Index of families
Authors / Copyright
Eresidae Gnaphosidae
Hahniidae Linyphiidae
Nesticidae Oecobiidae
Uloboridae Zodariidae

Key to  families
adapted from "Spinnen Mitteleuropas"

- for further information, move cursor over photos

1.a. Orthognathous chelicerae: basal segments parallel forwards, fangs almost parallel; gnathocoxa with long projection; four booklung covers  ... Atypidae
Atypus muralis - male (c) AretzAtypus piceus - female abdomen (c) Lewrenz

1.b. Labidognathous chelicerae: basic segments pointing downwards, tips of fangs directed toward each other ... 2
Tegenaria atrica - chelicerae (c) SchwarzerArgyroneta aquatica - chelicerae (c) Hita GarciaDysdera crocata - chelicerae (c) Consul

2.a. Anterior median eyes clearly larger than other eyes. Field of eyes quadrangular in dorsal view ... Salticidae
Marpissa muscosa - habitus, (c) Arndts, Blondiau, StruebingMarpissa muscosa - AME, (c) Arndts, Blondiau, StruebingEvarcha arcuata - male portrait (c) ZFMK spider course 2005

2.b. Anterior median eyes usually not clearly larger than other eyes (if larger, then eye field not quadrangular in dorsal view) ... 3
Agelena labyrinthica - eyes, (c) SchwarzerAntistea elegans - eyes (c) Arndts, StruebingArgyroneta aquatica - eyes (c) Hita Garcia

3.a.Only one pair of spinnerets clearly visible (the others reduced and hardly visible), and positioned on a bump. Anterior median eyes largest. Associated with ants; hunting spiders ... Zodariidae
Zodarion sp. - spinnerets (c) HauslageZodarion sp. - eyes dorsal view (c) ZFMK spider course 2005

3.b.Three pairs of spinnerets clearly visible (median spinnerets may be small and hidden by the anterior and posterior pair of spinnerets) ... 4
Cicurina cicur - spinnerets (c) Arndts, StruebingDysdera crocata - spinnerets (c) ConsulEro furcata - spinnerets (c) Hita Garcia
Drapetisca socialis - spinnerets (c) ConsulGonatium rubens, male spinnerets (c) ZFMK spiders course 2004Hahnia montana female spinnerets all (c) ZFMK spider course 2004

4.a. Posterior median eyes and posterior lateral eyes arranged in an equilateral hexagon (viewed from frontally). Legs with long spines, opisthosoma tapered, habitus as in photo; hunting spiders ... Oxyopidae
Oxyopes ramosus, habitus (c) NettekovenOxyopes ramosus, eyes (c) Nettekoven

 4.b. Position of  eyes different ... 5

5.a. Posterior lateral eyes larger than other eyes; male with characteristic bundle of hairs on anterior spinnerets (photo). Prosoma with characteristic pattern of stripes; tips of tarsi covered with scopulate hairs. Habitus as in photo. Free living on ground ... Zoridae
Zora spinimana - habitus (c)  Arndts, StruebingZora spinnimana - eyes (c) Arndts, StruebingZora spinimana - spinnerets (c) Arndts, Struebing

5.b. Posterior lateral eyes not larger than other eyes; no bundle of hairs on male anterior spinnerets ... 6

6.a. Eyes clearly arranged in three straight rows: anterior eyes - posterior median eyes - posterior lateral eyes ... 7
Pisaura mirabilis - eyes (c) ConsulPirata piraticus - eyes (c) Hauslage

6.b. Eyes different ... 8

7.a. Connecting line of posterior lateral eyes - posterior median eyes intersects middle line of carapace at anterior edge of prosoma or closely behind it. Position of eyes as in photo. Hunting spiders; females carry egg sac in their chelicerae ... Pisauridae
Pisaura mirabilis - habitus (c) ConsulPisaura mirabilis - eyes (c) Consul

7.b. Connecting line of posterior lateral eyes - posterior median eyes intersects middle line of carapace in front of anterior edge of prosoma. Position of eyes as in photo. Hunting spiders, females carry egg sac attached to spinnerets ... Lycosidae
Pirata piraticus - habitus, (c) HauslagePirata piraticus - eyes (c) Hauslage

8.a. Position of frontal two pairs of legs laterigrade, the original front side directed upwards, hence "crab-like" habitus; eyes often surrounded white ... 9
Misumenops tricuspidata - habitus (c) FunkeMicrommata virescens - female (c) B. HuberTibellus maritimus - habitus (c) Consul

