Three species of trapdoor spiders belonging to the Genus Tigidia have been discovered in the Western Ghats. The type specimens are from the Nilgiri and Coimbatore districts in Tamil Nadu and Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. This is the first time that Tigidia spiders have been recorded in India.
Tigidia rutilofronis, T. nilgiriensis and T. sahyadri are the three species discovered by a team of five student scientists including Manju Siliwal, Neha Gupta, Rajesh V. Sanap, Zeeshan A. Mirza and Robert Raven.
The discovery has been published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The genus Tigidia was thought to be endemic to Mauritius and Madagascar. The newly-discovered spiders, therefore, are considered Gondwana ‘relics’: species that existed on the supercontinent Gondwanaland, when India had not yet drifted away from Africa.
Read the scientific paper ‘First record of the genus Tigidia from India’ in Journal of Threatened Taxa.