Family Lycosidae Sundevall, 1833

In case you find an error or have a specific suggestion, please follow this link: click
1

Prosoma in lateral view with gradually descending thoracic region; cheliceral retromargin with 3 teeth; large to very large spiders (15-35 mm). Burrowing groups (in deep burrows)

  2  

-

Prosoma in lateral view with clear steeper region behind fovea; cheliceral retromargin with 2 or 3 teeth; small to medium spiders (< 20 mm). Non-burrowing groups (ground-dwellers or in shallow silky retreats)

  5  

2
(1)

Second row of eyes distinctly wider than anterior row; anterior row of eyes recurved; tarsi I + II with scopulae (Sc) and spinules (Sp)

  3  

-

Second row of eyes about equal to anterior row; anterior row of eyes straight; tarsi I + II with dense scopulae (Sc) only (no spinules)

  4  

3
(2)

Median apophysis (MA) of palpus hook-shaped; embolus-shaped synembolus (Sb) present; septal pedicel (SP) of epigyne present and distinct, with proximal elevation (PE)

Lycosa

-

Median apophysis (MA) wide and bulging; synembolus absent; septal pedicel absent. Monotypic genus known from Andalucia (Spain) only

Donacosa

4
(2)

AME diameter/clypeus height ratio 1.3-1.6; median apophysis (MA) of palpus with a distal prominence (arrowed); median septum (MS) of epigyne anchor-shaped, with short septal pedicel (SP)

 

Allohogna -> under Lycosa


-

AME diameter/clypeus height ratio 0.7; median apophysis of palpus with a proximal-ventral sharpened tooth (arrowed); septal pedicel (SP) of epigyne long, fused with epigynal atrium in its proximal half

Geolycosa

5
(1)

Opisthosoma without cardiac mark; palpus with deep apical hollow of tegulum in which embolus is situated (arrowed); epigynal atrium (A) shallow and paired, contrasting in colour (whitish) to the entire epigynal plate

  6  

-

Opisthosoma with cardiac mark (sometimes indistinct); palpus without deep apical hollow of tegulum; epigynal atrium (if present) is of the same colour as the entire epigynal plate

  7  

6
(5)

Metatarsus I with 3-4 pairs of ventral spines (apart from apical); tibia I with 4-6 pairs of long ventral spines (apart from apical); tarsus of all legs with pseudo-articulation (arrowed, not in all species); prosoma with transverse depression behind ocular area; body length 5.5-11 mm

Evippa

-

Metatarsus I with 2 pairs of ventral spines (apart from apical); tibia I with 3 or fewer pairs of long ventral spines (apart from apical); tarsus without pseudo-articulation; prosoma without transverse depression; body length 5-7 mm

Xerolycosa

7
(5)

Palpal patellae white in both sexes; prosoma anteriorly narrow, as wide as the eye region; body length ≤ 4 mm

Aulonia

-

Palpal patellae not white; prosoma anteriorly clearly wider than the eye region; body length > 4 mm

  8  

8
(7)

Prosoma without bright midline band

  9  

-

Prosoma with bright midline band, distinctly marked off from dark sides, if indistinct then V-shaped pattern present

  10  

9
(8)

Legs clearly spotted or annulated; copulatory organs as illustrated; body length < 15 mm

Arctosa

-

Legs not spotted or annulated; copulatory organs as illustrated; body length 15-18 mm. The type species is endemic to the French and Italian Alps (1800-2700 m a.s.l.)

Vesubia

10
(8)

Tibia I + II with 4-7 pairs of ventral spines; legs conspicuously long; dark body coloration with no or poorly marked pattern

  11  

-

Tibia I + II with 3 or fewer pairs of ventral spines, if 4 or more pairs present then body with clear; bright body colour pattern

  12  

11
(10)

Tibia I with 4-7 pairs of ventral spines; palpal palea with two processes (PP); embolus thick, usually with basal tooth (ET); singular apical epigynal pocket (EP) visibly narrower than median septum; long insemination ducts; body length 6.5-11 mm

Acantholycosa

-

Tibia I with 6-7 pairs of ventral spines; palpal palea with poorly developed processes (PP) looking like bulges; embolus thin (E); paired apical epigynal pockets (EP) visibly wider than median septum; short insemination ducts; body length 7-10 mm

Pyrenecosa

12
(10)

Midline band of prosoma with dark markings (sometimes indistinct)

  13  

-

Midline band of prosoma without dark markings

  15  

13
(12)

Cephalic region with 2 dark parallel bars medially; AME > ALE; leg I in males often darkened; body length 7-18 mm

Trochosa

-

Cephalic region with forked dark marking; AME ≥ ALE; leg I in males never darkened; body length 2.5-9 mm. Most species inhabit marshy areas

  14  

14
(13)

AME > ALE; prosoma length > 3 mm; median apophysis (MA) of palpus small, situated at the distal end of tegulum; median apophysis without teeth; subtegulum (St) > ½ tegulum length; prolateral spine on tibia I in females absent

