Herennia Thorell, 1877
Type species: Epeira multipuncta Doleschall, 1859
* Kuntner, M. 2005. A revision of Herennia (Araneae, Nephilidae, Nephilinae), the Australasian 'coin spiders'. Invertebrate Systematics 19: 391-436. PDF
Herennia is a genus of spiders in the Nephilidae family with Australasian distribution. While two species have been known since the 19th century, nine new species were described in 2005. Spiders in this genus are sometimes called coin spiders.
While H. multipuncta is invasive and synanthropic, all other known species are endemic to islands.
Like in the related genus Nephilengys, the much smaller males mutilate and sever their pedipalps, which are often found stuck in the epigynum or female genital openings. It is suggested that they act as mating plugs to prevent other males from mating with the female and thereby ensure the paternity of offspring. The males cannot mate subsequently and such "eunuch" individuals continue to stay near the female.
Herennia Etruscilla was the wife of Trajan Decius. There are coins bearing her image, which were probably the source for Thorell to name the genus. The non-scientific name coin spiders was proposed because of this fact.
^ a b c Kuntner, M. (2005). "A revision of Herennia (Araneae:Nephilidae:Nephilinae), the Australasian 'coin spiders'". Invertebrate Systematics 19 (5): 391-436.. doi:10.1071/IS05024.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License