Symphytognathidae

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 1905JD-S07
    |--Globignatha Balogh & Loksa 1968JD-S07
    |--Curimagua Forster & Platnick 1977JD-S07
    |    `--C. bayano Forster & Platnick 1977A02
    |--Anapistula Gertsch 1941S03
    |    |--A. caecula Baert & Jocqué 1993S03
    |    `--A. secreta Gertsch 1941S03
    |--Symphytognatha Hickman 1931S03
    |    |--S. globosa Hickman 1931W76
    |    `--S. picta Harvey 1992S03
    `--Patu Marples 1951S03
         |--P. digua Forster & Platnick 1977S03
         |--P. marplesiFF99
         `--P. samoensis Marples 1951S03

*Type species of generic name indicated

References

[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.

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