Spider Snapshots Wanted

Members of the public are being encouraged to take photos of spiders, scorpions, and sun spiders (solifuges), as well as any other eight-legged creepy-crawlies that cross their path.

The South African National Survey of Arachnida (Sansa) is conducting a four-year inventory of spiders and their relatives in order to discover what spiders occur where in the country.

Not only may new spider species be discovered during the survey, but spiders in need of conservation can also be identified. The project is a collaboration between the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and Sanbi (South African National Biodiversity Institute).

For more information, visit the project at www.arc.agric.za (search Sansa). Photos of spiders with accurate locality information, name of the photographer, and date the photo was taken can be emailed to dippenaara@arc.agric.za for inclusion in the online museum of spiders that is being created. Those interested can also contact Sansa for collection bottles and protocols for collecting some of the smaller specimens.

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