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Ground Spiders (Gnaphosidae), Facts, Identifications & Pictures

Ground Spiders

The ground spiders comprise of members of the Gnaphosidae family consisting of about 2000 species divided into more than 100 genera distributed evenly all over the world.

Ground Spiders

Spiders Belonging To This Family


  • Amazoromus
  • Amusia
  • Anagrina
  • Apodrassodes
  • Benoitodes
  • Cabanadrassus
  • Callilepis
  • Canariognapha
  • Diaphractus
  • Drassodes
  • Eilica
  • Eleleis
  • Homoeothele
  • Herpyllus
  • Intruda
  • Kishidaia
  • Laronius
  • Leptodrassex
  • Macarophaeus
  • Moreno
  • Nopyllus
  • Odontodrassus
  • Prodida
  • Pseudodrassus
  • Sanitubius
  • Sanitubius
  • Setaphis
  • Synaphosus
  • Theuma
  • Titus
  • Urozelotes
  • Verita
  • Wydundra
  • Xerophaeus
  • Xizangia
  • Zelominor


Physical Description & Identification


Size: They are 8 to 15mm (0.31 to 0.59 inches) in size.

Color: The spiders of this family may be black, grayish-brown, or red.

Other characteristics: They have two black barrel-shaped spinnerets resembling tubes at their abdominal tips. The spiders belonging to this family possess eight eyes divided into rows of two, that are mostly triangular or oval-shaped.


The small-sized eggs are contained within the papery, thick-walled egg sac, guarded vigilantly by the mother until they hatch. The egg sacs resemble fried eggs since they bulge in the middle.


The spiderlings remain with their mother until maturity after which they disperse to be on their own.

The Web

Though they make webs it is not used for capturing prey, for which they use their hunting skills.

Are the Members of the Gnaphosidae Family Harmful and Do They Bite

Though most of the members of this family are aggressive hunters, they are generally harmless to human beings, and their bites are not venomous.

Quick Facts

Lifespan 2 -3 years
DistributionNorth and South America, Australia, Asia, New Zealand, and Europe
HabitatMostly outdoors beneath logs and stones, within decayed matter, and leaf litter; indoors they may be found hiding amidst clothes pile, furniture, appliances, and utensils.
DietSmall insects as well as other spiders

Did You Know

  • With a large number of genera and species, the Gnaphosidae is the 7th largest spider family.
  • The common genera of this family include Cesonia, Drassodes, Gnaphosa, Zelotes and Micaria.