8.b. Position of frontal two pairs of legs not laterigrade ... 11

9.a. Legs I and II clearly longer and often stouter than legs III, IV. Eyes often on elevations as shown below ... Thomisidae
Thomisus onustus, habitus (c) MpangaraMisumenops tricuspidata - eyes (c) Funke

9.b. Legs I and II not clearly longer and stouter than legs III, IV ... 10

10.a. Scopula on tarsi and metatarsi ... Sparassidae
Micrommata virescens - female (c) B. HuberMicrommata virescens - scopula

10.b. Scopula only on tips of tarsi, habitus as in photo ... Philodromidae
Tibellus oblongus, habitus (c) LangeTibellus maritimus - scopula (c) Consul

11.a. Secondary eyes (anterior lateral eyes, posterior lateral and median eyes) arranged in two groups of  three eyes each; between them a pair of small anterior median eyes may be present or not. Legs remarkably long and slender; in irregular webs, mostly synanthropic ... Pholcidae
Pholcus phalangioides habitus (c) ZiewerPholcus phalangioides eyes (c) Ziewer

11.b. Eyes different ... 12

12.a. Haplogyne spiders: female without epigynum, male with pear-, onion- or bottle shaped bulb. Basal, mostly thickened part of bulb scarcely covered by cymbium. Almost always six eyes ... 13
Scytodes thoracica - female external genitalia (c) Hita GarciaHarpactea rubicunda - genital bulb (c) HartmannSegestria senoculata - genital bulb (c) Schuette

12.b. Entelegyne spiders: female with epigynum, male with complex bulb, with basal part largely covered by cymbium (mostly eight eyes) ... 16
Agelena labyrinthica - epigynum (c) SchwarzerAnyphaena accentuata - epigynum (c) ZiewerCheiracanthium sp. epigynum (c) Funke
Ero furcata - palp (c) Hita GarciaTegenaria ferruginea - palp (c) Schwarzer

13.a. Eyes in one group: all eyes clearly less than one eye diameter separated from each other (exception: distance between anterior eyes and posterior eyes can be larger, so that the eyes form a closed circle) ... 14
Dysdera crocata - eyes (c) ConsulOonops pulcher - prosoma (c) Ziewer

13.b. Eyes not in one group: eyes or groups of eyes separated by a clearly visible interspace (> diameter of eyes) ... 15

14.a. Body length  <2 mm, with massive scutum on opisthosoma and armored pleura or faint white to reddish; eyes as in photo ... Oonopidae
Oonops pulcher - habitus (c) Linke/BorggrefeOonops pulcher - prosoma (c) Ziewer

14.b. Body length >3 mm, habitus as in photo ... Dysderidae
Dysdera crocata - habitus (c) Consul

15.a. Body colour dark gray, black or dark brown. Prosoma not strikingly marked. Position of legs characteristic: Legs I-III directed forwards; legs rather strong. Eyes and habitus as in photos ... Segestriidae
Segestria bavarica - habitus (c) FunkeSegestria bavarica - eyes (c) Funke

15.b. Body colour light reddish to yellowish brown, prosoma very high, eyes as in photo; body with distinctive black pattern, position of legs normal, legs very slender ... Scytodidae
Scytodes thoracica - habitus (c) Hita GarciaScytodes thoracica - eyes (c) Hita GarciaScytodes thoracica - habitus (c) Hita Garcia

16.a. Tarsi of  legs with 3 claws. Middle claw often very small and covered by hairbrushes, best visible from ventrally (scopulate hairs are in this case mostly divided into two cushions, between them the middle claw is visible) ... 17
Argyroneta aquatica - claws (c) Hita GarciaCicurina cicur - claws (c) Arndts/StruebingLarinioides sclopetarius, claws (c) ZFMK spider course 2004

16.b. Tarsi of  legs with 2 claws (without median claw) ... 35

17.a. Lateral eyes (arrows) form a square over the total width of the prosoma. Females - mostly with exception of the frontal head region - monochromous black, with cribellum/calamistrum. Males with vermilion opisthosoma with 2-3 pairs of black dots. Body with velvety hairs. Females in flat cribellate webs ending in a tube. In xerotherm areas, rare ... Eresidae
Eresus cinnaberinus - habitus (c) Arndts, Blondiau, StruebingEresus cinnaberinus - prosoma (c) Arndts, Blondiau, Struebing

17.b. Eyes different ... 18

18.a. Between the long posterior spinnerets a remarkable anal tubercle with star-like brushes. Habitus as in photo ... Oecobiidae
Oecobius sp. - habitus (c) Baum, Blondiau

