Barbara York Main OAM – A Tribute

Barbara York Main OAM, UWA Adjunct Professor, School of Animal Biology was co-Patron for the WA Naturalists’ Club from 1999, first with her husband Bert Main and later with Prof. Lyn Beazley. She was a fellow Club naturalist with her husband—and also with Harry Butler, Dom Serventy, Rica Erickson, John Dell and many other prominent Club members.

Barbara published her first article on trapdoor spiders in the Club’s The Western Australian Naturalist journal in 1952 (Notes on the Genus Idiosoma, a supposedly rare Western Australian Trap-Door Spider; Vol 2, No. 6).

Since then she has published 5 more articles on spiders in the Club’s journal, the last one in 1980:

Her second article, co-produced with her husband Bert, appeared in 1956 (‘Spider Predator on a Vertebrate’; Vol 5, No 6).

Her next article, ‘Predation on Vertebrates by Mygalomorph Spiders’, appeared in 1959 (Vol 7, No.2) and was co-authored with Harry Butler.

In 1975 she published an article ‘The Citrine Spider: a New Genus of Trapdoor Spider (Mygalomorphae: Dipluridae)’ (Vol 13, No. 4)

In 1979 she published an article on ‘An Unusual Method of Soil Disposal during Burrow Excavation by the Trapdoor Spider Anidiops viollosus’ (Vol 14 No 5)

The last article a ‘Record of the arachnid order Schozomida in Western Australia’ was published in 1980 (Vol 14 No. 8).

“I was thrilled and honoured to work beside Barbara at the University of Western Australia. More recently I joined Barbara as co-Patron of the WA Naturalist Club and was delighted when Barbara became the first woman to be awarded the Medal of the WA Royal Society, a well-deserved honour. Barbara’s love of nature and unceasing wonder at the creatures, especially spiders, in her beloved WA bush inspired us all. Bearing her formidable international reputation lightly, Barbara always glowed with joie de vivre, warmth, grace and good humour, staying young at heart through her life. Thank you, Barbara, for being very special.”

Prof Lyn Beazley, Western Australian Naturalists’ Club Patron