Family Gnaphosidae

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1

Body ant-shaped, the usually slender and dark opisthosoma often bears a saddle-shaped constriction and white spots or transverse white bands, male opisthosomal scutum absent, legs and pedipalps slender, opisthosoma with iridescent / metallic scale-shaped hairs, shining in sunlight, male pedipalp simple

Micaria

speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH), ventral view
(Platnick & Shadab 1988)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Braendegaard 1966)
-

Different. Body in some taxa ant-shaped, opisthosoma may be similar but iridescent / metallic scale-shaped hairs absent, male opisthosomal scutum absent or present, legs slender or stout

  2  

2
(1)

Metatarsus III and (often less distinct) IV ventrally-apically with a transverse row of numerous stiff, straight and fairly slender hairs or bristles (“preening comb”)

  3  

-

Metatarsus III and IV without such a “preening comb”

  13  

3
(2)

Metatarsus III and (often less distinct) IV ventrally-apically with “preening comb”, male opisthosoma usually with dorsal scutum in the basal half

  5  

-

Metatarsus III and IV also ventrally-distally with “preening comb” or a distinct brush of hairs, embolus long to very long, male opisthosoma with dorsal scutum, vulva ducts long and coiled.

  4  

4
(3)

Almost circular eye position, body length 1.9 mm, dorsoventrally strikingly flat, pale colouration

Cryptodrassus

speciesimage
Eyes, dorsal view
(Ledoux & Snazell unpubl.)
speciesimage
Habitus
(Ledoux & Snazell unpubl.)
-

No circular eye position

Synaphosus

speciesimage
Ocular area
(Murphy 2007)
5
(3)

Chelicerae anteriorly with a conspicuous cluster of stiff (partly spine-shaped) bristles

Trachyzelotes

-

No cluster of such bristles

  6  

6
(5)

Embolus usually strongly coiled several times (rarely only 1.5 loops) in distal position of the bulbus and in almost a single level, epigyne/vulva as figure, body colouration most often uniformely yellow or light brown, rarely bicoloured

Setaphis

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
male Opisthosoma
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Habitus
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
Ocular area
(Murphy 2007)
-

Different

  7  

7
(6)

Posterior eye row distinctly procurved, large and almost touching posterior median eyes, embolus stout, epigyne with median plate

Camillina

-

Posterior eye row straight or almost so, posterior median eyes variable (determination of females may be difficult)

  8  

8
(7)

Posterior median eyes large and almost contiguous, male opisthosoma ventrally with numerous spine-shaped bristles, at least in the middle behind the epigastral furrow, male pedipalpal tibia in some species with a brush of hairs, terminal apophysis large and bifid, epigyne in some species with T-shaped median structure

Drassyllus

-

Posterior median eyes variable, male opisthosoma without such bristles, genital structures different

  9  

9
(8)

Posterior median eyes large, male pedipalpus with a relatively long embolus with clockwise position in the left pedipalpus, large conductor protruding ventrally and widely sticking out in the middle of the embolus, sometimes with retrolateral patellar apophysis, epigyne wider than long

Berinda

-

Posterior median eyes large or small, male pedipalpus different

  10  

10
(9)

Small spiders of 2-3 mm, male pedipalpus at patella and tibia retrolaterally with a field of dense hairs, tibial apophysis short and bent dorsally or with membranous lobe, median apophysis reduced or absent, vulva with a pair of receptacula-shaped “sacs”

  11  

-

Body size usually larger, male pedipalpus at patella and tibia retrolaterally without  a field of dense hairs (dorsal tibial hairs exist in the Zelotes erebeus species group, tibial apophysis may be similar, median apophysis not reduced)

  12  

11
(10)

Body length 2-3 mm, male pedipalpus at patella and tibia retrolaterally with a field of dense hairs, tibial apophysis short and bent dorsally, median apophysis reduced or absent, vulva with a pair of receptacula-shaped “sacs”, body colour yellow-brown to middle brown

Zelominor

speciesimage
male Pedipalp
(Snazell & Murphy 1997)
speciesimage
Prosoma, frontal view
(Snazell & Murphy 1997)
speciesimage
Spinnerets, ventral view
(Snazell & Murphy 1997)
-

