Spiders are of major importance in ecosystems and are recognised as effective natural control agents in agroecology. Nearly 40,000 species of spiders have been described but the actual number of species is expected to be many times higher.
This book provides a concise overview and descriptions of the io7 spider families that are presently recognized. It contains identification keys to the families and to the different kinds of spider webs and shortcuts to remarkable types of spiders. The book fills a gap that has existed for a long time since the previous such overview dates back more than a century.
Both authors of this book are professional arachnologists who have devoted most of their careers to the study of spiders, both from a biological/agroecological and taxonomic perspective.
Dr Rudy Jocque is head of the Invertebrates (non-insects) Section in the department of Zoology at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium.
Prof Dr Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman is head of the Arachnida Unit in the Biosystema-tics Division at the Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council and an extraordinary professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.