Gandanameno Lehtinen, 1967

Diversity: Five species described. The real species richness is questionable, the genus requires revision.

Distribution: South Africa, Namibia, Malawi.

Appearance: Big spiders, females can reach up to 4 cm. Juveniles and females are black or dark brown with numerous small white spots on abdomen. Adult males differ in the coloration, having the characteristic mask on prosoma, abdomen lack contrast coloration.

Biology: Gandanameno is one of the most common eresids of South Africa. I found them often in Western Cape (RSA) and Namibia under a tree bark, where they built burrows with characteristic entrance. A nest of an adult female can be more than one meter long. Those spiders do not posse matriphagy and females can produce multiple egg sacs. The fact, that one tree is often inhabited by several individuals of different size, could point on limited dispersion of some slights. It seems that there is no strict seasonality in cocoon production or maturity of males.

Note: Gandanameno can be easily confused with some Dresserus by naked eye. Certain distinguishing requires examination of spinning apparatus under microscope. Gandanameno having always standard bi-partial cribellum, while cribellum of Dresserus is divided into four parts. Their lifestyle can be also a bit helpful for discrimination. South African Dresserus never built a nest on tree trunks (but Dresserus from Ethiopia, have been observed under bark of fallen tree) and always are find under stones. Gandanameno can lives under both bark and stones. So when the spider has nest on the tree, than it is Gandanameno, otherwise can be either Dresserus or Gandanameno. Gandanameno (females and juveniles) are usually with white dots, the most (but not all) of Dreesserus species lack any white marking.

Fotogalerie: Gandanameno