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.
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.