New Database Version 10.2020

The database has been updated. Please keep sending new papers and information on spider records in the Caucasus!

New Database Version 03.2020

Amaurobius caucasicus from Lagodekhi National Park

New records from several publications have been added to the database …

The distribution maps for each species have been slightly improved, e. g. the diagram displaying the altitudinal distribution now displays all record points. This should make the statistics more comprehensible. R programming is fun!

As always, please send me citations or even better, PDF files, of publications which need to be added to the database!

All the best, Stefan

New Database Version 09.2019

In this update I reviewed all 1100+ species in the Caucasus Checklist and updated some 50+ links to and from araneae.unibe (with the help of Daniel Gloor!).

Additionally, I updated the taxonomy (nomenclature), synonyms and misidentifications. Changes include: Harpactea sturanyi, Ermetus koreanus, Microdipoena jobi, Agyneta simplicitarsis, A. mollis, A. mesasiatica, A. rurestris, A. saxatilis, Zygiella montana, Leviellus stroemi, Alopecosa farinosa, Bogdocosa kronebergi, Halocosa cereipes, Lycosa tarantula, Piratula hurkai, Eratigena picta, Tegenaria lenkoranica, T. lehtineni, T. nakhchivanica, T. pseudolyncea, T. lyncea, Brigittea varians, Titanoeca spominima, Porrhoclubiona vegeta, P. genevensis, Leptopilus memorialis, Zelotes fuscus, Civizelotes gracilis, C. caucasius, Rhysodromus rikhteri, Rh. naxcivanicus, Tmarus punctatissimus, Bassaniodes caperatus, B. graecus, B. adzharicus, B. cribratus, B. robustus, B. tristrami, Bassaniana baudueri, Spiracme striatipes, Psammitis sabulosus, P. ninnii, Attulus distinguendus, Carrhotus xanthogramma, Plexippus strandi, P. devorans, P. setipes, Rudakius cinctus, Calositticus pulchellus, C. caricis, C. zimmermanni, C. rupicola, C. inexpectus, C. floricola, Hypositticus pubescens, H. relictarius, Marusyllus mongolicus, Pseudomogrus caspicus, P. vittatus, P. albocinctus

Also, a number of genera have been moved to other families, including: Argyroneta → Dictynidae; Cryphoeca, Tuberta → Cybaeidae; Mastigusa → Hahniidae; Pireneitega → Agelenidae; Cheiracanthium → Cheiracanthiidae; Zora → Miturgidae; Cetonana, Orthobula, Trachelas → Trachelidae

Citation: Otto, S. (2019): Caucasian Spiders. A faunistic database on the spiders of the Caucasus. Version 09.2019 Internet:

Upcoming updates are planned to include newly compiled distribution maps and new occurrence data (records) from recently published articles about spiders in the Caucasus. If you know of any publication not yet included in the database, let me know!

New Database Version 8.2018

All distribution maps are updated in Version 8.2018.

Version 8.2018 of the Caucasian Spiders Database now contains the records of a number of old and new publications:

1. Zonstein et al. (2018) revised the genus Raveniola in the Caucasus,

2. Otto & Japoshvili (2018) updated the checklist of spiders in Lagodekhi,

3. Shafaie et al. (2018): added a number of records for Pardosa colchica and P. pontica in Azerbaijan,

4. Dunin (1988) recorded a number of mygalomorphic spiders,

5. Spassky (1937) described a mygalomorphic spider species from the Caucaus.

6. A number of species of Dictynidae were studied by Marusik et al. (2015), Marusik & Koponen (2017) and Marusik et al. (2017),

8. All records of Hyptiotes gerhardti revalidated and all records of H. paradoxus and H. flavidus from NW-coast of the Black Sea attributed to this species, cf. Wiehle (1964), Wunderlich (2008) and Wunderlich (2017),

9. One record from a cave survey in Abkhazia by Ljovushkin (1966),

10. Some taxonomic changes, e.g. in the families Salticidae (e.g. genera Sittiflor, Sittipub etc.) and in Thomisidae (genus Bassaniana).

Database Version 08.2017

3097Starting now in August 2017, the database will be updated in shorter intervalls with versionnumbers giving month and year, e.g. 08.2017. This should allow (and motivate) me to work on the database more often, not only in a bulk action every two years or so.

Version 08.2017 includes the newly described Clubiona caucasica Mikhailov & Otto, 2017 in the checklist Caucasus and excludes Clubiona caerulescens L. Koch, 1867, which can easily be confused with C. caucasica and has not yet actually been recorded from the Caucasus.

View all records of the new species and download the PDF from here.

Database Update (Version 1.4.3)

Density of spider records in the Caucasus Ecoregion; gray: no records within 25-km-radius; white: 1 record; darkest red: 308 records.

