Zorocrates aemulus, copyright Marshal Hedin.

Belongs within: Neocribellatae.
Contains: Stiphidiidae, Agelenidae, Amphinectidae, Desidae, Zodariidae, Amaurobiidae, Cycloctenidae, Pisauridae, Oxyopidae, Lycosidae, Dionycha.

The Amaurobioidea have historically been recognised as including cribellate spiders with unbranched median tracheae but such a grouping is now recognised as non-monophyletic. Instead, 'amaurobioids' represent basal members of what is commonly referred to as the RTA clade, referring to the presence of a retrolateral tibial apophysis on the male palp. Nested within this clade are the Lycosoidea, a clade of mostly actively hunting spiders united by a notably recurved posterior eyerow and grate-shaped tapeta in the anterior lateral and posterior median eyes (Ramírez 2014). The Indo-Australian Psechridae are lycosoids with a narrow, divided cribellum and a calamistrum consisting of three or four rows of equal, short, distally bent setae (Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007).

The Zorocratidae, found in southern North America and Madagascar, have a large tegular apophysis occupying the greater part of the ventral surface of the male palp, and the embolus originating on the dorsal surface of the palpal bulb and extending behind the bulb for its length. The Tengellidae, found in the Americas and New Zealand, are medium-sized to large spiders with three tarsal claws, often with claw tufts, a distally notched labium and two rows of similarly sized trichobothria on the tarsi (Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007).

See also: Amaurobioidea: rummaging through a wastebasket.

Synapomorphies (from Ramírez 2014, as RTA clade): Carapace thoracic fovea a narrow dark longitudinal line; general metatarsal spination pattern x-x-x; more than two metatarsal trichobothria on a leg; tarsus with single trichobothrial row.

<==Amaurobioidea [Agelenoidea, Citigradae] R14
    |--+--Pimus Chamberlin 1947 R14, WZ08
    |  |    `--P. napa R14
    |  `--+--Stiphidiidae R14
    |     `--+--Agelenidae R14
    |        `--+--+--Amphinectidae R14
    |           |  `--Desidae R14
    |           `--+--Zodariidae JD-S07
    |              |--Amaurobiidae R14
    |              `--Cycloctenidae R14
    `--+--Lycosoidea R14
       |    |--Psechridae JD-S07
       |    |    |--Eomatachia latifrons Petrunkevitch 1942 S93
       |    |    |--Fecenia Simon 1887 JD-S07
       |    |    |    `--F. oblonga Rainbow 1913 R13
       |    |    `--Psechrus Thorell 1878 JD-S07 [incl. Lancaria Karsch 1879 K92]
       |    |         |--P. argentatus (Dol. 1857) (see below for synonymy) K92
       |    |         `--P. singaporensis JD-S07
       |    `--Lycosaeformia JD-S07
       |         |--+--Pisauridae R14
       |         |  `--+--Senoculus Taczanowski 1875 R14, JD-S07 [Senoculidae]
       |         |     `--Oxyopidae R14
       |         `--+--Lycosidae JD-S07
       |            `--Trechaleidae JD-S07
       |                 |--Syntrechalea brasilia Carico 2008 FM11
       |                 |--Enna JD-S07
       |                 `--Trechalea Thorell 1870 JD-S07
       |                      |--T. biocellata MC05
       |                      `--T. keyserlingi CM07
       `--+--Tengellidae R14
          |    |--Anachemmis Chamberlin 1919 JD-S07
          |    |--Calamistrula Dahl 1901 JD-S07
          |    |--Titiotus Simon 1897 JD-S07
          |    |--Austrotengella R14
          |    |--Anachemmis R14
          |    |--Socalchemmis Platnick & Ubick 2001 JD-S07
          |    |    `--S. idyllwild R14
          |    |--Tengella Dahl 1901 JD-S07
          |    |    `--T. radiata JD-S07
          |    `--Wiltona Koçak & Kemal 2008 PVD10 [=Haurokoa Forster & Wilton 1973 (preoc.) PVD10, JD-S07]
          |         `--*W. filicicola (Forster & Wilton 1973) [=*Haurokoa filicicola] PVD10
          `--+--*Ciniflella lutea R14
             `--+--Zorocratidae [Zorocratinae] BS09
                |    |--Zorodictyna Simon 1907 GC99, JD-S07
                |    |--Uduba Simon 1880 GC99, JD-S07
                |    |--Campostichomma Karsch 1891 GC99, JD-S07
                |    |    `--*C. manicatum Karsch 1892 K92
                |    `--Zorocrates Simon 1888 R14, JD-S07
                |         |--Z. aemulus R14
                |         |--Z. fuscus BS09
                |         |--Z. gnaphosoides R14
                |         `--Z. unicolor R14
                `--+--+--Dionycha R14
                   |  `--Liocranoides Keyserling 1881 R14, JD-S07
                   |       `--L. unicolor R14
                   `--+--Raecius Simon 1898 R14, JD-S07
                      |    `--R. jocquei JD-S07
                      `--Griswoldia Dippenaar-Schoeman & Jocqué 1997 R14, JD-S07 [Griswoldiinae]
                           |--G. acaenata R14
                           |--G. punctata R14
                           `--G. robusta R14

