Igor (Ido) Armiach

I am a Ph.D. student at the National Arachnid Collection, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working on the Historical Biogeography of the Genus Lycosa Latreille, 1804The Lycosa Latreille, 1804 (Aeaneae, Lycosidae) of Israel: Systematics and evolution in a biogeographical crossroads” advised by Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev and Prof. Ariel Chipman

The Mediterranean region is a species rich and geographically diverse area. The biogeographical history of this region is complex, and due to migration events includes a mixture of European, Asian and African taxa, as well as many instances of allopatric speciation and local endemism. This mosaic of taxa have arrived and evolved in different geological periods and their origins are often hard to trace. A recent research used molecular phylogeny to study the different taxonomic lineages of the species-rich spider genus Lycosa in the Western Mediterranean and link their migration and speciation events to the regional climatic history. Yet, the taxonomy and phylogeny of Lycosa in the Levant is not clear. During my M.Sc. study on the Lycosidae of Israel, I have found across the country Lycosa with phenotypic diversity of size, coloration patterns, genital morphology and burrow construction behavior. The current research will include taxonomical revision and key to the species of Lycosa in Israel. In addition I will use molecular and morphological methods for species delimitation, identification of the various lineages of Lycosa present in Israel and hypothesis testing regarding the origin of the great phenotypic diversity of the genus in the Levant.

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Lycosa Latreille, 1804

Photo: Igor Armiach’

M.Sc.

My M.Sc. was conducted at Tel Aviv University, co-advised by  Prof. Tamar Dayan and Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev and in collaboration with Prof. Robert Raven (Queensland Museum, Australia) on the “Synopsis of the super-family Lycosoidea (Araneae) in Israel: Taxonomy, checklist and a key for the families, genera and species found in Israel” supported by the Israel Taxonomy Initiative

The superfamily Lycosoidea is an example of a group that still requires a comprehensive study. The richest lycosoid family, Lycosidae, was never studied in Israel, and needs a complete taxonomical revision. In addition, the circumscription of the lycosoid families Zoridae and Miturgidae may be altered after a revision. Preliminary inspection of Prochora lycosiformis (O.P.- Cambridge in 1872) (Miturgidae) that is known from Sicily and Israel reveals an intriguing resemblance to an Australian miturgid species. This taxonomical puzzle raises a question about the relationship of the two lycosoid species. The collection-based research aimed at studying the species richness and the taxonomical circumscription of the seven lycosoid families found in Israel. This research enabled us to create a key and a checklist of lycosoid taxa of Israel, and added knowledge on the taxonomy of this diverse group.

In addition it was the basic step for the current study on the ecology and taxonomy of Lycosidae.

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Evippa arenaria (Audouin, 1826)

Photo: Igor Armiach’

Scientific Publications

Armiach, I., Bernstein, I., Tang, I., Dayan, T., and E., Gavish-Regev, 2016. Activity-density data reveal community structure of Lycosidae at a Mediterranean shrubland. Arachnologische Mitteilungen / Arachnology Letters 52: 16-24. Doi: 10.5431/aramit5204

Gavish-Regev, E., Aharon S., Armiach I., and Y. Lubin, 2016. Cave survey yields a new spider family record for Israel. Arachnologische Mitteilungen / Arachnology Letters 51: 39-42. Doi: 105431/aramit5105