Spiders of North America

I’m a field guide addict with limited means. I just realized that there is a new book, Spiders of North America, by Sarah Rose. Does anyone have this? Does getting it justify eating Kraft Dinner for a week or two to get it? My growing interest in spiders says yes. My pocketbook isn’t so sure.


I just got it a couple of weeks ago. Now, I know very little about spiders, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I think it’s an excellent book. Great introductory materials. Lots and lots of species covered - around 500. I think every species covered is illustrated with one or more good color photos. Good written descriptions. There are small but adequate range maps. The font size is a bit small, but that’s the only way so much material could have been packed into a single book of reasonable size. You’d need a big pocket to hold this book, but it certainly would be easy enough to carry into the field in a back pack. (In other words, maybe you should stock up on Kraft Dinners.)


if you’re seriously into spiders there are few serious references so it’s hard to justify not buying it. I’m a generalist but I got it anyways. I read somewhere that the range maps don’t include data from bugguide and inat so are incomplete and old-fashioned. What I saw, flipping through it, is good text and lots of photos per taxon. Not nearly as beautiful as the painted one, but possibly more useful, especially once you have a pretty good idea what you’re looking at. They do say clearly when a taxon cannot be identified to species without looking at the genitalia. In that case, you’re going to need the big key.

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Thanks @lynnharper and @paul_norwood . Kraft Dinner it is!

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Just to clarity Paul’s comment. The data from Bugguide and iNaturalist were not used for the range maps due to cases of misidentification and the fact that many species cannot be identified by photos alone. I just did not have the time to sort through all the records to see if they were accurate, so decided just to exclude that information. The range maps were created using confirmed records and then estimating what would be a likely range based on those data. The introduction does warn the readers that there are still many species we really don’t know the ranges for, so those maps should be taken with a grain of salt, but I would not call them old fashioned. I hope you enjoyed the book.


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