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Velvet spiders emerge from underground in new cybertaxonomic monograph
Date:5/23/2012

ilk. San Francisco-based artist Giovanni Maki contributed beautiful drawings of the male genitalia. The project also used DNA sequence data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of velvet spiders. The DNA data confirmed that one particularly enigmatic species belongs to a new genus (Figure 3).

In recognition of the fact that this velvet spider lives underground, the new genus has been named Loureedia in a whimsical salute to the musician who began his distinguished career leading the 60s rock band "The Velvet Underground."

In spite of all the progress that this new monograph represents, there is much more work still to be done. Taxonomy is a fundamental science, and advances in it can promote research in other areas. Some of the most obscure groups of velvet spiders from the Mediterranean and Southern Africa will now be more easy to identify and study. This is thanks to the progressive approach taken by publisher Pensoft. The full-color monograph is freely available for download through the web site of the journal ZooKeys. Pictures and descriptions also appear on the wiki web site Species-ID and an interactive map of the specimens used in the study is explorable using Google Earth (please note you must have it installed in order to view the map). So this publically-funded research on a remarkable and often beautiful group of spiders will be freely available not only to scientists but to the public as well.


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Contact: Jeremy Miller
jeremy.miller@ncbnaturalis.nl
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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