- Spiders are the important natural enemies in crop ecosystems which should be protected to conserve the biodiversity and environment. Cashew orchards are rich in a variety of spider fauna, which plays a vital role as biocontrol agents for wide range of insect pests.
- A total of 110 species of spiders belonging to thirteen families viz., Araneidae, Clubionidae, Corinnidae, Gnaphosidae, Nephilidae, Oxyopidae, Pholcidae, Pisauridae, Salticidae, Sparassidae, Tetragnathidae, Theridiidae, and Thomisidae were recorded at ICAR-DCR, Puttur.
- Salticid spiders are very common in cashew plantations followed by spiders of Araneidae and Thomisidae.
- Spiders are found on every part of cashew trees like bark, foliage, inflorescences etc and also on the ground.
- Common spider species recorded include Telamonia dimidiata, Oxyopes shweta, Oxyopes sunandae, Epeus indicus, Phintella vittata, Neoscona poonaensis and Tetragnatha viridorufa.
- Spiders feed on different types of insects including flies, bugs, beetles etc including tea mosquito bug, which is a major pest of cashew.
Photo credit to spiders: Dr. K.K. Srikumar, Former Student SRF, ICAR-DCR, Puttur.