The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Running Foliage Spiders.

Morphology. The adult spiders 2.5–6 mm long; of medium build; decidedly short-legged, or with legs of medium length (but then generally less than twice the body length); not crab-like in stance and locomotion; with eight eyes. The eyes in two horizontal rows of 4; all clear and glassy. The palpal organs of the male of complex structure and enclosed by the specialized, hollowed tarsal segment (the cymbium). Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Tarsal claws 2. The tarsi without claw tufts. The abdomen conspicuously patterned dorsally. The spinnerets all unsegmented, or with one pair of spinnerets 2-segmented. The abdomen of the females without a cribellum.

The adults not making snare-webs; actively pursuing their prey (fast ground runners, mainly nocturnal, feeding on other invertebrates).

British representation. 11 species in Britain; in the genera Agroeca, Apostenus, Liocranum, and Scotina.

Comments. The anterior spinners close together, hiding the medians; and the eye group less than half as wide as the maximum width of the carapace, by contrast with most Clubionidae.

Illustrations. • Scotina celans and S. gracilipes. • Agroeca brunnea. • Liocranum rupicola.

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.’.