Wikipedia:WikiProject Spiders

Main page Talk page Style guide Assessment Activity log Members Resources

WikiProject Spiders


"Not long ago the spiders were the most neglected of the most interesting animals..." — Theodore Horace Savory, 1962

Welcome to WikiProject Spiders. If you plan to be active in editing articles relating to spiders, please add your name to the members list. Proposals, suggestions, and activities are discussed on the WikiProject Spiders talk page.

The WikiProject Spiders was formed in July 2006, to better organise efforts to create a spider section in Wikipedia that will be useful and enjoyable.

This page and its subpages contain many suggestions and ideas; it is hoped that this project will help to focus the efforts of other Wikipedians. If you would like to help, please inquire on the talk page and see the to-do list there.

For more information on WikiProjects, please see Wikipedia:WikiProject and Wikipedia:WikiProject/Best practices.


  • Summarize all the information that is out there on spiders, link to it, and provide an easy and beautiful way to access it.


Hot articles

16 edits Araneida
9 edits Steven R. Kutcher
7 edits Chimerarachne
7 edits Menemerus nigli
5 edits Eburneana scharffi
5 edits Rhyssoleptoneta
4 edits Eburneana magna
4 edits Arachnid
4 edits Eburneana wandae
3 edits Brown recluse spider
These are the articles that have been edited the most within the last seven days. Last updated 1 February 2023 by HotArticlesBot.

» Popular spider articles

Article alertsEdit

No Article alerts at this time.


This WikiProject is an offshoot of WikiProject Tree of Life

WikiProject Science
WikiProject Biology
WikiProject Tree of Life
WikiProject Animals
WikiProject Arthropods
WikiProject Spiders

Related WikiProjectsEdit

See Portal:Biology.

It is also worth keeping an eye on several Wikiprojects that are similar or overlap with this one, including WikiProject Lepidoptera, WikiProject Ecoregions, WikiProject Evolutionary biology, WikiProject Birds, WikiProject Cephalopods, WikiProject Gastropods.


See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Arthropods#Structure for an explanation of the structure of the spider section.

For a detailed article format on spiders, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Spiders/Article formats


One goal is to collect as much information about spiders and transform it into a form that is accessible to laymen, but also interesting to professionals.

  • Taxon pages: As of December 2015, there are about 46,000 described spider species placed in 114 families. We need not create a page for every species, for now, but it would be really cool to at least provide pages for all commonly known spiders, and for every spider where anything interesting can be found (Loads of species are only known from dead specimens, and all that is known about them is that they differ by some technical microscopic feature from another species; it would probably be more interesting for now to focus on spiders with 'special' features :)
  • Anatomy: Explain every anatomical feature of spiders.
  • Behavior: Collect information on this much-neglected topic.
  • Find more people that are interested in spiders, and willing to help on this project.


  • find one example species for (almost) every spider family
it would be very nice to focus on at least one species of every one of the 114 families. That's a) a good motivation (clearly defined goal), and b) would help to seed the thought of diversity in the spider section :) These example species could then be linked into the Spider families table.
  • include extinct taxa into the systematic sections
  • synonyms: the World Spider Catalog has many synonyms for spider taxa; these could be incorporated at a later time.
  • Regional checklists: There already is a List of common Australian spiders, Spiders of New Zealand, and a List of spiders of India. This would be nice for other regions, too.
  • mine Psyche. This is an entomological (with spiders) journal that has all issues from 1957 to 2000 under a free license; that means, we can copy text and pictures as we wish, if we attribute it. Could be a nice resource.
  • produce diagrams. Examples:
    • eye distribution on spider families
    • abdominal markings
    • ...
these could either be newly drawn, or fetched from open license publications (eg. Psyche, see Free license publications)


  • It's still too long. split it into several sub-articles (eg. spider anatomy, spider taxonomy, spider evolution, spider bites, spiders in culture).
  • put the {{WPSpiders}} template on the Talk pages of all spider related articles.
  • There should be very few pages now related to spiders that are not tagged, but if you do see a spider page without it, please add it and tell the page's creator about this practice.
  • find references on the web, and attach them to the fitting pages
  • there are loads of arachnological PDFs online. If one person attaches it to the fitting page, another person could extract the information into the article at a later time.
  • find, make, liberate pictures
  • search for spider pictures with a free license, upload own pictures (and determine the type where possible); but it could also help to ask people that have nice pictures online if they are willing to publish them under an open license; example
  • People have put in loads of images with titles like "weird_spider.JPG" and very few images with the scientific names of spiders. See also WikiProject Spiders/Undetermined pictures.
  • There is also an unknown amount of spider pictures that are not linked into the commons Spiders category tree. If you spot one, please at least tag it with Category:Spiders. (or the respective family if you know about it)

General strategy and discussion forumsEdit

  • /General - Check this page out, it contains many hints and suggestions that are currently being discussed.
  • /Strategy

Other subpagesEdit



Stub templatesEdit

Place these on any page that you think really needs to get fleshed out.

