Cheiracanthiidae, are an araneomorph spider family, having a wide distribution, including regions of North America, South America, Central America, Africa, and parts of Asia. Cheiracanthium or the yellow sac spider is the largest among all the genera that belong to this family. This genus was initially a part of the Clubionidae and Miturgidae families. The World Spider Catalog accepts 12 genera and about 354 species under this family, as per the 2019 April records.


Spiders Belonging To This Family


  • Calamoneta
  • Calamopus
  • Cheiracanthium
  • Cheiramiona
  • Ericaella
  • Eutichurus
  • Lessertina
  • Macerio
  • Radulphius
  • Strotarchus 
  • Summacanthium
  • Tecution 


  • Cheiracanthium inclusum
  • Cheiracanthium algarvense
  • Cheiracanthium annulipes 
  • Cheiracanthium campestre 
  • Cheiracanthium salsicola
  • Cheiracanthium taprobanense
  • Cheiracanthium indicum
  • Cheiracanthium macedonicum 
  • Cheiracanthium margaritae
  • Cheiracanthium oncognathum
  • Cheiracanthium pennatum 
  • Cheiracanthium punctorium

Physical Description & Identification

Size: They are not too big, with females having an average length of 0.19 – 0.35 inches (5 – 9 mm), while the males are 0.15 – 0.31 inches (4 – 8 mm) long.

Color: The standard colors include yellow, green, and brown, with the patterns varying from species of one genus to the other.

Other Characteristic Features: Each species have a striking feature of their own. For instance, the Cheiracanthium inclusum (black-footed yellow-sac spider) males have a narrow body and long leg span. The Cheiracanthium ilicis, on the other hand, has an oval-shaped dorsal shield alongside small eyes arranged transversally in two rows.


A single egg mass may contain between 15 and 90 eggs, most of them laid from June – July. They are laid in small silken tubes and protected strongly from the clutches of predators.


They stay with their family until maturation, after which they disperse to dwell on their own.

The Web

Spiders of this family mostly do not build webs but capture their prey by detecting them through mechanical vibrations.

Are Cheiracanthiidae Spiders Venomous

Those of the Cheiracanthium genus (particularly the Cheiracanthium inclusum, Cheiracanthium mildei, Cheiracanthium punctorium) are known to inflict painful bites. However, that would not result in fatalities.

Quick Facts

Distribution Parts of America, Asia, and Europe
HabitatAreas of rough vegetation, heather, and humanmade structures
Diet Insect s
Lifespan 1 to 2 years

Did You Know

  • German zoologist, archaeologist, and paleontologist, Johann Andreas Wagner  first described this family in 1887.