Curtain-Web Spiders

Curtain-web spiders, a name given to the species of the Dipluridae family, belong to the Mygalomorphae infraorder. Several genera, also those of the Atrax genus (Sydney funnel-web) were a part of this family, but now have shifted to Hexathelidae.  The World Spider Catalog recognizes eight genera as per the July 2020 records.

Spiders Belonging To This Family

Genus

Diplura Harmonicon Linothele
Masteria Siremata Striamea
Trechona Troglodiplura  

Species

Diplura lineata Harmonicon cerberus Linothele cavicola
Linothele zaia Trechona adspersa Troglodiplura lowryi
Masteria yacambu Masteria tayrona Thelechoris rutenbergi

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: They are versatile, with the largest species (Australothele nambucca) having a body length of 1.18 inches. On the other hand, the smallest spider (Masteria toddae) is 0.23 inches (6mm).

Color: Most have a dull brown with the patterns and stripes differing from one species to another.

Other Characteristic Features: They possess two pair booklungs, alongside chelicerae that go up and down, following a stabbing motion. Their long spinnerets looking like a finger lie towards the end of their body. The posterior median spinnerets are shorter than the posterior lateral ones.  Some like the Masteria caeca comes without eyes.

Eggs

The eggs are small enclosed in a silken case.

Spiderlings

The juveniles separate from their family and begin moving on their own in a couple of days after hatching.

The Web

Some weave webs in the shape of a funnel, while others build burrows In litters of leaves, barks, or even below logs.

Are Curtain-web Spiders Venomous

The toxicity of the venoms of most Curtain-web species remains unknown. Yet some species of this family are huge, and could inflict a painful bite.

Quick Facts

Distribution Different parts of South America, Central America, and Australia
Habitat Rainforests, grasslands, swampy areas particularly under logs, leaf litters, barks of trees and so on.
Diet Insects, other spiders
Lifespan Approximately 2 – 3 years

Did You Know

  • It had many more genera than the ones mentioned above, most of which have been transferred to other families. For instance, Allothele and Australothele belong to the Euagridae family.