Ground spider

name = Ground spiders

image_width = 250px
image_caption = "Drassodes lapidosus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
classis = Arachnida
ordo = Araneae
superfamilia = Gnaphosoidea
familia = Gnaphosidae
familia_authority = Pocock, 1898
diversity_link = List of Gnaphosidae species
diversity = 114 genera, c. 2,000 species

range_map_width = 250px
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Callilepis"
"many others"

The ground spiders (family "Gnaphosidae") include nearly 2,000 described species in over 100 genera worldwide. This makes the family the 7th largest known. New species are still being discovered. They are closely related to the ClubionidaeNieuwenhuys 2000] .

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

There are 14 species known to northwest Europe.


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 The thick-walled egg sacs are guarded by the mother until the spiderlings hatch.

Human interaction

At present, no ground spiders are known to be seriously venomous to humans. Very few people even notice these nearly worldwide reddish, brown, gray, striped or black spiders.

ee also

* List of Gnaphosidae species
* Spider families



* (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)
* (2007): [ The world spider catalog] , version 8.0. "American Museum of Natural History".

External links

* [ Arachnology Home Pages: Araneae]
* [ Platnick, N.I. 2003. World Spider Catalog]
* [ Pictures of "Herpyllus ecclesiastus"] (free for noncommercial use)
* AMNH: [ Key to some genera]

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