|570 genera, >4.300 species|
Linyphiidae is a family of very small spiders, including more than 4,300 described species in 601 genera worldwide. This makes Linyphiidae the second largest family of spiders after the Salticidae. New species are still being discovered throughout the world, and the family is poorly known. Because of the difficulty in identifying such tiny spiders, there are regular changes in taxonomy as species are combined or divided.
Names and classification
Spiders in this family are commonly known as sheet weavers (from the shape of their webs), or money spiders (in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and in Portugal, from the superstition that if such a spider is seen running on you, it has come to spin you new clothes, meaning financial good fortune).
Common genera include Neriene, Lepthyphantes, Erigone, Eperigone, Bathyphantes, Troglohyphantes, the monotypic genus Tennesseellum and many others. These are among the most abundant spiders in the temperate regions, although many are also found in the tropics. The generally larger bodied members of the subfamily Linyphiinae are commonly found in classic "bowl and doily" webs or filmy domes. The usually tiny members of the Erigoninae are builders of tiny sheet webs. These tiny spiders (usually 3 mm or less) commonly balloon even as adults and may be very numerous in a given area on one day, only to disappear the next. Some males of the erigonines are exceptional, with their eyes set up on mounds or turrets. This reaches an extreme in some members of the large genus Walckenaeria, where several of the male's eyes are placed on a stalk taller than the carapace.
A few spiders in this family include:
- Bowl and doily spider, Frontinella communis
- Filmy dome spider, Neriene radiata
- Blacktailed red sheetweaver, Florinda coccinea
- Orsonwelles, a genus of giant Hawaiian linyphids containing the largest linyphiid, O. malus.
Spiders of this family occur nearly worldwide. In Norway many species have been found walking on snow at temperatures of down to -7 °C.
- List of Linyphiidae species (A–H)
- List of Linyphiidae species (I–P)
- List of Linyphiidae species (Q–Z)
- Spider families
- Hormiga, G. (1998). The spider genus Napometa (Araneae, Araneoidea, Linyphiidae). Journal of Arachnology 26:125-132 PDF
- Hormiga, Gustavo (2000): Higher Level Phylogenetics of Erigonine Spiders (Araneae, Linyphiidae, Erigoninae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 609. (160 pages) PDF
- Bosselaers, J & Henderickx, H. (2002) A new Savignia from Cretan caves (Araneae: Linyphiidae). Zootaxa 109:1-8 PDF[permanent dead link]
- Hågvar, S. & Aakra, K. 2006. Spiders active on snow in Southern Norway. Norw. J. Entomol. 53, 71-82.
- Platnick, Norman I. (2007): The world spider catalog, version 8.0. American Museum of Natural History.
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