Arachnology: introduction to field and laboratory research


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Biodiversity and ecology (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DIB06
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. Matjaž Gregorič, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 5 hours, seminar 10 hours, tutorial 40 hours, other learning forms 5 hours, individual work 120 hours
Course type: modul elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, field sampling, e-learning, laboratory practicum, seminar


Course syllabus (download)


Finished bachelor’s or master’s degree in Biology or equivalent program of study


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Introduction to arachnology, fundamentals of arachnid biology
  • Field sampling specific for faunas of spiders, harvestmen, scorpions, and pseudoscorpions
  • Identification of all families, and typical central European genera and species of spiders, harvestmen, scorpions, and pseudoscorpions
  • Field and laboratory experimental research
  • Seminar



  • Foelix, R. (2011). Biology of spiders. Oxford University Press.
  • Herberstein, M. E. (2011). Spider behaviour: flexibility and versatility. Cambridge University Press.
  • Jocqué, R., Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. (2006). Spider families of the world. Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale.


Objectives and competences:

The course aims to introduce students with the concepts and methodology in arachnology, the biology of arachnids. The Arachnida, comprising spiders, harvestmen, scorpions, pseudoscorpions, ticks and mites, as well as other minor orders, is a global, ecologically important, and with over 100 thousand known and many unknown species an extremely species rich animal group. Post graduate students wishing to conduct arachnid research often experience insurmountable obstacles related to arachnid sampling and identification. During this intensive 15 day summer course the students will become familiar with diurnal and nocturnal sampling of arachnids, their identification via traditional morphological methods as well as through DNA barcoding, the basics of their biology, and with the concepts of arachnid experimental research both in the field and in the laboratory.


Intended learning outcomes:

  • Understanding of methods and concepts in field and laboratory based arachnid experimental research.
  • The use of original faunistic, ecological, and molecular data within a seminar.
  • Introduction into arachnological research.



Presentation of a seminar (20 %), class papers (80 %).