18.b. Anal tubercle normal; posterior spinnerets short or long ... 19

19.a. Tarsus dorsally with 0-2 trichobothria ... 20

19.b. Tarsus dorsally with at least 3 trichobothria ... 29
Histopona torpida - tarsus trichobothria (c) ZFMK 2005 Spider Course

20.a. Prosoma and habitus as in photos. Cribellate, in horizontal orb webs or in triangular webs ... Uloboridae
Hyptiotes paradoxus - habitus (c) J. HauslageHyptiotes paradoxus - male (c) B. Huber

20.b. Habitus different; cribellate or ecribellate ... 21

21.a. Spinnerets arranged in one transverse row ... Hahniidae part. (Hahnia, Antistea)
Antistea elegans - habitus (c) Arndts, StruebingAntistea elegans, spinnerets (c) MuellerHahnia montana female spinnerets (c) ZFMK spider course 2004

21.b. Spinnerets different ... 22

22.a. Anterior spinnerets divided by twice their diameters, not arranged transversally. Males with a twisted embolus, long, reaching backwards till the beginning of the tibia, females correspondingly with long, irregularly declining entrance openings, +/- visible through the epigynum; very rare ... Hahniidae: Tuberta

22.b. Spinnerets different ... 23

23.a. Cribellate spiders: female with cribellum and calamistrum; male with broad rudiment of cribellum ...  Dictynidae part. (excl. Cicurina, Mastigusa)

23.b. Not cribellate, in front of spinnerets a point like colulus or colulus reduced. In the last case - especially in small spiders - mostly 2 or more bristles replace colulus ... 24

24.a. Tibia and metatarsus I and II with one row of long spines, between them shorter spines. Opisthosoma with at least 1 pair of humps, habitus as in photo ... Mimetidae
Ero furcata - habitus (c) Hita GarciaEro furcata - habitus frontal (c) Hita GarciaEro furcata - hump on abdomen (c) Hita Garcia

24.b. Tibia and metatarsus I and II normally without obvious rows of spines; when rows of spines present, then opisthosoma without humps ... 25

25.a. Male palp with enormous, dark, proximal paracymbium (arrow). Females with row of strong and serrated hairs ventrally on tarsus IV; labium distally with whitish swelling as in photo ... Nesticidae
Nesticus cellulanus, female (c) TheineNesticus cellulanus - palp (c) HauslageNesticus cellulanus - labium (c) Hauslage

25.b. Different ... 26

26.a. Male palp with small distal paracymbium or paracymbium lacking, tibia of palp lying very close to the cymbium with spoon like anterior edge on ventral side (often covers posterior area of bulb); females with rows of strong and serrated bristles ventrally on tarsus IV (photo) or in multiple rows; pigment of posterior eyes mostly brighter than that of the anterior median eyes, anterior median eyes often silvery white, chelicerae mostly weak or almost toothless ...  Theridiidae
Steatoda bipunctata - habitus (c) Arndts, StruebingSteatoda bipunctata tarsus IV (c) Arndts, Struebing
Steatoda bipunctata - eyes (c) Arndts, StruebingAchaearanea tepidariorum tarsus 4 hairs (c) ZFMK spider course 2004

26.b. Females without row of strong bristles on tarsus IV, male palp different. Chelicerae mostly with two clearly visible rows of teeth ... 27

27.a. Gnathocoxae at least 1.5 x longer than wide. Chelicerae often long and diverging. Paracymbium of male palp almost always very long or large. Orb webs with open hub ... Tetragnathidae
Tetragnatha montana - habitus (c) FunkeTetragnatha montana - palpal endites (c) FunkeTetragnatha montana - frontal view (c) Funke

27.b. Gnathocoxae less than 1.5 x longer than wide ...  28

28.a. Height of clypeus less than 2 diameters of anterior median eyes; chelicerae without stridulatory ridges. Chelicerae mostly with lateral proximal hump (arrow). Proximal paracymbium of male palp almost always relatively small and glossy (cf Tetragnathidae). Orb webs with closed hub. Often big and strong spiders; mostly with relatively short, strongly spined legs) ... Araneidae
Argiope bruennichi - female (c) B. HuberArgiope bruennichi - hump (c) FunkeAraneus diadematus - clypeus (c) Struebing, Arndts

28.b. Clypeus normally higher than 2 diameters of anterior median eyes; if less high (Tapinopa, Poeciloneta), then chelicerae with lateral stridulatory ridges. Chelicerae without lateral humps. Sheet-web spiders ... Linyphiidae
Drapetisca socialis - habitus (c) ConsulDrapetisca socialis - chelicerae (c) Hita GarciaMacrargus rufus - frontal view (c) Hita GarciaMacrargus rufus - stridulatory ridges (c) Hita Garcia

