Spider Collector's Journal

Narratives of Spider Collecting Trips

Copyright © 2005-14 by  Rod Crawford


Follow the links in the center column to page after page of exciting accounts of expeditions in pursuit of elusive arachnids. Thrills! Chills! You won't want to miss this!

Tools of the Trade Tools of the Trade
Screen sifter for spider collecting Forceps and brush used in spider collecting
Sifter Field forceps, brush, lab forceps
Beating net for spider collecting Field vials and permanent vials (neoprene-stoppered) for spider collecting
Beating net Field vials, permanent vials
Army ammo belt converted for spider collecting use Cyanide killing tube for spider collecting
Collecting (surplus ammo) belt Killing tube
Berlese funnel for extracting small invertebrates from leaf litter Field notebook and labels for spider collecting
Berlese funnel Field notebook and labels
Trowel modified for spider collecting use Magellan 2000 GPS unit
Trowel GPS unit for label locality data
Wild M5 microscope with Zeichentubus Materials for setting pitfall traps for spider collecting Spider collection vial storage system
Microscope Pitfall trap materials Vial storage system

The object of this page is simply to show what fun it is to be a "bug" collector! As editor of Scarabogram, newsletter of "Scarabs: The Bug Society," I sometimes report on field trips; mostly my own trips collecting spiders for the research collection at the Burke Museum. The notes linked above almost all appeared in Scarabogram in their original forms. References to the editor mean me; most other persons mentioned (except on Russian trips) are Scarabs members. Many other trips occurred but were not reported in enough detail to be worth including here. The date of the field trip heads each paragraph. Maps showing the location of sites within Washington state follow the grid system outlined in the Washington Spider Checklist.

Schematic map showing spider collection coverage of Washingon state
Spider collection coverage of WA
Click map for larger version
showing 1/10 degree lines

You might well ask: what's the object of all this spider collecting? Well, the main idea is to find out what spider species occur in Washington, what habitats each one lives in, and how each one is distributed around the state. When I started in 1971, we knew virtually nothing about these things. Even now, there are still plenty of species we haven't found even once (I get new ones on most field trips), many others for which there are only 1-5 specimens known, and many parts of the state not yet sampled. The map at right shows collecting progress in Washington through 2013. Each red dot shows a 1/10 degree area with over 20 species known. Out of 2195 areas, 508 sampled, 1687 to go!

If readers have spider questions for the author, kindly check this out first:

"Spider Myths" will probably cause you to re-think your questions. If you still have questions after you have read "Spider Myths" (but only after you've read it), feel free to contact me at .


This page last updated 2 May, 2014