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South Australian Museum Arachnology Collection

The Arachnology Collection at the South Australian Museum contains around 300,000 arachnids as well as many centipedes and millipedes (Myriapoda). Of these around 56,000 have been databased.

Spider specimens make up the largest component, with some 200,000 specimens stored in alcohol. The Sparassidae (huntsman spiders) are particularly well represented in the collection with over 2000 Australasian specimens.

The collection also houses a significant mite (Acarina) collection (about 45,000 specimens) in alcohol or on glass microscope slides, approximately 5000 scorpion (Scorpiones) specimens and a smaller number of Myriapoda specimens (about 3600).

The SA Museum manages this dataset using the KE EMu collection management system. It is interpreted into the Darwin Core metadata schema (DwC) and semi-regularly exported to the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums (OZCAM).

Data sourced from Australian museums on both the ALA and OZCAM should be identical, but on ALA they are combined with observational data from citizen science initiatives and other sources. Both of those sites make it possible to combine, interrogate and analyse data through web services such as the Spatial Analysis Portal. In the Spatial Portal ALA data can be combined with meteorological and other environmental data sourced from and made accessible by relevant government agencies.

The ALA also has a fully documented API

Data about endangered species are either withheld from online publication, or coordinates or other data are obscured on the ALA and OZCAM. In those circumstances more specific information is available directly from SA Museum collection managers if it is genuinely required for research purposes.

SA Museum data can be downloaded in full from the Atlas of Living Australia, or broken down into discipline specific parts (e.g. Herpetology, Mammalogy etc). On download the ALA will request an email address (not mandatory) and a reason for download (mandatory) – this is required to track usage of the ALA data to help data providers determine priorities for upload and improvement.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title South Australian Museum Arachnology Collection
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution
Data Status active
Update Frequency quarterly
Landing Page https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/6812c858-5ff1-4188-9997-befffbc42dbe
Date Published 2016-06-24
Date Updated 2020-02-18
Data Granularity Individual specimen records
Temporal Coverage 1880-01-01 - 2016-01-01
Geospatial Coverage Primarily whole of Australia, some international records
Jurisdiction Government of South Australia
Data Portal data.sa.gov.au
Publisher/Agency South Australian Museum