A successful systematics initiative in arachnology could provide an invaluable model for rapid delivery of taxonomic data for other animal groups. Until now, the inaccessibility of the classical and obscure taxonomic literature has been a major hindrance to the field's progress.
The World Spider Catalog (www.wsc.nmbe.ch), launched last year, now contains complete taxonomic data for almost 46,000 validated spider species and an embedded collection of 13,000 references. Spiders are the most species-rich terrestrial invertebrate group after insects.
More than 97% of the world's spider literature was collected within just 600 days of communicating our goal to the research community. The database logs a daily average of 600 hits and 400 downloads.
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Nentwig, W., Gloor, D. & Kropf, C. Spider taxonomists catch data on web. Nature 528, 479 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/528479a
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