SpiDivERse

Introduction

The SpiDivERse (Spider Diversity and Evolutionary Research) workgroup aims to increase understanding on the diversity and distributions of one of the planets most fascinating taxonomic groups, the hyperdiverse Araneae (spiders).

Spiders are a hyperdiverse taxon with almost 50,000 described species, and predictions are that their true diversity may be three or more times that number. They are a dominant group of arthropod predators in all ecosystems and their assemblages are often highly diverse in even homogenous anthropic habitats, in the tropics their diversity is astounding.

In order to achieve our primary aim, we plan to identify, catalogue and describe spider communities from some of the most imperilled and biodiverse regions on earth. We are especially interested in species discoveries and descriptive taxonomy. With an aim of fostering taxonomic expertise in this group and training enthusiastic members from processing and identifying batches of samples through to descriptive taxonomic papers (i.e. description of new species) and regional checklists.

For most of the world, however, our knowledge of the diversity of spiders is imperfect, deficient or negligible.
Paul A. Selden

Initially formed by Brogan L Pett (research director) and Jaime Escobar-Toledo (researcher). We are actively seeking members with an enthusiasm to learn new skills, collaborate on projects, and help us contribute to the description of our planets fascinating unknown biota! Email: spidiverse@binco.eu


Current project:
Spiders of Mariarano and Matsedroy classified forest

Mariarano forest – Madagascar

 2020 – now  

 Brogan Pett, Jaime Escobar-Toledo

We are first concerned with processing large amounts of spider samples collected in North western Madagascar by BINCO and Operation Wallacea between 2017- 2018. Involving sorting all samples to morphospecies and identifying and describing new species. The end result of this will be a first preliminary inventory of the spider fauna of the dry forests in the Mariarano forest region (Mahajanga province). Thus far, three new species have been isolated for descriptive work, with the first new species description scheduled for completion by the end of July.

© Rudy Jocqué

© Rudy Jocqué


Collaborators

Rudy Jocqué – Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA)
Arnaud Henrard – Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA)
Mark Alderweireldt – Ghent University