Let it be said that I have no problem leaving a spider of any type unnamed. I have no problem leaving them anywhere I am not going to be. But this interesting story caught my attention. The lack of taxonomists in the field of biological species classification is starting to have visible effects. The Guardian brought this latest news to our attention in their article, “Taxonomist shortage means newly discovered animals are unclassified.”

The shortage is delaying the naming of a spotted wolf spider found recently in Washington’s Kimberley region during a Bush Blitz expedition. It isn’t just spiders; hundreds of newly discovered animals remain unclassified due to an international shortage of taxonomists. The expedition discovered several other species believed to be completely new to science, including a rainbow fish, a pseudoscorpion, and a butterfly. There has been a steady decline locally and internationally of taxonomists as scientific research has focused on other disciplines.

Melody K. Smith

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