Density of spider records in the Caucasus Ecoregion; gray: no records within 25-km-radius; white: 1 record; darkest red: 308 records. Read more …

Version 1.4.3 of the Caucasian Spider Database includes 13321 records of 1107 spider species, destilling the information distributed across 275 publications with occurrence data of spiders in the Caucaus Ecoregion.

Citation: Otto, S. (2015): Caucasian Spiders. A faunistic database on the spiders of the Caucasus. Version 1.4.3 Internet:

New features on these pages include:

New content in the database includes:

  • Utochkin (1968) with descriptions of three species: Xysticus caspicus, X. spasskyi (= X. umbrinus), X. ukrainicus.
  • Mikhailova & Mikhailov (2002) with a number of records on the Lycosidae of the northern macroslope of the Caucasus Major
  • Marusik et al. (2003) on P. azerifalcata and P. jergeniensis
  • Kovblyuk & Marusik (2012) on Robertus golovatchi
  • Ponomarev & Komarov (2013) on the spider fauna of North Ossetia-Alania added 637 records, including first records for the Caucasus for Porrhomma campbelli, Tiso vagans, Troxochrus scabriculus, Pardosa albatula, Ero cambridgei, Enoplognatha tecta, Theridium mystaceum, Ozyptila claveata, Titanoeca psammophila and possibly Gnaphosa reikhardi.
  • Triliskauskas & Komarov (2013) with 21 records of orb-web spiders in North Ossetia
  • Ponomarev & Abdurakhmanov (2014) with 107 records of spider species on the Caspian Coast of Dagestan
  • Ponomarev & Chumachenko (2014) with 107 records of spider species, including the first record of Palludiphantes pillichi in the Caucasus
  • Martinovchenko & Mikhailov (2014) with 210 records of spiders in Teberda Reserve with five first records in the Caucasus Ecoregion: Agyneta simplicitarsis, Alopecosa fabrilis, Thanatus striatus, Zora alpina and Zora manicata.
  • Barjadze et al. (2015) with records of 13 species from caves in Georgian Karst Caves
  • Otto & Tanasevitch (2015) with the description of Incestophantes shetekaurii from Assa Valley

Database Update (Version 1.4.2)


Spider diversity model for the Caucasus Ecoregion (Chaladze et al. 2014)

The records of some more publications are now in the database, raising the total number of original records in the database to 12119. Now, 1110 species are in the Checklist Caucasus and 27 species are in the newly introduced Blacklist Caucasus (details see below).

List of new record data in database version 1.4.2:

You can find a link to the dump of the SQL database on the FAQ page.

Next to database updates, a number of changes aim at increasing accessibility of the content:

The Checklist Caucasus now contains only valid species with undoubtful records. Therefore, it is called: Critical and Commented Checklist of Spiders (Araneae) in the Caucasus Ecoregion (link).

In order to maximize availability of data and to facilitate accessibility to all – even doubtful or false records existing in the literature – a Blacklist Caucasus (link) is introduced and situated below the actual checklist – listing those species, which due to doubtful records in the Caucasus or invalid taxonomic status should not be part of the checklist sensu stricto. This blacklist can, however, be of interest to taxonomists when in search of literature sources concerning such questionable species or misidentifications.

Furthermore, all entries on the the publications page now have links to BibTeX citations (I am still working on PDF uploads) and all locations have been checked for double entries.

So, enjoy browsing!

Database Update (Version 1.4.1)

By 池田正樹 (talk) masaki ikeda (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Argiope bruennichi, (c) Wikimedia Commons

Krehenwinkel & Tautz (2013) presented one of the few studies with the first information on high genetic diversity in spiders of the Caucasus Ecoregion. In their study populations of Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772) the Caucasus Ecoregion were the only populations — compared to populations in Europe, Russia and East Asia — with all haplotypes present, thus identifying this region as the probable refugial region for western European populations during glaciation events.
The well-known rapid northward range expansion of this species in the last decades was attributed by the authors to genetic admixture of cold-adaptation alleles from East Asian populations.

Ponomarev & Dvadnenko (2013) described Haplodrassus caucasius and sketch its distribution from Krasnodar Region eastwards to Dagestan.

Distribution map from Kovblyuk et al. (2013: 71).

Distribution map from Kovblyuk et al. (2013: 71).

Kovblyuk et al. (2013) described Pireneitega ovtchinnikovi and the male of P. spasskyi (Charitonov, 1946). Both species are vicarious species: P. ovtchinnikovi in the Western Caucasus Major and P. spasskyi in the Eastern Caucasus Major. The authors also identified all specimens of P. segestriformis (Dufour, 1820) from the Caucasus to be misidentified specimens of P. ovtchinnikovi.

With these updates, the database now runs as Version 1.4.1 (see details).