Spider Biodiversity Research

European Year of Spider Biodiversity Research

From 2014 on, the Society declares at 2 year intervals focal years of biodiversity research of or for a country or region. This is done upon application to the ESA council and should be characterized by some specific effort, scientific cooperation and/or a granted research project. Currently, the Society cannot provide financial support, but it offers a platform to advertise such a European Year of Spider Biodiversity Research which may help to promote specific projects.

2022/23 – Kosovo

The project was awarded to Donard Geci for support in faunistic work on the spider fauna of Kosovo.

ESA support:

  • ESA as platform for increased visibility
  • Media outreach
  • Support with consumables

The main objective of this project is to investigate the fauna of spiders, distribution and rare species in the Republic of Kosovo, including special ecosystems such as caves, and to assess the impact of environmental factors on the distribution and subscription of spiders in different habitats.

2018/19 – Cyprus

The project was awarded to Duncan McCowan.


  • Bosmans, R., Van Keer, J., Russell-Smith, A., Hadjiconstantis, M., Komnenov, M., Bosselaers, J., Huber, S., McCowan, D., Snazell, R., Decae, A., Zoumides, C., Kielhorn, K.-H. & Oger, P. (2019). Spiders of Cyprus (Araneae). A catalogue of all currently known species from Cyprus.
  • Newsletter of the Belgian arachnological Society 34 (Supplement): 1-173

2014/15 – Greece

In 2014/15, the first European Year of Spider Biodiversity Research is devoted to Greece, one of the most important biodiversity hotspots of Europe. We ask all interested arachnologists to perform collections in Greece, share material, contribute new records, and help with identifications. For further information, please see the project description (PDF) or contact Maria Chatzaki (maria.chatzaki(a)gmail.com).


  • Chatzaki, M., Pitta, E., Poursanidis, D., Komnenov, M., Gloor, D., Nikolakakis, M. and Nentwig, W. 2015 SPIDOnet.gr – Spiders of Greece, Version 1.0, online at www.araneae.unibe.ch/spidonet
  • Komnenov, M., Pitta, E., Zografou, K. and Chatzaki, M. 2016. Discovering the still unexplored arachnofauna of the National Park of Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli, NE Greece: a taxonomic review with description of new species. Zootaxa, Vol., 4096:1-66
  • Κornilios, P., Τhanou, E., Kapli, P., Parmakelis, A. and Chatzaki, M. 2016. Peeking through the trapdoor: historical biogeography of the Aegean endemic spider Cyrtocarenum Ausserer, 1871 with an estimation of mtDNA substitution rates for Mygalomorphae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Vol. 98: 300-313 (equal contribution with first author)
  • Thanou, E., Kornilios, P., Poursanidis, D., Parmakelis, A., Arnedo, M. and Chatzaki, M. 2017. Exploring the role of within-island ecogeographical factors: insights from the genetic diversity of Cretan trap-door spiders (Cyrtocarenum cunicularium, Ctenizidae, Araneae). Invertebrate Systematics, Vol. 31: 506–517 [https://doi.org/10.1071/IS16082]
  • Zografou, K., Adamidis, G.C., Komnenov, M., Kati, V., Sotirakopoulos, P., Pitta, E. and Chatzaki, M. 2017. Intra-seasonal activity of spiders and Orthoptera along a canopy cover gradient. Journal of Insect Conservation [doi:10.1007/s10841-017-9993-z]
  • Chatzaki, M. 2018. On the ground spiders genera Marjanus gen. n., Lasophorus gen. n. and Turkozelotes Kovblyuk & Seyyar, 2009 (Araneae: Gnaphosidae) from Greece. Zootaxa, Vol. 4392 (3): 521-545 [doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4392.3]
  • Chatzaki, M. and Komnenov, M. 2019. Description of a new Chaetopelma (Araneae, Theraphosidae) species from Crete and a re-description of Macrothele cretica Kulczyński, 1903 (Araneae, Hexathelidae). Zootaxa, Vol. 4544 (2): 269–284 [doi: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4544.2.7]
  • Pitta, E., Zografou, K., Poursanidis, D. and Chatzaki M. 2019. Effects of climate on spider beta diversity across different Mediterranean habitat types. Biodiversity and Conservation [doi: 10.1007/s10531-019-01860-2]
  • Chatzaki, M. 2021. Description of new ground spider species (Gnaphosidae, Araneae) from mainland Greece. Taxonomy Vol. 1: 374–394 [doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/taxonomy1040028]