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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ground spiders
Drassodes lapidosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Superfamily: Gnaphosoidea
Family: Gnaphosidae
Pocock, 1898

many others

114 genera, c. 2,000 species
Unidentified species

Ground spiders (family Gnaphosidae) are reddish, brown, gray, striped, black spiders, and include nearly 2,000 described species in over 100 genera, distributed worldwide. This makes the family the seventh largest known. New species are still being discovered. They are closely related to Clubionidae.[1]

Common genera include Gnaphosa, Drassodes, Micaria, Cesonia, Zelotes and many others.

There are 14 species known to northwest Europe.[1]



Spinnerets of an Eastern parson spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) in the Gnaphosidae family

Generally, ground spiders are characterized by having barrel-shaped anterior spinnerets that are one spinneret diameter apart. The main exception to this rule is found in the ant-mimicking genus Micaria. Another characteristic is an indentation in the endites (paired mouthparts anterior and lateral to the labium, or lip). All ground spiders lack a prey-capture web and generally run prey down on the surface. They hunt at night and spend the day in a silken retreat.[1] The thick-walled egg sacs are guarded by the mother until the spiderlings hatch.[1]

Endites and labium (also fangs and sternum) of an Eastern parson spider.

Human interaction

At present, no ground spiders are known to be seriously venomous to humans. Very few people even notice them.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Nieuwenhuys 2000


  • Platnick, N.I. & Shadab, M.U. (1983): A revision of the American spiders of the genus Zelotes (Araneae, Gnaphosidae). Bulletin of the AMNH 174: 99-191. PDF (29Mb) - Abstract
  • Ed Nieuwenhuys (2000): Spiders of NW-Europe Retrieved Jan 3, 2007. (with color pictures of some species)
  • Platnick, Norman I. (2007): The world spider catalog, version 8.0. American Museum of Natural History.

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: Entelegynae
Sectio: Dionycha
Superfamilia: Gnaphosoidea
Familia: Gnaphosidae
Subfamiliae: Drassodinae - Echeminae - Encoptarthriinae - Gnaphosinae - Hemicloeinae - Herpyllinae - Laroniinae - Micariinae - Zelotinae - incertae sedis

Genera overview: Allozelotes - Amazoromus - Amusia - Anagraphis - Aneplasa - Anzacia - Aphantaulax - Apodrassodes - Apodrassus - Apopyllus - Aracus - Asemesthes - Asiabadus - Australoechemus - Battalus - Benoitodes - Berinda - Berlandina - Cabanadrassus - Callilepis - Camillina - Ceryerda - Cesonia - Cladothela - Coillina - Coreodrassus - Cryptodrassus - Cubanopyllus - Diaphractus - Drassodes - Drassodex - Drassyllus - Echemella - Echemographis - Echemoides - Echemus - Eilica - Encoptarthria - Epicharitus - Fedotovia - Gertschosa - Gnaphosa - Haplodrassus - Hemicloea - Herpyllus - Heser - Hitobia - Homoeothele - Hongkongia - Hypodrassodes - Intruda - Kaitawa - Kishidaia - Ladissa - Laronius - Latonigena - Leptodrassex - Leptodrassus - Litopyllus - Matua - Megamyrmaekion - Micaria - Microdrassus - Microsa - Micythus - Minosia - Minosiella - Nauhea - Nodocion - Nomisia - Notiodrassus - Odontodrassus - Orodrassus - Parabonna - Parasyrisca - Phaeocedus - Poecilochroa - Pseudodrassus - Pterotricha - Pterotrichina - Sanitubius - Scopoides - Scotocesonia - Scotognapha - Scotophaeus - Sergiolus - Sernokorba - Setaphis - Shiragaia - Sidydrassus - Smionia - Sosticus - Symphanodes - Synaphosus - Talanites - Titus - Trachyzelotes - Trephopoda - Trichothyse - Urozelotes - Vectius - Xenoplectus - Xerophaeus - Xizangia - Zelanda - Zelominor - Zelotes - Zelotibia - Zimiromus


Gnaphosidae Pocock, 1898



  • Pocock, R. I. 1898. The Arachnida from the province of Natal, South Africa, contained in the collection of the British Museum. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (7) 2: 197-226. [219]
  • Forster, R.R.; Blest, A.D. 1979: The spiders of New Zealand. Part V. Cycloctenidae, Gnaphosidae, Clubionidae, Linyphiidae-Mynogleninae. Otago Museum bulletin, 5.
  • Murphy, J. 2007: Gnaphosid genera of the world. British Arachnological Society, St Neots, Cambs.
  • Platnick, N. I. 1990. Spinneret morphology and the phylogeny of ground spiders (Araneae, Gnaphosoidea). American Museum Novitates 2978: 1-42. PDF
  • Zhang, F.; Fu, J.-y.; Zhu, M.-s. 2009: Spiders of the genus Sphingius (Araneae: Liocranidae) from China, with description of two new species. Zootaxa, 2298: 31-44. Abstract & excerpt


Vernacular names

English: Ground spider
한국어: 수리거미과
日本語: ワシグモ科
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Gnaphosidae on Wikimedia Commons.


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