The families of British spiders
Morphology. The adult spiders 5–8 mm long; slender-bodied, or of medium build; decidedly short-legged, or with legs of medium length (but less than twice the body length); with eight eyes. The eyes in a distinctive hexagonal pattern (characteristic of the genus, see illustration). The palpal organs of the male of complex structure and enclosed by the specialized, hollowed tarsal segment (the cymbium). The trochanters of only the IVth legs notched. Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Tarsal claws 3. Tarsus IV without a ventral comb. The abdomen conspicuously patterned dorsally. The abdomen of the females without a cribellum. The reproductive openings of the females associated with an epigyne.
The adults not making snare-webs; actively pursuing their prey (hunting in heather).
British representation. 1 species in Britain; in the genus Oxyopes (O. heterophthalmus). Confined to southern England.
Comments. Readily recognised by the combination of very long-spined legs, tapering abdomen, and the presence on the carapace and abdomen of scales as well as hairs.
Illustrations. • Oxyopes heterophthalmus.
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. http://delta-intkey.com’.