SPIDOnet.gr - Spiders of Greece

Introduction

The existence of complete species lists of a certain taxon on a national level is the first step to allow the better understanding of its biodiversity value and the use of it in further biogeographical or biodiversity studies and in national conservation planning. In most European countries checklists of spiders are available to a national level, and many of them are more informative than just a simple list of species.

Due to its geographical position and its topography, Greece is a major share of the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot, yet the information about Greek spiders is still incomplete. The first catalogue on the spiders of Greece appeared in 1935 by Bristowe, listing 373 species from the whole country. With the contribution of very few Greek arachnologists (e.g. Hadjissarantos, Paraschi, Chatzaki) and that of many others who worked partly in the Greek territory, the number of species has increased to 846, as recorded by Bosmans and Chatzaki in the second complete catalogue in 2005. Important information with many new records and new species has been added since then, leading to a current number of more than 1100 species for Greece. With few exceptions, this knowledge remains more or less sporadic and needs full bibliographic studying and analysis through the many taxonomic papers produced in recent years, in order to get a proper idea of the spider diversity of Greece per taxon, per district or per island.

In the framework of the SPIDOnet.gr project (link) we aimed to update the available state of knowledge on the Greek spider diversity, electronically organize it and disseminate it by incorporating it into a European-wide electronic database in order to accelerate the flow of information and increase its visibility for a broader public. To do so, we included all previous and new records to the most up to date electronic database for European spiders - araneae, hoping to add a milestone in the direction of sustaining a dynamic flow of taxonomic information which will be frequently updated. Our target is to facilitate the taxonomic work of arachnologists who will want to get involved with the Greek arachnofauna.

The current knowledge on the spiders of Greece is available for all users in English and it is provided in a dynamic module, which allows browsing based on taxon (family, genus, species) or geography (district/island). The user may visualize results of his/her searching either on a table or on a map. By mid of 2015 this database contains information on more than 1100 spider species from 50 families, and 98 publications.

Nomenclature follows the World Spider Catalog Version 16.0, www.wsc.nmbe.ch

We would very much like to thank all those who supported us in various ways and encouraged us in the realization of this project (see Acknowledgements).

Citation: Chatzaki M, Pitta E, Poursanidis D, Komnenov, M, Gloor D, Nikolakakis M, Nentwig W: SPIDOnet.gr - Spiders of Greece, Version 1.0, online at www.araneae.unibe.ch/spidonet.

Acknowledgements

We would very much like to thank all those who supported us in various ways and encouraged us in the realization of this project. A special thanks goes to the experts who helped with specimens identifications. The European Society of Arachnology supported this project by devoting its first European Year of Spider Biodiversity Research (2014/15) to Greece. This project was cofunded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and National Resources under the Operational Programme “Education and Lifelong Learning” Action 81324 - SPIDOnet.gr, ARISTEIA II Programme, NSRF 2007-2013.