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.


  1. salam alaik kak nurul :)

    OMG u make me falled in love with dis spider stories :)

    slama ni bilah takut sgt2 dgn spider, but then after reading these two entries bilah rasa spider ni haiwan kecik yg sgt comel :) keep writing k, nanti bilah dtg bace lg :)

  2. Kak Syud! took all the pictures of the spiders? Amazing la kak! Never I've seen the trap door spiders..:)

    Fatin Turidi

  3. gd morning spiderwomen:) aku asyik+geli melihat gmbr labah2. haha. camne ko pegang?