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Spider Glossary

Maintained by John Hancock


Term Definition
Abdomen (adj. Abdominal) - the posterior the two major divisions of the body of a spider; often called the opistosoma
Accessory claws - serrated and greatly thickened hairs near the true tarsal claws in some spiders
Aciniform - form of silk gland and its associated spigot type
Acuminate - tapering to a point
Adnexae - a collective term for the spermathecae and ducts forming the internal reproductive organs of the female spider
Aeolian deposits - sediments deposited by wind- consisting of sand and dust.
AER - anterior eye row
Agonistic - combative or aggressive behavior
ALE - anterior lateral eyes
Allopatric - species, sub species etc separated by geographical features. Occupying a different geographical range. See SYMPATRIC
Alpine Ecoregion - the treeless Alpine Ecoregion occurs above the Upper Subalpine at altitudes of 2250 m to > 2650 m. Alpine vegetation typically forms a complex, fine-scale mosaic in which microclimatic factors are related in marked changes in community composition. Sign
ALS - anterior lateral spinnerets
Alveolus - the hollowed-out part of the cymbium, of the male palpal tarsus, which the palpal bulb arises from and partially contained within
AME - primary eyes anterior median eyes. These aremorphologically distinct from other eyes and are often reduced or absent.
AMS - anterior median spinnerets. Present only in some mesothelae; absent in mygalomorphae; represented by cribellum or colulus in Araneomorphae.
Anal tubercle - a small process, dorsal to the spinnerets, carrying the anal opening.
Angulate - having an angular form.
Annulations - rings of pigmentation, usually around the legs.
Annuli - transverse wrinkles on an epigynal scape, rings.
Anteriad - towards the anterior end, front.
Anterior - nearest the front, or head. Also used in combination, e.g. anteroventral for an example.
Anterior eye row (AER) - the anteriormost row of eyes, usually consisting of the anterior median and anterior lateral eyes.
Anterior lateral spinnerets (ALS) - anterior spinnerets, absent in most Mygalomorphae: large in Araneomorphae.
Anterodorsal - towards the front of the dorsal (or top) surface of body or appendage. Anterodorsal view.
Anterolateral - pertaining to the anterior end and the side
Anteromesal - pertaining to the anterior end and the midline.
Anteroventral - towards the front of the ventral (or underside) surface of body or appendage. Anteroventral view.
Apical - distal, towards the terminal portion of an appendage (away from the body).
Apical division - that part of the genital bulb of the male palpus comprising the conductor, embolus, and associated structures.
Apodeme - external skeleton process.
Apomorphic - derived or advanced.
Apophysis (pl. apophyses) - cuticular or sclerotized projection, common on palpal segments, including femur, patella or tibia of the palp.
Araneophagous - spider eating
Arboreal - tree dwelling.
Arcuate - curved like a bow or arc-shaped.
Arthrodial membrane - flexible membranes between joints, body sclerites and other appendages.
Atrial - pertaining to the atrium.
Atrium - a cavity in the epigynal plate having the copulatory openings of the female in its floor or wall; it may be subdivided by a median septum.
Attenuate - tapering into a long point.
Autospasy - the loss of a leg or appendage at a locus of weakness; usually occurs at the coxa-trochanter joint but sometimes occurs instead at the patella-tibia joint.
Autotomize - removal of appendage by spider.
autotomy - voluntary separation of appendage or leg.
Axis - a central line of symmetry of an organ or organism.
Ballooning - the ability of spiders to fly! On long strands of silk caught by the wind, often great height and distances can be achieved.
Basal - pertaining to the base of an appendage or segment.
Basal division - that part of the bulb of the male palpus comprising the sub-tegulum and associated structures.
Basitarsus - another name for metatarsus;the basal subdivision of the leg tarsus
Bidentate - having two teeth.
Bifid - forked or in two lobes by a cleft.
Bifurcate - two-pronged.
Bipartite - in two parts; split into two sections.
Biseriate - arranged in two parallel rows.
Blumenthal's tarsal organ - sense organs, usually pit-like, on dorsal surface of spider tarsi.
Book lung cover - (branchial operculum) plate covering the book lung
Book-lung - an air-filled cavity, containing thin vascular lamellae arranged like the pages of a book, opening on the ventral side of the abdomen. Most Araneomorphae have a single pair located anterolaterally of the epigastric furrow; Mygalomorphae and Hypochilidae
Boreal forest - the boreal forest is in fact a circumpolar belt that spans 10° latitude. The western part of this forest stretches from Alaska and the Rocky Mountains eastwards to the Great Lakes. Our study area contains a 'arm' of forest reaching down from the north.
Boss - a smooth, rounded or slightly conical prominence. (=condyle) rounded swelling located at the base of the chelicera
Branchial operculum - book lung cover
Bristles - small rigid hairs or small spines
Bulb - ( = genital bulb = palpal organ) - the genital structure of the male spider containing the sperm reservoir and attached to the palpal tarusu; rarely fused to the tarsus, as in some Oonopidae, from which it can be differentiated by lacking seta
Bursa copulatrix - Latin term for female copulatory pouch
Calamistrum (calamistra) - a comb of hairs on metatarsus IV of cribellate spiders; used for combing out silk from the cribellum
Capitate - linear structure having a distal swelling
Caput - anterior ( = head ) portion of the carapace
Carapace - the exoskeleton shield covering the dorsal surface of the cephalothorax or prosoma.
