The Prodidomidae, Lamponidae and Gnaphosidae have been considered "higher gnaphosoids", sharing anterior lateral spinnerets consisting of only a single "joint" (article); the "lower gnaphosoids" (Ammoxenidae, Cithaeronidae, Gallieniellidae and Trochanteriidae) retain a distal article that is represented by an entire ring of hardened (sclerotized) cuticle. (Earlier the Lamponidae were grouped with the "lower gnaphosoids", having spinnerets of an intermediate kind.) One hypothesis for the internal phylogeny of the gnaphosoids, defined in this way, is:
A 2014 study of dionychan spiders did not recover Gnaphosoidea as a monophyletic group, instead finding "gnaphosoid" families other than Gnaphosidae and Prodidomidae to be part of a larger clade, mixed in with three other dionychan families, Liocranidae, Trachelidae and Phrurolithidae. Forcing Gnaphosoidea to be monophyletic produced results described as "quite suboptimal".
^ abDunlop, 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. Auckland, New Zealand: Magnolia Press. ISBN978-1-86977-850-7. Retrieved 2015-10-31.