Female Patu digua, copyright Facundo M. Labarque.

Belongs within: Araneoidea.

The Symphytognathidae are minute spiders that construct orb webs in the leaf litter of forests. Members of this family include the smallest known spiders, with Patu digua having the smallest known male of any spider and Anapistula caecula having the smallest known female (Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007).

Characters (from Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007): Very small, <2 mm; clypeus and cephalic region high, fovea absent; four or six eyes present, anterior median eyes absent, arranged in two diads if four eyes, in three diads if six eyes; chelicerae fused over most of length or only near base, promargin with raised and toothed mound, fangs short; female palp reduced to an unsegmented lobe or absent; sternum broadly truncated posteriorly; legs with three tarsal claws; lungless; ecribellate; entelegyne.

<==Symphytognathidae [Symphytognathinae]
    |--Anapogonia Simon 1905 JD-S07
    |--Globignatha Balogh & Loksa 1968 JD-S07
    |--Curimagua Forster & Platnick 1977 JD-S07
    |    `--C. bayano Forster & Platnick 1977 A02
    |--Anapistula Gertsch 1941 S03
    |    |--A. caecula Baert & Jocqué 1993 S03
    |    `--A. secreta Gertsch 1941 S03
    |--Symphytognatha Hickman 1931 S03
    |    |--S. globosa Hickman 1931 W76
    |    `--S. picta Harvey 1992 S03
    `--Patu Marples 1951 S03
         |--P. digua Forster & Platnick 1977 S03
         |--P. marplesi FF99
         `--P. samoensis Marples 1951 S03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A02] Agnarsson, I. 2002. Sharing a web—on the relation of sociality and kleptoparasitism in theridiid spiders (Theridiidae, Araneae). Journal of Arachnology 30 (2): 181–188.

[FF99] Forster, R., & L. Forster. 1999. Spiders of New Zealand and their World-wide Kin. University of Otago Press: Dunedin (New Zealand).

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

[S03] Schütt, K. 2003. Phylogeny of Symphytognathidae s.l. (Araneae, Araneoidea). Zoologica Scripta 32 (2): 129–151.

[W76] Wunderlich, J. 1976. Spinnen aus Australien. 1. Uloboridae, Theridiosomatidae und Symphytognathidae (Arachnida: Araneida). Senckenbergiana Biologica 57 (1–3): 113–124.

Last updated: 22 September 2019.

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