Rice Land inhabiting Long Jawed Orb Weavers, Tetragnatha Latreille, 1804 (Tetragnathidae: Araneae) of South 24-Parganas, West Bengal, India
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Spiders inhabiting rice land ecosystem demand serious consideration primarily due their predatory efficiency. In India, their role as a potential bio-control agent is yet to be evaluated. The coastal ecosystem in the Gangetic Delta at the southern part of West Bengal, India, exhibits a wide variety of predatory spider population because of climatic fluctuation, soil quality and several other factors. Orb-weaving spiders appear to be of special importance as they trap more than what they actually consume. The present study is aimed at unfolding the taxonomic diversity of Tetragnatha Latreille, 1804 (family Tetragnathidae, Menge, 1866) which is probably the mostly predominant group amongst orb-weavers found in rice fields of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India. Of the seven tetragnathid species recorded from the study area, three, T. chauliodus (Thorell), T. boydi O. P. - Cambridge, and T. josephi Okuma are found to be new from the country. The referred species are therefore described and illustrated. Further a key to the species occurring in the area has also been provided.
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