Research scientists and students in this group investigate the fascinating world of arachnids which includes spiders, scorpions, ticks and mites. The Museum’s Arachnology Collection comprises more than 300,000 specimens and is referred to extensively by Australian as well as international research scientists. It provides geographical information that informs surveys as well as holotype and voucher specimens that are used for morphological and molecular analysis.
The group participates in biological surveys across South Australia, including those organised by the Waterhouse Club. These surveys generate valuable collections that later form the basis of research projects undertaken by arachnologists around the world. The Museum arachnologist and volunteers provide an identification service for external researchers in government departments, environmental consultancies, mining companies and the general public.
With over 200,000 spider specimens in the Arachnology Collection and considerable volunteer expertise, Museum staff and volunteers collaborate with research scientists from other institutions and assist with sourcing, identifying and photographing specimens.
The Museum’s mite collection is extensive with parasitic mites particularly well represented, reflecting the research interests of past Museum curators in arachnids. The collection holds many type specimens that are sent throughout Australia and the world for use by other research scientists.
Current research interests include a revision of the Blakistonia genus of trapdoor spiders using morphological and molecular techniques.