The Madla Cave meshweaver (scientific name: cicurina madla) is the enigmatic "endangered blind spider" that lives on the UTSA Main Campus inhibiting construction in certain areas. It is called "blind" because it is "essentially eyeless." It is found only in Texas, only in Bexar County, and only in 8 caves, two of which (Hills and Dales Pit and Robbers Cave) are on the Main Campus. At least one of the other caves has non-native red fire ants as a problem for the meshweaver's survival. Its conservation status is listed as "critically imperiled," which is one step above "possibly extirpated."[1] UTSA has expressed its intention to account for the safety of this species in its 2016 Master Plan.[2] The cave which gives the spider its name is probably named after Texas state senator Frank Madla from San Antonio's southwest side.

The spider was listed endangered in 2000.  The most important factor in the decline of the Madla Cave meshweaver is habitat loss. The caves that make up its habitat have been filled in, quarries have been made, and pollution also affects the species.


  1. "Cicurina madla". NatureServe Explorer. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  2. "Environmental Systems". UTSA Campus Master Plan. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
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