Perth RALF gets an eight-legged honour

12th October, 2020

Perth NRM Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator (RALF) Graham McAlpine has been immortalised with the naming of a new species of 'open-holed trapdoor spider' discovered in Western Australia's northwest.

Graham McAlpine – Perth NRM Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator (RALF)

A paper recently published in the 2020 Journal of Arachnology Vol.2, ‘New species of the open-holed trapdoor spider genus Aname (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Anamidae) from arid Western Australia’ (Mark A. Castalanelli, Volker W. Framenau, Joel A. Huey, Mia J. Hillyer and Mark S. Harvey), has identified 11 new species of the Aname genus.

The authors note that although widely distributed across Australia, the genus Aname L. Koch remains poorly understood, and individual species are difficult to identify.

The decision to name one of these 11 species after Graham McAlpine  – A. mcalpinei sp. nov – was made by the lead author, Mark Castalanelli, “in recognition of his help and encouragement” over the years.

As anyone who has worked with Graham will know, his enthusiasm for his work is matched by his dedication to cooperation and providing support throughout his networks over his entire career.

Graham has worked in agricultural food supply chain since 1980, aiding many sectors of the industry to manage risk, improve market access, and interpret regulation. For 20 years he was a Horticulture Technical Officer with the WA Department of Agriculture working in production, post-harvest, market access and biosecurity.

Since 2000, Graham has worked with a wide range of industry specialists developing education tools for the food supply chain, environmental and biosecurity management fields. As a manager and facilitator with Perth NRM’s Sustainable Agriculture team, Graham has assisted food producers, land managers and industry groups to improve their skills and capacity to implement sustainable agricultural practices.

We are very pleased to see Graham recognised in this way, making him a permanent part of our ecosystem.

NB: The image above depicts one of the eleven new species, a female A. lorica, as a photo of a complete A. mcalpinei was unavailable at the time of writing.

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