Temporal range: Triassic–present
|Nephila inaurata (Nephilidae)|
see Table of families
The Araneomorphae (also called the Labidognatha) are an infraorder of spiders. They are distinguished by having 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. Most of the spiders that people encounter in daily life belong to the Araneomorphae.
Note the difference in the orientations of the chelicerae (fangs) of the two spiders below, representatives of the Mygalomorphae and the Araneomorphae. The number of book-lungs (when present) can also help distinguish between members of these two major groups.
This Atrax robustus (a member of the Hexathelidae) is presenting a defensive posture, and by so doing clearly shows the orientation of its chelicerae, which go up and down and parallel to the long axis of the spider's body, as with other representatives of the Mygalomorphae.
In the Araneomorphae, the fangs slope towards each other, giving these spiders many more possibilities than the Mygalomorphae, which can only bite top down. In contrast to the Mygalomorphae, where females can live for many years, most Araneomorphae die after about a year.
Almost all of the familiar spiders are included in this group. The major exception is the Tarantulas, which have become so common as pets that many people have seen them. There are a few other members of Mygalomorphae that one might see around homes or gardens, but they typically are relatively small and not easily noticed. For instance, the females of one such species lives and hunts from within a long silken tube, so unless one opens the tube or chances upon a male looking for a mate, one will never see them. The Araneomorphae, to the contrary, include the weavers of spiral webs, the cobweb spiders that live in the corners of our rooms and between windows and screens, the crab spiders that lurk on the surfaces of the flowers in our gardens, the jumping spiders that look back at us curiously from walls and tree trunks, the wolf spiders that sometimes carpet good hunting sites in a sunny spot in the lawn, the large Huntsman spiders that sometimes frighten people by getting into their cars or taking up residence behind wall clocks.
In older schemes, the Araneomorphae are divided into two lineages, the Hypochilae (containing only the family Hypochilidae), and the Neocribellatae. The Neocribellatae are in turn divided into the Austrochiloidea, and the two series Entelogynae and Haplogynae, each containing several superfamilies:
A cladogram shows the relation among taxa:
Most spiders in the Haplogynae series have six eyes, while most of those in the Entelegynae series have eight.
|Agelenidae||78||1282||araneomorph funnel-web spiders||Hobo spider|
|Amaurobiidae||49||274||tangled nest spiders||Callobius claustrarius|
|Anyphaenidae||56||563||anyphaenid sac spiders||Yellow ghost spider|
|Araneidae||174||3128||orb-weaver spiders||Zygiella x-notata|
|Archaeidae||5||90||pelican spiders||Eriauchenius gracilicollis|
|Austrochilidae||3||10||Tasmanian cave spider|
| Cheiracanthiidae |
|Clubionidae||15||618||sac spiders||Clubiona trivialis|
|Corinnidae||67||779||dark sac spiders||Castianeira sp.|
|Ctenidae||47||525||tropical wolf spiders||Brazilian wandering spiders|
|Deinopidae||2||65||net-casting spiders||Rufous net-casting spider|
|Desidae||60||297||intertidal spiders||Phryganoporus candidus|
|Drymusidae||2||17||false violin spiders|
|Dysderidae||24||564||woodlouse hunter spiders||Woodlouse spider|
|Eresidae||9||98||velvet spiders||Eresus sandaliatus|
|Filistatidae||19||164||crevice weavers||Southern house spider|
|Gnaphosidae||158||2532||flat-bellied ground spiders||Drassodes cupreus|
|Gradungulidae||7||16||large-clawed spiders||Carrai cave spider|
|Hahniidae||23||346||dwarf sheet spiders|
|Hersiliidae||16||181||tree trunk spiders||Hersilia savignyi|
|Hypochilidae||2||12||lampshade spiders||Hypochilus thorelli|
|Leptonetidae||21||346||Tooth cave spider|
|Linyphiidae||607||4566||dwarf / money spiders||Linyphia triangularis|
|Liocranidae||31||272||liocranid sac spiders|
|Lycosidae||124||2419||wolf spiders||Lycosa tarantula|
|Mimetidae||12||152||pirate spiders||Oarces reticulatus|
|Miturgidae||29||130||long-legged sac spiders|
|Nesticidae||16||278||cave cobweb spiders||Nesticella marapu|
|Ochyroceratidae||20||216||midget ground weavers||Theotima minutissima|
|Oecobiidae||6||113||disc web spiders||Oecobius navus|
|Oonopidae||114||1801||dwarf hunting spiders||Oonops domesticus|
|Oxyopidae||9||457||lynx spiders||Green lynx spider|
