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Taphiassa punctata male.jpg
Parapua punctata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Superfamily: Archaeoidea (?)
Family: Micropholcommatidae
Hickman, 1943

see text

8 genera, 33 species

The Micropholcommatidae are a spider family with 33 described species in eight genera. Micropholcommatids are extremely small, with body lengths typically between 0.5 and 2 mm.[1] They are usually found among leaf litter or moss.[2]


Almost all genera are endemic to New Zealand and Australia, with two genera (Teutoniella, Tricellina) found in South America.


The families Micropholcommatidae and Textricellidae were synonymized with the Symphytognathidae by Forster (1959), but again split from it in 1977.[3] Later they were considered to be only one family, namely Micropholcommatidae, by Platnick & Forster (1986). Although they were synonymized with Anapidae by Schütt (2003), this move was not followed by most authors. The Micropholcommatidae have been assigned to Palpimanoidea, Archaeoidea, and at the latest Araneoidea.[4]


Fossil species[edit]

In 2007 the first fossil species of this family was described from Early Eocene amber (about 53 million years ago), and classified in subfamily Textricellinae. In contrast to living species it was found in the Northern Hemisphere.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rix et al., 2008.
  2. ^ Rix et al., 2008.
  3. ^ Forster & Platnick 1977.
  4. ^ Griswold et al. 2005.
  5. ^ Penney et al. 2007


  • Forster, R.R. (1959): The spiders of the family Symphytognathidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 86: 269–329.
  • Forster, R.R. & Platnick, N.I. (1977): A review of the spider family Symphytognathidae (Arachnida, Araneae). Am. Mus<style>span.GerbrantEditRegexReplaceHit{font-weight:bold;background:lightsteelblue}span.GerbrantEditRegexReplaceHitOff{font-weight:bold;background:mistyrose}span.GerbrantEditRegexReplaceMaskFailed{font-weight:normal;color:red}</style>. Novit. 2619: 1-29. PDF
  • Platnick, N.I. & Forster, R.R. (1986): On Teutoniella, an American genus of the spider family Micropholcommatidae (Araneae, Palpimanoidea). American Museum Novitates 2854: 1–9. PDF
  • Schütt, K. (2003): Phylogeny of Symphytognathidae. Zoologica Scripta 32: 129–151.
  • Griswold, C.E., Ramírez, M.J., Coddington, J.A. & Platnick, N.I. (2005): Atlas of phylogenetic data for entelegyne spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae: Entelegynae) with comments on their phylogeny. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science 56 Suppl. 2: 1–324.
  • Penney, David; Dierick, Manuel; Cnudde, Veerle; Masschaele, Bert; Vlassenbroeck, Jelle; van Hoorebeke, Luc & Jacobs, Patric (2007): First fossil Micropholcommatidae (Araneae), imaged in Eocene Paris amber using X-Ray Computed Tomography. Zootaxa 1612: 47-53. PDF Abstract
  • Rix, Michael; Harvey, Mark; Roberts, J. Dale (2008). "Molecular phylogenetics of the spider family Micropholcommatidae (Arachnida: Araneae) using nuclear rRNA genes (18S and 28S)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46: 1031–1048.