Welcome to the database version of the World Spider Catalog! This beta release represents the results of significant amounts of work by several people. First and foremost is Dr. Robert Raven of the Queensland Museum, who has spent countless hours, over many years, parsing the information from the text versions and moving it into a database format. Second is Dr. Toby Schuh of the American Museum of Natural History, who has spearheaded the development (again, over many years) of the Internet-accessible database format we're using; thanks to the programming efforts of Gary Shapiro and Mark Breedlove, the application is already in use to serve Toby's mirid catalog, as part of the plant bug Planetary Biodiversity Inventory project he heads. Third is Ryan Choi of the American Museum of Natural History, who has helped move the spider information from Robert's versions into the data structures required by Toby's catalog application (which was originally developed on the basis on Robert's work and approaches).

We hope that this version will be helpful to users, and that eventually a large variety of catalogs can be served by this system, including catalogs for most or all of the arachnid and myriapod orders.

Users of this beta version should note the following issues.

  1. the data presented here represent those included in Version 8.5 of the World Spider Catalog, NOT the current version. If you are seeking the most recent information, you'll need to check the current text version of the catalog as well as the results obtained here. We hope to present an updated database version soon, but at least for the immediate future, production requirements will force the database version to lag behind the text version.
  2. taxon searches should work well. At present, for example, if you are seeking information on a generic name that is no longer in current use, and you do not know the family (or families) involved, then locating the name within the text version of the catalog can be a laborious process. The database version should help you find such information quickly.
  3. geography searches work only literally. You can obtain a listing, for example, of the members of a given group occurring in the USA, but what you will obtain is just a listing of those instances where the character string "USA" occurs in the geographic field. You will not obtain listings for other relevant descriptors that may be used instead (e.g., Holarctic; North America; Canada to Honduras; cosmopolitan; pantropical; etc.). In other words, any checklists generated using only the geographic searches will likely be very incomplete.
  4. As a beta version, we encourage you to submit reports of any bugs or difficulties (by email to platnick@amnh.org) but we also ask for your patience. Our top priority, at this point, will be to meet the need most requested by users of the text version -- the implementation of an LSID resolver that will allow automated tracking of the current names assigned to the taxonomic concepts represented by the LSID numbers (thereby assisting with attempts to automate updating the nomenclature used in other databases and compilations, when new versions of the catalog are released).

    Please click HERE for access to the beta version. Enjoy!