Amaurobioidea incertae sedis:
  Chumma Jocqué 2001 J01 [Chummidae JD-S07]
    |--*C. inquieta Jocqué 2001 J01
    `--C. gastroperforata Jocqué 2001 J01
  Phryganoporus candidus Do95
  Midgee Davies 1995 Da95
    |--*M. binnaburra Davies 1995 Da95
    |--M. alta Davies 1995 Da95
    |--M. bellendenker Davies 1995 Da95
    |--M. littlei Davies 1995 Da95
    |--M. minuta Davies 1995 Da95
    |--M. monteithi Davies 1995 Da95
    |--M. parva Davies 1995 Da95
    |--M. pumila Davies 1995 Da95
    `--M. thompsoni Davies 1995 Da95
  Manjala Da95
  Bakala Da95
  Malala Da95
  Insecutor [Insecutoridae] S93
    |--I. aculeatus Petrunkevitch 1942 S93
    |--I. mandibulatus Petrunkevitch 1942 S93
    `--I. rufus Petrunkevitch 1942 S93

Psechrus argentatus (Dol. 1857) [=Tegenaria argentata; incl. T. torva Cambr. 1870, Lancaria torva] K92

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

[CM07] Cokendolpher, J. C., & P. G. Mitov. 2007. Natural enemies. In: Pinto-da-Rocha, R., G. Machado & G. Giribet (eds) Harvestmen: The Biology of Opiliones pp. 339–373. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[Da95] Davies, V. T. 1995. A tiny litter spider (Araneae: Amaurobioidea) from Australian rainforests. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 52: 119–129.

[Do95] Downes, M. F. 1995. Australasian social spiders: what is meant by 'social'? Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 52: 25–32.

[FM11] Freire-Jr, G. de B., & P. C. Motta. 2011. Effects of experimental fire regimes on the abundance and diversity of cursorial arachnids of Brazilian savannah (cerrado biome). Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 263–272.

[GC99] Griswold, C. E., J. A. Coddington, N. I. Platnick & R. R. Forster. 1999. Towards a phylogeny of entelegyne spiders (Araneae, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae). Journal of Arachnology 27: 53–63.

[J01] Jocqué, R. 2001. Chummidae, a new spider family (Arachnida, Araneae) from South Africa. Journal of Zoology 254: 481–493.

[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.

[MC05] Machado, G., P. C. Carrera, A. M. Pomini & A. J. Marsaioli. 2005. Chemical defense in harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones): do benzoquinone secretions deter invertebrate and vertebrate predators? Journal of Chemical Ecology 31 (11): 2519–2539.

[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).

[R14] Ramírez, M. J. 2014. The morphology and phylogeny of dionychan spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 390: 1–374.

[S93] Selden, P. A. 1993. Arthropoda (Aglaspidida, Pycnogonida and Chelicerata). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 297–320. Chapman & Hall: London.

[WZ08] Wang, X.-P., & M.-S. Zhu. 2008. Himalmartensus, a new genus of the spider family Amaurobiidae from Nepal (Araneae). Journal of Arachnology 36 (2): 241–250.

Last updated: 24 January 2022.

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