Body length 3 mm, male pedipalpus at patella and tibia retrolaterally with stiff hairs, tibial apophysis with membranous lobe, median apophysis absent, female unknown, body colour yellowish grey, opisthosoma with light brown scutum

Turkozelotes

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, retrolateral view
(Kovblyuk et al. 2009)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Kovblyuk et al. 2009)
12
(10)

Bulbus prolaterally without additional intercalary sclerites, pedipalpal tibia proventrally apically with a distinct bulge stronger developed than in Zelotes, epigyne with a long groove and anteriorly with a single (never paired) helm-shaped pocket, receptacula seminis clearly spaced

Urozelotes

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Platnick & Murphy 1984)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH)
(Platnick & Murphy 1984)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Roberts 1995)
-

Bulbus prolaterally with an additional intercalary sclerite and pedipalpal tibia proventrally apically without a distinct bulge, epigyne anteriorly most often with a pair of sclerotized sickle-shaped pockets, in some species with a single helm-shaped pocket

Zelotes

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Murphy & Platnick 1986)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Roberts 1995)
speciesimage
Ocular area
(Roth 1985)
13
(2)

Male pedipalpus with a strongly elongated median apophysis, epigyne as in figures

  14  

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Esyunin & Tuneva 2002)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Esyunin & Tuneva 2002)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Murphy 2007)
-

Different

  15  

14
(13)

Male pedipalpus with a very long  tibial apophysis, epigyne as in figure, prosoma yellow-brown, chelicerae brown, legs and pedipalps yellow

Sidydrassus

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Esyunin & Tuneva 2002)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp, prolateral view
(Esyunin & Tuneva 2002)
speciesimage
male Eyes, dorsal view
(Esyunin & Tuneva 2002)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Esyunin & Tuneva 2002)
-

Male pedipalpus with a short tibial apophysis, epigyne as in figure, epigyne anteriorly with a helm-shaped structure as in figure

Talanites

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, retrolateral view
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
Ocular area
(Murphy 2007)
15
(13)

Male pedipalpus with conductor in distal position, long and transparent, embolus almost spirally in a distal, oblique and almost vertical position, epigyne without helm-shaped structure

Anagraphis

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
male Opisthosoma
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Habitus
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
Ocular area
(Murphy 2007)
-

Different

  16  

16
(15)

Trochanters (most distinctly III-IV) deeply and not widely notched, male pedipalpus with undivided or (rarely) absent tibial apophysis, bulbal structures rather simple and quite uniformely, epigyne and vulva very uniformely, with a large pit and two pairs of distinct receptacula seminis

Drassodes

speciesimage
female Habitus
(Locket & Millidge 1951)
speciesimage
Ocular area and spinnerets
(Roberts 1995)
-

Trochanters not or only slightly and wider notched, other characters different

  17  

17
(16)

Male pedipalpus with divided tibial apophysis, embolus spirally in a distal and partly almost vertical position, epigyne / vulva longer than wide, very uniformely, with a pair of large pits and strongly coiled ducts

Drassodex

-

Different

  18  

18
(17)

Fovea completely absent (a thin black stripe may exist), small and pale spiders of 1.5 – 3 mm with very large anterior or posterior median eyes on a common dark base

  19  

-

Fovea completely present, eyes variable

  21  

19
(18)

Cheliceral retromargin with two wider and more or less rectangular teeth, male pedipalpus with a long embolus originating basally on the bulbus, epigyne with a large scape

Leptodrassus

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Di Franco 1987)
speciesimage
male Chelicera
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Murphy 2007)
-

Cheliceral retromargin with 2-3 pointed teeth

  20  

20
(19)

Cheliceral retromargin with ?2-3 pointed teeth, embolus short, epigyne anteriorly with large hood

Leptopilos

-

Cheliceral retromargin with two (rarely 3) pointed teeth, male pedipalpus with a long embolus originating basally on the bulbus and a small tegular outgrowth, epigyne without scape or hood, a large groove may exist

