Basilica spider Mecynogea lemniscata, copyright Volcano.

Belongs within: Araneoidea.
Contains: Celaeneae, Araneini, Cyrtarachninae, Gasteracanthinae, Arciinae, Micratheninae, Argiope, Cyrtophora.

The Araneidae is the largest family of orb-weaving spiders, members of which construct an orb web with a sticky spiral, or a modification thereof (Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007). Members of the family are divided between several subfamilies with most members of the Araneinae united by the presence of tubercles on the femur of the male pedipalp, and an epigynal scape in the female. Kuntner (2002) placed Perilla teres, a south-east Asian spider characterised by a cylindrical abdomen extending far past the spinnerets, as a basal member of this group. It had previously been classified with the Nephilidae but was united with the genus Chorizopes by a glabrous carapace in the female and widely separated lateral and median eyes.

Characters (from Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007): Small to large; eight eyes present in two rows with lateral eyes widely separated from median eyes; labium rebordered; legs with three tarsal claws, usually with numerous spines and sustentaculum on tarsus IV; abdomen globose, overhanging the carapace; ecribellate; male palp with mesal cymbium, median apophysis and radix in embolic division; entelegyne.

<==Araneidae [Anepsieae, Araneides, Argiopidae, Epeiridae, Epeirides]
    |--Araneinae SC97
    |    |  i. s.: Backobourkia Framenau, Dupérré et al. 2010 F11
    |    |           |--B. brounii (Koch 1871) PVD10
    |    |           `--B. collina (Keyserling 1886) T13
    |    |         Novakiella Court & Forster 1993 F11
    |    |           `--*N. trituberculosa (Roewer 1942) PVD10
    |    |         Phonognatha Simon 1894 BS09, K02 [incl. Singotypa HAA07; Phonognatheae]
    |    |           |--P. graeffei (Rainbow 1896) B96
    |    |           |--P. melania B96
    |    |           `--P. sylvicola B96
    |    |--+--Perilla Thorell 1895 K02
    |    |  |    `--*P. teres Thorell 1895 [incl. P. cylindrogaster Simon 1909] K02
    |    |  `--Chorizopeae SC97
    |    |       |--Chorizopes O.P.-Cambridge 1870 [Chorizopinae] K02
    |    |       |    `--*C. frontalis K02
    |    |       `--Artonis SC97
    |    `--+--Singafrotypa Benoit 1962 K02
    |       |    |--S. acanthopus (Simon 1907) K02
    |       |    `--S. okavango K02
    |       `--Araneini K02
    `--+--+--Cyrtarachninae BS09
       |  `--+--+--Gasteracanthinae SC97
       |     |  `--+--Aspidolasius SC97
       |     |     |    |--*A. branickii (Taczanowski 1879) SC97
       |     |     |    `--A. bifurcatus Simon 1897 SC97
       |     |     `--Caerostris Thorell 1868 SC97, GA11 [Caerostreae]
       |     |          |--C. darwini Kuntner & Agnarsson 2010 GA11
       |     |          |--C. ‘paradoxa’ (Doleschall 1859) K92, D59 [=Epeira paradoxa non Lucas 1846 K92]
       |     |          |--C. sexcuspidata SC97
       |     |          |--C. sumatrana Strand 1915 GA11
       |     |          `--C. vinsoni Thorell 1868 SC97
       |     `--+--+--Hypognatha [Eurycorminae, Hypognatheae] SC97
       |        |  |    `--*H. scutata (Perty 1833) SC97
       |        |  `--Arciinae SC97
       |        `--+--*Encyosaccus sexmaculatus Simon 1895 SC97
       |           `--Micratheninae SC97
       `--+--+--Arachnura Vinson 1863 SC97, M54 [Arachnureae]
          |  |    |--A. feredayi (Koch 1872) PVD10 (see below for synonymy)
          |  |    `--A. higginsii (Koch 1873) [=Epeira higginsii] M54
          |  `--Witica [incl. Salassina] SC97
          |       `--*W. crassicauda (Keyserling 1865) SC97
          `--+--Argiopeae SC97
             |    |--+--Argiope BS09
             |    |  `--Gea Koch 1843 SC97, FS09
             |    |       |--*G. spinipes Koch 1843 SC97
             |    |       |--G. eff E95
             |    |       `--G. heptagon (Hentz 1850) SC97
             |    `--*Neogea egregia (Kulczynski 1911) SC97
             `--Cyrtophorinae [Cyrtophoreae] FS09
                  |--Cyrtophora BS09
                  |--Kapogea Levi 1997 FS09
                  |--Manogea Levi 1997 FS09
                  |--Cyrtobill Framenau & Scharff 2009 FS09
                  |    `--*C. darwini Framenau & Scharff 2009 FS09
                  `--Mecynogea Simon 1903 [incl. Hentzia McCook 1894] FS09
                       |--M. lemniscata (Walckenaer 1841) B11
                       `--‘Hentzia’ mitrata (Marx 1883) TF98

Araneidae incertae sedis:
  Hingstepeira Levi 1995 K02
    `--H. folisecens (Hingston 1932) K02
  Milonia Thorell 1890 K02
    `--M. trifasciata Thorell 1890 K02
  Cryptaranea Court & Forster 1988 PVD10 [incl. Holaranea Court & Forster 1988 (n. n.) NS00]
    |--*C. invisibilis (Urquhart 1892) PVD10 [=Epeira invisibilis NS00]
    |--C. albolineata (Urquhart 1893) [=Epeira albolineata, Holaranea albolineata] NS00
    |--C. atrihastula (Urquhart 1891) PVD10
    |--C. stewartensis Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    |--C. subalpina Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    |--C. subcompta (Urquhart 1887) [=Epeira subcompta; incl. E. peronginia Urquhart 1894] NS00
    `--C. venustula (Urquhart 1891) (see below for synonymy) NS00
  Colaranea Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    |--*C. viriditas (Urquhart 1887) PVD10 [incl. Epeira flavomaculata Urquhart 1890 NS00]
    |--C. brunnea Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    |--C. melanoviridis Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    `--C. verutum (Urquhart 1887) (see below for synonymy) NS00
  Celaeneae SC97
  Poecilopachys Simon 1895 PVD10
    `--*P. australasia (Griffith & Pidgeon in Griffith 1833) PVD10 [incl. P. bispinosa B96]
  Zealaranea Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    |--*Z. crassa (Walckenaer 1841) PVD10 (see below for synonymy)
    |--Z. prina Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    |--Z. saxitalis (Urquhart 1887) [=Epeira saxitalis] NS00
    `--Z. trinotata (Urquhart 1890) (see below for synonymy) NS00
  Novaranea Court & Forster 1988 PVD10
    `--*N. queribunda (Keyserling 1887) [incl. N. laevigata (Urquhart 1891)] PVD10
  Cyphalonotus HU08
  Parawixia Pickard-Cambridge 1904 AM11
    |--P. kochi (Taczanowski 1873) AM11
    `--P. velutina (Taczanowski 1878) AM11
  Wagneriana Pickard-Cambridge 1904 AM11
    `--W. tayos SC97
  Larinioides Caporiacco 1934 AM11
    |--L. patagiatus (Clerck 1757) AM11
    `--L. sclopetarius (Clerck 1757) [=Epeira sclopetaria] AM11
  Megaraneus Lawrence 1968 FS09
    `--M. gabonensis (Lucas 1858) [=Cyrtophora gabonensis] FS09
  Alenatea fuscocolorata (Bösenberg & Strand 1906) [=Araneus fuscocoloratus] AM11
  Eriovixia AM11
    |--E. excelsa (Simon 1889) HU08
    `--E. laglaizei (Simon 1877) GA11
  Lariniaria argiopiformis (Bösenberg & Strand 1906) AM11
  Stroemiellus stroemi (Thorell 1870) AM11
  Edricus Pickard-Cambridge 1890 AM11
  Pycnacantha JD-S07
  Paraplectanoides Koch & Keyserling 1886 JD-S07, KK90
    `--*P. crassipes Koch & Keyserling 1886 KK90
  Acroaspis Karsch 1878 PVD10
    `--A. decorosa (Urquhart 1894) PVD10 [=Epeira decorosa NS00, Eriophora decorosa PVD10]
  Prasonica Simon 1895 PVD10
    `--P. plagiata (de Dalmas 1917) PVD10
  Dicrostichus furcatus N91
  Xylethrus [Xylethreae] SC97
    |--*X. superbus Simon 1895 SC97
    `--X. scupeus Simon 1895 SC97
  Physiola [Physioleae] SC97
  Exechocentreae SC97
    |--Exechocentrus SC97
    `--Coelossia SC97
  Testudinaria [Testudinareae] SC97
  Ursa [Urseae] SC97
  Alcimosphenus licinus C01

Arachnura feredayi (Koch 1872) PVD10 [incl. A. longicauda Urquhart 1885 NS00, A. longicauda var. nigritia Urquhart 1885 NS00, A. obtusa Urquhart 1885 NS00]

Colaranea verutum (Urquhart 1887) [=Epeira verutum; incl. E. verutum var. hastatum Urquhart 1887, E. verutum var. lineola Urquhart 1887] NS00

Cryptaranea venustula (Urquhart 1891) [=Holaranea venustula; incl. Epeira munda var. inversa Urquhart 1893, E. munda Urquhart 1893] NS00

*Zealaranea crassa (Walckenaer 1841) PVD10 [incl. Epeira albiscutum Urquhart 1890 NS00, E. albostricta Urquhart 1890 NS00, E. angusticlava Urquhart 1893 NS00, E. bialbimaculata Urquhart 1887 NS00, E. dubitabilis Urquhart 1890 NS00, E. dumicola Urquhart 1889 NS00, E. lineaacuta Urquhart 1887 NS00, E. purpura Urquhart 1887 NS00]

Zealaranea trinotata (Urquhart 1890) [=Epeira trinotata; incl. E. aestiva Urquhart 1890, E. trinotata var. olivinia Urquhart 1890] NS00

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AM11] Araujo, D., V. F. Mattos, A. M. Giroti, M. G. Kraeski, L. S. Carvalho & A. D. Brescovit. 2011. Cytogenetical characterization of six orb-weaver species and review of cytogenetical data for Araneidae. Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 337–344.

[B11] Blackledge, T. A. 2011. Prey capture in orb weaving spiders: are we using the best metric? Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 205–210.

[BS09] Blackledge, T. A., N. Scharff, J. A. Coddington, T. Szüts, J. W. Wenzel, C. Y. Hayashi & I. Agnarsson. 2009. Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (13): 5229–5234.

[B96] Brunet, B. 1996. Spiderwatch: A Guide to Australian Spiders. Reed New Holland: Sydney.

[C01] Cambridge, F. O. P. 1901. On a collection of spiders from the Bahama Islands, made by J. L. Bonhote, Esq.; with characters of a new genus and species of Mygalomorphae. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 7: 322–332.

[D59] Doleschall, C. L. 1859. Tweede Bijdrage tot de kennis der Arachniden van den Indischen Archipel. Verhandelingen der Natuurkundige Vereeniging in Nederlandsch Indie [Acta Societatis Scientiarum Indo-Neêrlandicae] 5 (5): 1–60, pls 1–18.

[E95] Elgar, M. A. 1995. The duration of copulation in spiders: comparative patterns. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 52: 1–11.

[F11] Framenau, V. W. 2011. Lariniophora, a new monotypic orb-weaving spider genus from Australia (Araneae: Araneidae: Araneinae). Records of the Western Australian Museum 26 (2): 191–201.

[FS09] Framenau, V. W., & N. Scharff. 2009. Cyrtobill darwini, a new species in a new orb-weaving spider genus from Australia (Araneae: Araneidae: Cyrtophorinae). Records of the Western Australian Museum 25 (3): 315–328.

[GA11] Gregorič, M., I. Agnarsson, T. A. Blackledge & M. Kuntner. 2011. Darwin's bark spider: giant prey in giant orb webs (Caerostris darwini, Araneae: Araneidae)? Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 287–295.

[HAA07] Harvey, M. S., A. D. Austin & M. Adams. 2007. The systematics and biology of the spider genus Nephila (Araneae: Nephilidae) in the Australasian region. Invertebrate Systematics 21: 407–451.

[HU08] Hore, U., & V. P. Uniyal. 2008. Diversity and composition of spider assemblages in five vegetation types of the Terai Conservation Area, India. Journal of Arachnology 36 (2): 251–258.

[JD-S07] Jocqué, R., & A. S. Dippenaar-Schoeman. 2007. Spider Families of the World. Royal Museum for Central Africa: Tervuren (Belgium).

[K92] Karsch, F. 1892. Arachniden von Ceylon und von Minikoy gesammelt von den Herren Doctoren P. und F. Sarasin. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 36 (2): 267–310.

[KK90] Koch, L., & E. Keyserling. 1884–1890. Die Arachniden Australiens nach der Natur beschrieben und abgebildet vol. 2. Bauer & Raspe: Nürnberg.

[K02] Kuntner, M. 2002. The placement of Perilla (Araneae, Araneidae) with comments on araneid phylogeny. Journal of Arachnology 30 (2): 281–287.

[M54] Main, B. Y. 1954. Spiders and Opiliones. In: Willis, J. H. (ed.) The Archipelago of the Recherche pp. 37–53. Australian Geographical Society: Melbourne.

[NS00] Nicholls, D. C., P. J. Sirvid, S. D. Pollard & M. Walker. 2000. A list of arachnid primary types held in Canterbury Museum. Records of the Canterbury Museum 14: 37–48.

[N91] Norris, K. R. 1991. General biology. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1 pp. 68–108. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[PVD10] Paquin, P., C. J. Vink & N. Dupérré. 2010. Spiders of New Zealand: annotated family key and species list. Manaaki Whenua Press: Lincoln (New Zealand).

[SC97] Scharff, N., & J. A. Coddington. 1997. A phylogenetic analysis of the orb-weaving spider family Araneidae (Arachnida, Araneae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 120: 355–434.

[T13] Taylor, C. K. 2013. Annotated bibliography for Barrow Island terrestrial invertebrates. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83: 135–144.

[TF98] Townsend, V. R., Jr & B. E. Felgenhauer. 1998. The cuticular scales of lynx spiders (Araneae, Oxyopidae). Journal of Morphology 236: 223–231.

Last updated: 22 September 2019.

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