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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Superphylum: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Classis: Arachnida
Ordo: Araneae
Subordo: Mesothelae
Familia: Liphistiidae
Subfamiliae (2): Heptathelinae - Liphistiinae

Overview of genera (5)
Genera: Heptathela - Liphistius - Nanthela - Ryuthela - Songthela


Liphistiidae Thorell, 1869


* Heptathelidae


* Thorell, T. 1869. On European spiders. Part I. Review of the European genera of spiders, preceded by some observations on zoological nomenclature. Nova Acta reg. Soc. sci. Upsaliae (3) 7: 1-108. [43]
* Platnick, N. I. 2008. The World Spider Catalog, version 9.0. American Museum of Natural History. [1]

Vernacular names
日本語: ハラフシグモ科

The spider family Liphistiidae comprises 5 genera and 85 species[1] 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,[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

Malaysian species

In caves in Malaysia, three different species of Liphistius are known, and each species is endemic to just one or two caves.[5] 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.

The Malaysian trapdoor spiders are protected by local and international law. Continuous threats come from loss of habitat and collection by exotic pet traders. It is believed that most of the species are endemic henceforth once an isolated habitat is destroyed, the species might go into extinction.


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 Mygalomorphae (mostly tarantulas) and Araneomorphae (all other spiders), only the Araneomorphae changed their alignment of chelicerae, while the mygalomorphs retained this symplesiomorph feature.[3]


* 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)


1. ^ Platnick 2008
2. ^ Haupt 2004
3. ^ a b Coddington & Levi 1991
4. ^ Murphy & Murphy 2000
5. ^ Caves of Malaysia


* Coddington, J.A. & Levi, H.W. (1991): Systematics and Evolution of Spiders (Araneae). Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 22: 565-592. doi:10.1146/annurev.es.22.110191.003025
* 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
* Murphy, Frances & Murphy, John (2000): An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia. Malaysian Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.
* Haupt, J. (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
* Platnick, Norman I. (2008): The world spider catalog, version 8.5. American Museum of Natural History.

Biology Encyclopedia


Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License