Pelican Spiders

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History
January 11, 2018
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Researcher Hannah Wood holds jar with specimens
Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, curator of arachnids and myriapods Hannah Wood has examined and analyzed hundreds of pelican spiders in the field in Madagascar and through study of pelican spiders preserved in museum collections. Her analysis, focused on spiders of the Eriauchenius and Madagascarchaea genera, sorted the spiders she studied into 26 different species—18 of which have never before been described. The spiders Wood personally collected, including holotypes (the exemplar specimens) for several of the new species, will join the U.S. National Entomological Collection at the Smithsonian (pictured above), the second-largest insect collection in the world, where they will be preserved and accessible for further research by scientists across the globe.

Photo courtesy Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

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