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Formerly Spiderwatch in Southern Africa, this new edition, revised and updated, is now being relaunched as Spiders of Southern Africa. This book provides sharp insight into the complex, often mysterious and always fascinating world of spiders. The reader is introduced to the subject by informative features on the origins of arachnids, on their bewildering variety, their classification into families and genera and on their invertebrate relatives. The five chapters that follow cover the physical and behavioural characteristics of spiders, the main groups (hunters, trappers, ambushers, weavers and so on) and dangerous species. A chapter on finding and studying spiders is followed by species accounts, entitled `What Spider is That?' Spiders of Southern Africa is lavishly illustrated with full-colour photographs; the body text is supplemented by special-interest panels; and the design is bright and busy, with plenty to draw the eye on each spread.
Other titles in the `series' include: Owls & Owling in SA, Snakes & Snake bite in SA, SA Insects and their World, Frogs & Frogging in SA, Scorpions of SA and Practical Birding.
For the past two decades and more, husband-and-wife team John and Astri Leroy, who live in the Roodepoort area of metropolitan Johannesburg, have studied, collected, photographed and written about the spiders of the southern African region. They were instrumental in launching the Spider Club on the Witwatersrand in 1975, with John serving as first chairman and Astri as secretary and editor of the newsletter. Astri is the club's current chairperson, and undertakes research for a number of national parks, leads field trips and delivers illustrated talks. John, a mechanical engineer by training and a macro photographer of note, has authored and co-authored a number of scientific articles on arachnids and presented papers at international congresses. His photographs have been widely exhibited.