The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Ant-eating Spider.

Morphology. The adult spiders 2–3 mm long; of medium build, or decidedly plump-bodied; with legs of medium length; with eight eyes. The eyes comprising a pair of large, circular anterior medians and three smaller laterals in a curved-longitudinal row on either side. Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Tarsal claws 3. Tarsus IV without a ventral ‘comb’. The abdomen plain dorsally (dark brown above, but contrastingly pale yellow below). The abdomen of the females without a cribellum.

The adults not making snare-webs; actively pursuing their prey (found among black ants, Lasius niger, on which they exclusively feed).

British representation. 1 species in Britain; in the genus Zodarion (Z. italicum). Confined to southern England.

Comments. Exhibiting only one pair of clearly visible spinnerets, the others being very reduced.

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.’.