Belongs within: Lycosinae. The genus Lycosa has been used in the past for a diverse array of relatively large wolf spiders that construct silken burrows. It is now known to be polyphyletic in its earlier circumscriptions; the genus as currently recognised is most diverse in the western Palaearctic, but remains poorly defined and many species… Continue reading Lycosa


Belongs within: Amaurobioidea. The Cycloctenidae, scuttling spiders, are a group of free-living hunting spiders endemic to Australasia (Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007). The Cycloctenidae: unassuming in Australasia The higher classification of spiders has long been a challenging subject. Sure, we’ve come a long way from the days of Clerck and Linnaeus, when every spider was included… Continue reading Cycloctenidae


My lovely manly humps Published 5 December 2023 The Linyphiidae are one of the most spectacularly diverse of all spider families. Representatives of this family can be found all around the world, from the steamy tropics to the frozen tundra. However, they typically escape attention due to their small size, often only a couple of… Continue reading Oedothorax

Categorised as Araneoidea


Australia’s own scorpions Published 23 September 2023 Popular lore represents the continent of Australia as some sort of death world, a land over-run with creatures (and a few plants) whose only goal in life is the extermination of unwitting trespassers within their demesne. This, of course, is largely rubbish; in most parts of Australia, it’s… Continue reading Urodacus


Belongs within: Sclerosomatidae. Psathyropus is a genus of harvestmen from southern Asia, characterised (indistinctly) by the presence of two pseudoarticular nodules in femur II. Tenuous legs and tenuous connections In past postings on this site, I’ve expounded at length on the taxonomic nightmares associated with the harvestman family Sclerosomatidae. High diversity combined with systems based… Continue reading Psathyropus


Belongs within: Psoroptidia. The Pterolichidae are a group of astigmatine mites found living in the feather vanes of a range of bird orders. Females either have the legs inserted laterally or have anterior tarsi less than twice the length of the tibiae, and lack ad setae. A little piece of feathery paradise Published 13 June… Continue reading Pterolichidae


Belongs within: Opiliones.Contains: Irumuinae, Sidaminae, Assamiinae, Polycoryphinae, Dampetrinae, Trionyxellinae, Hypoxestinae, Selencinae, Metereca, Ereca, Chilon. The Assamiidae are a family of short-legged harvestmen found in tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World. In life, the pedipalps are held crossed one over the other when at rest. The problem with Sacesphorus Published 10 May 2015 One… Continue reading Assamiidae


Belongs within: Assamiidae. The Irumuinae are an African subfamily of blind, subterranean harvestmen (Kauri 1985). Characters (from Kauri 1985): Second metatarsus divided into two or more segments. Number of segments in tarsus II reduced and in most cases fewer than in tarsus IV, or equal in number. Inner tubercle of lateral tubercle pair in anterior… Continue reading Irumuinae


Belongs within: Assamiidae. The Sidaminae are a group of assamiid harvestmen found in Africa with large ventral spines on the pedipalp. They have been distinguished from the Maruinae by the absence of a median spine on the anterior margin of the carapace (Kauri 1985) but the significance of this distinction is questionable. Characters (from Santos… Continue reading Sidaminae


Belongs within: Assamiidae. The Polycoryphinae are a group of assamiid harvestmen found in southern Asia and central and eastern Africa. They are characterised by the presence of chitinous projections concealing the spiracles, and of a frontal spine on the anterior margin of the carapace (Santos & Prieto 2010). Characters (from Santos & Prieto 2010): Anterior… Continue reading Polycoryphinae