Four more years! A link to the species in EcoLincNZ

Yellow-eyed Penguin EcoLincNZ has turned four. It just seems like yesterday that we discussed the use of blogs in our weekly ecology and evolution discussion group and decided that we should give it a go. It’s been 130 posts since the first one on the different meanings of ‘Gondwanan’ and…

Found: a typical male

New Zealand is a hotspot for biological diversity. Most native species are only found on these shaky islands. Because of this we are a long way from knowing just how many species we share space with here in the south west Pacific. We are even further from knowing the names…

Predators in the long grass: spiders in alpine tussocks

Times in my life when I have thought worriedly about my impending mortality have, fortunately been few and far between. Three of these events have been associated with the recent Canterbury earthquakes. The most frightening was the 7.1 event of September 4, 2010 which kicked it all off. Getting thrown…

Tangled webs in braided rivers

Humans like to put things in boxes, name them, groups similar things together, impose order on chaos and generally make the world a tidier place. This is very much the case in biology where we seek to put names to species so that we can then make sense of a…

Not-so incy wincy spider

Cor Vink, adjunct curator of spiders at the Entomology Research Museum, Lincoln University and research scientist at AgResearch, has recently published a taxonomic revision of the New Zealand Pisauridae (nurseryweb spiders) with his colleague Nadine Dupérré (American Museum of Natural History) – Vink CJ, Dupérré N (2010) Pisauridae (Arachnida: Araneae)….

Sheltering the homeless spider

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Karel Lindsay as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Katipo spiderPhoto by Mollivan Jon In the face of degradation of the environment and loss of species biodiversity, there is a call for innovative bio-indicators. New Zealand native spiders…

BioBlitz Lincoln 2009: 1637 species in 24 hours!

On the 3–4 April 2009 hundreds of people gathered at the Liffey Stream in Lincoln to experience the chaos of exploration and discovery that is a BioBlitz. This 24 hour scientific race against time and educational event was held in conjunction with Lincoln Envirotown, Lincoln University and Landcare Research. The…

The thin red line

As far as dangerous beasts go, New Zealand is probably the safest place on earth! While other countries can boast of super venomous snakes, small fish with razor-sharp teeth, or horrible parasites that dig through your skin we can only shuffle uncomfortably and mention our poisonous spider. Which killed at…