About Spider ID

Our Mission

Spider ID provides a framework for community-driven spider identification, as well as an informational and pictorial library providing accurate spider resources to the public. Our goal is to dispel myths, superstitions, and urban legends that cause many people to be fearful of spiders. We empathize and promise to put the squeamish and scared at ease as best we can. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about Spider ID or our other websites, please use this form to contact us.

Dedication to Mandy Howe

In August 2016, Mandy Howe, a co-founder of the original Spiders.us website, passed away. You may remember her as “Lady Arachnophile” or as “Mandy” in the Spiders.us or BugGuide communities. Her expertise and passion for spiders as an academic, and as a public educator who was always willing to help, was truly unique. She is an irreplaceable member of our team, and her impact, friendship, and commitment will never be forgotten by myself or other core members of this community. You can read more about Mandy or contribute to a scholarship fund managed by her family: https://www.gofundme.com/2r5565hk

Features and Release History

Version 2 – Spiders.us is now Spider ID (December 19, 2017)

  • First release of Spider ID, providing foundational community features.
  • Public user registration and member profiles.
  • Badge system to virtually reward and acknowledge the meaningful contributions made by members of Spider ID.
  • Picture submission for registered users.
  • Community-driven discussion to comment and help identify picture submissions.
  • Upvote and downvote comments to bring attention to comment contributions that inform or help identify the given picture.
  • Private messaging system.
  • Dynamic filtering of all spider species covered.
  • Dynamic filtering of all pictures archived.
  • Location filtering of data collected; spider species and pictures.

Version 1 (December, 2011 as Spiders.us)

  • Spider ID originally existed as Spiders.us, our legacy brand and website which now redirects to Spider ID.
  • Spiders.us provided detailed overviews of ~40 unique species of spiders.
  • vBulletin was installed and used as the platform to manage spider picture submissions from the public and community engagement.
  • Other than the vBulletin forum, Spiders.us website was largely static, and relied on the project team and volunteers to provide written and visual content.
  • The written species guides on Spiders.us were academic and casual in nature. However, the new Spider ID no longer attempts to write exhaustive content on spiders, and instead emphasizes visuals and data collection.

Special Thanks

  • Insect Identification for being a close friend and partner in our goal of providing friendly education on insect and spider topics.
  • Bug Guide for being one of the first platforms (maybe the first?) to provide a service similar to what Spider ID does, but for all insects and arachnids in North America.
  • Richards Patent Law in Chicago for providing legal advice. Patrick Richards and his team are some of the best intellectual property attorneys in Chicago.