Have been doing some work on the tarantula collection today- not so much on the specimens themselves but more on compiling a usable checklist for arranging them to. We have huge numbers of Theraphosids (true tarantulas) coming into the department nowadays as we have a contact in the spider world. At least, I thought it was huge numbers until I realised that there are about 900 described species of theraphosidae. I reckon we have between 5 and 8% of the species in our collection as it currently stands but then we have a lot of unidentified stuff as well.
True to form I have gotten really carried away with organising the collection and started incorporating all the tarantulas I can find in the near vicinity. I have run out of jars twice and alcohol about 8 times. Luckily I have managed to scrounge up the things I needed and find people to help me write thousands of labels. I'm only part way through the job as I have to sort out all that has gone before me which inevitably slows me down. Luckily however there has been minimal work done on this part of the collection so it's not too difficult to do. I just wish that editing the catalogue didn't take so long. My back and shoulders feel like they have fossilised into position from sitting in the same position at the computer all morning. I have been doing a bit of surreptitious yoga every now and then to try and loosen things up but I think it's really just a case of going for the burn on this one and getting it done. The collection will look fabulous by the end of it after all.