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Araneus diadematus (aka).jpg
Araneus diadematus, Araneidae
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Clade: Entelegynae
Superfamily: Araneoidea

The Araneoidea or araneoids are a taxon of araneomorph spiders, originally treated as a superfamily. As with many such groups, its circumscription has varied; in particular some families at one time moved to the Palpimanoidea have more recently been restored to Araneoidea. A 2014 treatment includes 14 families, with the araneoids making up about 26% of the total number of known spider species.


The table below shows some alternative circumscriptions between 1986 and 2014.

Changing circumscriptions of Araneoidea
Family Shear (1986)[1] Coddington & Levi (1991)[2] Griswold et al. (2005)[3] Hormiga & Griswold (2014)[4]
Anapidae yes yes yes yes
Araneidae yes yes yes yes
Archaeidae yes
Cyatholipidae yes yes yes yes
Holarchaeidae yes
Linyphiidae yes yes yes yes
Malkaridae yes
Micropholcommatidae yesa possible yesc
Mimetidae yes yes
Mysmenidae yes yes yes yes
Nephilidae yesb yesd yesd yes
Nesticidae yes yes yes yes
Nicodamidae yes
Pararchaeidae yes
Pimoidae yes yes yes
Symphytognathidae yes yes yes
Synaphridae yes yes
Synotaxidae yes yes yes
Tetragnathidae yesb yes yes yes
Theridiidae yes yes yes yes
Theridiosomatidae yes yes yes yes
a including Textricellidae, treated as a separate family by Shear (1986)
b included in Araneidae as a subfamily by Shear (1986)
c included in Anapidae as subfamily Micropholcommatinae by Hormiga & Griswold (2014)
d included in Tetragnathidae by Coddington & Levi (1991) and Griswold et al. (2005)

Many of the differences in circumscription concern the relationship between Araneoidea and Palpimanoidea. In 1984, Raymond R. Forster and Norman I. Platnick proposed that some groups previously considered araneoid actually belonged in the distantly related Palpimanoidea, including the families Holarchaeidae, Micropholcommatidae, Mimetidae and Pararchaeidae. Subsequent phylogenetic studies have rejected this proposal, firmly placing the Holarchaeidae, Micropholcommatidae (as the subfamily Micropholcommatinae of the Anapidae), Mimetidae and Pararchaeidae in Araneoidea.[4]

Two families in the table above are placed elsewhere, the Archaeidae in the Palpimanoidea,[5] the Nicodamidae as the sister to the araneoids (see the cladogram below).


In 2014, Hormiga and Griswold produced the summary cladogram shown below, based on what they considered to be the nine most comprehensive phylogenetic studies of Araneoidea prior to their article. Polytomies in the cladogram represent either conflicting results from the different studies or the absence of sufficiently comprehensive studies.[6]



















Anapidae (including Micropholcommatidae)


It is likely that relationships will change further when more studies are carried out, since "currently available molecular and morphological data are insufficient to robustly resolve relationships".[7]


  1. ^ Shear, J.A. (1986), "Taxonomic Glossary", in Shear, W.A., Spiders: Webs, Behavior, and Evolution, Stanford University Press, pp. 405ff, ISBN 978-0-8047-1203-3, retrieved 2015-10-13 
  2. ^ Coddington, Jonathan A. & Levi, Herbert W. (1991), "Systematics and evolution of spiders (Araneae)", Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics: 565–592, JSTOR 2097274 
  3. ^ Griswold, C.E.; Ramirez, M.J.; Coddington, J.A. & Platnick, N.I. (2005), "Atlas of phylogenetic data for entelegyne spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae: Entelegynae) with comments on their phylogeny" (PDF), Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 56 (Suppl. 2): 1–324, retrieved 2015-10-11 
  4. ^ 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 
  5. ^ Hormiga & Griswold (2014), p. 492
  6. ^ Hormiga & Griswold (2014), p. 493
  7. ^ Hormiga & Griswold (2014), p. 505

Data related to Araneoidea at Wikispecies