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Running crab spiders
Temporal range: Cretaceous–present
Philodromus praelustris.jpg
Philodromus sp.
Running crab spider
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Philodromidae
Thorell, 1870
30 genera, 648 species

Philodromidae, also known as philodromid crab spiders and running crab spiders, is a family of araneomorph spiders first described by Tord Tamerlan Teodor Thorell in 1870. [1] It contains over 600 species in thirty genera. Most are dull colored- brown, gray, yellowish or mottled with a leaf-like cardiac mark on the anterior dorsal abdomen, and seldom reach above 10 millimetres (0.39 in) long. None of the species build webs, but they do use silk for draglines and egg sacs.


It is superficially similar to the "true" crab spiders, such as Misumena vatia, but these families are not as closely related as previously thought. [2] Philodromids tend to have few true setae (hairs or spines) on their bodies and lack the congruent eye tubercles of some crab spiders. Their second legs are usually the longer of the four pairs of walking legs. It is most evident in Ebo , where the second pair of legs are twice as long as the first pair in some species.

The most common genus is Philodromus which is widespread, similar to Ebo. [3] Other common genera include the elongate grass-dwelling Tibellus and the widespread Thanatus , which includes the house crab spider that commonly captures flies on and in buildings. [4]


As of April 2019, the World Spider Catalog accepts the following genera: [3]

incertae sedis

See also

Related Research Articles


The Thomisidae are a family of spiders, including about 175 genera and over 2,100 species. The common name crab spider is often linked to species in this family, but is also applied loosely to many other families of spiders. Many members of this family are also known as flower spiders or flower crab spiders.

Huntsman spider Family of spiders (Sparassidae)

Huntsman spiders, members of the family Sparassidae, are known by this name because of their speed and mode of hunting. They are also called giant crab spiders because of their size and appearance. Larger species sometimes are referred to as wood spiders, because of their preference for woody places. In southern Africa the genus Palystes are known as rain spiders or lizard-eating spiders. Commonly they are confused with baboon spiders from the Mygalomorphae infraorder, which are not closely related.

Uloboridae Family of spiders

Uloboridae is a family of non-venomous spiders, known as cribellate orb weavers or hackled orb weavers. Their lack of venom glands is a secondarily evolved trait. Instead, they wrap their prey thoroughly in silk, cover it in regurgitated digestive enzymes, and then ingest the liquified body.

Ground spider Family of spiders

Ground spiders comprise Gnaphosidae, the seventh largest spider family with nearly 2,000 described species in over 100 genera distributed worldwide. There are 105 species known to central Europe, and common genera include Gnaphosa, Drassodes, Micaria, Cesonia, Zelotes and many others. They are closely related to Clubionidae. At present, no ground spiders are known to be seriously venomous to humans.


Misumena is a genus of crab spiders sometimes referred to as flower crab spiders. They are similar in appearance to several other genera in the family Thomisidae, such as Misumenoides and Mecaphesa.

Long-jawed orb weaver Family of spiders

Long-jawed orb weavers or long jawed spiders (Tetragnathidae) is a family of araneomorph spiders first described by Anton Menge in 1866. They have elongated bodies, legs, and chelicerae, and build small orb webs with an open hub with few, wide-set radii and spirals with no signal line or retreat. Some species are often found in long vegetation near water.

Corinnidae Family of spiders

Corinnidae is a family of araneomorph spiders, sometimes called corinnid sac spiders. The family, like other "clubionoid" families, has a confusing taxonomic history. Once it was a part of the large catch-all taxon Clubionidae, now very much smaller. The original members of the family are apparently similar only in that they have eight eyes arranged in two rows, conical anterior spinnerets that touch and are generally wandering predators that build silken retreats, or sacs, usually on plant terminals, between leaves, under bark or under rocks.

Dwarf sheet spider Family of spiders

Dwarf sheet spiders (Hahniidae) is a family of araneomorph spiders, first described by Philipp Bertkau in 1878. Their bodies are about 2 millimetres (0.079 in) long, and they build extremely delicate webs in the form of a sheet. Unlike many spiders the web does not lead to a retreat. The silk used in these webs is so fine that they are difficult to spot unless they are coated with dew. They greatly favor locations near water or near moss, and are often found in leaf litter and detritus or on the leaves of shrubs and trees.


Thanatus is a genus of false crab spiders described by Carl Ludwig Koch in 1837, belonging to the order Araneae, family Philodromidae.

<i>Castianeira</i> Genus of spiders

Castianeira is a genus of ant-like corinnid sac spiders first described by Eugen von Keyserling in 1879. They are found in Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas, but are absent from Australia. Twenty-six species are native to North America, and at least twice as many are native to Mexico and Central America.


Hogna is a genus of wolf spiders with more than 200 described species. It is found on all continents except Antarctica.


Tibellus is a genus of slender crab spiders described by Simon in 1875, belonging to the order Araneae, family Philodromidae. Species of this genus are present in Eurasia, Africa, Americas and Australia.


Olios is the largest genus of huntsman spiders, containing 250 species. They are found throughout the world, with most species occurring in hot countries. The genus was first described by Charles Athanase Walckenaer in 1837.

<i>Ctenus</i> Genus of spiders

Ctenus is a genus of wandering spiders first described by Charles Athanase Walckenaer in 1805. It is widely distributed, from South America through Africa to East Asia. Little is known about the toxic potential of the genus Ctenus, however, it was recently discovered that the species Ctenus medius shares toxic properties with those presented by Phoneutria nigriventer, such as proteolytic, hyaluronidase and phospholipase activities, in addition to producing hyperalgesia and edema, the venom of C. medius also interferes with the complement system in concentrations in which the venom of P. nigriventer is inactive, indicating that this spider has a noxious venom to humans. The venom of C. medius causes an eleavage in the complement component 3 (C3) of the complement system, it affects the central factor of the cascades of the complement, and interferes with the lytic activity of this system, which causes stronger activation and consumption of the complement components. Unlike C. medius, the venom of P. nigriventer does not interfere with lytic activity.

<i>Synema</i> (spider)

Synema is a genus of spider in the family Thomisidae, found in most parts of the world.


  1. Thorell, T. (1870). "On European spiders". Nova Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum Upsaliensis. 3 (7): 109–242.
  2. Homann, H. (1975). "Die Stellung der Thomisidae und der Philodromidae im System der Araneae (Chelicerata, Arachnida)". Zeitschrift für Morphologie der Tiere. 80 (3): 181–202. doi:10.1007/BF00285652.
  3. 1 2 "Family: Philodromidae Thorell, 1870". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  4. Kulczyński, W. (1903). "Aranearum et Opilionum species in insula Creta a comite Dre Carolo Attems collectae". Bulletin International de l'Académie des Sciences de Cracovie. 1903: 50.