Spider Illustration Public Deposited

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Wells, Elizabeth. Spider Illustration. Milne, Mare.University of Indianapolis. 2017.

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Wells, Elizabeth. (2017). Spider Illustration.

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Wells, Elizabeth. Spider Illustration. University of Indianapolis. 2017.

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The erigonine subfamily (family linyphiidae) currently consists of about 2,000 tiny (< 2mm) spiders. Little is known about their taxonomy and classification due to their small size and that female erigonines lack a taxonomic key to aid in species identification (Hormiga 2000). Therefore, in order to identify erigonine females, their epigyna (female reproductive structures) must be examined at 30-120x magnification using a dissecting microscope and compared against existing illustrations or photographs of known species (Sandlin 2011). Illustrations serve as efficient visual aids for identification because they are simplified and emphasize key parts of the animals. However, many erigonine illustrations are old (pre-1940's), poor in quality, and may be inaccurate (Blake 1892). To improve the ability of researchers to identify erigonines, females from eight species that currently possess insufficient material for proper identification were selected for illustration. Spider epigyna were then illustrated free-hand using pencil, pen, and a sketch pad while observing specimens under a dissecting microscope. Drawings were then edited in Photoshop to fix small errors and enhance the background. Upon completion, these illustrations were put on display on the LinEpig (short for "Linyphiidae epigyna") website hosted by the Field Museum of Chicago, where they currently accompany erigonine epigyna photographs taken by Nina Sandlin (Sandlin 2011).

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