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Araneomorph spiders
Temporal range: Triassic–present
Nephila inaurata1.JPG
Nephila inaurata (Nephilidae)
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Opisthothelae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
95 families

The Araneomorphae (also called the Labidognatha) are an infraorder of spiders. They are distinguishable by chelicerae (fangs) that point diagonally forward and cross in a pinching action, in contrast to the Mygalomorphae (tarantulas and their close kin), where they point straight down. Araneomorphs comprise the vast majority (about 93% [1] ) of living spiders.


Distinguishing characteristics

Most of spider species are Araneomorphae, which have fangs that face towards each other, increasing the orientations they can employ during prey capture. They have fewer, usually one pair of book lungs (when present), and the females typically live one year.

The Mygalomorphae have fangs that face towards the ground, and which are parallel to the long axis of the spider's body, thus they have only one orientation they can employ during prey capture. They have two pairs of book lungs, and the females often live many years. [2]

Spiders included

Almost all of the familiar spiders are included in the Araneomorphae group, one major exception being the tarantulas. There are a few other Mygalomorphae species that live around homes or gardens, but they typically are relatively small and not easily noticed.

The Araneomorphae, to the contrary, include the weavers of spiral webs; the cobweb spiders that live in the corners of rooms, and between windows and screens; the crab spiders that lurk on the surfaces of flowers in gardens; the jumping spiders that are visible hunting on surfaces; the wolf spiders that carpet hunting sites in sunny spots; and the large huntsman spiders.


In older schemes, the Araneomorphae were divided into two lineages, the Hypochilae (containing only the family Hypochilidae), and the Neocribellatae. The Neocribellatae were in turn divided into the Austrochiloidea, and the two series Haplogynae and Entelogynae, each containing several superfamilies. Molecular phylogenetic studies have shown that the haplogynes in particular are not a monophyletic group. A 2020 study suggested the relationships among the major groups were as shown in the following cladogram. [3]










The blue bar to the right shows the former Haplogynae in the sense of Coddington (2005). [4]

Table of families

Araneomorphae families [notes 1]
FamilyGeneraSpeciesCommon nameExample
Agelenidae 901366araneomorph funnel-web spiders Hobo spider
Amaurobiidae 50283tangled nest spiders Callobius claustrarius'
Anapidae 58232
Anyphaenidae 58614anyphaenid sac spiders Yellow ghost spider
Araneidae 1843097orb-weaver spiders Zygiella x-notata
Archaeidae 690pelican spiders Madagascarchaea gracilicollis
Archoleptonetidae 28 Archoleptoneta gertschi
Arkyidae 238
Austrochilidae 29 Tasmanian cave spider
Caponiidae 20139 Diploglena capensis
(syn. Eutichuridae)
14363 Cheiracanthium mildei
Cithaeronidae 29
Clubionidae 19662sac spiders Clubiona trivialis
Corinnidae 73824dark sac spiders Castianeira sp.
Ctenidae 48532tropical wolf spiders Brazilian wandering spiders
Cyatholipidae 2358
Cybaeidae 21303
Cycloctenidae 880
Deinopidae 367net-casting spiders Rufous net-casting spider
Desidae 60296intertidal spiders Phryganoporus candidus
Dictynidae 53475 Nigma walckenaeri
Diguetidae 215coneweb spiders
Drymusidae 217false violin spiders
Dysderidae 25591woodlouse hunter spiders Woodlouse spider
Eresidae 9102velvet spiders Eresus sandaliatus
Filistatidae 19189crevice weavers Southern house spider
Gallieniellidae 541
(synonym: Ammoxenidae) [notes 2]
1452430flat-bellied ground spiders Drassodes cupreus
Gradungulidae 817large-clawed spiders Carrai cave spider
Hahniidae 24353dwarf sheet spiders
Hersiliidae 16187tree trunk spiders Hersilia savignyi
Homalonychidae 12
Huttoniidae 11 Huttonia palpimanoides
Hypochilidae 233lampshade spiders Hypochilus thorelli
Lamponidae 23192 White-tailed spider
Leptonetidae 22370 Tooth cave spider
Linyphiidae 6244724dwarf / money spiders Linyphia triangularis
Liocranidae 35311liocranid sac spiders
Lycosidae 1272452wolf spiders Lycosa tarantula
Malkaridae 1357shield spiders
Mecysmaucheniidae 725
Megadictynidae 22
Mimetidae 8159pirate spiders Oarces reticulatus
Miturgidae 29141long-legged sac spiders
Myrmecicultoridae 11
Mysmenidae 14158spurred orb-weavers
Nesticidae 18285cave cobweb spiders Nesticella marapu
Nicodamidae 727
Ochyroceratidae 10177midget ground weavers Theotima minutissima
Oecobiidae 6120disc web spiders Oecobius navus
Oonopidae 1151888dwarf hunting spiders Oonops domesticus
Orsolobidae 30188
Oxyopidae 9443lynx spiders Green lynx spider
Pacullidae 438
Palpimanidae 21165palp-footed spiders
Penestomidae 19
Periegopidae 13
Philodromidae 30535philodromid crab spiders Philodromus dispar
Pholcidae 971893daddy long-legs spiders Pholcus phalangioides
Phrurolithidae 20313
Physoglenidae 1372
Phyxelididae 1468
Pimoidae 285 Pimoa cthulhu
Pisauridae 51353nursery web spiders Pisaura mirabilis
Plectreuridae 231
Prodidomidae 23192
Psechridae 261
Psilodercidae 11224
Salticidae 6656433jumping spiders Zebra spider
Scytodidae 4241spitting spiders Scytodes thoracica
Segestriidae 5152tubeweb spiders Segestria florentina
Selenopidae 9262wall spiders Selenops radiatus
Senoculidae 131
Sicariidae 3172recluse spiders Brown recluse
Sparassidae 951337huntsman spiders Avondale spider
Stenochilidae 213
Stiphidiidae 20125 Tartarus mullamullangensis
Symphytognathidae 1098dwarf orb-weavers Patu digua
Synaphridae 313
Synotaxidae 111
Telemidae 16104long-legged cave spiders
Tetrablemmidae 27151armored spiders
Tetragnathidae 46982long jawed orb-weavers Orchard spider
Theridiidae 1252538cobweb spiders Redback spider
Theridiosomatidae 20135ray spiders Theridiosoma gemmosum
Thomisidae 1712167crab spiders Goldenrod spider
Titanoecidae 556 Goeldia obscura
Toxopidae 1482
Trachelidae 20263
Trachycosmidae 20148
Trechaleidae 17133
Trochanteriidae 651
Trogloraptoridae 11 Trogloraptor marchingtoni
Udubidae 415
Uloboridae 19291hackled orb-weavers Uloborus walckenaerius
Viridasiidae 314
Xenoctenidae 433
Zodariidae 891251ant spiders Zodarion germanicum
Zoropsidae 27182 Zoropsis spinimana


