Last week, on Friday, 6 October 2023, a research article entitled “One new genus and four new species of Liocranidae Simon, 1897 (Arachnida, Araneae) from China and Vietnam” by Chang Chu, Shuqiang Li, Yanbin Yao, Zhiyuan Yao was published. This is the 100th paper published in ZooKeys co-authored by Shuqiang Li, a leading spider specialist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. Shuqiang’s first ZooKeys paper was published on December 18, 2012. Until last Friday, Shuqiang has published 51 new genera and 677 new species in 100 ZooKeys papers.
Shuqiang started his scientific career as a spider taxonomist, with his first paper on the Linyphiidae of China published in 1987, followed by a series of revisions of known Chinese and Asia spider species. To date, he has documented more than 2,000 new species.
He is also a proficient professor in the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and has mentored more than 30 PhD students from China, Vietnam, and Italy, and another three M.Sc. students from Kenya and Malaysia. Most of his former Chinese PhD students have since become full professors. Shuqiang has been the Secretary of the Asian Society of Arachnology since 2012 and President of the Arachnology Society of China since 2018.
Many people see spiders as ugly due to their multiple legs, hairy bodies, and sometimes venomous fangs, but this appearance serves a purpose in their survival and adaptation to their environment. “Spiders are lovely animals”, Shuqiang said to us. He focuses mostly on fine spider structures. For example, he used spider copulatory organs (male palp and female epigyne) to study species taxonomy. “Interspecies mating is not easy due to difference in copulatory organs,” he says. He and his team members are also focusing on the origin of spider organs.