Other templatesEdit

Place this on top of a spider article's Talk page. What this template does:

  1. It will help to lead new editors to this project.
  2. If complete with quality and importance grading (see Article Classification), it helps us to stay on top of more than a thousand articles related to spiders.

This will insert a box with all spider families at the bottom of the page. At the moment, all 114 spider family pages have it (example).

Users with this template (which creates a userbox) on their User page will be automatically added to Category:WikiProject Spiders members.

List of taxonomistsEdit

You can use the List of Arachnologists to easily wikify the describers of taxa.


The top category is

Put genus and species pages into the appropriate family category.

By year of descriptionEdit

Articles on species (but not other ranks) can be placed in "Category:Spiders described in YEAR", e.g. Category:Spiders described in 2017. "Described in" here means "first formally described in accordance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature". The World Spider Catalog is a reliable source of taxonomic information: start at the Search page. There are two main cases:

  1. The species is still in the original genus in which it was first described, e.g. Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833. This will be shown by the absence of parentheses around the authority and date. So this species belongs in Category:Spiders described in 1833.
  2. The species has been moved from the original genus in which it was first described, e.g. Argiope aemula (Walckenaer, 1841). Walckenaer first described it as Epeira aemula in 1841; Thorell moved it to Argiope aemula in 1877, but this doesn't change the year of first description, so this species belongs in Category:Spiders described in 1841.

"Spiders described in YEAR" categories, such as Category:Spiders described in 1997, are placed in "Spiders described in CENTURY" categories, such as Category:Spiders described in the 20th century. The higher level categories should not contain articles. "Spiders described in YEAR" categories are also placed in "Animals described in YEAR" categories.


Redirects should also be categorized, always by the appropriate "R cat template", and sometimes by other categories as well, such as by their taxonomic category or in the case of a species by the year of description.

Redirects not involving monotypic taxaEdit

Redirect pages involving spider taxa should be placed into a "redirect category" using an appropriate "R cat template" as shown in the table below, unless the redirect is concerned with the accepted names of monotypic taxa. "Scientific name" is here interpreted broadly as meaning "Latin name", which may or may not be a valid taxonomic synonym.

Scientific name English name
From Scientific name {{R from alternative scientific name|spider}}* {{R from scientific name|spider}}*
English name {{R to scientific name|spider}}* See {{R template index}}

* Subcategorizing the redirect as a spider makes access and maintenance via the appropriate category easier.


Redirects involving monotypic taxaEdit

See WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA. Monotypic taxa should have one article at the lowest rank, but no lower than genus. So a family with one genus has an article at the genus; a genus with one species also has an article at the genus. The exception is when the genus needs disambiguation by adding "(spider)"; in this case the article on the genus and species is at the species. Redirects should be created for all the other taxa.

This will result in two cases:

These redirects should also be categorized by taxon rank, and in the case of a species, by year of description.


These lists were originally created from version 8.0 of Norman Platnick's World Spider Catalog, which forms kind of a common consensus on spider taxonomy amongst arachnologists. The World Spider Catalog (WSC) is now hosted at the Natural History Museum Bern; many species lists need to be updated to the latest version. For the sake of consistency, the spider section should adhere to the WSC wherever feasible. If you have a reason not to, please leave a note.

Regional species listsEdit

List of common Australian spiders
List of spiders of India

Regional lists not in WikipediaEdit


See Wikipedia:WikiProject Spiders/Articles for an overview of existing articles, requests of articles that are needed, and specials like "Featured articles" and the like.


See Wikipedia:WikiProject Spiders/Resources.

Picture Liberation ProjectEdit

This list's primary purpose is to coordinate the picture liberation quest ;). this way, people won't be bothered by multiple requests. To help out with this project, read through Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission. Some examples of emails sent to owners of pictures can be found here: Wikipedia:Example_requests_for_permission.

  • People from outside WP that have agreed to have their spider pictures under an open license:
  • People that have been contacted, but did not (yet) reply:
  • Michel Vuijlsteke [3]
  • Tom Murray [4] (would license the pictures under a non-commercial license)
  • People that won't license their pictures for WP:
  • Jeremy Miller (only with watermark)
  • Matjaž Kuntner (only non-commercial)
  • People not yet asked, with a sample page of pictures:
  • Bryan E. Reynolds, Jerome Rovner, Joseph Warfel, Fred Coyle, Bill Welch, K.N. Prestwich, Rick Vetter [5]

Sister project linksEdit