Matthew Lindsey

Joined: Nov 11, 2022 Last Active: Dec 5, 2023 iNaturalist

I'm a Christian homeschooler who is absolutely obsessed for Araneae (spiders) and loves absolutely everything about them! My biggest interests are in their spinneret and spigot morphology (which are extremely diverse, complex, and utterly fascinating!). I'm also working on a field guide to all spider families (though I don't planned to be finished for several years due to numerous taxonomic changes, problematic genera in numerous families, and because I am awaiting more understanding on specific spiders; also trying to discover more techniques for identifying spider families in the field).


My most favorite spider families are Huttoniidae and Oxyopidae, but I absolutely love all spiders! I am quite fond of the following:


Current photography equipment:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T7 with kit lens and 49mm macro extension tube (though hopefully soon a true macro lens :)
  • iPod 6th generation with clip-on macro lens

About my photos: My photographs are licensed under CC-BY, so anyone can use them for absolutely anything as long as they appropriately credit me. I always want to photograph spider eyes, spinnerets, and other characters, and I hope at least some of my photographs will prove useful for scientific research or introducing spiders and other animals to the general public. I hope to see my photos in publications, but all I ask is that I'm informed so I can see it when it's finished!

Profile photo and favorite of my photos/observations: Oxyopes aglossus, pumpkin-masked lynx spider (taken with T7).

Some of my favorite photographers:

Favorite shots (so far):


Projects I mostly focus on:


Please do not agree nor disagree with my identifications unless you know how to, i.e., you know what makes it what. Just withdraw the identification if you're wrong, or don't agree in the first place. Just carelessly agreeing can cause headaches for the iNaturalist identifiers. I must admit that some of my oldest identifications were just carelessly agreeing without me actually knowing what was right or wrong, and this led me to quite a few misidentifications. I also often wanted everything to be brought down to species. I am more conservative. Don't become my old self (he is really annoying at times...). I know spiders can be really difficult to identify, and often specific, generic, or even familial identifications just can't be made without examining the genitalia, a process which can be difficult and one which almost always involves killing the animal. A lot of the time, minor details must be located to confidently identify a particular spider, and some families can include members which can appear identical to another family and with other members appearing identical to a totally different family.

Although I have absolutely no profession with spiders and sometimes make mistakes, I have spent a lot of time learning about identifying spider families, genera, and species, so if I approach a certain identification, note that I'm not just guessing. Some people call me an expert, but I am no such thing. I'm just an average spider enthusiast who absolutely loves spiders (though some might say a bit too much!). Before I joined iNaturalist, I knew next to nothing about spiders, and I joined because I could identify hardly any spiders. A lot of kind people here have taught me a lot of identification tips for species and genera. Most family diagnoses I have researched myself or actually found my own ways to define (which is pretty cool!). I have a general knowledge with all spiders, so I will identify absolutely any spider I can. I know most about spider spinnerets and spigots (which I find to be extremely useful for identification), Ohio spiders, Palpimanoidea, Oxyopidae, and eastern USA Xysticus and Lycosidae, and I actively monitor Ohio spiders, Palpimanoidea, and Oxyopidae, and as well several others. Spider eyes are also extremely useful for identification.

Don't hesitate to ask for help from me or anyone else who identifies spiders - we can usually bring it down to family or lower! Note that if I tag someone else on an observation, it is usually to bring incorrect identifications to maverick status, i.e., they would not be accepted. A lot of incorrect identifications are made by users who rarely use or respond on iNaturalist, so many observations are just left as a higher up taxon which usually provides no valuable information. I like to add correct identifications onto observations to provide as references for others identifying their own or others' spider observations. If I make an incorrect identification, notify me so I can withdraw or agree with the correct identification. Here are some useful websites I use for identifying spiders:

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