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female Conculus lyugadinus from Okinawa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Superfamily: Araneoidea
Family: Anapidae
Simon, 1895

see text

38 genera, 154 species

Anapidae is a family of rather small spiders with 154 described species in 36 genera.[1] Alternatively the family may include Micropholcommatidae as the subfamily Micropholcommatinae, with a further 66 species and 19 genera.[2] Most species are less than 2 mm long.[3]

In some species (such as Pseudanapis parocula) the pedipalps of the female are reduced to coxal stumps.[3]

Anapidae generally live in leaf litter and moss on the floor of rain forest. Many build orb webs with a diameter of less than 3 cm.[3]


Most genera inhabit New Zealand, Australia and Africa. However, several genera occur in Asia (Japan, China, Korea). Only Comaroma simoni and the three species of Zangherella are found in Europe; Gertschanapis shantzi and Comaroma mendocino live in the United States.[4]


Spiders of this family are very small, usually less than two millimeters long, and lack a cribellum. They can have either six or eight eyes, the rear median eyes either reduced or missing. The carapace is modified so that the eyes are raised higher than usual. Color can range from reddish brown to yellowish brown. Both margins of chelicerae have teeth. The legs are short and spineless. The labium has a spur that extends between the chelicerae and can be seen when the chelicerae are spread.[5]


Although the Micropholcommatidae were synonymized with this family by Schütt (2003), this move was not followed by all researchers, although accepted in a 2014 review of the systematics of the orb-weaving spiders.[2]


male Conoculus lyugadinus

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Currently valid spider genera and species". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  2. ^ a b Hormiga, Gustavo & Griswold, Charles E. (2014). "Systematics, Phylogeny, and Evolution of Orb-Weaving Spiders". Annual Review of Entomology. 59 (1): 487–512. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-011613-162046. PMID 24160416. 
  3. ^ a b c Murphy & Murphy 2000
  4. ^ Platnick 2008
  5. ^ Song, D.X.; Zhu, M.S.; Chen, J. (1999). The Spiders of China. Hebei University of Science and Techology, Publishing House, Shijiazhuang. p. 149. 


  • Ramirez, M.J. & Platnick, N.I. (1999): On Sofanapis antillanca (Araneae, Anapidae) as a kleptoparasite of austrochiline spiders (Araneae, Austrochilidae). Journal of Arachnology 27(2): 547-549. PDF
  • Murphy, Frances & Murphy, John (2000): An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia. Malaysian Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.
  • Schütt, K. (2003): Phylogeny of Symphytognathidae. Zoologica Scripta 32: 129–151.
  • Platnick, Norman I. (2008): The world spider catalog, version 8.5. American Museum of Natural History.