What kinds of spiders can you find in Senegal?
Many people are terrified of spiders and find them extremely creepy. This is unfortunate because not only are most spiders completely harmless, they benefit our environment by controlling the insect population. In fact, without spiders, our food supply would be in serious jeopardy.
Before we begin, I want you to know that the list below is just a fraction of the spiders in Senegal. Because of the sheer number of these arachnids, it would be impossible to cover them all. For example, some estimates claim over 50,000 kinds of spiders on the planet (and the list is still growing)!
In today’s article, I did my best to develop a list of spiders you’re most likely to see.
2 common SPIDERS in Senegal!
#1. Banded-legged Golden Orb-web Spider
- Trichonephila senegalensis
Also called the Giant Wood Spider or Banana Spider.
- The spider’s name refers to its joints’ characteristic golden yellow color.
- Females are bright yellow with a dark pattern in the middle and reach 30 to 40 mm (1.1-1.5 in).
- Males have the same color pattern but are usually paler and ten times smaller than females.
The Banded-legged Golden Orb-web Spider is usually found in Senegal in warm, humid gardens, open forests, grasslands, and savannas.
These spiders weave beautiful, sturdy, golden-colored webs. They can regulate the amount of pigment and stickiness in their webs to adapt to their environment. Interestingly, the females keep food supplies on their webs. Up to 15 insects are carefully arranged and wrapped in silk to prevent deterioration of the prey.
Male Banded-legged Golden Orb-web Spiders often linger near the edge of the female’s web. When he is ready to mate, he will tap on the edge of the web to ensure that the female is in a good mood and bring her food as courtship. Then, while the female is eating, he will approach quietly, inject his semen into her abdomen and flee as soon as possible to avoid being eaten.
#2. Shorthorn Kitespider
- Gasteracantha sanguinolenta
Also known as the Thorn spider, the Jewel spider, the Star spider, or the Kite spider.
- Females are 8-10 mm (0.31-0.39 in) long. They’re bright cream, white or yellow, red, and black. Their abdomen is usually black at the sides and white at the center, with red spots.
- Males are several times smaller and lack bright coloring.
- Their abdomen is sclerotized (hardened) with four sides and two back spines.
Unlike other spiders in Senegal, this species is most commonly seen during winter.
They reproduce in the spring, and the females die after producing the egg sac, leaving the young to grow and disperse on their own.
The Shorthorn Kitespider is mostly found in evergreen forests, woodlands, or shrubby gardens. They use trees to build their webs at least one meter above the ground.
Check out these other guides about animals found in Senegal!
- 27 Amazing ANIMALS to see in Senegal! (ID guide w/ pics)
Which of these spiders have you seen before in Senegal?
Leave a comment below!