An important note about identifying spiders from photos:

When we try to place an ID on an observation, we are making a best guess based on what we know about the external characteristics of different spiders. In science, specific identifications are almost always made by looking at the shape/structure of the genitalia under a microscope, along with other characteristics that are usually not visible even in high quality macro photos - things like eye spacing, number/location of hairs on the legs, etc. In many cases there are several similar-looking species or even genera that are difficult to separate even with sharp photos. Many species have significant variation in color/size, and many species have never been photographed outside of preserved museum specimens. There are also many undescribed species that look similar to the ones we know about. iNaturalist encourages us to try and figure out exactly what kind of life form we have observed (which is good! curiosity is good!) - but when it comes to small arthropods like spiders, making a confident ID from only photos is often just not possible. This can be frustrating to people who follow popular taxa like birds and butterflies, but it's just a fact of life with many diverse groups of arthropods. So, please accept that it is often not reasonable to place a specific name on a spider just from photographs, and resist the temptation to try and "choose" a species.

Thanks to Justin Williams for the concept and most of the writing on this.

Posted on 13 December, 2023 15:18 by cs16-levi cs16-levi


No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments