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Araneomorph spiders
Temporal range: Triassic–present
Nephila inaurata1.JPG
Nephila inaurata (Nephilidae)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Opisthothelae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae

see Table of families

95 families
Hippasa agelenoides--common funnel web spider Common Funnel web spider (Hippasa agelenoides) W2 IMG 2780.jpg
Hippasa agelenoides —common funnel web spider

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.


Distinguishing characteristics

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. [1]

Spiders included

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: [2]











Most spiders in the Haplogynae series have six eyes, while most of those in the Entelegynae series have eight.

Table of families

Araneomorphae families [note 1]
FamilyGeneraSpeciesCommon nameExample
Agelenidae 781282araneomorph funnel-web spiders Hobo spider
Amaurobiidae 49274tangled nest spiders Callobius claustrarius
Ammoxenidae 418
Anapidae 58223
Anyphaenidae 56563anyphaenid sac spiders Yellow ghost spider
Araneidae 1743128orb-weaver spiders Zygiella x-notata
Archaeidae 590pelican spiders Eriauchenius gracilicollis
Arkyidae 237
Austrochilidae 310 Tasmanian cave spider
Caponiidae 18119 Diploglena capensis
(syn. Eutichuridae)
12351 Cheiracanthium mildei
Cithaeronidae 28
Clubionidae 15618sac spiders Clubiona trivialis
Corinnidae 67779dark sac spiders Castianeira sp.
Ctenidae 47525tropical wolf spiders Brazilian wandering spiders
Cyatholipidae 2358
Cybaeidae 19259
Cycloctenidae 880
Deinopidae 265net-casting spiders Rufous net-casting spider
Desidae 60297intertidal spiders Phryganoporus candidus
Dictynidae 52464 Nigma walckenaeri
Diguetidae 215coneweb spiders
Drymusidae 217false violin spiders
Dysderidae 24564woodlouse hunter spiders Woodlouse spider
Eresidae 998velvet spiders Eresus sandaliatus
Filistatidae 19164crevice weavers Southern house spider
Gallieniellidae 1056
Gnaphosidae [note 2] 1582532flat-bellied ground spiders Drassodes cupreus
Gradungulidae 716large-clawed spiders Carrai cave spider
Hahniidae 23346dwarf sheet spiders
Hersiliidae 16181tree trunk spiders Hersilia savignyi
Homalonychidae 13
Huttoniidae 11 Huttonia palpimanoides
Hypochilidae 212lampshade spiders Hypochilus thorelli
Lamponidae 23192 White-tailed spider
Leptonetidae 21346 Tooth cave spider
Linyphiidae 6074566dwarf / money spiders Linyphia triangularis
Liocranidae 31272liocranid sac spiders
Lycosidae 1242419wolf spiders Lycosa tarantula
Malkaridae 1146shield spiders
Mecysmaucheniidae 725
Megadictynidae 22
Mimetidae 12152pirate spiders Oarces reticulatus
Miturgidae 29130long-legged sac spiders
Mysmenidae 13137spurred orb-weavers
Nesticidae 16278cave cobweb spiders Nesticella marapu
Nicodamidae 727
Ochyroceratidae 20216midget ground weavers Theotima minutissima
Oecobiidae 6113disc web spiders Oecobius navus
Oonopidae 1141801dwarf hunting spiders Oonops domesticus
Orsolobidae 30188
Oxyopidae 9457lynx spiders Green lynx spider
Pacullidae 438
Palpimanidae 18150palp-footed spiders
Penestomidae 19
Periegopidae 13
Philodromidae 30539philodromid crab spiders Philodromus dispar
Pholcidae 771666daddy long-legs spiders Pholcus phalangioides
Phrurolithidae 13205
Physoglenidae 1372
Phyxelididae 1464
Pimoidae 441 Pimoa cthulhu
Pisauridae 51356nursery web spiders Pisaura mirabilis
Plectreuridae 231
Psechridae 261
Salticidae 6356080jumping spiders Zebra spider
Scytodidae 5248spitting spiders Scytodes thoracica
Segestriidae 4130tubeweb spiders Segestria florentina
Selenopidae 10257wall spiders Selenops radiatus
Senoculidae 131
Sicariidae 31623recluse spiders Brown recluse
Sparassidae 881224huntsman spiders Avondale spider
Stenochilidae 213
Stiphidiidae 20125 Tartarus mullamullangensis
Symphytognathidae 873dwarf orb-weavers Patu digua
Synaphridae 313
Synotaxidae 111
Telemidae 1079long-legged cave spiders
Tetrablemmidae 27129armored spiders
Tetragnathidae 48996long jawed orb-weavers Orchard spider
Theridiidae 1242503cobweb spiders Redback spider
Theridiosomatidae 19124ray spiders Theridiosoma gemmosum
Thomisidae 1702171crab spiders Goldenrod spider
Titanoecidae 553 Goeldia obscura
Toxopidae 1482
Trachelidae 18232
Trechaleidae 16120
Trochanteriidae 19153
Trogloraptoridae 11 Trogloraptor marchingtoni
Udubidae 415
Uloboridae 19283hackled orb-weavers Uloborus walckenaerius
Viridasiidae 29
Xenoctenidae 433
Zodariidae 851141ant spiders Zodarion germanicum
Zoropsidae 26180 Zoropsis spinimana

Related Research Articles

Mygalomorphae Infraorder of arachnids (spiders)

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.

Chelicerae The mouthparts of spiders and horseshoe crabs

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.

Dipluridae 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 Hexathelidae.

Australian funnel-web spider 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 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.

Mesothelae suborder of arachnids

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.

Liphistiidae Family of spiders

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.

Wafer trapdoor spider family of arachnids

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 spider family of arachnids

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 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.

Hexathelidae 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.

Spider taxonomy

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.

<i>Atrax</i> Genus of spiders

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 Anatomical structure

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

Opisthothelae suborder within Order Araneae

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.

Tarantula Family of spiders

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.

<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 arachnids

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.


  2. Coddington, Jonathan A.; Levi, Herbert W. (1991). "Systematics and Evolution of Spiders (Araneae) STOR". Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics . 22: 565–592. doi:10.1146/ ISSN   0066-4162. JSTOR   2097274.
  3. World Spider Catalog (2018), Currently valid spider genera and species.


  1. Unless otherwise shown, currently accepted families and counts based on the World Spider Catalog version 19.0 as of 11 July 2018. [3] 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