The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Six-eyed Spiders.

Morphology. The adult spiders 6–22 mm long; of medium build; decidedly short-legged, or with legs of medium length (less than twice the body length); with six eyes. The eyes arranged as a pair of separate medians and two pairs of smaller laterals. 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 3. The abdomen conspicuously patterned dorsally. The tracheal spiracles behind the epigastric fold. The abdomen of the females without a cribellum. The reproductive openings of the females without an epigyne.

The adults constructing a terrestrial retreat in the form of a silk tube (this occupying a hole in a wall, in bark or under stones, and having up to twelve threads radiating from its lip); not making snare-webs (in the normal sense); lying in wait for their prey (the radiating threads serve as trip-wires for passing insects, to alert the spider lurking within its retreat).

British representation. 3 species in Britain; in the genus Segestria.

Illustrations. • Segestria florentina. • Segestria senoculata. • Segestria senoculata.

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.’.