Spider identification location chart

With 41253 (30 April 2010) identified spiders and with probably more this amount of unidentified ones it is almost impossible to identify a spider from a picture.

The genitals of the male and female spider are used for professional identification. When a species is officially recorded the male and female are intensively described and the genitals are drawn. Often the eye-setting is also key feature to identify a spider. The last decade photography of the spider parts replaces drawings. An advantage of drawing still is it can emphasise details that are lost in photographs.

The specimens are stored for further investigations when doubt arises about the name of the species. The officially described species are recorded in a database known as "The World Spider Catalog" of Norman Platnick. It was a hell of a task to reduce 200 years of multiple naming of one species to a single unique name.

Name giving is volatile because identification is done by subjective features of the spider. Assigning it to a family and genus is often discussable. DNA-sequencing can show more precisely in which genus and family a species belongs but is also subject to error.

  Drawings and pedipalp below from Systematics of the New Australasian Orb-weaving Spider Genus Backobourkia, Volker W. Framenau et al.

For amateurs it is not always essential to find the exact name a of spider. Placing a spider into a family is often more than enough.
The family name often describes the behaviour of a spider well enough. Almost all wolf spider runs in packs before you feet away. That is why they were name wolf spider. It was long believed they hunted in packs like wolfs.
A jumping spider jumps and belongs to a very large family with 5245 species world wide.

The table, the drawings of spiders and webs below will make it easier to identify a spider.
Together with the thumbnail page you can find the family or your spider in an easy way.

Click around. Succes. ß Back Left pedipalp of Backobourkia heroine

 

 

Inside and outside buildings

On or close to the ground

Under stones, logs, litter, et cetera

Low or medium foliage

Tall shrubs and trees, under bark

Rock, walls, caves, banks

Close to water
or in water

No web, no retreat

 

Hunters

Scytodidae

Pisauridae

Clubionidae

Anyphaenidae

Clubionidae

Dysderidae

Pisauridae

Salticidae

Dysderidae

Clubionidae

Gnaphosidae

Mimetidae

Zoridae

Gnaphosidae

Mimetidae

Liocranidae

Salticidae

Liocranidae

Oxyopidae

Salticidae

Segestriidae

Oonopidae

Pisauridae

Zodariidae

Zodariidae

Salticidae

No web, no retreat

Ambushers, fishers

Philodromidae

Philodromidae

Pisauridae

Thomisidae

Thomisidae

Web

Orb

Uloboridae

Araneidae

Araneidae

Araneidae

Araneidae

Uloboridae

Tetragnathidae

Metidae

Metidae

     

Uloboridae

Uloboridae

Tetragnathidae

Web

Tangle

Pholcidae

Linyphiidae

Linyphiidae

Pholcidae

          Nesticidae  

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

Web

Sheet

Agelenidae

Hahniidae

Linyphiidae

Linyphiidae

Linyphiidae

Linyphiidae

Burrow or tubular retreat

 

Agelenidae

Agelenidae

Atypidae

Dictynidae

Amaurobiidae

Agelenidae

Amaurobiidae

Lycosidae

Dysderidae

Argyronetidae

Eresidae

 

Agelenidae

Amaurobiidae

Araneidae

Atypidae

Clubionidae

Funnelweb spider

Meshweb weaver

Orbweb spider

Purseweb spider

Sac spider

Dictynidae

Dysderidae

Eresidae

Gnaphosidae

Linyphiidae

Meshweb spider

Cell spider

Lady bird spider

Ground spider

 Sheet web spider

Lycosidae

Oonopidae

Oxyopidae

Philodromidae

Pholcidae

Wolf spider

Dwarf cell spider

Lynx spider

Crab spider

Daddy longleg

Pisauridae

Salticidae

Scytodidae

Segestriidae

Tetragnathidae

Big wolf spider

Jumping spider

Spitting spider

Six-eyed spider

Stretch spider

Theridiidae

Thomisidae

Uloboridae

Zodariidae

Zoridae

 Scaffold web

Crab spider

Cribellate spider

Burrowing spider

Wandering spider

 

 Ed Nieuwenhuys, 30 april 2010
April 1999

Back <------