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Temporal range: Palaeogene–present
Selenops sp. (Marshal Hedin).jpg
Selenops sp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Selenopidae
Genus: Selenops
Latreille, 1819
115 species

Selenops is a spider genus that is found in many deserts of the world. It is very hard to distinguish the 115 species.

S. australiensis is found on or under dry bark in Australia. The female reaches 9mm, the male 7mm. It looks superficially like a huntsman spider.

S. radiatus has proved to be an effective controlling agent of the potato tuber moth in South Africa.

Selenops is the first spider known to be able to steer and glide when falling, in order to land in or on a tree, instead of falling to the ground.[1][2]

Selenops spiders are able to attack prey approaching from all directions. When attacking prey from behind, they show some of the fastest turning movements documented in terrestrial legged animals.[3]


Named after the moon goddess Selene, and Greek -ops "eye", because of the moon-like form of the eyes.

Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ "Flying Spiders Found—and They Can Steer in Mid-Air".
  2. ^ "Arachnid aloft: directed aerial descent in neotropical canopy spiders".
  3. ^ Zeng, Yu; Crews, Sarah (2018-04-01). "Biomechanics of omnidirectional strikes in flat spiders". Journal of Experimental Biology. 221 (7): jeb166512. doi:10.1242/jeb.166512. ISSN 0022-0949. PMID 29440135.
  4. ^ Jager, P. & Praxaysombath, B. (2011). "Selenops muehlmannorum spec. nov. from Southern Laos (Araneae: Selenopidae)." Zootaxa 2883: 65-68.

External links[edit]