The spiders and other arachnids of West Africa are very poorly known and this is particularly true of the Gambian fauna. At least nine different arachnid orders occur in the country and all of these are included in this introductory work. They include spiders, harvestmen, mites and ticks, camel spiders, scorpions, pseudoscorpions, tailless whip scorpions, vinegaroons and the highly unusual hooded tick spiders, which represent new records for the country and the northernmost records on the continent.
There is still much we do not know about the Gambian arachnid fauna, including the true diversity of species that occur within the country. Indeed, most of the families included in this book represent the first records for this part of Africa. The aim is to provide basic information on ecology, behaviour and identification of Gambian arachnids likely to be encountered with little effort, in the hope that it will form a basis for more intensive biodiversity studies in the future.