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Taphiassa punctata male.jpg
Parapua punctata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Opisthothelae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Micropholcommatidae
Hickman, 1943

see text

19 genera, 66 species

The Micropholcommatidae are a family of araneomorph spiders with about 66 described species in 19 genera. Alternatively they are treated as the subfamily Micropholcommatinae of the family Anapidae.[2] Micropholcommatids are extremely small, with body lengths typically between 0.5 and 2 mm.[3] They are usually found among leaf litter or moss.[4]


Many genera are endemic to New Zealand and Australia, with others found also in South America.


The families Micropholcommatidae and Textricellidae were synonymized with the Symphytognathidae by Forster (1959), but again split from it in 1977.[5] Later they were considered to be only one family, namely Micropholcommatidae, by Platnick & Forster (1986). Although they were synonymized with Anapidae by Schütt (2003), this move was not followed by all authors, although accepted in a 2014 review of the systematics of the orb-weaving spiders.[2] The Micropholcommatidae have been assigned to Palpimanoidea, Archaeoidea, and at the latest Araneoidea.[6]


As of October 2015, the World Spider Catalog accepted 19 extant genera:[7]

Formerly recognized genera:

  • Parapua Forster, 1959 – the only species is placed in Taphiassa[8]
  • Textricella Hickman, 1945 – considered a junior synonym of Eterosonycha[9]

Fossil species[edit]

In 2007 the first fossil species of this family was described from Early Eocene amber (about 53 million years ago), and classified in subfamily Textricellinae. In contrast to living species it was found in the Northern Hemisphere.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Currently valid spider genera and species". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  2. ^ a b Hormiga, Gustavo & Griswold, Charles E. (2014). "Systematics, Phylogeny, and Evolution of Orb-Weaving Spiders". Annual Review of Entomology. 59 (1): 487–512. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-011613-162046. PMID 24160416. 
  3. ^ Rix et al., 2008.
  4. ^ Rix et al., 2008.
  5. ^ Forster & Platnick 1977.
  6. ^ Griswold et al. 2005.
  7. ^ "Family Micropholcommatidae Hickman, 1944". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  8. ^ "Taxon details Taphiassa punctata (Forster, 1959)". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  9. ^ "Gen. Eterosonycha Butler, 1932". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  10. ^ Penney et al. 2007


  • Forster, R.R. (1959): The spiders of the family Symphytognathidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 86: 269–329.
  • Forster, R.R. & Platnick, N.I. (1977): A review of the spider family Symphytognathidae (Arachnida, Araneae). Am. Mus. Novit. 2619: 1-29. PDF
  • Platnick, N.I. & Forster, R.R. (1986): On Teutoniella, an American genus of the spider family Micropholcommatidae (Araneae, Palpimanoidea). American Museum Novitates 2854: 1–9. PDF
  • Schütt, K. (2003): Phylogeny of Symphytognathidae. Zoologica Scripta 32: 129–151.
  • Griswold, C.E., Ramírez, M.J., Coddington, J.A. & Platnick, N.I. (2005): Atlas of phylogenetic data for entelegyne spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae: Entelegynae) with comments on their phylogeny. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science 56 Suppl. 2: 1–324.
  • Penney, David; Dierick, Manuel; Cnudde, Veerle; Masschaele, Bert; Vlassenbroeck, Jelle; van Hoorebeke, Luc & Jacobs, Patric (2007): First fossil Micropholcommatidae (Araneae), imaged in Eocene Paris amber using X-Ray Computed Tomography. Zootaxa 1612: 47-53. PDF Abstract
  • Rix, Michael; Harvey, Mark; Roberts, J. Dale (2008). "Molecular phylogenetics of the spider family Micropholcommatidae (Arachnida: Araneae) using nuclear rRNA genes (18S and 28S)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46: 1031–1048.