Collection Arachnoidea

curator: Mag. Christoph Hörweg


content: The Arachnoidea collection includes, besides Arachnida, the minor groups Xiphosura, Pantopoda, Pentastomida, Onychophora and Tardigrada.


short history: The oldest parts of the collection may date back to the beginning of the 19th century (e.g. Austrian spiders from C. von Schreibers' collection; a few Australian spiders from the Flinders voyage acquired through F. Bauer; furthermore Brazilian material from Natterers's expeditions). In the first half of the 19th century the Vienna collection was considered very rich by international standards; in later times it was surpassed due to various developments by other collections in western Europe and America.

One important contribution was the acquisition of parts of the L.Koch collection by Steindachner in 1882/1884: 967 numbers, including type material. Today the Pseudoscorpion collection is one of the most important collections worldwide due to the longtime activity of the leading specialist Dr. Max Beier in our Museum. Otherwise the Arachnid collection is of mainly national importance, as a place of deposition of type and voucher material of taxonomic and ecological-faunistic publications of Austrian and foreign students. Due to the comparative richness in old material from various countries and type material of "old" authors there is active international loan correspondence.


preservation: predominantly alcohol preservation, slide preparations mainly in Acari (less so in Pseudoscorpiones, and a few others).


cataloguing: old written catalogues, large parts still unregistered. EDV in the future: no future when one views present development in personnel politics.


Remarks concerning some groups:

Scorpiones: About 1850 registered samples (about 200 species); 27 type samples (Birula, Maury, Penther, Werner); the collection contains relics of the Werner collection. Much undetermined material mainly from SE Europe, SW Asia. The genus Euscorpius is especially well represented.


Pseudoscorpiones: about 7000 samples, nearly 800 type (and paratype) samples. Determinations by M. Beier predominate.


Solifugae: 105 registered samples in 45 species, 14 types (Birula, Kraepelin, Penther, Roewer, Werner). Undetermined material mainly from SW-Asia.


Palpigradi: only few specimens; one type.


Schizomida: 3 samples (2 species), one type sample (Sissom).


Uropygi: 49 samples (18 species), 6 types (Doleschal?, Haupt, Kraepelin).


Amblypygi: 64 samples (26 species), 3 types (Kraepelin, Werner, Weygoldt).


Araneae: about 15.000 samples all in all, nearly 7000 catalogued; about 570 type samples (confirmed and suspected, including paratypes): "old" authors are: Ausserer (Orthognatha!), Bilimek, J. Denis, Doblika, Doleschal, von Kempelen, Keyserling, L. Koch (Europe and Australia), Koelbel, Kulczynski, Nosek, Reimoser, F. Rossi, E.Simon, Strand, E. Schenkel; contemporary authors: M. & B. Baer, Buchar & Thaler, S. Danilov, C. Deeleman-Reinhold, C. Deltshev, B. Jendrzejewska, Jocque & Bosmans, B. Knoflach, E. Kritscher, H. Levi, Maurer & Thaler, Mikhailov, H. Nemenz, H. Ono, N. Platnick, Raven, Raven & Churchill, Raven & Schwendinger, Relys & Weiss, Schwendinger, K. Thaler, Thaler, Buchar & Kurka, Thaler & Knoflach, Thaler & Polenec, Thaler & Steinberger, Thaler & Zingerle, P. Vollmer, J. Wunderlich.
Faunistic collection from Austria (Gruber), about 5000 samples, partially determined.


Much undetermined material, e.g. from South America (Reimoser coll.), Indonesia, Mediterranean region, etc.


Opiliones: about 10.000 samples, mainly recent faunistic material from Austria (Gruber leg.). Type material (confirmed and suspected): Ausserer, Doleschall, Gruber, Gruber & Martens, L. Koch, Komposch, Kulczynski, Martens, Nosek, Roewer, Stipperger, Thaler. Alleged old type material reported by Roewer may have been misinterpreted, or is no longer in our collection.


Acari: Old material partly in poor condition, e.g. the Nalepa collection of Eriophyid mites is mostly dried up and without key to numbered vials (at least since the 1930ies). But now the status of the collection has been revised - see: Nalepa collection
Relatively rich material of ticks, partly determined by Nuttall & Warburton; also Nemenz collection (one type). Newer depositions of various material by Lukoschus, Schuster, Krisper, Schatz.
Numerous slide preparations donated by H. Franz: gamasid material including types of Athias-Henriot; Austrian soil mites.



Xiphosura: few specimens, partly dry, mostly old collections.

Linguatulids: relatively rich old material from Natterers Brazilian collection (Heymons & Vitzthum det.)

Onychophora: few specimens, "a small but interesting collection" (Ruhberg)

Tardigrada: nil!