Pirata

-

AME ± equal ALE; prosoma length < 3mm; median apophysis (MA) of palpus large (C-shaped), occupying almost a third of the genital bulb; median apophysis with 1-2 teeth; subtegulum (St) < ½ tegulum height; prolateral spine on tibia I in females present

Piratula

15
(12)

Tegulum of palpus with processes

  16  

-

Tegulum of palpus without processes

  17  

16
(15)

Tegulum with two prolateral processes (PTP); sternum in both sexes without spines; epigyne with median septum (MS) tapering backwards; epigyne with two separated fovea (F) in anterior position; body length 6-7 mm

Wadicosa

-

Tegulum with two median processes (MTP); sternum in males with numerous spines; epigyne with median septum (MS) widening backwards; epigyne without atrium or separated fovea; body length 5.5-8.2 mm. Monotypic genus known from south-eastern areas of European Russia (Astrakhan region)

Bogdocosa

17
(15)

Median apophysis (MA) of palpus massive, occupying a half or more of the length of genital bulb; embolus hair-like (E); median septum of epigyne small, triangular and depressed (one species in Europe, see comment under T. brunhesi)

Trebacosa

-

Median apophysis of palpus clearly less than a half of the length of genital bulb; embolus different; median septum of epigyne larger and not depressed

  18  

18
(17)

Palea of palpus with strong prolateral process (PP); paired apical pockets of epigyne; deep paired epigynal atrium (A); narrow, anchor-shaped median septum (MS); tibia I + II with 2 pairs of ventral spines (apart from apical); body length 5.7-8 mm

Caspicosa

-

Copulatory organs different

  19  

19
(18)

AME < ALE; sternum with six dark spots; prosoma with bright median band and two bright lateral bands; body length ≤ 5 mm

Hygrolycosa

-

AME ≥ ALE; sternum without six dark spots; prosoma different

  20  

20
(19)

Prosoma square-fronted; PME diameter /AME diameter ratio ≥ 3.6; cymbium of palpus with two parallel apical rows of flattened setae (arrowed); copulatory organs as illustrated; body length 3-8 mm

Trabea

-

Prosoma different; PME diameter/AME diameter ratio ≤ 2.8; copulatory organs different

  21  

21
(20)

Sides of head vertical; AME diameter /clypeus height ratio ≤ 0.7; small to medium slender species; body length 4-10 mm

Pardosa

-

Sides of head moderately sloping; AME diameter/clypeus height ratio ≥ 0.7; medium to large species

  22  

22
(21)

Cheliceral retromargin with 3 teeth

  23  

-

Cheliceral retromargin with 2 teeth

  24  

23
(22)

Opisthosoma globular; posterior spinnerets visibly elongated (arrowed); palea of palpus with two sickle-shaped processes (arrowed); epigyne with very narrow median septum (MS) and short septal pedicel (SP); body length 12-18 mm

Ocyale

-

Opisthosoma elongated; posterior spinnerets not elongated; palea of palpus with one sickle-shaped process (Sb, arrowed); septal pedicel (SP) of epigyne long; body length 9-25 mm

Hogna

24
(22)

Synembolus (Sb) of palpus reduced to a pointed prominence; median apophysis (MA) oriented transversely, with a pointed tooth at its tip; median septum of epigyne usually anchor- or pear-shaped; opisthosoma usually with cardiac mark

Alopecosa

-

Synembolus (Sb) well-developed; conformation of copulatory organs different

  25  

25
(24)

Length of massive median apophysis (MA) of palpus exceeds tegular width; epigyne length 2.5 times longer that its width; septal pedicel (SP) fused with epigynal atrium in its proximal half; body length 10-11 mm. Monotypic genus known from the Crimea only

Deliriosa

-

Conformation of copulatory organs different; body length 9-12 mm

Mustelicosa

This key has kindly been provided by Dmitri Logunov.


The following genera, mentioned for Europe, have not been included into this key:


  1. Allocosa includes small to medium sized wolf spiders occurring in warm temperate and tropical zones of the Western Hemisphere (Dondale & Redner 1990), therefore the presence of Allocosa species in Europe is quite doubtful. The European “Allocosa” species that are better known (e.g.,A. fasciiventris) have already been assigned to Lycosa (see Planas et al. 2013).
  2. Megarctosa seems to be a junior synonym of Lycosa (Wunderlich 1984: 23). The only European species (M. naccai Caporiacco, 1948) is the type species of Megarctosa that remains known from the female holotype and from the type locality (Greece) only; the taxonomic status of M. naccai and its validity requires a special study in the future.
  3. Schizocosa is the genus containing 21 valid species and being restricted to North America only (Dondale & Redner 1990). The only European species, S. krynickii (Thorell, 1875), has been transferred to Alopecosa (see Logunov 2013, for a discussion). Therefore, the genus Schizocosa is excluded from the European spider fauna.
  4. Trochosula = Hogna (see Platnick 2014).

Further genera