Leptodrassex

speciesimage
male Pedipalp
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
male Chelicera
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Murphy 2007)
21
(18)

Cheliceral retromargin with a large/long rounded lobe and 1-2 small lobes, the small posterior median eye lenses in transverse position and slit-like reduced, gnathocoxae strongly converging, opisthosoma black with light spots or transverse marking, male opisthosoma with scutum, tibia of the male pedipalpus without apophysis, spiders are ant-shaped and feed on ants

Callilepis

speciesimage
Ocular area
(Roberts 1995)
-

Different

  22  

22
(21)

Cheliceral retromargin with a wide serrated keel, gnathocoxae strongly converging above the labium, scutum of the male opisthosoma usually absent (some Pterotricha species have a short anterior scutum)

  23  

-

Cheliceral retromargin different, usually with 0-3 (rarely more) pointed teeth, gnathocoxae not strongly converging, more straight, frequently long, scutum of the male opisthosoma absent or present

  27  

23
(22)

Posterior eye row much wider than the anterior row, with the posterior median eyes much less spaced from each other than the lateral eyes, embolus long, in longitudinal prolateral position, epigyne with a scape, opisthosoma unicoloured

Gnaphosa

speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH)
(Ovtsharenko et al. 1992)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Braendegaard 1966)
speciesimage
Ocular area
(Roberts 1995)
-

Posterior eye row not much wider than the anterior row, and/or posterior lateral eyes closer to the median eyes, embolus different, epigynal scape absent, opisthosomal markings not rare

  24  

24
(23)

Tarsi ventrally with two rows of spine-shaped bristles instead of scopula, patella IV with lateral bristles, extended anterior spinnerets with 6-9 large spigots in a circle but pointed in two groups when retracted, tibia of the male pedipalpus with a ventral rim, outsticking and sclerotized,  but no true apophysis in this position, epigyne longer than wide with a large anterior depression or pit which may be divided

Pterotricha

-

Different

  25  

25
(24)

Patella IV with 0-1 retrolateral bristle

  26  

-

Patella IV with several retrolateral bristles

Minosia

26
(25)

Patella IV with one retrolateral bristle, tibia of the male pedipalpus with a single retrolateral apophysis, ventrally sticking out without sclerotization, cymbium dorsally scopulate in the distal half, epigyne with central depression

Berlandina

speciesimage
male Pedipalp
(Starega 1972)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Starega 1972)
-

Patella IV without (rarely a single)  retrolateral bristle, tibia of the male pedipalpus with a retrolateral apophysis, in addition with an unsclerotized retroventral apophysis, epigyne with a large groove which may be divided

Nomisia

speciesimage
male Pedipalp
(Dalmas 1921)
speciesimage
female Epigyne, ventral view
(Levy 1995)
27
(22)

Opisthosoma usually bicoloured  dorsally with black and white pattern (hairs may be rubbed off), male opisthosoma with a large dorsal scutum, sclerotized and sickle-shaped median apophysis absent

  28  

-

Opisthosoma unicoloured, rarely with posterior dark markings, male opisthosoma with or without a dorsal scutum, sclerotized median apophysis frequently present

  32  

28
(27)

Fovea quite indistinct, cheliceral retromargin with two small teeth, pedipalpal femur ventrally bulging, bulbus simple and slender

Aphantaulax

speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Jézéquel 1965)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Miller 1971)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Jézéquel 1965)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Jézéquel 1965)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Roberts 1995)
speciesimage
Opisthosoma
(Roberts 1995)
-

Fovea distinct, cheliceral retromargin with 0-1 tooth

  29  

29
(28)

Posterior median eyes large and spaced usually by less than their diameter, cheliceral retromargin with small lobe, male pedipalpus with a widened tibial apophysis, epigyne / vulva with large and kidney-shaped receptacula, spiders show an ant-like locomotion

Phaeocedus

speciesimage
male Pedipalp
(Roberts 1995)
speciesimage
male Chelicera, ventral view
(Wunderlich 2015b)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Braendegaard 1966)
speciesimage
Opisthosoma, dorsal view
(Braendegaard 1966)
-

