Colombia 2022
In September 2022, I visited Colombia to gather preliminary data for a major planned project on the pholcids of the northern Andes. Together with Colombian colleagues, I collected in two distinct biogeographic regions in Colombia: the Andean and the Caribbean. We visited 46 localities and collected 1353 adult specimens that are tentatively assigned to ~90 morphospecies. That may not sound like a lot, but only 22 species are currently known from all of Colombia, based on a published total of 148 specimens! Within a single month, we built the world’s largest collection of Colombian Pholcidae. Here are photos of some of the ~77 new species we found:

A preliminary account of the results can be found here: A first publication (on Galapa) has been published in 2024.

I am most thankful to Jimmy Cabra García for making this trip possible, for his support with permits and logistics, and for his kind hospitality. For support during field work, I also thank Bryan Andrés Ospina, Bryan Rodríguez, Julio César González, Germán Andrés Rodríguez, Oscar Cuéllar, William Galvis, and David Vergara Moreno. For permits to enter protected forests, I thank Juan Martin Mejía (Reserva Madhú), Anderson Muñoz (Bremen Forest Reserve), and Pedro Londoño (Bosque del Silencio). The trip was financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), project HU 980/14-1.

One of our collecting sites, at Finca Meremberg near Popayán (left). It reminded me of a book
about early expeditions to Colombia that my father had purchased in the 1970ies. As a child, I was fascinated about the illustrations such as the one on the left, "Puente de Chucanés" by Riou, illustrating the expedition of Edouard André from Popayán to Pasto (1875-1876).

Closed doors ...
Photos: BAH