​Several researchers are involved in surveys in nature, game reserves and other protected areas throughout South Africa. For the following conserved areas (mark with a *) species lists are available:


A survey of spiders was. carried out at the Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve near Pretoria. Over a 4-year period 10 270 spiders were collected from grasses, herbs and trees. A total of 82 genera of spiders representing 27 families were recorded. Of all the spiders caught, 29,3 percent belonged to the Tetrag­nathidae, 22,7 percent to the Araneidae and 21,4 percent to the Salticidae. The proportion of spiders in each of the remaining 24 families did not exceed 6 per­cent of the total catch. The species composition and seasonal abundance were determined.


Tetragnathidae, Tetragnata sp.- the most common species recorded at Roodeplaatdam.

Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S., Van den Berg, A.M. & Van den Berg, A. 1989. Species composition and relative seasonal abundance of spiders from the field and tree layers of the Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve. Koedoe 32: 51-60.


A survey of ground-living spiders was conducted over a one-year period at Ngome State Forest, Kwazulu/Natal. Five different habitat types: grass, open forest, dense forest, ecotone and pine, were sampled with 180 pitfall traps. The grass, open forest and dense forest represented indigenous vegetation while the pine represented exotic vegetation. The ecotone consisted of a mixture of indigenous forest plants and pine trees. Pine had the lowest spider diversity while grass had the highest spider diversity. However, variation in spider diversity within habitat types was considerable and an analysis of variance found no significant difference in mean values of spider diversity between habitat types. Consequently, the results do not unambiguously support the hypothesis that exotic vegetation has lower ground-living spider diversity than indigenous vegetation.


Two species of Microstigmatidae were collected at Ngome state Forest

Van der Merwe, M., Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. & Scholtz, C.H. 1996. Diversity of ground-living spiders at Ngome State Forest, KwaZulu/Natal: a comparative survey in indigenous forest and pine plantations. African Journal of Ecology 34: 342-350.

Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S., Van der Merwe, M, & Van den Berg A.M. 2006. Habitat preferences and seasonal activity of the Microstigmatidae from the Ngome State forest, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae). Koedoe 49: 85-89. NGOMEMicrotigmata2006.pdf)


The Swartberg Nature Reserve is situated in the Large Swartberg mountain range, in the Oudtshoom district of the Western Cape Province. Spiders were collected from the reserve over a 10-year period. This is one of the inventory projects of the South African National Survey (SANSA) for spiders of the Succulent Karoo Biome. A total of 45 fam­ilies comprising 136 genera and 186 species were collected, all which are new records for the area. This represents about 9.4 % of the total known South African spider fauna. Of the spiders collected 142 species (76.5 %) were wanderers and 44 (23.5 %) web dwellers. The plant dwellers comprised 43.3 % of the total number of species and the ground dwellers 56.7 %. The Gnaphosidae was the most diverse family represented by 33 species, followed by the Salticidae with 23 and Thomisidae with 15. Ten species are possibly new to science and the Filistatidae is a first record for South Africa. An anno­tated checklist with information on the guilds, habitat preference and web types are pro­vided.

Dippenaar-Schoeman , A.S., Van der Walt, A.E., Le Roux, E. & Van den Berg, A. 2005. The spiders of the Swartberg Nature Reserve in South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae). Koedoe 48: 77-86.(swartberg.pdf)


By virtue of its geological history and geographical location the Soutpansberg consti­tutes a refuge for a high diversity of organisms. The Western Soutpansberg forms part of the Savanna Biome and is presently the area with the highest concentration of Nat­ural Heritage Sites in South Africa. A unique private initiative is under way to improve its national and international conservation status in a bid to conserve the mountain. A checklist of the spider species of the Western Soutpansberg collected over a five-year period is presented. Forty-six families, represented by 109 genera and 127 species have been collected. Of the species collected, 81 (64 %) were wandering spiders and 46 (36 %) web-builders; theThomisidae have the highest number of species (15) followed by the Araneidae and the Salticidae with 10 species each. Ninety-six genera are repre­sented by a single species. Ninety six percent of the species collected are new records for the area. This survey is the first for the area and forms part of the South African National Survey of Amchnida (SANSA).


One of the crab spiders (family Thomisidae) of the genus Monaeses

Foord, S.H., Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. & Van der Merwe, M. 2002. A check list of the spider fauna of the Western Soutpansberg, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae). Koedoe 45: 35-43. (Soutpansberg.pdf)

Foord, S. & Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. 2003. Spiders (Araneae). A first synthesis of the environmental, biological & cultural assets of the Soutpansberg In: I.A.W. Macdonald, I. Gaigher, R. Gaigher & K. Berger. http://www.soutpansberg.com/workshop/index.htm.


Whitmore, C., Slotow, R., Crouch, T.E. & Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. 2001. Checklist of spiders (Araneae) from savanna ecosystem, Northern Province, South Africa: including a new family record. Durban Museum Novitates 26: 10-19.

Whitmore C., Slotow, R., Crouch, T.E. & Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. 2002. Diversity of spiders (Araneae) in a savanna reserve, Northern Province, South Africa. Journal of Arachnology 30: 344-356


Modiba, M.A., Dippenaar, S.M. & Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. 2005. A checklist of spiders from Sovenga Hill, an inselberg in the Savanna Biome, Limpopo Province, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae). Koedoe 48: 109-115.


Haddad, C.R. & Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S & Wesolowska, W. 2006. A checklist of the non-acarine arachnids (Chelicerata: Arachnida) of the Ndumo Game Reserve, Maputaland, South Africa. Koedoe 49: 1-22.


Projects in progress

Ezemvelo Nature Reserve
Kamanassie Nature Reserve
Loskopdam Nature Reserve
Nylsvley Nature Reserve
Pilanesberg Nature Reserve
Robben Island
Rustenburg Nature Reserve
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
De Hoop Nature Reserve
Erfenis Dam Nature Reserve
Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park
Mkuzi Game Reserve
Tswalu Game Reserve
Welgevonden Nature Reserve


Information may be used freely with acknowledgement to the source