Spiders and allies

Spiders and allies

Rare 'red data book' spider

National Museums Liverpool's arachnid collection is probably the second largest in the UK. It has undergone a period of rapid development during the last ten years and includes arguably the finest contemporary collection of spiders in Britain.

British spiders

There are circa 160,000 specimens of British spiders and harvestmen in the collection, which provide 85% species coverage. The historical collection (including type-specimens) of W.E. Falconer was principally collected in northern England during the first three decades of the 20th century. The remainder of the material is incorporated into a single main reference collection. The extensive modern collection of C. Felton primarily contains specimens from north-west England and Wales. Material from D.R. Cowden and R. Leighton and the collections of C.G. Butler and A.G. Scott are also present.

Foreign arachnids

Foreign collections comprise circa 5,000 specimens. These were mainly acquired during fieldwork by National Museums Liverpool staff in Turkey, Greece and other parts of Europe. Most is sorted to family and genus and several hundred Turkish and Greek spiders have been identified to species.

A worldwide collection of circa 4,000 ticks was acquired with the donation of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine's medically important arthropod collections in 1986.


The P.D. Gabbutt collection of ca.14,000 spirit and slide-mounted specimens of British pseudoscorpions, including adults and all instars for the majority of the British species comprise the most extensive pseudoscorpion collection in Britain.


Coverage of mites is less comprehensive. Economically important species (MAFF collections) are represented and we also hold the M. Luxton collection of British and New Zealand Oribatida and associated reprint library.