The African Arachnida Database (AFRAD) is an information system on the
Arachnida of the Afrotropical Region - an umbrella project dedicated to the
unification and enhancement of biosystematic research on arachnids in Africa and
adjacent islands. It is committed to help conserve the biological diversity of
African arachnids through the improvement of scientific knowledge. Participation
is based on free association and collaboration and gives specialists of the
various arachnid groups the opportunity to manage and co-ordinate their own
field of expertise while receiving full credit for their inputs.
Arachnids are a group of eight-legged animals and second only
to insects in abundance and diversity among the terrestrial animals. The class
Arachnida comprises 12 living and 5 extinct orders of which eleven occur in the
Afrotropical Region. They are the ACARI (mites and ticks), AMBLYPYGI (whip
spiders), ARANEAE (spiders), OPILIONES (harvestmen), PALPIGRADI (micro
whip-scorpion), PSEUDOSCORPIONES (false scorpions), RICINULEI, SCHIZOMIDA,
SCORPIONES (scorpions) and the SOLIFUGAE (wind spiders) and UROPYGI.
AFRAD was initiated in 1997 by ARC-Plant Protection Research
Institute, Pretoria, South Africa and the Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika
at Tervuren, Belgium.
On completion AFRAD will contain the following:
Information on all the Arachnida orders found in the Afrotropical Region
Illustrated keys to families, subfamilies, genera and species
Description of families, subfamilies and genera
Database of original species descriptions and drawings
Database of all the literature on Afrotropical arachnids
Checklists of all the taxa
Checklists of species distribution in all the Afrotropical countries
Photo galleries of all the taxa
Co-ordinators :A.S. Dippenaar-Schoeman, e-mail: email@example.comR.
Jocqué, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org