The number of known spider species in Europe* counts to about 4800 (Fauna Europaea Database v. 2009.1, The World Spider Catalog v. 10.0). This number includes about 300 doubtful species (nomina dubia) leaving about 4500 valid species. Thus, spiders belong to a relatively species rich group of animals (order Araneae), only outnumbered by the larger insect orders.
The aim of this website is to show images of as many European spider species as possible. With only 15 % of the European species covered at present there is still much to do before the galleries are complete. Many species lack descriptions as I leave this task to the winter period at which time less collection and photography is undertaken. You are more than welcome to send me spider specimens in case you have collected species not appearing in the galleries. Then I will do the photography and add the images to the website.
The image galleries are sorted by spider family and hopefully they may become handy for anyone wanting to identify specimens collected or observed. The accompanying descriptions of body size, habitat etc. should aid identification. Some species, particularly the smaller ones, are difficult to identify without examining external parts of the genitalia using a microscope and comparing the observed structures with drawings in the literature. If a microscope is too expensive, less costly flora lenses with 10x or 20x magnification greatly increase the number of identifiable species compared to those identifiable by the naked eye.
I am hoping my web site will stimulate more amateur naturalists to pick up an interest in arachnology. There is still a great need to increase our knowledge about the distribution and biology of spiders. Furthermore, knowledge about this group of animals should also be incorporated in the decision-making processes regarding nature conservancy. Presently, there is not enough focus on this group of animals in this respect.
*Europe is here defined in accordance with the Fauna Europaea Database Version 2009.1 by P.J. van Helsdingen. I am sorry that the current scroll position across postbacks is not maintained in IE8-IE10, but seems to work in IE11.Please e-mail me if you encounter misidentifications.
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The Pseudoscorpions of EuropeThe Spiders of the AzoresThe Spiders of Greenland
The Spiders of Europe and Greenland
Images and Species Descriptions
© 2011 Jørgen Lissner
Now with 7784 images of 1000 species. Last updated on April 21, 2014
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