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Norman Ira Platnick
Norman Platnick in 2001 at the 15th International Congress of Arachnology, Badplaas, South Africa
Platnick was 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." Platnick was one of the founding members of the Willi Hennig Society and its fourth President (1991-1992). His contributions to theoretical cladistics, such as his 1981 book, Systematics and Biogeography: Cladistics and Vicariance (coauthored with Gareth Nelson), are also highly regarded.
Platnick's later undertaking involved 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.
Platnick died April 8, 2020 of complications of a fall.
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 Novitates2687Abstract, PDF
Nelson, G. J. & Platnick, N. I. (1981): Systematics and biogeography: cladistics and vicariance. Columbia University Press, New York. 567 pp.
Platnick, N. I. (1990): Spinneret Morphology and the Phylogeny of Ground Spiders (Araneae, Gnaphosoidea). American Museum Novitates2978: 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 Novitates3016: 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 Arachnology27: 53-63.PDF
Platnick, N.I. (2000): A Relimitation and Revision of the Australasian Ground Spider Family Lamponidae (Araneae: Gnaphosoidea). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History245: 1-330. Web version - Abstract, PDF
Platnick, N.I. (2020): Spiders of the World. A Natural History Edited by PlatnickPrinceton University Press