Matthias Burger

Post-doctoral Researcher


Research Interests

My main research interest is functional morphology of female spider genitalia. I use histological serial sections and scanning electron microscopy in order to make 3D-reconstructions of female spider reproductive systems which allow functional interpretations. Investigations of the genitalia with Computed Axial Tomography are planned for the near future. After finishing my PhD at the University of Bern, Switzerland on "complex genital organs and mating behavior of haplogyne spiders (Arachnida: Araneae: Tetrablemmidae, Oonopidae, Dysderidae)" I received a one-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation to come to the AMNH in 2006 where I worked on the spider family Tetrablemmidae. Since 2007, I’ve worked on Oonopidae as part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory (PBI) project of the AMNH with grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Since 2001, I’ve given presentations on national and international congresses of arachnology and participated on field trips to various countries such as Thailand, Spain, South Africa, and Argentina. In my private life, I’ve been practicing Shotokan Karate (since 1993), where I received a black belt 1st degree from the Japan Karate Association and the Swiss Karatedo Renmei in 2002, and Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do (since 2006). In 2007, I started to practice Bikram Yoga and I’m currently working on getting a teacher certificate from the Yoga College of India.


  1. BURGER, M., NENTWIG, W. & KROPF, C. 2002. Opopaea fosuma, n. sp. from Sumatra, Indonesia (Araneae, Oonopidae). Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc., 12:244–248
  2. BURGER, M., NENTWIG, W. & KROPF, C. 2003. Complex genital stuctures indicate cryptic female choice in a haplogyne spider (Arachnida, Araneae, Oonopidae, Gamasomorphinae). J. Morphol., 255:80–93
  3. BURGER, M. 2005. The spider genus Indicoblemma Bourne, with description of a new species (Araneae: Tetrablemmidae).Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc., 13:97–111
  4. BURGER, M., MICHALIK, P., GRABER, W., JACOB, A., NENTWIG, W. & KROPF, C. 2006a. Complex genital system of a haplogyne spider (Arachnida, Araneae, Tetrablemmidae) indicates internal fertilization and full female control over transferred sperm. J. Morphol., 267:166–186
  5. BURGER, M., GRABER, W., MICHALIK, P. & KROPF, C. 2006b. Silhouettella loricatula (Arachnida, Araneae, Oonopidae): a haplogyne spider with complex female genitalia. J. Morphol., 267:663–677
  6. BURGER, M., JACOB, A. & KROPF, C. 2006c. Copulatory behavior and web of Indicoblemma lannaianum from Thailand (Arachnida, Araneae, Tetrablemmidae). J. Arachnol., 34:176–185
  7. BURGER, M. & KROPF, C. 2007. Genital morphology of the haplogyne spider Harpactea lepida (Arachnida, Araneae, Dysderidae). Zoomorphology, 126: 45–52
  8. BURGER, M. 2007. Sperm dumping in a haplogyne spider. J. Zool., 273:74–81
  9. BURGER, M. 2008. Functional genital morphology of armored spiders (Arachnida: Araneae: Tetrablemmidae). J. Morphol.269:1073–1094
  10. BURGER, M. 2008. Two new species of armoured spiders from Malaysia and Australia (Arachnida: Araneae: Tetrablemmidae). Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc. 14:253–261
  11. BURGER, M. & MICHALIK, P. In press. The male genital system of goblin spiders – Evidence for the monophyly of Oonopidae (Arachnida: Araneae). Am. Mus. Novit.
  12. BURGER, M. In press. Female genitalia of goblin spiders (Arachnida: Araneae: Oonopidae): a morphological study with functional implications. Invertebr. Biol.
  13. BURGER, M. In press. Complex female genitalia indicate sperm dumping in armored goblin spiders (Arachnida: Araneae: Oonopidae)? Zoology
  14. BURGER, M., IZQUIERDO, M. & CARRERA, P. Submitted. Female genital morphology and mating behavior of Orchestina(Arachnida: Araneae: Oonopidae). Zoology
  15. BURGER, M. & CARRERA, P. Submitted. Copulatory behavior of the goblin spider Silhouettella loricatula (Arachnida: Araneae: Oonopidae). Am. Mus. Novit.