The senior author began a study of Iowa spiders in the fall of 1936 when a black widow (Latrodectus mactaus texanus) was collected in Linn County. This was reported in Science (Stiles, 1937) and constituted the first official record of the black widow for Iowa. This record was of special interest because Minnesota and Iowa had been listed as the only states from which this spider had not been reported officially. It was discovered at that time that the spider was one of Iowa's most neglected animals. Only three papers on our spider fauna have been reported to the Iowa Academy of Science in the past fifty years ; and there are no good collections of spiders in the State at the present time. In view of the incompleteness of our knowledge concerning Iowa's spiders, it was thought worthwhile to begin a systematic study of them. It is the ambition of the Coe College Biology Department to make a study of the Araneae similar to that which Jaques (1932) is making on insects, thereby rounding out, somewhat, our knowledge of Iowa animal life. This is being undertaken with a full realization of the tremendous size of the task and the improbability that it will ever be wholly finished.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1938 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Stiles, Karl A. and Detwiler, Beulah
"Progress Report on a Survey of the Spiders of Iowa,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 45(1), 285-287.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol45/iss1/79