The first national inventory of spiders (Araneae) in Nigeria
The first inventory of Nigeria spiders was a combination of a field study carried out in Awka, south-east zone and collation of data on Nigeria spiders from experts across the globe. The sampling work in Awka was the second spider study in south-east and was done once a month for twelve months. A total of 238 species, 140 genera in 34 families were recorded from Nigeria in the present study. This is 2.4 % of the world spiders from 19 locations. No spider related research has ever taken place in the whole of north-west zone, while just a single species, Hersilia caudata recorded from the north-east zone. Salticidae was the most dominant family representing 35.0 % of the total species in Nigeria. It is also the most distributed alongside Araneidae and Sparassidae. They were found in four of the six zones of the country. Out of the 15 families that were exclusive to different zones, Nesticidae, Oxyopidae and Gnaphosidae were from Awka. Only eight out of the 34 families in Nigeria were not found in the south-west zone making south-west the most diverse in terms of population and diversity. Also, with six different locations, South-west stood as the most studied zone in Nigeria. It could be concluded from the result that very little is known of Nigeria spiders due to very little work done so far. Finally, the findings of this study provide a comprehensive data on Nigeria spiders.
Keywords: Spider species, Salticidae, Nesticidae, Oxyopidae, Gnaphosidae, Araneidae, Sparassidae