Terrestrial arthropods

Arachnid Collection

The arachnid fauna of Israel and its surroundings had been studied since the early 19th century by foreign specialists such as Audouin, O. P. – Cambridge and others. Prof. Aharoni, at the early 20th century, was the first local zoologist who collected spiders deliberately although he did not set up a local collection. It was only at the end of the 1920’s, following the foundation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, that Prof. Shulov established a local arachnid collection of medical and agricultural importance. With the expansion of the collection staff in the early 1960’s, the collection started growing and an effort was made to collect specimens from Israel and the neighboring areas and to identify and study all arachnid orders. Since Dr. Levy became the collection curator, in the early 1970’s, it became the most comprehensive arachnid collection in the region, and a precious resource for arachnologist worldwide.

The collection includes valuable literature and specimens from all arachnid orders found in the region, including historical (Amitai, Costa, Feldman-Muhsam, Levy, Shulov, Theodor) and more recent collections: Acarina (Super order), Amblypygi, Araneae, Opiliones, Palpigradi, Pseudoscorpionida, Scorpiones and Solifugae, and holds many types (mainly of Costa, Levy, Prozinsky, Shulov, Theodor).

In addition, the collection was the main source for material used for three Fauna Palestina books on arachnids:

  1. Arachnida I: Scorpiones, Levy & Amitai, 1980.
  2. Arachnida II: Araneae: Thomisidae, Levy, 1985.
  3. Arachnida III: Araneae: Theridiidae, Levy, 1998.

Dr. Gershom Levy

 Curator of the Israeli National Arachnid Collection 1978 – 2009

G Levi 2006 D Simon

Picture by Dr. Danny Simon, December 2006, in a field excursion near kibbutz Sede Boqer, Israel, at the 2nd annual meeting of the Israeli Arachnid Association

Dr. Gershomm Levy (1937-2009) was the Curator of the Israeli National Arachnid Collection at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, from 1978 – until he passed away untimely at March 21st 2009. Gershom added many specimens from Israel and neighboring areas and improved and maintained the collection single-handed. Gershom’s career was devoted to studying the families of solifugids, scorpions, and spiders of Israel and the neighboring areas, but his taxonomic work had a wider regional importance. Taxonomic studies (see also Israel Journal of Zoology) of solifugids (five publications), scorpions (six publications), and spiders (38 publications) appeared with regularity over the span of some 45 years. His most recent paper, published posthumously, is the conclusion of many years of work on the gnaphosid spiders and includes a checklist of the 126 known species of the region. Over the years, Gershom described five new solifugid species, seven new scorpion species (including two new genera and a new family), and 126 new species and five new genera of spiders from the region. As a consequence of his curatorial activities and superb publications, the National Arachnid Collection at The Hebrew University has become an invaluable resource for researchers in the region and around the world.

Publications in Dr. Gershom Levy’s Honor

B. Condé and M. Nguyen Duy: Pénicillates d’Israel rassemblés par G. Levy. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (2e sér) 42 (6): 1251–1258, 1970 (1971) (Diplopoda).

Y. Lubin (Guest co-editor): Spiders of Israel: Systematics, Ecology, and Behavior. Festschrift issue. Israel Journal of Zoology 44 (2): 93–251, 1998.

Species named after Dr. Gershom Levy

Galeodes levyi Harvey, 2002 (Solifugae)

(Scorpiones) Androctonus amoreuxi levyi Fet, 1997

Phlegra levyi Prószyński, 1998 (Salticidae)

Enoplognatha gershomi Bosmans & Van Keer, 1999 (Theridiidae)

Aelurillus gershomi Prószyński, 2000 (Salticidae)

Agelescape levyi Guseinov, Marusik and Koponen, 2005 (Agelenidae)

Gamasomorpha gershomi Saaristo, 2007 (Oonopidae)

(Scorpiones) Compsobuthus levyi Kovařík, 2012

Halodromus gershomi Muster, 2009 (Philodromidae)

Anaptomecus levyi Jäger, Rheims & Labarque, 2009 (Sparassidae)

Echemus levyi Kovblyuk & Seyyar, 2009 (Gnaphosidae)

Nomisia levyi Chatzaki, 2010 (Gnaphosidae)

Draconarius levyi Wang, Griswold & Miller, 2010 (Agelenidae)

Ariadna levyi Wunderlich, 2011 (Segestriidae)

Levymanus gershomi Zonstein & Marusik, 2013 (Palpimanidae)

Plexippus gershomi Prószyński, 2017 (Salticidae)

At the laboratory of The Israeli National Arachnid Collection, we continue with Gershom’s will to progress the study of the Arachnids of The Land Of Israel.

To read more about Gershom’s academic life:


Page 55: http://nnhc.huji.ac.il/wp-content/uploads/hasiana/Haasiana%205%202010.pdf



In Russian http://kmkjournals.com/upload/PDF/ArthropodaSelecta/18/18_3_189_191_Levy_obit.pdf

In German https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gershom_Levy

Centipede Collection

The Hebrew University Centipede collection includes four orders:

Scutigeromorpha, Geophilomorpha, Lithobiomorpha, Scolopendromorph.

More than 700 cataloged items (some with more than one individual) all sorted by order and family, and 75% are identified to species level.

Millipede Collection

The Hebrew University Millipede collection includes several orders and families such as:

Polyxenidae, Glomeridae, Spirostreptidae, Strongylosomidae and Julidae.

Currently we sort, identify and catalog our specimens.

For more information on Millipedes we suggest to visit Petra Sierwald website millipedes-made-easy

which includes introduction and Key for the Millipede orders in several languages (including Hebrew- translated by Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev).


Collection Staff

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