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Size Matters: Largest Web Spinning Spider Found

November 9, 2009
clipped from webecoist.com

nephila komaci largest web spinning spider

The largest web-spinning spider in the world has been identified, and she’s a terror. The Nephila komaci was discovered in South Africa and displays some rather fascinating characteristics. Its webs, which can reach up to one meter wide, are impressive. But the most striking feature of the spider is its extreme sexual size dismorphism; in plain English, that means the female of the species is dramatically larger than the male.

nephila komaci

The average female Nephila komaci is approximately 40 mm long. The male of the species is about one-fifth the size of the female, and is often devoured after inseminating the female. In this pictures, the males are so tiny that it’s hard to believe they are the same species at all. The extreme size difference between the genders isn’t due to

largest web spinning spider
small males; rather, it’s due to female gigantism. The females have evolved into
their larger size because being big helps them survive longer. Males, on the
Although the species was just formally
announced
in
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