The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Implicit attributes

Unless indicated otherwise, the following attributes are implicit throughout the descriptions, except where the characters concerned are inapplicable.


Morphology. The adult spiders not crab-like in stance and locomotion. The caput not conspicuously ornamented with lobes, turrets or globular swellings. The chelicerae articulated to move horizontally inwards and outwards or obliquely; free at the base. The male palps without a paracymbium. The female palps without a claw. The first two pairs of legs not laterigrade, the stance and locomotion not crab-like; without the spines characteristic of Mimetidae. The abdomen smoothly rounded; not marked as in Anyphaenidae; without any red coloration. The spinnerets all unsegmented.

The adults constructing neither a terrestrial silken retreat nor an underwater diving-bell. The females not carrying egg sacs.

British representation. Widespread.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. The families of British spiders. Version: 4th January 2012.’.