Matthew Lindsey

Joined: Nov 11, 2022 Last Active: Jun 07, 2023 iNaturalist

Hi, my name is Matthew, and I am a Christian homeschooler from Ohio with an oversized obsession for spiders as well as any other organism, though, spiders are my area of expertise and have been my favorite organisms ever since I first heard of them. Some of my favorite non-spider organisms are centipedes (Chilopoda), harvestmen and other arachnids (Opiliones and other Arachnida). I am bewildered by the beauty of Creation, so aside from the identifications I make, I love to observe God's amazing creatures, especially spiders (order Araneae)! Spiders are intriguing to me because of their high diversity and heterogeneity of ingenious modus operandi that they manipulate to arrest their prey, and also because they are so disliked.

I am currently working on an identification field guide of the 132 current spider families, as well as information on many previous and future families. My book, non-profit, will likely be sold on as A Field Guide to the Spider Families of the World at base price. Delays of the book are possible. The book includes characters for distinguishing all 4 sub/infraorders, all 132 families, and lists all 4,300 spider genera, many spider genera will be illustrated with stunningly beautiful photographs from my kind contributors. My thanks go out to them! The photographs, as well as the few illustrations, include faces, eggsacs, courtship behaviors, and more. The taxonomic affinities are further provided in the information on each family as well as biology of many genera when known. The taxonomy for each family also comments on whether or not there are genera or subfamilies that do not belong in the family or should be separated (e.g., Badia doesn't belong in Palpimanidae, Masteriinae doesn't belong in Dipluridae, Pimoidae belongs to Linyphiidae, Pararchaeidae and Holarchaeidae should be separated from Malkaridae and Anapidae respectively, etc.). If you don't have any prior experience in spider terminology (i.e., you aren't familiar with the many, many body parts), my book will have a hopefully easy-to-understand introduction to these terms, but you must memorize and recognize them otherwise my book may not be of any use to you. If you are ever reading anything I write and it just doesn't make much sense, feel free to message me via private message and I will gladly explain.

Something about my book that I want you to expect:
Despite that my book isn't supposed to be focused on the taxonomy of spiders, I still want to make a big deal out of it because most sources recognize spiders based on molecular data (otherwise known as "invisible evidence"), but in my book, I recognize relationships based on the spinnerets and some other morphological features. Why? Spinnerets are the most correct way to separate spiders as most of the families and genera are separated on the basis of the spinnerets. How does one separate spiders by the spinnerets? Silk glands and spigots. The former are the glands that produce silk whereas the latter are hair-like silk tubes on the spinnerets that secrete the silk that is produced from the former. In conclusion, my book will recognize taxonomic relationships based on the spinnerets rather than molecular data. The only exception is when genera are misplaced in a family (e.g., Badumna is not a desid but rather an amaurobiid), but instead of actually transferring it to a different family, I will comment that the taxon belongs to a different family rather than actually transferring it there. The reason why I am not actually going to separate genera by the basis of spinnerets is because some genera I cannot find spigot information: (1) I am not in the locality of the taxon to study the spinnerets myself and (2) because the taxon lacks any published information on the spinnerets. However, I separate spiders by subfamily by what I think it should be. This to me is different that separating by family because with subfamily, I don't have to be 100% sure, but I would prefer 100% with family. I don't relate spiders via molecular data because it just shows how spiders are supposed to be evolutionarily related. This is obviously because I'm not an evolutionist so of course I am not going to relate spiders via evolution, but my book definitely isn't anything that goes after it nor does it reference evolution aside from molecular data and cladistics, and I am just going to discuss my views on how I think spiders should be separated. Also, my sub/infraorder division with spiders is much different than that of current spider taxonomy. I recognize two suborders with two infraorders each, and the suborders are recognized by the spigots and where they are placed.

If wished to be informed in the time of the publishing, one must follow me or, better yet, join the Spiders of Earth project. Both ways, I will post journals on the updates of my book.

Feel free to use my photos for anything. It would be very cool if you could send me a quick message first explaining why you are using it and/or where I can view it when it is finished. I'm also on Flickr under the same username, but there I won't post as many photos. I also plan on purchasing a macro setup so I can photograph spider faces, spinnerets, and spider genitalia, mostly for identification purposes.

