounds that sphecid wasps, which are regularly the prevailing predators of spiders, very much want to assault spiders that have level webs.


Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Orb web | Pixabay ©
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Orb-web | Pixabay ©

About a large portion of the potential prey that hit orb webs escape. The web needs to perform three capacities: capturing the prey (crossing point), absorbing its force without breaking (halting), and catching the prey by entrapping it or adhering to it (maintenance). No single structure is best for all prey. For instance: more extensive dividing of lines will expand the web’s region and subsequently its capacity to capture prey, yet diminish its halting force and maintenance; closer dispersing, bigger clingy beads and thicker lines would improve maintenance, yet would make it simpler for potential prey to see and stay away from the web, in any event during the day. Be that as it may, there are no reliable contrasts between orb webs worked for use during the day and those worked for use around evening time. Indeed, there is no basic connection between orb web configuration highlights and the prey they catch, as each orb-weaving species takes a wide scope of prey.

The center points of orb webs, where the spiders sneak, are for the most part over the middle, as the spiders can move downwards quicker than upwards. On the off chance that there is a conspicuous heading where the spider can withdraw to maintain a strategic distance from its own predators, the center point is typically balanced towards that direction.

Flat orb webs are genuinely normal, in spite of being less successful at catching and holding prey and progressively helpless against harm by the downpour and falling trash. Different scientists have recommended that even webs offer repaying points of interest, for example, diminished weakness to wind harm; decreased perceivability to prey flying upwards, as a result of the backdrop illumination from the sky; empowering motions to get creepy crawlies in moderate flat flight. Be that as it may, there is no single clarification for the regular utilization of level orb webs.

Spiders regularly append profoundly obvious silk groups, called embellishments or stabilimenta, to their webs. Field look into proposes that webs with increasingly brightening groups caught more prey per hour. However, a lab study demonstrated that spiders decrease the structure of these adornments on the off chance that they sense the nearness of predators.

There are a few surprising variations of orb-web, a large number of them concurrently advanced, including the connection of lines to the outside of water, perhaps to trap bugs in or on a superficial level; webs with twigs through their focuses, conceivably to conceal the spiders from predators; “ladderlike” webs that show up best in getting moths. In any case, the noteworthiness of numerous varieties is unclear.

In 1973, Skylab 3 took two orb-web spiders into space to test their web-turning abilities in zero gravity. From the start, both created rather messy webs, yet they adjusted quickly


Individuals from the family Theridiidae weave sporadic, tangled, three-dimensional webs, famously known as cobwebs. There is by all accounts a transformative pattern towards a decrease in the measure of clingy silk utilized, prompting its complete nonattendance in certain species. The development of cobwebs is less generalized than that of orb-webs and may take a few days.


The Linyphiidae, for the most part, make even however lopsided sheets, with tangles of halting strings above. Creepy crawlies that hit the halting strings fall onto the sheet or are shaken onto it by the spider, and are held by clingy strings on the sheet until the spider can assault from below.

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | shafran packeer ©
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | shafran packeer ©

Harmful spiders?

For the vast majority, the idea of spiders invokes pictures of tarantulas, wolf spiders, and other (apparently) fearsome animals. In spite of the fact that all spiders have venom to some level, just a few are risky to people. Those include the black widow and the brown recluse, both found in the United States.

Most by far of spiders are harmless and fill a basic need: controlling bug populaces that could otherwise devastate crops. Without spiders to eat pests hurtful to farming, it’s the idea that our nourishment supply would be put in danger.


The biggest risk to spiders is environmental misfortune, even though some spider species are additionally compromised by the pet trade.

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Pixabay ©
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | pixabay ©

Currently, Sri Lanka has 387 species of spiders regards to 45 families and 213 genera. Out of these 387 species, 275 are endemic spiders to Sri Lanka with 22 endemic genera.

Endemic species are indicated as E.

Family: Agelenidae

– Araneomorph funnel weavers

Family: Araneidae

– Orb weavers

Family: Barychelidae

– Brushed trapdoor spiders

Family: Clubionidae

– Club Sac spiders

Family: Corinnidae

– Corinnid sac spiders

Family: Ctenidae

– Wandering spiders

Family: Dictynidae

– Irregular web weavers

Family: Dipluridae

– Funnel-web tarantulas

Family: Eresidae

– Velvet spiders

Family: Eutichuridae

– Eutichurid spiders

Family: Hahniidae

– Dwarf sheet spiders

Family: Hersiliidae

– Tree trunk spiders

Family: Idiopidae

– Armored trapdoor spiders

Family: Linyphiidae

– Sheet weavers

Family: Liocranidae

– Sac spiders

Family: Lycosidae

– Wolf spiders

Family: Mimetidae

– Pirate spiders

Family: Mysmenidae

– Cryptic orb-weavers

Family: Nesticidae

– Scaffold web spiders

Family: Ochyroceratidae

– Ochyroceratid six-eyed spiders

Family: Oonopidae

– Goblin spiders

Family: Oxyopidae

– Lynx spiders

Family: Palpimanidae

– Palp-footed spiders

Family: Philodromidae

– Running crab spiders

Family: Pholcidae

– Cellar spiders

Family: Phrurolithidae

– Phrurolithid sac spiders

Family: Pisauridae

– Nursery web spiders

Family: Psechridae

– Horizontal web-weavers

Family: Salticidae

– Jumping spiders

Myrmarachne plataleoides | Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | shafran packeer ©
Myrmarachne plataleoides | Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | shafran packeer ©

Family: Scytodidae

– Spitting spiders

Family: Segestriidae

– Tube-dwelling spiders

Family: Sparassidae

– Huntsman spiders

Family: Stenochilidae

– Ecribellate silk-weavers

Family: Tetrablemmida 

– Armored spiders

Family: Tetragnathidae

– Long-jawed orb weavers

Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Chamod Goonathilake ©
Introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka | Chamod Goonathilake ©

Family: Theraphosidae

– Tarantulas

Family: Theridiidae

– cobweb spiders

Family: Theridiosomatidae

– Ray spiders

Family: Thomisidae

– Crab spiders

Family: Titanoecidae

– Woolly silk-weavers

Family: Trachelidae

– Trachelid sac spiders

Family: Udubidae

– Udubid spiders

Family: Uloboridae

– Cribellate orb weavers

Family: Zodariidae

– Ant spider


Family: Zoropsidae

– False wolf spiders



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