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LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
LinEpig: My Subfamily Album
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LinEpig: My Subfamily Album

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First public presentation, at 2008 American Arachnological Society, of LinEpig, an online gallery to help museums identify spiders in the Linyphiidae family. This huge family of minute spiders …

First public presentation, at 2008 American Arachnological Society, of LinEpig, an online gallery to help museums identify spiders in the Linyphiidae family. This huge family of minute spiders includes the only North American spiders with no key to genus. LinEpig utilizes social features of Google's "Picasa" image-sharing software to deliver taxonomic and geolocation data.

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  • Hi. My name is Nina Sandlin. I’m an associate at the Field Museum in Chicago.
  • And I’d like to show you some very preliminary imaging I’ve been doing of female erigonines.
  • This is my friend Elizabeth, who is a spider enthusiast. She was sorting some Hahniidae, and one day I get an email from her with some pictures.
  • They were beautiful. And she said she had shot them just by pointing her digital camera through the eyepiece.
  • Right away, I thought of Linyphiidae.
  • The family Linyphiidae is a very large family of very tiny spiders. A lot of them are only a couple of millimeters long. And a lot of them look alike. “Linyphiidae is a large, poorly known, and taxonomically difficult family.”
  • I happened to have a problem linyphiid on hand. Mike Draney had identifed bunch of them from our Swalllow Cliff study as Agyneta barrowsi. But we only had females, and the details of their anatomy were hard to make out.
  • For members of the public who are here tonight: As you may know, spiders are identified by their reproductive organs, which on the female is that little bit that I’ve colored in bright yellow, called the epigynum. So on a 2-millimeter long spider, that is not a large area.
  • The epigynum looked kind of like a cloudy, translucent airbag with a central strut.
  • When we compared it to the figure in the original species description, we could see a lot more detail in the photo. And that gave me hope…
  • Because a lot of Linyphiidae are a good deal smaller than Agyneta barrowsi. And they are not as well documented.
  • When you get to the erigonines in the “Spiders of North America,” it just says “males only.”
  • What we use instead of a key is “the flip-books” – which are big three-ring binders of photocopies, where Mike Draney has collected all the figures from the original literature.
  • This is what I shot Agyneta barrowsi with, steadied against a rolled-up file folder, leaning on the scope.
  • And this is what we’re using now.
  • And since these specimens are so small that Brownian motion will jiggle them, we try to minimize vibration any way we can. ... And here’s some images.
  • Eperigone maculata has this very striking epigynum that’s like the flaring nostrils of an angry bull.
  • And you can see that this was meant to be the same structure.
  • Eridantes erigonoides in both the male and female has a narrow lobe in the head region with two eyes on top. And the epigynum has this flask shape, with almost a Schizocosa-like inverted-T structure.
  • You can’t quite make out the inverted T in the figure.
  • Hypselistes florens males have a remarkable bulbous head that is constricted “at the temples.” The females have this heavily sclerotized epigynum…
  • … which we can see some of the features of in the figure. … Now if it sounds like I’m making fun of Crosby and Bishop, I’m really not.
  • ... because, as Mike noted here and elsewhere, they did a great job compared with most everybody else.
  • Tapinocyba simplex has a yellow shiny raised cephalothorax with small silver eyes. The epigyna even “from a distance” have a distinctive (inverse |||| ) pattern.
  • ... which the figure is a little too curvy to really capture
  • People say the Erigone epigyna all look alike. We have not imaged many yet, this will be a good test.
  • We do have a few Spiremboluses. ... So what I’ve been doing is posting these things online.
  • There’s lots of photo-sharing sites out there, like Flickr, Snapfish and Shutterfly. But it turns out that anyone with a Gmail address already has a Google Picasa account built in, so I just started there.
  • My Picasa album is called LinEpig, and here’s the album cover. When you click on a thumbnail ...
  • ... it brings up the big image, along with its information. You can add Tags, so I put in both the spider’s names, as well as Linyphiidae, Erigoninae, and “epigynum.”
  • The Tags and Captions are searchable. A search for “epigynum” for example, will bring up photos and notes from LinEpig and from Efrat Gavish’s albums of Israeli linyphiids. And of course if you post any images that to Picasa with that word in the tags or title, it will get those as well.
  • There is a “Map location” link that lets you put in where photo was taken (or where the specimen was collected).
  • Here you can practically see the very pitfall trap in Swallow Cliff Woods that our spider came from.
  • Basically, it’s a usable tool with relatively low barrier to entry.
  • We’re going to try some simple compositing. We welcome your thoughts on any ways of improving the images that aren’t prohibitively labor-intensive. And we would like to expand the album. So if you have any reliably identified Erigoninae females ...
  • And just to get you in the mood, here are species where photos would help.
  • Here is how to find me.
  • And thanks to all of you.
  • Transcript

