In the past 150 years 500 species of goblin spiders have been described: we estimate that the true number is greater than 2000. We are attempting to compress several lifetimes worth of work into 7 years by combining and coordinating the efforts of 40 researchers from around the world, utilizing on-line descriptive and phylogenetic databases, and making extensive use of digital imaging technology.
In essence we are attempting to reinvent taxonomy so that this may be done rapidly, consistently, comprehensively, and producing user-friendly products that may be accessed by anyone with access to the internet. CAS participants include Darrell Ubick and Anthea Carmichael (technicians), graduate students Alma Saucedo (San Francisco State) and Natalia Chousou Polydouri (UC Berkeley), former postdoctoral researcher Fernando Álvarez Padilla and myself. This research is supported in large part by the Goblin Spider PBI NSF grant.