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Volume 96, Issue 1-2, Pages 75-99

The Neotropical Orb-Weaver Genera Epeiroides, Bertrana and Amazonepeira (Araneae: Araneidae).

Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge 02138, Mass., USA

Received 8 May 1989

Copyright © 1989 Herbert W. Levi.


Most Neotropical spider specimens preserved in museums were collected by ornithologists, entomologists or amateur naturalists, who picked up spiders when their preferred organisms could not be found. Invariably such collectors bring back the biggest, showiest spiders. Only in recent years have arachnologists themselves collected, concentrating on the less conspicuous but often more interesting spiders that previously were overlooked. Tiny spiders frequently show greater diversity in structure than larger ones, and have more species in the Holarctic region. At present we know much less about the minute Neotropical Araneidae than about the larger species.

For most of these spiders there is no literature other than catalog citations. Often the second citation is a misidentification, and many species, when found again, were given new names (e.g. Bertrana striotaca), because making a new species is much easier than checking previous descriptions and examining their types.