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Homalonychus sp. (Marshal Hedin).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Homalonychidae
Genus: Homalonychus
Marx, 1891

The Homalonychidae are a very small spider family with three described species in one genus, Homalonychus.

They do not build webs and are typically found under rocks or dead vegetation. At least the two North American species live in deserts, to which they are adapted by color and specialized setae which allow them to attach sand and fine soil to themselves. They also partially bury themselves.[1]


Two species are found in the southern USA and Mexico. H. theologus is mostly found west of the Colorado River, H. selenopoides mostly to the east, with some populations in Death Valley and near Mercury, Nevada.

In 1991 a species from India was described; however, according to Platnick,[2] this third species was misplaced in this genus.



  1. ^ Sarah C. Crews: Homalonychus in the Desert Southwest
  2. ^ Platnick, N.I. (2006). World Spider Catalog 7.0: Homalonychidae

Further reading[edit]

  • Marx, G. (1891). A contribution to the knowledge of North American spiders. Proc. ent. Soc. Wash. 2:28-37.
  • Chamberlin, R.V. (1924). The spider fauna of the shores and islands of the Gulf of California. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 12:561-694.
  • Roth, V. D. (1984). The spider family Homalonychidae (Arachnida, Araneae). American Museum novitates 2790 PDF
  • Patel, B. H. & Reddy, T. S. (1991). A rare new species of Homalonychus Marx (Araneae: Homalonychidae) from coastal Andhra Pradesh, India. Rec. zool. Surv. India 89:205-207.
  • Vetter, R. S. & Cokendolpher, J. C. (2000). Homalonychus theologus (Araneae, Homalonychidae): Description of eggsacs and a possible defensive posture. The Journal of Arachnology 28:361-363 PDF
  • Crews, S. C. & Hedin, M. C. (2006). Studies of morphological and molecular phylogenetic divergence inspiders (Araneae: Homalonychus) from the American southwest including divergence along the Baja Peninsula. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38:470-487. PDF

External links[edit]