Posterior median eyes smaller and spaced usually by more than their diameter, cheliceral retromargin smooth or with one tooth, genital structures different or similar

  30  

30
(29)

Cheliceral retromargin smooth

Poecilochroa

speciesimage
Opisthosoma
(Roberts 1995)
-

Cheliceral retromargin with a single tiny tooth

  31  

31
(30)

Opisthosoma dorsally dark with light spots, male pedipalpal femur with a ventral-basal outgrowth, epigyne as in figure with two pairs of receptacula seminis

Kishidaia

speciesimage
male Pedipalp
(Noordam 1992)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Roberts 1995)
-

Opisthosoma and prosoma dorsally with distinct longitudinal light and dark bands, male pedipalpal femoral outgrowth absent, vulva with a single pair of receptacula seminis

Cesonia

speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Chatzaki et al. 2002b)
32
(27)

Tibia IV with or without dorsal bristles, male opisthosoma with scutum as in figure (females may be difficult to identify, therefore all alternatives should be considered)

  33  

-

Tibia IV without dorsal bristles, male opisthosomal scutum absent

  36  

33
(32)

Tibia IV with 2 dorsal bristles, cheliceral retromargin with two teeth, posterior eye row approximately straight, male pedipalpus with a short and divided tibial apophysis, epigyne with a long scape

Sosticus

speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH), ventral view
(Platnick & Shadab 1976c)
speciesimage
female Epigyne (courtesy of the AMNH), ventral view
(Platnick & Shadab 1976c)
-

Tibia IV with 0-1 dorsal bristles, cheliceral retromargin frequently with a single tooth, male pedipalpal tibial apophysis undivided, epigyne without scape

  34  

34
(33)

Retrolateral bristle at patella IV absent, posterior eye row straight or slightly procurved, eyes usually fairly large, cheliceral retromargin usually toothless (rarely with a single denticle)

Macarophaeus

-

Retrolateral bristle at patella IV present, median apophysis present, cheliceral retromargin with denticles

  35  

35
(34)

Posterior eye row strongly procurved with large eyes

Echemus

speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH), ventral view
(Platnick & Shadab 1976a)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Murphy 2007)
speciesimage
Ocular area
(Murphy 2007)
-

Posterior eye row slightly procurved with fairly small eyes, widely spaced

Scotophaeus

speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH), ventral view
(Platnick & Shadab 1977)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp, ventral view
(Noordam 1992)
speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH), ventral view
(Platnick & Shadab 1977)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Braendegaard 1966)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Roberts 1995)
speciesimage
Ocular area
(Roberts 1995)
speciesimage
Spinnerets
(Roberts 1995)
36
(32)

Tibia I-II usually with two pairs of ventral bristles, labium as long as wide, male pedipalpus with a pointed tibial apophysis, epigyne anteriorly with a helm-shaped structure

Parasyrisca

speciesimage
male Pedipalp (courtesy of the AMNH)
(Ovtsharenko et al. 1995)
speciesimage
female Epigyne (courtesy of the AMNH)
(Ovtsharenko et al. 1995)
-

Tibia I-II ventrally without bristles, labium longer than wide, male pedipalpus with a tibial apophysis usually widened distally and /or bearing a keel, epigyne anteriorly usually with several folds right across or (rarely) with a single sclerotized rim

Haplodrassus

speciesimage
male Pedipalp
(Roberts 1995)
speciesimage
female Epigyne
(Roberts 1995)
-

 

 

 

 

Pseudodrassus is not included into this key. Murphy (2007) writes about the only record for Europe (Pseudodrassus ricasolii): “Described from a juvenile by Caporiacco (1935). Description in the literature of congeners are inconsistent.” Thus, this species may be difficult to trace to its identity. This is also the reason why this genus cannot be included into the family key.

Pseudodrassus

With kind permission of the author, this key has been modified from Wunderlich J (2011) Taxonomy of extant and fossil (Eocene) European Gnaphosidae. Beitr Araneol 6: 19-97 (Publishing House Joerg Wunderlich)
Further genera

1Arboricaria
2Chatzakia
3Civizelotes
4Heser
5Sernokorba
6Shaitan