Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Norman I Platnick

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Nationality  American
Education  Harvard University
Name  Norman Platnick
Known for  Spider taxonomy
Fields  Arachnology

Norman I. Platnick httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Institutions  American Museum of Natural History
Alma mater  Harvard University (Ph.D) Michigan State University (M.S.)
Books  ground spiders of Canada and Alaska

Norman I. Platnick (born 1951 in Bluefield, West Virginia) is an American arachnologist. He is a Professor Emeritus of the Richard Gilder Graduate School and Peter J. Solomon Family Curator Emeritus of the invertebrate zoology department of the American Museum of Natural History. A 1973 Ph.D. recipient at Harvard University, Platnick has described over 1,800 species of spiders from around the world, making him the second most prolific arachnologist in history, behind only Eugène Simon. Until 2014 he was also the maintainer of the World Spider Catalog, a website formerly hosted by the AMNH which tracks the arachnology literature, and attempts to maintain a comprehensive list, sorted taxonomically, of every species of spider which has been formally described. In 2007 he received the International Society of Arachnology's Bonnet award, named for Pierre Bonnet, in recognition for his work on the catalog.


Platnick is recognized as a world leader in spider taxonomy. Dr. Quentin D. Wheeler stated "He is the best arachnologist of his generation, has published more monographs and nomenclatural contributions than anyone, period."

Notable publications

  • Platnick, N.I. (1973): A Revision of the North American Spiders of the Family Anyphaenidae. Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University.
  • Gertsch, Willis J. & Platnick, N.I. (1979): A revision of the spider family Mecicobothriidae (Araneae, Mygalomorphae)." American Museum novitates 2687 Abstract, PDF
  • Platnick, N. I. (1990): Spinneret Morphology and the Phylogeny of Ground Spiders (Araneae, Gnaphosoidea). American Museum Novitates 2978: 1-42. PDF (33Mb)
  • Platnick, N. I., Coddington, J.A., Forster, R.R., and Griswold, C.E. (1991): Spinneret Morphology and the Phylogeny of Haplogyne Spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae). American Museum Novitates 3016: 1-73. PDF (50Mb)
  • Platnick, N. I. (1998): Advances in Spider Taxonomy 1992-1995, with Redescriptions 1940-1980. New York Entomological Society 976 pp.
  • Griswold, C. E., Coddington, J.A., Platnick, N.I. & Forster, R.R. (1999): Towards a Phylogeny of Entelegyne Spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae). Journal of Arachnology 27: 53-63. PDF
  • Dimensions Of Biodiversity: Targeting Megadiverse Groups from: Cracraft, J. & Grifo, F.T. (eds.) (1999). The Living Planet In Crisis - Biodiversity Science and Policy. Columbia University Press.
  • Platnick, N.I. (2000): A Relimitation and Revision of the Australasian Ground Spider Family Lamponidae (Araneae: Gnaphosoidea). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 245: 1-330. Web version - Abstract, PDF
  • Current research

    Platnick's most recent undertaking involves the goblin spiders of Oonopidae as a part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory, a project which includes scientific institutions from across the world. There are currently about 1,600 recorded species in 114 genera, but estimates have been placed as high as 2,500; the project aims to flesh out the recorded species list and gain a more exact picture of the family's Phylogeny through DNA analysis.


    Norman I. Platnick Wikipedia