Sunday, June 19, 2011

Liphistius in caves

Dear readers,

This is just a simple post of some Liphistius that I found in several caves in Peninsular Malaysia. At the moment, there are two main types of Liphistius in P. Malaysia; the forest type and the cave type . The cave type have slightly smaller body size compared to the forest type and they also tend to have lighter body color.

People always asked me why do I chose to study trap door? Well, the first reason is because of the size! I prefer bigger size spiders, mainly because I am short-sighted. LOL! When I said bigger size, it means that I can see them quite clearly even in a distant view =). 

Here are some pictures of  Liphistius  in the caves. 

Liphistius batuensis?
Liphistius batuensis

As we all know, spiders are eight legged creatures and their body are segmented into two; the head and the abdomen. A major character that been used to differentiate Liphistius and other spiders is the segmented plate that they have on the upper part of their abdomen. It's clearly shown in the above picture. However, the most obvious character used to recognize the spider is by looking at their nest structure, which is why this group is called trap door spider. 

The above nest pictures were belonged to the caves species Liphistius tempurung and Liphistius kanthan. They construct a burrow on the ground and made a door at the entrance. As the name sounds like, the trap door spider used the door to trap their prey. They can sense the prey presence, by detecting vibration using the radial line that radiated from the door. How they do that? Lets see the next picture:

Liphistius kanthan

We can see how the spider placed their feet (in taxonomic case, it's called tarsus) at each of the radial lines.  This behavior help it to detect the prey movement. I used a forceps to open the trap door, lucky enough it did not moved for us to snap the photo! 

The caves trap door spider, have received special interest among our local natural society group. It is mainly because they are found mostly in a limestone cave where out of 15 species that we have here in PM, six are considered as caves species. Furthermore, they are claimed to be endemic to the place where it was first described.

Monday, December 6, 2010


A special welcome to all visitors of Syuhadah Dzarawi (liphistius-malaysia.blogspot), who will be joining me exploring the diversity of Malaysian's biodiversity heritage! This blog is mainly created to share my experiences in conducting research for my postgraduate study at University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur. 

Horny spiders, Gasteracantha sp. from Terengganu
FYI, spiders in Malaysia have traditionally suffered lack of attention from conservation professionals and the general public. Until November 2010, approximately 40,000 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomist from the whole world. However, current compilation of Malaysian spider listed only 425 spider species from Peninsular Malaysia which is believed to be an enormous underestimation. Being one of the countries that are recognised as of Megabiodiversity, there are definitely more new records and for sure many more species to be described. 

Therefore, here I am! This blog will take you and me myself to learn more about our spiders and other eight legged creatures that we encounter in our daily life. I wish to share all my experiences, stories and informations during my learning years. Once in a while, I will update with new infos or photos and I am ready to answer any questions you have (make sure the questions is cool enough! ^_^). Have fun!

p/s: This blog will be conducted in both English and Bahasa Melayu.