Subject: Spiny orb-weaver
Location: Ulu Belum, Perak, Malaysia
January 4, 2013 2:24 am
what is this spesies?
This is a Crablike Spiny Orbweaver in the genus Gasteracantha, and we located one very similar looking spider on the Jungle Asia website, however it is only identified to the genus level.
Hi Daniel and Asyraf:
It is probably Gasteracantha kuhli, a Spiny Orbweaver native to southern Asia from India to Japan and including Southeast Asia. It also appears under the synonym G. kuhlii, but I believe the accepted name only has one “i”. To confuse the issue, I also found several sites that included photos from Asia of what looked to be the same spider, but that identified it as G. cancriformis. Both species are somewhat similar and both are characterized by six prominent abdominal spines, but G. cancriformis is a New World species (southern USA to South America). I suspect these are probably further incidents of online misidentifications. According to Wikipedia… “It has also been sighted in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia and Palawan, Philippines, as well as Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.” These observations also may be based on erroneous identifications or, alternatively, G. cancriformis has been getting around. To me, G. cancriformis looks different enough that I would go with the native species, G. kuhli. Regards. Karl