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Brushed-footed trap-door spiders
Temporal range: Neogene–present
Sason robustum and its nest.jpg
Sason robustum with nest
PSM V38 D203 Section view of the curved burrow of stothis astuta.jpg
burrow of Trichopelma astuta
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Barychelidae
Simon, 1889
42 genera, 309 species

Barychelidae, also known as brushed trapdoor spiders, is a spider family with about 300 species in 42 genera.[1] Most spiders in this family build trapdoor burrows. For example, the 20 millimetres (0.79 in) long Sipalolasma builds its burrow in rotted wood, with a hinged trapdoor at each end. The 10 millimetres (0.39 in) long Idioctis builds its burrow approximately 5 centimetres (2.0 in) deep, just below the high tide level, sealing the opening with a thin trapdoor. [2]

Some species avoid flooding by plugging their burrows, while others can avoid drowning by trapping air bubbles within the hairs covering their bodies.[example needed] Some members of this group have a rake on the front surface of their chelicerae used for compacting burrow walls.[3] These spiders can run up glass like tarantulas, and some can stridulate, though it isn't audible to humans.[4]


Barychelids are found in Australia, New Caledonia, South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, New Guinea, and Pacific islands.[1]


As of April 2019, the World Spider Catalog accepts the following genera:[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Family: Barychelidae Simon, 1889". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  2. ^ Murphy, Frances; Murphy, John (2000). An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Nature Society.
  3. ^ Levi, Herbert W.; Levi, Lorna R. Spiders and Their Kin. p. 20.
  4. ^ Raven, R.J. (1994). "Mygalomorph spiders of the Barychelidae in Australia and the Western Pacific". Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 35 (2): 291–706.
  • Raven, R.J. (1986): A revision of the spider genus Sason Simon (Sasoninae, Barychelidae, Mygalomorphae) and its historical biogeography. Journal of Arachnology 14: 47-70. PDF
  • Valerio, CE. (1986): Mygalomorph spiders in the Barychelidae (Araneae) from Costa Rica. J. Arachnol. 14: 93-99. PDF (Psalistops venadensis, Trichopelma laselva)
  • Schwendinger, P.J. (2003): Two new species of the arboreal trapdoor spider genus Sason (Araneae, Barychelidae) from Southeast Asia. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 51(2): 197-207. PDF (S. sundaicum, S. andamanicum)

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