Arachnid systematics and ecology

Research focuses on the systematics of spiders, with emphasis on the families Corinnidae, Trachelidae, Gnaphosidae, Clubionidae and Salticidae in the Afrotropical Region; the biodiversity and ecology of arachnids in conserved areas and natural habitats in South Africa; and the biology of termitophagous (termite-eating) and myrmecophagous (ant-eating) spiders. Biodiversity work is currently one of the main focus areas of arachnological research in South Africa, and essential to fulfilling the aims of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA). The material collected contributes to taxonomic studies, DNA-barcoding projects and to the Red-Data Listing of Arachnids in South Africa (SANSA phase II).


BFN Stasimopus oculatus 17 

NGR Idiothele mira 6 

Study group members

Postgraduate student and research title

• Zingisile Mbo, PhD

  "Revision and phylogenetic analysis of the Clubiona sac spiders of southern Africa (Araneae: Clubionidae)"

• Sicelo Sebata, PhD

  "Spider ecology in southwestern Zimbabwe, with emphasis on the impact of holistic planned grazing practices"

• Hannelene Badenhorst, PhD

  "Ecology and diversity of springtails and spiders in three biomes in central South Africa"

• Ruan Booysen, MSc

  "Revision, molecular phylogeny and biology of the ant-like ground spider genus Micaria (Araneae: Gnaphosidae) in the Afrotropical Region"

SIL Austrophaea zebra 4NGR Nephila komaci 5APGR Fog 8


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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