Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt



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For a long time Laos was separate by the impact of the war. Since several years it opens up for tourism although unexploded ordnance especially in the East along the Vietnamese border causes still danger. In the picture below a statue is shown constructed in 2011 in Vientiane at the Mekong. It points in direction of Thailand where more ethic Lao live than in Lao PDR itself. The Champa tree (Plumeria alba) and his flower is the national symbol for Laos.

Statue am Mekong

Dr. Peter Jäger (left) is investigating the spider fauna from Laos since 2003 described various new species and supervises since 2010 a student at the National University of Laos. Prof. Bounthob Praxaysombath (centre) has co-authored publications and deals also with fresh-water fish and their taxonomy and ecology. Biopat e.V. supported the master study of Liphone Nophaseud (right) including a research stay in Frankfurt, a poster "Spiders of Laos" (bottom left) and the symposium "Spiders of the Greater Mekong Region" in Pakse in 2012.

Spiders of Laos                                        Nationa University of Laos

In 2011 Peter Jäger and Martina Schwalbach started a fund-raising campaign for research in Laos. The first event took place in the historic council chamber in Mainz-Gonsenheim on 11. May 2011. Flyer und poster can be downloaded.

In November 2012 a symposium was held in Pakse: "Spiders of the Greater Mekong Region". This meeting had two target groups: (A) local researchers / arachnologists / interested people from that region with the goal towards building a regional network of arachnologists, and (B) arachnologists working in that region, or with taxa distributed in that region. The symposium offered the opportunity to 52 participants to present recent findings in all aspects of Araneology (e.g., taxonomy, zoogeography, ecology). Ideally, it successfully connected people and developed contacts in anticipation of the next International Congress of Arachnology in Taiwan in 2013. Moreover a workshop at the Bolaven plateau was held with 32 particiapnts to investigate the spider fauna and to exchange everyone's experiences in collecting, photographing and identifying spiders.

Moreover, the "Asien Society of Arachnology" (ASA) was founded. Next meetings are:
2013: Taiwan, Kenting (during ISA Congress; Host: I-Min Tso)
2014: Chiang Mai, Thailand (Host: Emma Shaw)
2015: Amravati, India (Host: Ganesh Vankhede)
2016: during ISA Congress
2017: Baoding, Hebei, China (Host: Feng Zhang)

More information on the Spider Symposium in Laos (12.-14.11.2012): click here!