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In the late 1980s, with funding from the Organization of American States and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, I moved to Mexico City to do intensive work with multiple populations of N. clavipes.  Hosted and provided logistical support by the Insituto de Ecología, I put several thousand miles on my old truck, camping where better facilities were unavailable and greatly enjoying total emersion in the culture and wild habitats of this wonderful country.  This page includes links to photos and brief descriptions of many of the places I have discovered spiders.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Juan Nuñez Farfan, Jesus Vargas and I traveled even more extensively, locating both isolated populations in distinct habitats and contiguous populations along an environmental cline from the wet tropical Gulf coast to the seasonally dry Pacific coast. 

To estimate gene flow among populations, we used allozymes - proteins that vary slightly in structure presumably because of underlying differences in the DNA genes for these proteins. Thus far the data indicate that these populations are relatively isolated. In addition, Sheryl White and I analyzed the diversity of one section of the FLAG (flagelleform) silk gene, that codes for the spiral threads on the orb web. 
fauna mapMap of the distribution of N. clavipes in Mexico (none are recorded from Baja California), modified from a faunal map from INEGI.  Each number refers to a known population,  listed below.  Clicking on high-lighted names will produce photographs of the habitats.

Yellow:  desert and chaparral (site 1).
Green:  mid-altitude temperate forest (sites 2, 3).
Blue:  tropical forest (sites 4 – 8). 
Red:  seasonally dry deciduous forest (sites 9-11).
Mustard:  grasslands. (no Nephila).

Study sites:  East Coast
1.  Tehuacan, Puebla
2:  Fortín de las Flores, Veracruz
3.  Xalapa, Veracruz
4. Quihuiztlan, Veracruz
5, 6:  Los Tuxtlas and Nanciyaga, Ver
Study sites, Tehuantepec and West Coast
7:  Sayala, Oaxaca
8:  Mateos Romero, Oaxaca
9:  Pinotepa, Oaxaca
10:  Chamela, Jalisco
11:  Arroyo Frio, Michoacan