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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caponiid spiders
female caponiid
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Superfamily: Caponioidea
Family: Caponiidae
Simon, 1890

see text

11 genera, 70 species

Spiders of the ecribellate haplogyne family Caponiidae are unusual in that most species have only two eyes, which is unheard of in other spiders. Other species have four, six or eight eyes. Even in a single species, sometimes the number of eyes changes from spiderling to adult.



These spiders of about 2 to 5mm are rarely noticed, but generally look like somewhat faded woodlouse hunter spiders in the genus Dysdera. The carapace (cephalothorax or prosoma) is orange and the abdomen (opisthosoma) light gray. The two-eyed species have their two eyes in the anterior middle of the carapace.


Eye numbers

  • Eight eyes: Calponia, Caponia
  • Six eyes: Caponina (but may also have two, three, four or five eyes)
  • Four eyes: Nopsides, Notnops
  • Two eyes: Nops, Orthonops, Diplogena, Taintnops, Tisentnops


Their habits are for the most part unknown. At least some species are known to hunt other spiders.


The fact that they are ecribellate and haplogyne indicates that they are probably relatively primitive. Calponia harrisonfordi from California seems to be the most primitive member of the family. Their phylogenetic relationships have long been enigmatic, but in the early 1990s it was determined that they are probably a sister group of the Tetrablemmidae plus the four families inside the Dysderoidea superfamily.

The subfamily Nopinae consists at least of the genera Nops, Nopsides, Orthonops and Tarsonops. The remaining genera are unlikely to form a monophyletic group.


The family can be found in Africa and America from Argentina to the USA.


Calponia is a contraction of Californian Caponia, because the single species Calponia harrisonfordi has, like the African genus Caponia eight eyes. The species name is in honor of Harrison Ford, recognizing his efforts on behalf of the American Museum.

The Chilean caponiid fauna differs from that of the rest of the Neotropics in lacking members of the Nopinae (named after the genus Nops). Three genera newly described by Norman I. Platnick in 1994 were thus named Notnops, Taintnops and Tisentnops, emphasizing this fact. The only Taintnops species, T. goloboffi, is named in honor of one of the collectors, P.A. Goloboff.


  • Calponia Platnick, 1993 (USA)
  • Caponia Simon, 1887 (Africa)
  • Caponina Simon, 1891 (Central and South America)
  • Diploglena Purcell, 1904 (South Africa)
  • Nops Macleay, 1839 (Caribic, Central and South America)
  • Nopsides Chamberlin, 1924 (Mexico)
  • Notnops Platnick, 1994 (Chile)
  • Orthonops Chamberlin, 1924 (USA, Mexico)
  • Taintnops Platnick, 1994 (Chile)
  • Tarsonops Chamberlin, 1924 (Mexico)
  • Tisentnops Platnick, 1994 (Chile)

See also


  • Platnick, N.I. (1993) A New Genus of the Spider Family Caponiidae (Araneae, Haplogynae) from California. American Museum Novitates 3063. PDF (Calponia)
  • Platnick, N.I. (1994). A Revision of the Spider Genus Caponina (Araneae, Caponiidae). American Museum Novitates 3100.
  • Platnick, N.I. (1994). A Review of the Chilean Spiders of the Family Caponiidae (Araneae, Haplogynae). American Museum Novitates 3113. PDF
  • Platnick, N.I. (1995). A revision of the spider genus Orthonops (Araneae, Caponiidae). American Museum novitates 3150. PDF (five new species)

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies



Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Classis: Arachnida
Ordo: Araneae
Subordo: Opisthothelae
Infraordo: Araneomorphae
Taxon: Neocribellatae
Series: Haplogynae
Superfamilia: Caponioidea
Familia: Caponiidae
Genera: Calponia - Caponia - Caponina - Diploglena - Iraponia - Nops - Nopsides - Notnops - Orthonops - Taintnops - Tarsonops - Tisentnops


Caponiidae Simon, 1890


  • Kranz-Baltensperger, Y.; Platnick, N.I.; Dupérré, N. 2009: A new genus of the spider family Caponiidae (Araneae, Haplogynae) from Iran. American Museum novitates, (3656) doi: 10.1206/675.1

Vernacular names

English: Caponiid spiders


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