Robb Bennett¹,², David Blades², Gergin Blagoev³, Don Buckle⁴, Claudia Copley², Darren Copley², Charles Dondale⁵, and Rick C. West⁶
1 Corresponding author – firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Natural History Section, Royal British Columbia Museum, 675 Belleville St, Victoria, BC, Canada
3 Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
4 16-3415 Calder Crescent, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
5 Canadian National Collection, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, 960 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON, Canada (retired)
6 6365 Willowpark Way, Sooke, BC, Canada
In 2006, the Royal British Columbia Museum began systematically documenting the full diversity of British Columbia’s spider fauna. Initially, museum specimens and literature records were used to update an existing checklist and identify poorly sampled habitats in BC. Annual field surveys of spiders, primarily targeting alpine and subalpine habitats, began in 2008; barcode identification of previously unidentifiable specimens commenced in 2012. These efforts have resulted in significant increases in the area of BC that has been sampled for spiders, the number of species documented in the BC checklist, and the number of specimens in the RBCM collection. Many of the additions to the checklist represent the first Canadian or Nearctic records of those taxa or are undescribed species. By 2017, data from more than 9000 spider specimens had been entered into the RBCM database.Data from many specimens, however, remain unrecorded and currently (2017) the RBCM collection is estimated to house more than 90 000 specimens. The number of species recorded in BC has climbed from 212 in 1967 through 653 in 2006 to 859 in 2017. Here we present BC localities data and general global distributions for those 859 taxa. The progress of the RBCM’s work has made the RBCM an important repository of western Nearctic spiders and shown that British Columbia is an important area of Nearctic spider diversity.