Sac spiders

Family Gnaphosidae Home <------

This genus is closely related to the family Clubionidae. Forty-one species of this family are known in NW-Europe. They have large cylindrical spinners. Their abdomen has no clear markings and the colors range between grayish brown and black. The are nocturnal hunters and spend the day in a silken retreat.

The females make their thick walled egg sacs in the summer and guard it until the youngsters are born.
Gnaphosidae youngstersGnaphosidae youngsters

Gnaphosidae youngstersGnaphosidae youngsters

Genus Callilepis

Callilepis nocturnaCallilepis nocturna

Only this species (size 3 - 6 mm) can be found in NW-Europe. The spider can be seen running in the sun with the movement of an ant hunting for them.

Genus Drassodes

Several species can be found in our region. They have a hairy mouse, grey-brown abdomen and resemble some Clubiona species. However, they are easily distinguished by the long tubular spinners. Females seal themselves in silken cells with their egg sac. They are nocturnal hunters. Their size varies between 9 and 18 mm.

Drassodes lapidosusDrassodes lapidosusDrassodes lapidosus

Genus Poecilochroa

Poecilochroa conspicua

Two species occur in this region. Her abdomen has a clear pattern of white hairs. They can be found under stones and are frequently active in the sunshine. Their size varies between 6 and 9 mm.

Poecilochroa conspicua


Genus Nomisia

This spider with a size between 6 and 12 mm can be found at daytime predating ants on dry spots between grass and on dunes.

Nomisia aussereri femaleNomisia aussereri male

Nomisia aussereri female and male.

Genus Scotophaeus (Herpyllus)

The three species in this genus are quite large (8-16 mm. They are nocturnal wanderers and are found mainly in and around the house.

Scotophaeus blackwalli ?
The abdomen of Scotophaeus blackwalli has a mousy gray look. The head-breast part is coloured dark brown
Scotophaeus blackwalli ?  


Genus Gnaphosa

The 15 species are not very common of which most live in Scandinavia. The spiders are thick, have a dull brownish gray color, and are hairy like a mouse. The G. leporina is the most common one.

Gnaphosa leporinaGnaphosa leporina (probably)

Genus Micaria

These spiders are also called ant-mimicking spiders. Fifteen species are described and their size is between 2.5 and 7 mm. They can be seen running between detritus and stones in an ant-like fashion in the sunshine searching for prey. They all have an iridescent abdomen that can become very beautiful in the sunshine.

Micaria romana.Micaria romanaMicaria romana

Micaria sp.Micaria sp.Micaria sp.

Genus Zelotus

Most spiders of this genus are black and are between 3 - 8 mm in large. They are nocturnal hunters and can be found under stones and detritus. They make a disk shaped egg sac that is white or pink of color.

Zelotus lutetianus

Zelotus lutetianus

Zelotus latreillei


Zelotus pedestris




 Ed Nieuwenhuys, March 13, 2000