Friday, May 23, 2014

New 2014 Spiders of British Columbia Checklist Now Available

Western Black Widow (Lactrodectus hesperus), photo by Sean McCann

The new 2014 Checklist of the Spiders of British Columbia, prepared by Robb Bennett, David Blades, Don Buckle, Claudia Copley, Darren Copley, Charles Dondale, and Rick C. West, is now posted on E-Fauna BC.  In this update to the ongoing documentation of spider fauna of British Columbia, the authors report a total 781 species for the province, with more than 50 new species this year.  

The authors say: "We believe there are more than 1000 species of spiders (Araneae) in British Columbia. Although only 781 have been recorded so far, many regions of the province have never been sampled...The long-term goal of this project is to produce a comprehensive field guide to the spiders of British Columbia. This goal is being achieved through our documentation of the spider fauna of the province, emphasizing species that are rare or threatened, in threatened habitats, introduced or invasive, in need of taxonomic clarification (including undescribed species), endemic to BC or have much of their geographical range in BC, in poorly sampled parts of BC, and/or illuminate historical changes in the province's biogeography."

In his Introduction to the Spiders of British Columbia on E-Fauna BC, Robb Bennett says: ". . . spiders are ruthless storm troops in the matriarchal anarchy that is the arthropod world: theirs is the most diverse, female-dominated, entirely predatory order on the face of the earth. As such, spiders are key components of all ecosystems in which they live.” (Bennett 1999).  Learn more about the spiders of British Columbia and where they are found in the province by browsing the E-Fauna spider atlas pages.  

Browse the new checklist, with species annotations, here.
Read Robb Bennett's Introduction to the Spiders of British Columbia here.

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