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The Dictynoidea or dictynoids are a group of araneomorph spiders that have been treated as a superfamily. The composition of the group has varied. Phylogenetic studies in the 21st century have failed to confirm the monophyly of the dictynoids as originally defined.


The "classical" circumscription of Dictynoidea from the 1970s included the families Amauroboididae (now placed in Anyphaenidae), Anyphaenidae, Argyronetidae (now included in Cybaeidae), Dictynidae, Desidae, Hahniidae and Nicodamidae.[1] In 1991, Coddington and Levi included "at least" Desidae, Dictynidae, Cybaeidae, Argyronetidae (now included in Cybaeidae), Hahniidae and Neolanidae (now Amphinectidae) in Dictynoidea, which in their cladistic hypothesis for the phylogeny of the araneomorphs was presented as a clade within the RTA clade. However, they said that placing many families in Dictynoidea had more to do with "tradition than explicit justification".[2]

In Jonathan A. Coddington's 2005 summary of the phylogeny and classification of spiders, Dictynoidea has disappeared. Desidae is an "agelenoid"; Dictynidae is the most basal family in the RTA clade; Cybaeidae and Hahniidae are "unplaced families"; Neolanidae (Amphinectidae) is a "stiphidioid".[3] A 2009 "preferred topology" also put genera from Dictynidae at the base of the RTA clade and combined genera from Desidae and Agelenidae into a clade.[4] A 2013 summary, shown below, grouped three members of the classical Dictynoidea into one clade, placing a fourth into another clade, but without naming any of the clades.[5] Shaded names represent classical Dictynoidea.









Families included by some sources that used the name "Dictynoidea" are shown in the table below.

Family "Classical" (1970s)[1] Coddington & Levi (1991)[2] Dunlop & Penny (2011)[6]
yes yes yes
Desidae yes yes yes
Dictynidae yes yes yes
Hahniidae yes yes yes
Nicodamidae yes


  1. ^ a b Griswold, Charles E.; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Platnick, Norman I. & Forster, Raymond R. (1999), "Towards a Phylogeny of Entelegyne Spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae)", Journal of Arachnology, 27 (1): 53–63, JSTOR 3705965 , p. 60
  2. ^ a b Coddington, Jonathan A. & Levi, Herbert W. (1991), "Systematics and evolution of spiders (Araneae)", Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics: 565–592, JSTOR 2097274 
  3. ^ Coddington, Jonathan A. (2005), "Phylogeny and classification of spiders" (PDF), in Ubick, D.; Paquin, P.; Cushing, P.E. & Roth, V., Spiders of North America: an identification manual, American Arachnological Society, pp. 18–24, retrieved 2015-09-24 
  4. ^ Blackledge, Todd A.; Scharff, Nikolaj; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Szüts, Tamas; Wenzel, John W.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y. & Agnarsson, Ingi (2009), "Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (13): 5229–5234, PMC 2656561Freely accessible, PMID 19289848, doi:10.1073/pnas.0901377106 
  5. ^ Wolff, Jonas O.; Nentwig, Wolfgang & Gorb, Stanislav N. (2013), "The Great Silk Alternative: Multiple Co-Evolution of Web Loss and Sticky Hairs in Spiders", PLoS ONE, 8 (5): e62682, PMC 3641104Freely accessible, PMID 23650526, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062682 , based on Nentwig, Wolfgang, ed. (2013), "Appendix : Spider Phylogeny" (PDF), Spider Ecophysiology, Springer, ISBN 978-3-642-33988-2, retrieved 2015-11-03 
  6. ^ Dunlop, Jason A. & Penney, David (2011), "Order Araneae Clerck, 1757" (PDF), in Zhang, Z.-Q., Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness, Zootaxa (3148), Auckland, New Zealand: Magnolia Press, ISBN 978-1-86977-850-7, retrieved 2015-10-31