  1. Unless otherwise shown, currently accepted families and counts based on the World Spider Catalog version 23.5 as of 8 August 2022. [5] In the World Spider Catalog, "species" counts include subspecies. Assignment to sub- and infraorders based on Coddington (2005, p. 20) (when given there).
  2. June 2019 data

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mygalomorphae</span> Infraorder of arachnids (spiders)

The Mygalomorphae, or mygalomorphs, are an infraorder of spiders, and comprise one of three major groups of living spiders with over 3000 species, found on all continents except Antarctica. Many members are known as trapdoor spiders due to their creation of trapdoors over their burrows. Other prominent groups include Australian funnel web spiders and tarantulas, with the latter accounting for around one third of all mygalomorphs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chelicerae</span> Mouthparts of spiders and horseshoe crabs

The chelicerae are the mouthparts of the subphylum Chelicerata, an arthropod group that includes arachnids, horseshoe crabs, and sea spiders. Commonly referred to as "jaws", chelicerae may be shaped as either articulated fangs, or similarly to pincers. Some chelicerae, such as those found on nearly all spiders, are hollow and contain venom glands, and are used to inject venom into prey or a perceived threat. Both pseudoscorpions and harvestmen have structures on their chelicerae that are used for grooming.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dipluridae</span> Family of spiders

The family Dipluridae, known as curtain-web spiders are a group of spiders in the infraorder Mygalomorphae, that have two pairs of booklungs, and chelicerae (fangs) that move up and down in a stabbing motion. A number of genera, including that of the Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax), used to be classified in this family but have now been moved to Atracidae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Australian funnel-web spider</span> Family of mygalomorph spiders

Atracidae is a family of mygalomorph spiders, commonly known as Australian funnel-web spiders or atracids. It has been included as a subfamily of the Hexathelidae, but is now recognised as a separate family. All members of the family are native to Australia. Atracidae consists of three genera: Atrax, Hadronyche, and Illawarra, comprising 35 species. Some members of the family produce venom that is dangerous to humans, and bites by spiders of six of the species have caused severe injuries to victims. The bites of the Sydney funnel-web spider and northern tree-dwelling funnel-web spider are potentially deadly, but no fatalities have occurred since the introduction of modern first-aid techniques and antivenom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mesothelae</span> Suborder of spiders

The Mesothelae are a suborder of spiders that includes a single extant family, Liphistiidae, and a number of extinct families. This suborder is thought to form the sister group to all other living spiders, and to retain ancestral characters, such as a segmented abdomen with spinnerets in the middle and two pairs of book lungs. Members of Liphistiidae are medium to large spiders with eight eyes grouped on a tubercle. They are found only in China, Japan, and southeast Asia. The oldest known Mesothelae spiders are known from the Carboniferous, over 300 million years ago.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liphistiidae</span> Family of trapdoor spiders from Asia

The spider family Liphistiidae, recognized by Tamerlan Thorell in 1869, comprises 8 genera and about 100 species of medium-sized spiders from Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. They are among the most basal living spiders, belonging to the suborder Mesothelae. In Japan, the Kimura spider is well known.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ctenizidae</span> Family of spiders

