I agree with @sean_c and others. There is much more to be done in the spiderworld. Not being able to identify certain species today by habitual features does not mean that it will never be possible. Spider taxonomists are often very much focussed on genital features for species distinction… it’s often the easiest and most promising way to go. As many spiders can have a great intra-species variability in colouration and patterns looking for consistancy can be the harder task. But it does not mean there is none… many enthusiastic hobby arachnologists search for ways to distinguish species and in quite some cases they found them. And there will probably be more to come.
As for the areas for whichh arachnological knowledge can be improved… as has been said, almost anywhere, even in comparably well studied areas in Europe. Its funny how can cleay see on the distribution maps, where a motivated arachnologist is around to document as much as possible… but in most regions there is none, so a lot to find and observe there… in the more tropical and remote areas there is even more potential progress to make
I posted the below, but nevermind. I already figured it out.
(I live in the city of Amsterdam and don’t spend much time in more natural environments. Can someone reflect on the value of looking for spiders in urban environments like a city?)
It seems nobody writes like J. Henri Fabre anymore. His detailed account of the life and habits of, for instance, the Narbonne Lycosa, just aren’t the kinds of studies that people do anymore.
That has made getting IDs at my house much easier - 9 species so far.
Thank you, this thread inspired me to photograph a spider … normally I would have skipped it because it was so small (1-2mm). I was sitting on the patio when it parachuted down, and it actually held still long enough for me to grab my loupe and get some close-up photos!
Many spiders are associated with human( building)s - additionally, in cities with large harbours, such as Amsterdam, interesting exotic species can show up.
I live in Vienna, and it was interesting to observe how a spider species (Holocnemus pluchei) advanced from a ‘first for the city’ to become a common sight within few years. And this is likely not only due to more iNat-users in the region (I myself continue to encounter that species more and more frequently). Here’s the numbers:
2018: 1 observation/ 1 observer
2019: 4 / 4
2020: 21 / 11
2021: 21 / 9
2022: 35 / 12
2023: 35 / 18 (until Nov)
Currently a paper is in preparation to cover new spider sightings for the country, with two of these species found in Vienna and the only data being iNat-observations.
Also, you can check the garden section of your local hardware stores - interesting species might show up…
I went out tonight for 15 minutes, inspecting one tree and then briefly looking around on the ground. Turns out I found an Odiellus spinosus, the first observation of this harvestman in Amsterdam and the 44th in the Netherlands.
And this is only the second tree I have inspected in the city at night! Who knows what adventurous and beautiful things await me!