Taiwan 2013

Before the International Congress of Arachnology in June 2013 I had the opportunity to travel and collect pholcid spiders in the Provinces Taichung, Nantou, Tainan, and Pingtung. Almost nothing had been published about the Pholcidae of Taiwan and it was not clear whether this was an artifact, resulting from lack of sampling and neglect, or whether poor pholcid diversity in Taiwan was a fact.

Together with my companion Chih-Wei Lai we visited several well-preserved forests and it became quite obvious that Taiwan Pholcidae have not experienced anything similar to the radiations known from other islands at similar geographic latidude and similar size (e.g. Cuba). Three species per locality was the maximum we found, and most of the species seem to be widely distributed across the island.

I owe thanks to I-Min Tso for help with preparing the trip and with permits, and to Chih-Wei Lai for being such a cheerful companion and for his patience with my questioins about the most basic Chinese.