    • 1. LinEpig My Subfamily Album
    • 2. <ul><li>Some very preliminary imaging of erigonine epigyna </li></ul>
    • 3. <ul><li>My friend Elizabeth volunteers at the museum. One day she sent me some pictures of hahniids... </li></ul>
    • 4. <ul><li>“ I took these through the eyepiece with my digital camera,” she wrote. </li></ul>
    • 5. <ul><li>Immediately I thought of ... </li></ul>Linyphiidae.
    • 6. Linyphiidae <ul><li>Small, diverse and problematic </li></ul><ul><li>Often considered hard to identify, especially the females </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide, second in described species, but No. 1 by number of genera </li></ul><ul><li>Account for > ¼ of all spider species in the Midwest, and > 30% in Canada </li></ul>
    • 7. Agyneta barrowsi
    • 8. Female spider anatomy http://www.nmnh.si.edu/highlight/sem/highlight/spiders/spiders.htm
    • 9. Agyneta barrowsi
    • 10. Agyneta barrowsi A. barrowsi photo Chamberlin & Ivie 1944
    • 11. My Subfamily: Erigoninae <ul><li>The erigonines account for 90% of linyphiid diversity. In North America, there are 107 genera with 952 species. </li></ul>
    • 12. Female erigonines are the only North American spiders with no key to genus
    • 13. <ul><li>Atlas of Southeastern Linyphiidae </li></ul><ul><li>Atlas of Eastern North American Linyphiidae </li></ul><ul><li>Atlas of North American Linyphiidae (?) </li></ul>The liniphiid “flipbooks”
    • 14. CanonPowershot A 610 5.0 megapixel $129
    • 15. Microscopy equipment Olympus SZ-10 research stereo scope Q-Color 3 USB digital camera attachment using QI imaging camera (TWAIN) plug-in
    • 16. “ My protocol” <ul><li>Clean and distinct specimen </li></ul><ul><li>Clean alcohol, chilled </li></ul><ul><li>Fine black sand </li></ul><ul><li>Watch glass on a margarine lid </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize vibration </li></ul><ul><li>Work quickly before alcohol heats up </li></ul>
    • 17. Eperigone maculata (= Mermessus maculatus)
    • 18. Eperigone maculata LinEpig Crosby & Bishop 1928 (= Mermessus maculatus)
    • 19. Eridantes erigonoides
    • 20. Eridantes erigonoides LinEpig Crosby & Bishop 1933
    • 21. Hypselistes florens
    • 22. Hypselistes florens LinEpig Crosby & Bishop 1933
    • 23. Hypselistes florens Atlas of Southeastern Linyphiidae, M Draney 2004
    • 24. Tapinocyba simplex
    • 25. Tapinocyba simplex LinEpig Crosby & Bishop 1933
    • 26. Erigone dentosa LinEpig Atlas of Southeastern Linyphiidae
    • 27. Spirembolus S. erratus S. hibernus S. novellus S. pusilus
    • 28. Picasa Google’s photo sharing site
    • 29. LinEpig
    • 30. Eperigone tridentata (= Mermessus tridentatus)
    • 31. Social networking Photo-sharing albums let us post, share and search across what are essentially our “microscope field notes.”
    • 32. Map Location
    • 33. Georeferencing
    • 34. Why do this? <ul><li>Recognizable images of tiny specimens </li></ul><ul><li>Positive aid in identification </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable time and resource expenditure </li></ul><ul><li>Readily sharable </li></ul>
    • 35. Frustrations <ul><li>Images are a bit fuzzy, and glare-y </li></ul><ul><li>We have only imaged a small fraction of what’s out there </li></ul>
    • 36. What’s next <ul><li>We think it should be possible to get much clearer definition by compositing even just 2-3 images. </li></ul><ul><li>We will be glad to receive any useful feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>We hope that some of our colleagues will be willing to lend us their ID’d erigonines long enough to have their pictures taken. </li></ul>
    • 37. Wishlist... Floricoumus rostratus Idionella formosa Origanates rostratus Paracornicularia bicapillata Pelecopsidis frontalis Sisicottus montigenus
    • 38. <ul><li>http://picasaweb.google.com/nina.sandlin/LinEpig </li></ul><ul><li>Nina Sandlin Spiders - Zoology The Field Museum 1400 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA [email_address] </li></ul>
    • 39. Thanks <ul><li>Petra Sierwald, Kevin Pitz, Elizabeth Simmons – Field Museum, Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Draney – UW Green Bay </li></ul><ul><li>Rod Crawford – Burke Museum, UW Seattle </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Edwards – Woods Hole, Mass. </li></ul><ul><li>Efrat Gavish – Mitrani Dept of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel </li></ul>
    • 40.  

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