|Callilepis nocturna, a ground spider found in the Palearctic ecozone|
|114 genera, c. 2,000 species|
Ground spiders (family Gnaphosidae) include nearly 2,000 described species in over 100 genera, distributed worldwide. This makes the family the seventh largest known. New species are still being discovered. They are closely related to Clubionidae.
Common genera include Gnaphosa, Drassodes, Micaria, Cesonia, Zelotes and many others.
Generally, ground spiders are characterized by having barrel-shaped anterior spinnerets that are one spinneret diameter apart. The main exception to this rule is found in the ant-mimicking genus Micaria. Another characteristic is an indentation in the endites (paired mouthparts anterior and lateral to the labium, or lip). All ground spiders lack a prey-capture web and generally run prey down on the surface. They hunt at night and spend the day in a silken retreat. The thick-walled egg sacs are guarded by the mother until the spiderlings hatch.
At present, no ground spiders are known to be seriously venomous to humans.
- Nieuwenhuys 2000
- Blick, T. et al. (2004).Checklist of the spiders of Central Europe. (Arachnida: Araneae). Version 1. Dezember 2004. (PDF)
- Platnick, N.I. & Shadab, M.U. (1983): A revision of the American spiders of the genus Zelotes (Araneae, Gnaphosidae). Bulletin of the AMNH 174: 99-191. PDF (29Mb) - Abstract
- Ed Nieuwenhuys (2000): Spiders of NW-Europe Retrieved Jan 3, 2007. (with color pictures of some species)
- Platnick, Norman I. (2007): The world spider catalog, version 8.0. American Museum of Natural History.
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