Making discoveries with our citizen science projects

The spider and fern citizen science projects running alongside the DeCLASSIFIED! exhibition are roaring along.

To date, there have been 101 participants and 745 observations in the Spiders with Te Papa project, and 83 participants and 1332 observations in the Ferns with Te Papa project.  Thank you to all these contributors.

An undescribed species of jumping spider, eating a fly. Observed by Pete McGregor, Ruahine Range, 13 December 2014. Image Pete McGregor CC BY-NC-ND. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1128770

An undescribed species of jumping spider, eating a fly. Observed by Pete McGregor, Ruahine Ranges, 13 December 2014. Image Pete McGregor CC BY-NC-ND. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1128770

Phil Sirvid and I are running these citizen science projects to encourage the wonder of discovery that we experience in our respective studies of Te Papa’s collections of spiders and ferns.

Part of our work is to discover and describe new species.

The Spiders and Ferns projects haven’t discovered any completely new species (that we know about!).

But we have seen species that are undescribed – they have been recorded previously and are already thought to be different, but they have yet to be given a scientific name.  Examples from our projects are the spider above and the fern below.

An undescribed species of Asplenium spleenwort fern. Observed by Lisa Bennett, Karamea area, 18 February 2015. Image Lisa Bennett CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1398888

An undescribed species of Asplenium spleenwort fern. Observed by Lisa Bennett, Karamea area, 18 February 2015. Image Lisa Bennett CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1398888

Who knows what else we’ll collectively find!

Get involved in these citizen science projects.

The Spiders with Te Papa project.

The Ferns with Te Papa project.

More on the DeCLASSIFIED! Nature’s secrets exposed at Te Papa exhibition.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)