Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

The spiders of Prince Edward Island: experts and citizen scientists collaborate for faunistics

Joseph J. Bowden, Kyle M. Knysh, Gergin A. Blagoev, Robb Bennett, Mark A. Arsenault, Caleb F. Harding, Robert W. Harding, Rosemary Curley


Although lists of spider species have been compiled for all of Canada’s provinces and territories, the spider fauna of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is poorly known. Based on the efforts of citizen scientists, naturalists, and scientists on PEI and researchers at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, we present the first comprehensive list of spider species on the island, increasing the known number from 44 to 198. The Centre for Biodiversity Genomics conducted intensive collection in Prince Edward Island National Park; Nature PEI citizen scientists and naturalists contributed specimens from across the island from several different habitats. This provincial list is dominated by the araneoid families, Linyphiidae, Theridiidae, and Araneidae, with 55, 27, and 22 species, respectively. Several non-native species, such as the theridiid Eurasian False Black Widow Spider (Steatoda bipunctata (L.)) and the araneid Red-sided Sector Spider (Zygiella atrica (C.L. Koch)), have been collected in several locations on the island, suggesting that they are well established. This work highlights the effectiveness of collaboration among citizen scientists, naturalists, and professional researchers to further our knowledge of species diversity and distributions.


Maritime provinces; Araneae; Prince Edward Island; PEI; faunistics; citizen science; Arachnida

Full Text:



Volumes that are more than six years old are freely available courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.


Questions or problems with the website? Contact William Halliday (info -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca).