|male Eresus kollari|
C. L. Koch, 1851
|10 genera, 102 species|
The velvet spiders (family Eresidae) are a small group (about 100 species in 10 genera) of almost totally Old World spiders (exception: a few species are known from Brazil). The characteristics of this family of spiders are that they are entelegyne (have a genital plate in the female), eight-eyed araneomorph spiders that build unkempt webs. With the exception of Wajane, they are cribellate (use wooly silk). Some species are nearly eusocial, lacking only a specialized caste system and a queen. They cooperate in brood rearing, unlike almost most other spiders except for some African agelenid spiders in the genus Agelena and a few others.
Wayane was grouped together with Penestomus as the subfamily Penestominae, but Penestomus was elevated to its own family, Penestomidae, in 2010. Wayane was synonymized with Penestomus.
The categorization into subfamilies follows Joel Hallan's Biology Catalog.
- Eresinae C. L. Koch, 1851
- Adonea Simon, 1873 — Mediterranean
- Dorceus C. L. Koch, 1846 — Africa
- Dresserus Simon, 1876 — Africa
- Eresus Walckenaer, 1805 — Palearctic to Morocco
- Gandanameno Lehtinen, 1967 — Africa
- Loureedia Miller et al., 2012 - Israel
- Paradonea Lawrence, 1968 — Africa
- Seothyra Purcell, 1903 — Africa
- Stegodyphus Simon, 1873 — Africa, Madagascar, Brazil, Eurasia
- Lehtinen, P.T. (1967): Classification of the cribellate spiders and some allied families, with notes on the evolution of the suborder Araneomorpha. Ann. Zool. Fenn. 4: 199-468.
- Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. (1989): The African species of the subfamily Penestominae (Araneae: Eresidae): with description of two new species. Phytophylactica 21: 131-134.
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