image_caption = female "Ryuthela tanikawai"
image_width = 250px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
classis = Arachnida
ordo = Araneae
subordo = Mesothelae
familia = Liphistiidae
familia_authority = Thorell, 1869
diversity_link = List of Liphistiidae species
diversity = 5 genera, 85 species

subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Heptathela"

The spider family Liphistiidae comprises 5 genera and 85 species [Platnick 2008] from Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. They are among the most basal living spiders, belonging to the suborder Mesothelae. In Japan, the Kimura-gumo ("Heptathela kimurai") is rather well-known.


Liphistiidae are rarely seen tube-dwelling spiders that construct rudimentary trap-doors, characterized by their downward pointing, daggerlike chelicerae without venom glands [Haupt 2004] , and by having a segmented series of plates on the upper surface of their abdomens. Some make silk trip-lines radiating away from the burrow entrance. They are active at night and live for many years, and females molt after maturity. Adult males wander in search for females, which rarely leave their burrows. The respiratory system consists only of book lungs, which could be a reason why these spiders show a quite low level of activity.Coddington & Levi 1991]

Although most species live in burrows, cave-dwelling species fasten their retreats to the side of the cave. Both burrows and retreats are sealed with woven doors. [Murphy & Murphy 2000]

Malaysian species

In caves in Malaysia, three different species of "Liphistius" are known, and each species is endemic to just one or two caves [ [ Caves of Malaysia] ] . The most well known of them is "Liphistius batuensis", which is found in Batu Caves. Other species that can be found in Malaysia include "Liphistius malayanus", "Liphistius murphyorum" and "Liphistius desultor" which can be found in cool-humid places.


Although they are Orthognatha (having downward pointing chelicerae), like the Mygalomorphae, there is no close relationship between those two. It is thought that the common ancestor of all spiders was orthognath, and that in the Opisthothelae, comprising of Mygalomorphae (mostly tarantulas) and Araneomorphae (all other spiders), only the Araneomorphae changed their alignment of chelicerae, while the mygalomorphs retained this symplesiomorph feature.


* "Heptathela" Kishida, 1923 — Vietnam, Japan, China (25 species)
* "Liphistius" Schiødte, 1849 — Southeast Asia (47 species)
* "Nanthela" Haupt, 2003 — Hong Kong, Vietnam (2 species)
* "Ryuthela" Haupt, 1983 — Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa (7 species)
* "Songthela" Ono, 2000 — China (4 species)

ee also

* List of Liphistiidae species
* Spider families



* (1991): Systematics and Evolution of Spiders (Araneae). "Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst." 22: 565-592. doi|10.1146/
* Ono, H. (1999) Spiders of the genus "Heptathela" (Araneae, Liphistiidae) from Vietnam, with notes on their natural history. The Journal of Arachnology 27(1): 37-43. [ PDF]
* (2000): An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia. "Malaysian Nature Society", Kuala Lumpur.
* (2004): The Mesothelae - a monograph of an exceptional group of spiders (Araneae: Mesothelae). "Zoologica" 154: 8. ISSN|0044-5088, ISBN 3-510-55041-2 — [ Abstract]
* (2008): [ The world spider catalog] , version 8.5. "American Museum of Natural History".

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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