Richard J. Snider


Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1972

235 Natural Science Building
Office Telephone: 517-355-8473

Invertebrate Zoology

My interests are centered around soil zoology, especially soil arthropods. For several years I have been investigating the biology of soil arthropods as affected by techniques used in agricultural production. This has led to studies on the effects of no-tillage methods on soil dwelling populations. Much of this work is conducted in the field, with supplemental laboratory studies. Dr. Renate Snider, Dr. Alvin Smucker (Crop and Soil Science) and I engaged in studying no-tillage effects on collembolan populations found in corn and soybean fields. We used minirhizotrons to observe plant root growth and collembolan population dynamics. We are coordinating with this research the development of an image-analysis program to identify and count animals in situ. Work is continuing with Dr. Paul Rieke (Crop and Soil Science) and Dr. Joe Vargas (Botany & Plant Pathology) on the role of arthropods and earthworms in turf-grass systems.

We (Dr. Renate Snider and myself) have a large project in Channing, Michigan that is investigating possible effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF) on arthropods and earthworms. In the course of this research we are recording litter production, organic breakdown, arthropod and earthworm population structure and general biology. Two hardwood forests are being compared, one with an ELF antenna running through it, and a control forest 12 miles away. This investigation has produced a large volume of information about arthropod and earthworm ecology, besides bringing to light a number of new species. Other projects include a monographic study on the Collembola of the Southeastern United States. Working with the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (S.C.), I have been able to amass a huge collection of specimens from not only the Savannah River Plant, but also Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The result of these studies will be an illustrated guide to the Collembola of that region. I am also revising the genus Sminthurus sensu latu (with Dr. Steven Loring) for North America, revising the genus Dicyrtoma sensu latu for the world, and working on the Sminthuridae from the Congo region of Southwest Africa.

Representative Publications

Snider, R.J. 1991. A preliminary list of the spiders of Michigan. Mich. Acad., XXIV: 201-246.

Snider, R.J., R.M. Snider and A.J.M. Smucker. 1990. Collembolan populations and root dynamics in Michigan agroecosystems. In: Rhizosphere Dynamics, J.E. Box & L.C. Hammond, editors. A.A.A.S. and Westview Press, 168-191.

Snider, R.J. 1990. A contribution to the Dicyrtomidae (Collembola) of Hawaii. Zool. Scripta, 19(1): 73-99.

Snider, R.J., 1988. Tritosminthurus schuhi, A new genus and species From Cape Province, South Africa (Collembola: Bourletiellidae). Ent. News, 99(5): 260-266.

Snider, R.M. and R.J. Snider. 1986. Evaluation of pit-trap transcects and varied trap spacing in a northern Michigan forest. Great Lake Entomol., 19(2): 51-61.


2006, 2010 & 2012.    Current non-AZA accredited zoos, aquariums, nature-wildlife centers and refuges in the United States.