DO NOT agree with me on any identifications unless you have the knowledge to agree. After all, everyone makes mistakes, including me.

Never trust the iNaturalist AI when adding identifications to others' observations, and I suggest you do the same, though it is useful for your own observations and to quickly add an ID when you are already sure it's that taxon. If you don't know, don't identify that observation or taxon at all. However, I do use the AI for my own observations as they don't affect anyone but myself. If you are not sure what two or more taxa it could be, suggest a conservatively coarse ID like "jumping spiders", "typical spiders", or even just "spiders". It is almost always possible to bring the spider down to sub- or infraorder level.

I can suggest identifications for spiders anywhere, but I mostly like to identify spiders in Palpimanoidea, Mygalomorphae, Mesothelae, and Caponiidae as I know most about these spider groups.

Current stats:

  • 22/45 Ohio spider families
  • 22/132 worldwide spider families
  • 72/700* Ohio spider species (on iNat)
  • 72/51,000* worldwide spider species (on iNat)
  • 1/2 Ohio spider infraorders (Araneomorphae, Mygalomorphae)
  • 1/4 worldwide spider infraorders (Araneomorphae, Caponiomorphae, Mygalomorphae, Liphistiomorphae)

Current goals:

  • Photograph at least 35/50 Ohio spider families
  • Photograph at least 20 new-to-me spider species by the end of 2023
  • Photograph all species of Oxyopidae, Pholcidae, and Uloboridae in Ohio
  • Photograph five new-to-iNat species
  • Recognize most spider genera and tribes by sight (specifically salticids)
  • Complete A Field Guide to Spider Families of the World

Future goals:

  • Become an arachnologist
  • Travel all around the world with the best macro photography setup ever (well, it can depend on what you call best)
  • Photograph Huttonia palpimanoides
  • Photograph all Palpimanoidea families
  • Photograph every spider family (with white background and normal background)
  • Photograph every single spider subfamily or genus ever (with white background and/or normal background)
  • Photograph every single species in the Palpimanoidea
  • Describe a second huttoniid (would be Huttonia platnicki) and be the first to photograph it
  • Described the 21 undescribed huttoniids in the two or three genera
  • Discover a new, bizarre family of spider and be the first to photograph it (including extinct families and families thought to be extinct)
  • Record tons of spider stats and facts not yet known (e.g., top speed of a selenopid, total lifespan of an idiopid, what trogloraptorids actually use their claws for)
  • Write a complete guide to all the species in the Palpimanoidea
  • Write a complete guide to every spider genus

Completed goals:

  • Photographed a new-to-iNat species (Dipoena buccalis)
  • Find Mangora

What I use for macro photography at the moment (unfortunately...)

  • iPod 6th generation (has 8 MP)
  • Clip-on macro lens

Personal links:

My absolute favorite observations:

Recommended websites:

  • World Spider Catalog ( - The most complete taxonomic reference for spiders with all 132 families, 4,300 genera, and even all 50,000+ species! The recommended FREE membership allows access to thousands of scientific publications found nowhere else.
  • ARANEAE: Spiders of Europe ( - Spiders of Europe is a recommended website with loads of information on all European spiders. Any logged in members are able to write pages on each species, and these pages are posted once the editors review them.
  • Bugguide ( - A North American-based (excluding Central America) website helpful for identification and information.
  • Asian Society of Arachnology ( - Created by renowned spider photographer Nicky Bay (@nickybay), the Asian Society of Arachnology (ASA) includes helpful information on the Asian arachnids, including before-published papers for logged-in members.
  • American Arachnological Society ( - An American-based website including dozens of journals posted on the arachnid fauna located in United States and Canada. Known as the AAS.
  • British Arachnological Society ( - A British-based website much similar to the AAS, but instead abbreviated BAS!

Recommended books (still under construction... who knows if I'll ever get around to finishing it):

Profile photo:
Huttonia sp. in the public domain by S.E. Thorpe (photo edited).

If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider run alive.

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