The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Six-eyed Spiders.

Morphology. The adult spiders 1.2–2 mm long; of medium build; decidedly short-legged, or with legs of medium length (but less than twice the body length); with six eyes. The eyes all large, closely aggregated anteriorly on the cephalothorax, with the median pair oval and contiguous, flanked by a pair on either side. The palpal organs of the male comprising an exposed bulb attached to the little-modified tarsal segment (no cymbium). Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Tarsal claws 2. The tarsi without claw tufts. The abdomen and cephalothorax plain dorsally (uniformly pale yellow to pinkish in colour); exhibiting red or pink colour, but neither predominantly bright red and black nor predominantly bright red and yellow, or without any red coloration; exhibiting a pair of large tracheal spiracles behind the book lungs. The abdomen of the females without a cribellum. The reproductive openings of the females without an epigyne.

The adults not making snare-webs; actively pursuing their prey (nocturnal hunters and scavengers in diverse habitats, including birds’ nests and webs of other spiders).

British representation. 2 species in Britain; in the genus Oonops.

Illustrations. • Oonops pulcher.

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.’.