LinyGen
Linyphioid Genera of the World (Pimoidae and Linyphiidae),

An Illustrated Catalog By: Gustavo Hormiga, Dimitar Dimitrov, Jeremy A. Miller and Fernando Alvarez-Padilla, [version 2.0]

Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University,
Washington D.C., 20052, U.S.A.


  LinyGen is a catalog of images of pimoid and linyphiid spiders (informally called "linyphioids"). The primary goal of LinyGen is to aid in taxonomic identification in this large lineage of araneoid spiders by providing images of at least the type species for the 571 currently valid linyphioid genera. This image database grew out of our need to access illustrations of all linyphioid genera, both for identification and for phylogenetic research purposes. The taxonomic literature for this group goes back to Clerk's Arenei Svecici (1757) and is scattered across an enormous diversity of bibliographic sources (many of them difficult to access to most workers). Platnick's catalog provides the indispensable reference for the taxonomic works on spiders, including Pimoidae and Linyphiidae, and we have used it as the taxonomic skeleton of LinyGen. For each genus we have tried to include illustrations of the type species taken form the original description or redescription available in the taxonomic literature. In most cases we have included images of other species as well, to illustrate the morphological diversity within the genus. Because of the high diversity of sources, the quality of these images is highly variable. In a few cases in which no illustrations exist (e.g., Priperia bicolor Simon) we have provided the text of the original description.

  LinyGen is a reference tool that can help with taxonomic identification, but it is not an identification key. Few identification keys for linyphiids exist (and most of them are regional in scope), none exists for the world genera. Consequently, users of LinyGen that are unfamiliar with linyphioid diversity may find identification in this group to be a Herculean task. This frustrating state of affairs in linyphioid taxonomy was one of the reasons that took us to compile LinyGen. Although LinyGen can help by providing quick and easy access to thousands of published illustrations from more than 277 references, the user will need a certain level of taxonomic knowledge to navigate this maze. This situation is far from ideal, but we think it is significantly better than browsing through hundreds of pages in a myriad of printed references.

  To use LinyGen access the website (http://www.gwu.edu/~linygen/) using an internet browser, such as Mozilla FireFox or Microsoft Internet Explorer . This will bring you to the Home page. The format is very simple; there is one web page per genus. On the left of the computer screen there are two narrow boxes, one for each family, which alphabetically lists all the genera in Linyphiidae and Pimoidae. To access the images for a given genus, select the genus name in the corresponding family box and click “submit.” This will retrieve the genus page with the genus name, its type species, generic synonyms (if any exist), images of the type species (unless those were unavailable) and/or other species, the list of species currently classified in the genus and the geographic distribution of the genus. The taxonomic information has been directly retrieved from Platnick’s catalog, including the geographic distribution.

  Funding for this version of the catalog has been provided by a PEET grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to Gustavo Hormiga and Gonzalo Giribet (DEB 0328644) and by Research Enhancement Fund and a Selective Excellence award from The George Washington University. This project was initially funded by NSF grant DEB 9712353. Thanks to Vanessa Degrassi (GWU), Peyman Bakshpour (GWU) and Sohum Mehta (GWU) for help scanning and editing the images. Special thanks to Norman Platnick for his electronic spider catalog, which greatly facilitated this work. Don Buckle and Rudy Jocque provided comments on earlier version of LinyGen. We are also very grateful to the numerous colleagues around the world that have made suggestions or corrected errors in earlier versions of LinyGen. We also would like to thank the George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institution libraries for their help in obtaining many of the needed references.

  We would like to thank all linyphiidologists and the publishers of their work for their permission to reproduce their illustrations (copyright permission for some images still pending). Special thanks to Michael Roberts, whose The Spiders of Great Britain and Ireland has been the source of most of the illustrations of European linyphiid genera.

  This catalog should be cited as:

  Hormiga, G., D. Dimitrov, J.A. Miller, and F. Alvarez-Padilla. 2008. LinyGen: Linyphioid Genera of the World (Pimoidae and Linyphiidae), An Illustrated Catalog. Version 2.0. The George Washington University, online at http://www.gwu.edu/~linygen/index.cfm.

  Please, send any comments or corrections to Gustavo Hormiga (hormiga@gwu.edu), Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052, USA.