Ctenizidae is a small family of mygalomorph spiders that construct burrows with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation, and silk. They may be called trapdoor spiders, as are other, similar species, such as those of the families Liphistiidae, Barychelidae, and Cyrtaucheniidae, and some species in the Idiopidae and Nemesiidae. The name comes from the distinctive behavior of the spiders to construct trapdoors, and ambush prey from beneath them.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wafer-lid trapdoor spider</span> Family of spiders

The family Cyrtaucheniidae, known as wafer-lid trapdoor spiders, are a widespread family of Mygalomorphae spiders.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lampshade spider</span> Family of spiders

Lampshade spiders, family Hypochilidae, are among the most primitive of araneomorph spiders. There are two genera and twelve species currently recognized. Like mygalomorphs, most hypochilids have two pairs of book lungs, but like araneomorphs they have intersecting fangs, with the exception of some species which have chelicerae in an angle that is neither orthognathous or labidognathous. These long-legged spiders build typical "lampshade" style webs under overhangs and in caves. In the United States the fauna is primarily associated with the Appalachian, Rocky and California Mountains. Ten of the known species are found in these ranges, all in the genus Hypochilus. The genus Ectatosticta is found in China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crevice weaver</span> Family of spiders

Crevice weaver spiders (Filistatidae) comprise cribellate spiders with features that have been regarded as "primitive" for araneomorph spiders. They are weavers of funnel or tube webs. The family contains 18 genera and more than 120 described species worldwide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hexathelidae</span> Family of spiders

Hexathelidae is a family of mygalomorph spiders. It is one of a number of families and genera of spiders known as funnel-web spiders. In 2018, the family was substantially reduced in size by genera being moved to three separate families: Atracidae, Macrothelidae and Porrhothelidae. Atracidae includes the most venomous species formerly placed in Hexathelidae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spider taxonomy</span> Science of naming, defining and classifying spiders

Spider taxonomy is that part of taxonomy that is concerned with the science of naming, defining and classifying all spiders, members of the Araneae order of the arthropod class Arachnida with more than 48,500 described species. However, there are likely many species that have escaped the human eye to this day, and many specimens stored in collections waiting to be described and classified. It is estimated that only one third to one half of the total number of existing species have been described.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dwarf tarantula</span> Spiders of the family Mecicobothriidae

Dwarf tarantulas, also known as sheet funnel-web spiders are a type of spider from the family Mecicobothriidae. Dwarf tarantulas are one of several families of the suborder Mygalomorphae; this larger group also includes the true tarantulas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cribellum</span>

Cribellum literally means "little sieve", and in biology the term generally applies to anatomical structures in the form of tiny perforated plates.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Austrochilidae</span> Family of spiders

Austrochilidae is a small spider family with nine species in two genera. Austrochilus and Thaida are endemic to the Andean forest of central and southern Chile and adjacent Argentina.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Opisthothelae</span> Suborder of spiders

Opisthothelae is a suborder of spiders within the order Araneae, containing Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, but excluding Mesothelae. The Opisthothelae are sometimes presented as an unranked clade and sometimes as a suborder of Araneae. In the latter case, Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae are treated as infraorders.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tarantula</span> Family of spiders

Tarantulas comprise a group of large and often hairy spiders of the family Theraphosidae. As of August 2022, 1,040 species have been identified, with 156 genera. The term "tarantula" is usually used to describe members of the family Theraphosidae, although many other members of the same infraorder (Mygalomorphae) are commonly referred to as "tarantulas" or "false tarantulas". Some of the more common species have become popular in the exotic pet trade. Many New World species kept as pets have setae known as urticating hairs that can cause irritation to the skin, and in extreme cases, cause damage to the eyes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spider</span> Order of arachnids

Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, chelicerae with fangs generally able to inject venom, and spinnerets that extrude silk. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all orders of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every land habitat. As of August 2022, 50,356 spider species in 132 families have been recorded by taxonomists. However, there has been debate among scientists about how families should be classified, with over 20 different classifications proposed since 1900.

<i>Cyriopagopus</i> Genus of spiders

Cyriopagopus is a genus of southeast Asian tarantulas found from Myanmar to the Philippines. As of March 2017, the genus includes species formerly placed in Haplopelma. It was first described by Eugène Louis Simon in 1887.

<i>Eucteniza</i> Genus of spiders

Eucteniza is a genus of trapdoor spiders in the family Euctenizidae containing at least 14 species occurring in Mexico and the southern United States. Species are distinguished by a softened rear portion of the carapace, and males possess large spines on the first two pairs of walking legs that are used to hold females during mating. Like other trapdoor spiders they create burrows with a hinged lid, from which they await passing insects and other arthropods to prey upon. Many species are known from only one or two localities, or from only male specimens. More species are expected to be discovered. Eucteniza is closely related to spiders of the genera Entychides and Neoapachella.



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