The epigynum is the female copulatory organ of entelegyne Araneomorphae. Its function is to receive the male sperm provided by the embolus.
This feature of female Entelegynae is a safe way to determine their maturity, especially helpful in breeding.
Only mature females have a fully developed and sclerotized epigynum. The degree of sclerotisation is visible by the color of the cuticule. A sclerotized epigynum is black and reflective.
The epigynum is located on the ventral side of the opisthosoma in front of the epigastral furrow and between the booklungs.
(Location marked with a circle in this image.)
Epigynum of Hyllus diardi by Tim L. Heller, auf Flickr
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