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Tangled nest spiders
Temporal range:
Callobius sp.
Pimus sp.
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Amaurobiidae
Thorell, 1869
50 genera, 286 species

Amaurobiidae is a family of three-clawed cribellate or ecribellate spiders found in crevices and hollows or under stones where they build retreats, and are often collected in pitfall traps. Unlidded burrows are sometimes quite obvious in crusty, loamy soil. They are difficult to distinguish from related spiders in other families, especially Agelenidae, Desidae and Amphinectidae. Their intra- and interfamilial relationships are contentious. According to the World Spider Catalog, 2023, the family Amaurobiidae includes 286 species in 50 genera.

In Australia, they are small to medium-sized entelegyne spiders with minimal sheet webs. They are fairly common in Tasmania and nearby mainland Australia in cooler rainforest, some in caves. They are widespread but uncommon along the eastern coastline. They generally have eight similar eyes in two conservatively curved rows. They often have a calamistrum on metatarsus IV associated with a cribellum. Australian amaurobiids may be distinguished from the Amphinectidae by the absence of a pretarsal fracture and the presence of a retrocoxal hymen on coxa I.


This family has lost and gained several genera resulting from wide-ranging DNA analysis of spider families. It lost Bakala and Manjala to Desidae, while Toxopidae took in Midgee and the monotypic genus Jamara. In return, it gained some of Australia's medium-sized brown spiders in the former family Amphinectidae, including Tasmabrochus, Tasmarubrius, and Teeatta), all of which are common in Tasmania and mainland Australia.


As of January 2023, the World Spider Catalog accepts the following genera:

See also


  1. ^ "Amaurobiidae Hackled-mesh Weavers". Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  2. ^ a b Whyte, Robert; Anderson, Greg (June 2017). A field guide to spiders of Australia. Clayton, Vic. ISBN 9780643107083. OCLC 973390260.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  3. ^ a b "Family: Amaurobiidae Thorell, 1870". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  4. ^ Spiders of Australia Archived 2011-11-30 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Whyte, Robert; Anderson, Greg (2017). A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia. Csiro Publishing. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-643-10708-3.
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