|Philodromidae||30||539||philodromid crab spiders||Philodromus dispar|
|Pholcidae||77||1666||daddy long-legs spiders||Pholcus phalangioides|
|Pisauridae||51||356||nursery web spiders||Pisaura mirabilis|
|Salticidae||635||6080||jumping spiders||Zebra spider|
|Scytodidae||5||248||spitting spiders||Scytodes thoracica|
|Segestriidae||4||130||tubeweb spiders||Segestria florentina|
|Selenopidae||10||257||wall spiders||Selenops radiatus|
|Sicariidae||3||1623||recluse spiders||Brown recluse|
|Sparassidae||88||1224||huntsman spiders||Avondale spider|
|Symphytognathidae||8||73||dwarf orb-weavers||Patu digua|
|Telemidae||10||79||long-legged cave spiders|
|Tetragnathidae||48||996||long jawed orb-weavers||Orchard spider|
|Theridiidae||124||2503||cobweb spiders||Redback spider|
|Theridiosomatidae||19||124||ray spiders||Theridiosoma gemmosum|
|Thomisidae||170||2171||crab spiders||Goldenrod spider|
|Uloboridae||19||283||hackled orb-weavers||Uloborus walckenaerius|
|Zodariidae||85||1141||ant spiders||Zodarion germanicum|
The Mygalomorphae, or mygalomorphs, are an infraorder of spiders. The name is derived from the Greek mygalē, meaning "shrew", plus morphē meaning form or shape. An older name for the group is Orthognatha, derived from the orientation of the fangs which point straight down and do not cross each other. In 1802, Charles Athanase Walckenaer separated mygalomorph spiders into a separate genus, Mygale, leaving all other spiders in Aranea.
The chelicerae are the mouthparts of the 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.
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 Hexathelidae.
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 recognized 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 bite 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.
The Mesothelae are a suborder of spiders that includes a single living (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 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.
Ctenizidae is a small family of medium-sized mygalomorph spiders that construct burrows with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation and silk. They may be called trapdoor spiders, as are similar species, such as those of the families Liphistiidae, Barychelidae, Cyrtaucheniidae and some species in Idiopidae and Nemesiidae. In 2018, the family Halonoproctidae was split off from Ctenizidae, leaving only three genera.
The wafer trapdoor spiders, family Cyrtaucheniidae, are a widespread family of spiders that lack the thorn-like spines on tarsi and metatarsi I and II found in true trapdoor spiders (Ctenizidae).
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.
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.
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.
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 about 46,000 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.
Atrax is a genus of venomous Australian funnel web spiders that was first described by O. Pickard-Cambridge in 1877 from the type species Atrax robustus. As of May 2019 it contains only three species: A. robustus, A. sutherlandi, and A. yorkmainorum. Originally placed with the curtain web spiders, it was moved to the Hexathelidae in 1980, then to the Australian funnel-web spiders in 2018.
Cribellum literally means "little sieve", and in biology the term generally applies to anatomical structures in the form of tiny perforated plates.
The Opisthothelae are spiders within the order Araneae, consisting of the Mygalomorphae and the Araneomorphae, but excluding the Mesothelae. The Opisthothelae are sometimes presented as an unranked clade and sometimes as a suborder of the Araneae. In the latter case, the Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae are treated as infraorders.
Tarantulas comprise a group of large and often ″hairy″ spiders of the family Theraphosidae. Currently, about 1,000 species have been identified. 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 urticating hairs that can cause irritation to the skin, and in extreme cases, cause damage to the eyes.
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.
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.
Trichopelma zebra is a species of ischnocoline tarantula that is known from Panama.
Brachionopus is a genus of South African tarantulas that was first described by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1897. It was transferred to the Theraphosidae from the Barychelidae in 1985.
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