Spiders are among the most omnipresent and numerous predators in both agricultural and natural ecosystems, and without them insect pest populations would become out of control. Their potential as biological control agents can only be appreciated through a greater understanding of their abundance and species composition in different ecological systems. There is therefore a great need for literature providing guidance on spider identification. The spider fauna of several cultivated crops, in a number of regions of the world, has been well documented. There have been some previous attempts to record the spider fauna of rice in South and Southeast Asia, but these are scattered in the journal literature. This volume provides a comprehensive illustrated guide that can be used by specialists and novices to identify these spiders. The majority of the species covered were collected from a diversity of habitats in the Philippines. The bulk of the book consists of keys to the identification of families, genera and species of Philippine spiders, illustrated by more than 1000 line drawings and 100 colour photographs. A total of 339 species belonging to 134 genera within 26 families are recognized. Of these, 253 species and seven genera are new to science. Distribution maps for individual species and a classification scheme for Philippine riceland spiders are also provided. Overall, the work represents a major contribution to the literature for those interested in spiders or more generally in biological control and crop protection.
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