Velvet spider

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Velvet spiders
Eresus fg03.jpg
male Eresus kollari
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Superfamily: Eresoidea
Family: Eresidae
C. L. Koch, 1851

see text

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[citation needed], 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.

See also[edit]


  • 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.

External links[edit]