New project: Key to the jumping spiders of the world


Since more than 20 years I develop the jumping-spiders Homepage and it was always an idea finally to programm a key the the genera/species of the jumping spiders of the world.

After implementing 54799 images it´s possible to start with that project, based on an interactive key I programmed in 2008 for the jumping spiders of Europe.
The aim of the interactive key ist not to be forced to walk through an complicated dichotomous identification key. You can start the key wherever you want to finally have a reduced selection of possible taxa.
The key works based on selecting attributes and their characteristics from a selection list clustered by morphological and ecological topics like e.g. 'body', 'carapace', 'clypeus', 'palpus', 'epigyne', 'distribution'.
On the left navigation bar you see on genus level the possibility to select in general between Habitus, Palpus or Epigyne to categorize the shown Illustrations and/or Fotos. When you reach the second level to identify the species of the chosen genus you have additionally the possibility to select Chelicera, RTA, Vulva and legs.
You can browse through the attributes and can start your selection of characteristics whereever you want - there´s no order or hierarchy to follow. The feature combination you selected reduces the shown genera/species in the list. Please wait until all boxes on the right are visible until you select the next checkbox - sometimes when there´s a huge amount of selected genera it will take some seconds ... ;-)
I´m at the beginning of the project - two assigned attribute groups with their characteristics are finished at the moment for all genera on genus level: MALES/FEMALES | Body | Habitus and MALES/FEMALES | Ecology | Geographical distribution.
All other attributes presented for selection are not completely assigned but allow to test.
In cooperation with Dr. Steffen Bayer (State Museum of Natural History Karlsuhe) we defined until now 789 different attributes/characteristics for selection - only shown in the key when assigned to a genus or species.

How to work with the key?

1: Selecting the genus
Open the toggle-menue MALES or FEMALES and select a checkbox from the shown possibilities. On the right side a selection of boxes with genera will appear. Image type is in the first selection only 'Illustration' to enable a quick pageload. Whenever you want you can select checkbox 'Fotos'. You can select further more checkboxes in the filter to reduce the number of boxes. Illustrations and fotos are in the first choice from generotypes - if there are no relevant images available the system takes them from other species of the genus. The number of shown images increases dynamically when the selection is done and less than 50 / 20 hits are shown. It takes some time when you e.g. select 'MALES/Body/Habitus: normal jumping spder like' because images from > 560 genera are shown...

2: Selecting the species
Click on the genus-box and you will see an overview of all relevant species - only with selection possibility for attributes which are assigned to species of that genus. Please consider that at the beginning of the project only a few attributes are assigned nearly almost to the generotypes - but in the overview it´s possible to have a quick survey of alle species form the genus - when illustrations are existing.
How it works technically: In developing the key-content I can separate between genus-relevant and species-relevant attributes. So its possible to show more detailed characteristics when I´m on species level.

3: click on the species-box and jump into the website directly to the species to hav all infos available in the database.
Images of habitus are mixed male/female because there are many gaps in illustrating complete couples in the pubications.