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Genus Kaira - Frilled Orbweavers

strange little spider, showing some leg - Kaira altiventer - female strange little spider, right side - Kaira altiventer - female spider - Kaira alba spider - Kaira alba frilled orbweaver - Kaira altiventer - female frilled orbweaver - Kaira altiventer - female Orb weaver - Kaira Frilled Orbweaver - Kaira alba
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynae)
Family Araneidae (Orb Weavers)
Genus Kaira (Frilled Orbweavers)
Numbers
4 species found in the USA.

14 species in the genus
Range
K. alba - Southeastern USA into Mexico
K. altiventer - Very southern TX
K. hiteae - NC, SC, AR, OK, TX
K. sabino - Southern AZ & NM
Food
Flying insects, mostly moths
Remarks
Food is caught through the use of pheromone mimicry. The spider hangs from a small temporary web, forms a basket with its legs, emits the pheromone, and then captures any prey that approaches. Bolas spiders (genus Mastophora) use a similar behavior but are not particularly closely related, so the two genera are thought to have evolved this behavior independently.

Kaira differs from Metepeira and Aculepeira by the shape of the abdomen. (1)

Kaira is uncommon in collections.(2)
Print References
Marshall, Sam, and G.B. Edwards 2001. Florida's Fabulous Spiders. Tampa: World Publications.
Internet References

Allen Dean, comments on TX-ENTO e-mail list
Works Cited
1.The orb-weaver genera Metepeira, Kaira and Aculepeira in America north of Mexico
H.W. Levi. 1977. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Vol 148 (5): 185-238.
2.The orb-weaver Genus Kaira
H. W. Levi. 1993. The Journal of Arachnology 21:209-225.