Catalogues and study guides to the insects and arachnids of Siberia

Institute for Systematics and Ecology of Animals, SB RAS, Novosibirsk

Head of the Institute:

Vadim I.Evsikov, Corresponding Member of the RAS, Professor
11 Frunze Str., Novosibirsk, 630091, Russia
Telephone: +7 (3832) 170-973
Fax: +7 (3832) 170-973

Principal researchers:

V.G.Mordkovitch, Doctor of Sciences, Professor, Director of the Zoological Museum
V.V.Dubatolov, Ph.D., senior researcher of the Zoological Museum
D.V.Logunov, Ph.D., senior researcher of the Zoological Museum
A.V.Barkalov, Ph.D., senior researcher of the Zoological Museum

Project objectives

To compile catalogues and study guides (identification manuals) to the most abundant insect and arachnid groups (see 8) in the scope of the Siberian fauna.

Background and significance of objectives

Collections and relevant information:

Ground for the aims:

Without exact identification of biological species and knowledge about their distribution and the composition of local faunas no serious evaluations, characteristics or monitoring of biodiversity are possible, as well as no serious progress can be expected in managing and protecting the biosphere or any of its components (ecosystem, landscape, natural zone, etc.). Thus, carrying out the presented project is indeed important in providing a relevant foundation for further biodiversity/conservation studies of Siberia.

Despite almost complete sets of composite identification keys to insects and spiders exist for the European part of Russia and the Russian Far East, no such manual or field guide has so far been compiled for Siberia. Thus, to fill in this gap is a task of primary concern now and the proposed project is therefore a matter of great scientific importance.

The museum staff numbers more than 20 experts in main insect and arachnid groups and would take over the task of direct performing and organising functions.

Research plan: approaches and methods

Catalogues and checklists. Each catalogue/checklist will be devoted to a selected invertebrate group at a family/order rank and represent an up-to-date review of all available literature sources concerning Siberia, as well as the result of treatment of the museum collections, of which the collection of our museum is of prime importance (see 6.1). Every catalogue will be organised in such a manner that it permits one to analyse: a) the distribution of each species between physiographical regions, administrative units and localities; b) the structure of subregional and local (=particular) faunas; and c) the species composition of constituent administrative territory divisions. Maps showing regional distribution of species included will be provided as well (e.g. see Fig. 1).

Study guides and identification manuals. Every study guide will be designed to identity species in the scope of the fauna of Siberia or Northern Asia and will be organised to serve a vital introduction for all naturalists (both professionals and amateurs). A preliminary content of each study guide will include the following parts: introduction chapters to provide general information about a group at hand (morphological essays, glossary, data on biology and distribution, collecting methods, the present state of knowledge of the group within and outside of Siberia, etc.); key to families, genera and species constructed by the dichotomy principle. All identification manuals will be comprehensively illustrated, including black-white drawings of sexual organs, somatic characters and general appearance (whenever applicable).

Time table: 2-3 years.

Expected results

List of publications of participants related to the project

300 papers connected with the taxonomic surveys and revisions have so far been published; selected bibliography is given below.


Fig. 1. Changes in the study of biodiversity of Arachnoidea in the fauna of the former Soviet Union.