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Nephila inaurata1.JPG
Nephila inaurata (Nephilidae)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Opisthothelae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
95 families

Araneomorphae (sometimes referred to as Labidognatha) is a suborder of spiders. They are distinguished by having fangs that oppose each other and cross in a pinching action, in contrast to the Mygalomorphae (tarantulas and their close kin), which have fangs that are nearly parallel in alignment.[1]

Distinguishing characteristics[edit]

Note the difference in the orientations of the fangs of the two spiders below, representatives of the Mygalomorphae and the Araneomorphae.


Atrax robustus.jpg

Atrax robustus (a member of the Hexathelidae) is making a threat display, and by so doing shows very clearly the orientation of its fangs, which go up and down, parallel to the long axis of the spider's body. So it is a representative of the suborder Mygalomorphae, not Araneomorphae.


In Araneomorphae, the fangs slope towards each other, giving these spiders many more possibilities than Mygalomorphae, which can only bite top down.

Unlike Mygalomorphae, which can live for up to 25 years, most Araneomorphae die after about a year.[2]

Spiders included[edit]

Almost all of the familiar spiders are included in this group. The major exception is the Tarantulas, which are often seen as pets. The Araneomorphae include the Orb-weaver spider, the cobweb spiders, the crab spiders, the jumping spiders, the wolf spiders, and the large Huntsman spiders.


The Araneomorphae are divided into two infraorders, the Hypochilae (containing only the family Hypochilidae), and the Neocribellatae. The Neocribellatae are in turn divided into the Austrochiloidea, and the two series Entelogynae and Haplogynae, each containing several superfamilies:

A cladogram shows the relation among taxa.[3]











Most spiders in the Haplogynae series have six eyes, while most of those in the Entelegynae series have eight.


  1. ^ Foelix, Rainer F. Biology of Spiders (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 4–5. ISBN 0-19-973482-8. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Coddington and Levi (1991)