Litter and ground dwelling spiders (Araneae: Arachnida) of reserve forests of Dooars, West Bengal - Review of Monograph
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The monograph on mulch and soil spiders (Araneae: Arachnida) which are to be found in the reserves of West Bengal (Jalpaiguri District) submitted for review has 222 pages of text, 2 tables, 494 black and white and 9 colour figures, and 26 colour plates. The whole treatise is supplemented with a list of references which includes 119 items, including the most important ones, such as World Spider Catalogue (2016). The final section contains an alphabetic list of Latin names being used throughout the said monograph. Within the area studied, 89 spider species have been reported that belong to 38 genera and represent 13 families. Apart from endemic species (38 species), the species brought into from other zoogeographic regions, such as Australian, Ethiopian, Nearctic or Neotropical Regions, have been reported. It is a pity that the authors did not attempt to explain the migration routes by which these foreign spiders for the area under study reached it. The treatise contains description of a newly discovered spider species that belongs to the genus Hamataliwa Keyser. Unfortunately, the authors did not fully explain the importance of this new species but only referred to a similar, previously known name. A difference in Latin names, i.e. in one or two “l”, is correct in zoological nomenclature but undoubtedly will create a lot of mistakes, especially as the two names belong to the same genus. Really beautiful and very accurate figures that characterise individual species are extremely valuable for the treatise being discussed. Also colour plates that show individual species as they occur in nature, that is before being placed in a preserving substance, are very useful. The monograph being presented greatly increases our knowledge on mulch and soil spiders of the studied reserves, and the same of the fauna of India, which is still considered one of the least recognised in terms of invertebrates.
-  Dinendra Raychaudhuri, Sumana Saha. Litter and ground dwelling spiders (Araneae: Arachnida) of reserve forests of Dooars, West Bengal. World Scientific News 63 (2017) 1-242
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