Norman I. Platnick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Norman I. Platnick
Norman Platnick at the 15th International Congress of Arachnology, Badplaas, South Africa
Alma materHarvard University (Ph.D)
Michigan State University (M.S.) Concord University (B.S.)
Known forSpider taxonomy
Scientific career
InstitutionsAmerican Museum of Natural History

Norman I. Platnick (born 1951 in Bluefield, West Virginia) is an American biological systematist and arachnologist.[1] He is a Professor Emeritus of the Richard Gilder Graduate School and Peter J. Solomon Family Curator Emeritus of the invertebrate zoology department of the American Museum of Natural History. A 1973 Ph.D. recipient at Harvard University, Platnick has described over 1,800 species of spiders from around the world, making him the second most prolific arachnologist in history, behind only Eugène Simon.[2] Until 2014 he was also the maintainer of the World Spider Catalog, a website formerly hosted by the AMNH which tracks the arachnology literature, and attempts to maintain a comprehensive list, sorted taxonomically, of every species of spider which has been formally described. In 2007 he received the International Society of Arachnology's Bonnet award, named for Pierre Bonnet, in recognition for his work on the catalog.[3]

Platnick is recognized as a world leader in spider taxonomy. Dr. Quentin D. Wheeler stated "He is the best arachnologist of his generation, has published more monographs and nomenclatural contributions than anyone, period."[1]

Platnick was one of the founding members of the Willi Hennig Society and its fourth President (1991-1992). His contributions to theoretical cladistics are also highly regarded.

Notable publications[edit]

  • Platnick, N.I. (1973): A Revision of the North American Spiders of the Family Anyphaenidae. Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University.
  • Gertsch, Willis J. & Platnick, N.I. (1979): A revision of the spider family Mecicobothriidae (Araneae, Mygalomorphae)." American Museum Novitates 2687 Abstract, PDF
  • Nelson, G. J. & Platnick, N. I. (1981): Systematics and biogeography: cladistics and vicariance. Columbia University Press, New York. 567 pp.
  • Platnick, N. I. (1990): Spinneret Morphology and the Phylogeny of Ground Spiders (Araneae, Gnaphosoidea). American Museum Novitates 2978: 1-42. PDF (33Mb)
  • Platnick, N. I., Coddington, J.A., Forster, R.R., and Griswold, C.E. (1991): Spinneret Morphology and the Phylogeny of Haplogyne Spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae). American Museum Novitates 3016: 1-73. PDF (50Mb)
  • Platnick, N. I. (1998): Advances in Spider Taxonomy 1992-1995, with Redescriptions 1940-1980. New York Entomological Society 976 pp.
  • Griswold, C. E., Coddington, J.A., Platnick, N.I. & Forster, R.R. (1999): Towards a Phylogeny of Entelegyne Spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae). Journal of Arachnology 27: 53-63. PDF
  • Dimensions Of Biodiversity: Targeting Megadiverse Groups[permanent dead link] from: Cracraft, J. & Grifo, F.T. (eds.) (1999). The Living Planet In Crisis - Biodiversity Science and Policy. Columbia University Press.
  • Platnick, N.I. (2000): A Relimitation and Revision of the Australasian Ground Spider Family Lamponidae (Araneae: Gnaphosoidea). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 245: 1-330. Web version - Abstract, PDF

Current research[edit]

Platnick's most recent undertaking involves the goblin spiders of Oonopidae as a part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory, a project which includes scientific institutions from across the world.[4] There are currently about 1,600 recorded species in 114 genera,[5] but estimates have been placed as high as 2,500;[6] the project aims to flesh out the recorded species list and gain a more exact picture of the family's Phylogeny through DNA analysis.


  1. ^ a b Kumar, Mohi (October 25, 2005). "The exciting adventures of spider man". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Platnick, Norman I.; Raven, Robert J. (2013). "Spider Systematics: Past and Future". Zootaxa. 3683 (5): 595. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3683.5.8.
  3. ^ "International Society of Arachnology". Archived from the original on 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  4. ^ "Planetary Biodiversity Inventory: The Spider Family Oonopidae". Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  5. ^ "NMBE - World Spider Catalog". Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  6. ^ de Busschere, Charlotte; Fannes, Wouter; Henrard, Arnaud; Gaublomme, Eva; Jocqué, Rudy; Baert, Léon (2014). "Unravelling the goblin spiders puzzle: rDNA phylogeny of the family Oonopidae (Araneae)" (PDF). Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny.

External links[edit]