It’s Thursday, which means it’s my spider clean up day — feeding and removing withered dead corpses from their vials, and also bottle-washing and general tidying up.
I’ve also been working on compiling some resources for students, since in a few months I have to sit down with a few of them and teach them how to identify spiders (challenging, since I’m a novice myself). For everyone’s general edification, here’s a short list of websites with taxonomic information:
- The University Extension Service on spiders (very basic overview.)
- Minnesota Spiders (spotty, incomplete; photos of a few spiders.)
- iNaturalist Spiders of Minnesota (iNaturalist is going to be a very handy tool.)
- Spiders of Minnesota: A checklist (good, detailed list; not particularly helpful for ID since it assumes you know what you’re doing.)
- A Preliminary Checklist to the Spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) of Minnesota (Part of the above checklist.)
- Bug Guide: Order Araneae – Spiders (thorough overview, links to details.)
- A Key to Spider Families (Keys, with diagrams of anatomical features.)
Of course I also have a couple of printed field guides. I’m eager for the spring thaw and an opportunity to go chase spiders.