29.a. Tarsus I with 3 dorsal trichobothria ... 30

29.b. Tarsus I with at least 4 dorsal trichobothria ... 31

30.a. Anterior spinnerets separated by twice their diameter. Males with very long embolus, enclosing largely the patella; female with long, irregular insemination ducts, visible through epigynum. Myrmecophiles, extremely rare ... Dictynidae: Mastigusa

30.b. Anterior spinnerets separated by their diameter. Embolus and insemination ducts shorter ... Hahniidae: Cryphoeca
Cryphoeca lichenum - habitus (c) DickeCryphoeca lichenum - genital bulb (c) Dicke
31.a. Anterior spinnerets separated by at least their diameter. Posterior spinnerets slightly longer than anterior - distinction to Textrix, Agelenidae, where the anterior spinnerets are separated by about their diameter, but the posterior spinnerets are approx. twice as long as the anterior ones ... Dictynidae: Cicurina
Cicurina cicur - habitus (c) Arndts, StruebingCicurina cicur - spinnerets (c) Arndts, Struebing

31.b. Anterior spinnerets separated by less than their diameter ... 32

32.a. Posterior spinnerets clearly (about 2x) longer than anterior ones ... 33
Coelotes terrestris - spinnerets (c) GebertAgelena gracilens - spinnerets (c) Schwarzer

32.b. Posterior spinnerets about as long as or shorter than anterior ones ... 34
Argyroneta aquatica - spinnerets (c) Hita GarciaGnaphosa sp. - opisthosoma (c) Baum, Blondiau

33.a. Head region large and rounded off laterally, thorax region  <1,5 x as large as head region, leg I roughly as long as body. Male palp with apophysis on tibia and patella ... Amaurobiidae: Coelotes
Coelotes terrestris habitus (c) KnieriemCoelotes terrestris - palp (c)  Gebert

33.b. Head region smaller, laterally almost rectangularly outlined, thorax region  >1,5 x as large as head region, leg I clearly longer than body. Male palps mostly without apophysis on patella (exception: Agelena) ... Agelenidae
Agelena gracilens - habitus (c) SchwarzerTegenaria atrica - head region (c) Schwarzer

34.a. Cribellate spiders, chelicerae at the base knee-like projecting (viewed from above). Labium at  base clearly narrowed, calamistrum with two rows, male chelicerae without short lateral spines. Habitus as in photo ... Amaurobiidae part (excl. Coelotes)
Amaurobius ferox - habitus (c) GebertAmaurobius sp. - labium (c) Gebert
Callobius claustrarius - calamistrum (c) Theine

34.b. Ecribellate spiders, chelicerae not knee-like projecting (viewed from above) ... Cybaeidae
Argyroneta aquatica - frontal view (c) Hita Garcia

35.a. Tracheal stigma in the middle between epigastric fold and spinnerets, dorsal pattern as in photo ... Anyphaenidae
Anyphaena accentuata habitus female (c) AretzAnyphaena accentuata - opisthosoma ventral (c) Ziewer

35.b. Tracheal stigma right in front of spinnerets ... 36

36.a. Basal segments of spinnerets cylindrical and mostly long (photo). Posterior median eyes often oval (photo), kidney shaped or angular. In the genus Micaria the posterior median eyes are oval, but the spinnerets are mostly short; therefore they appear atypical. The identification marks are here the white or metallic scaly hairs on body and legs, the ant-like habitus and a saddle-shaped constriction of the opisthosoma which is mostly present ... Gnaphosidae
Gnaphosa sp. - habitus (c) Baum, BlondiauGnaphosa sp. - opisthosoma (c) Baum, BlondiauGnaphosa sp. - eyes (c) Baum, Blondiau

36.b. Basal segments of spinnerets rather conical ...  37

37.a. Labium larger than long or about as long as large. Width of eye field  <½ maximum width of prosoma ... Liocranidae (incl. Corinnidae)
Agroeca brunnea - habitus (c) GebertAgroeca brunnea - labium (c) GebertAgroeca brunnea - prosoma (c) Gebert

37.b. Labium clearly longer than large. Width of eye field about half the width of the prosoma, but mostly clearly >½ maximum width of prosoma (photo) ... Clubionidae (incl. Miturgidae)
Clubiona lutescens - habitus male (c) Linke/BorggrefeClubiona reclusa - head (c) Baum , Blondiau

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