Cardiac mark - a lanceolate midline mark on the abdomen, anterodorsally, over the heart.
Carina - ridge or keel
Catalepsy - feigning death.
Caudal - towards the posterior end of the abdomen.
Cavernicolous - living in caves or subterranean passages.
Cephalic region - anterior ( = head ) portion of the carapace
Cephalon - towards the posterior end
Cephalothoracic junction - a furrow extending forwards and to the sides from the centre of the carapace, marking the junction of the head and thoracic regions; or cervical groove.
Cephalothorax - the anterior of the two major divisions of the body of a spider; or prosoma.
Cervical grooves - shallow grooves separating the cephalic from the thoracic part of the carapace
chaetotaxy - the arrangement the leg spines, particularly relation to classification.
Chelate - pincer-like; in spiders refers to the fused chelicerae of some Haplogynae where the fang and lamina form a pincer
Chelicerae - the pair of jaws consisting of a large basal segment (paturon) and an apical fang
Cheliceral extension - a pointed basal projection behind the clypeus, conspicuous in some Theridiidae, Nesticidae, and Pholcidae
Cheliceral furrow - ( = fang furrow) - the groove of the chelicera into which the fang closes
Cheliceral lamina - ( = lamella) - sclertized ridge on the cheliceral margin or mesal surface; also a sclerite in the male palp of many Linyphiidae
Cheliceral teeth - large and/or tiny tooth like projections on the cheliceral furrow margins
Chemoreception - sensing of chemical stimuli
Chevron - V-shaped pattern
Chilum - a small sclerite at the base of the chelicera ( under the clypeus)
Chitinized - sclerotized, hardened or horny; not flexible or membranous.
Chorion - the egg shell of arthropods.
Clade - monophyletic group
Cladogram - diagram derived from phylogenetic analysis illustrating evolutionary relationships among groups
Clasping spine - a type of mating spur consisting of an enlarged, curved spine that articulates against the leg segment, as in Mysmenidae
Clavate - club-shaped.
Claw - a strong, curved, sharp-pointed process (often toothed) on the distal extremity of a leg or females palp.
Claw dentition - the pectinate ventral surface of most claws, arranged in either a single (uniserial) or double (biserial) row of teeth
Claw tuft - a bunch of hairs at the tip of the leg tarsus in those spiders with two claws.
Cline - a graded sequence of character expression (morphological or behavioral) across a series of neighboring populations.
Clypeus (adj. clypeal) - the area between the anterior row of eyes and the anterior edge of the carapace.
Cochlea - a pit at the tip of the epigynal scape found in some linyphiidae
Colulate - having a colulus
Colulus - a midline appendage or tubercle arising from just in front of the anterior spinners in some spiders, a nonfunctional cribellum
Concolorous - of a uniform color
Conductor - a sclerite in the male palp which, when functional, serves to support and guide the embolus in copulation.
Condyle - a smooth, rounded protuderance sometimes present laterally near the base of the chelicera.
Congeneric - of the same genus
Conglomerate - irregular aggregation or mass of objects
Conical - cone shaped
Connecting ducts - ducts in the female genitalia which connect the copulatory pores to the spermathecae
Conspecific - of the same species
Contiguous - not separated
Contralateral - on the opposite side. See also ipsilateral.
Copulatory ducts - paired tubes leading inwards from the copulatory openings of the female to the spermathecae, and receiving the embolus of the male in copulation.
Copulatory openings - external pores on the epigyna of entelgyne females
Coriaceous - leathery in texture.
Cosmopolitan - worldwide, occurring globally
Coxa (pl. coxae; adj. coxal) - first segment of the leg or palp.
Cribellate - pertaining to spiders in which the abdomen has a cribellum.
Cribellum - a spinning organ in the form of a transverse plate, just in front of the spinnerets in some cribellate spiders; homologue of the AMS
Cryptozoic - living in hidden or concealed habitats
Ctenidia - structures on the male palpapl tibia of some Dictynidae consisting of a short process bearing diminutive stout spines
Cusps - short thick spines on the legs of some spiders
Cuspules - small spines on the endites and labium of Mygalomorphae
Cuticle - the outer layer of the integument, skin or body wall.
Cymbium (pl. cymbia; adj. cymbial) - the broadened, hollowed-out tarsus of the male palp to which the palpal bulb is attached.
Cytotoxic - toxins such as some spider venoms that attack cells
Declivity - sloping downward
Dentate - toothed.
Diad - a pair of two contiguous eyes
Diaxial - ( = labidognathous) - downward projecting chelicerae with the fangs operating along the transverse axis (like scissors); present in Araneomorphae
Dichotomous key - an arrangement of diagnostic characters for the identification of organisms using alternative choices
Digitiform - fingerlike
Dionychous, dionycha - pertaining to those groups of spiders in which the leg tarsus bears only two claws.
Distal - farthest away from the body, or situated at the outer edge.
Distitarsus - another name for metatarsus, distal subdivision of the leg tarsus.
Distomesad - farthest from the base.
Distomesal - pertaining to the tip and midline.
Divergent - structures whose distance apart increases distally
Diverticular - extensions of the digestive system
Dorsal - towards the dorsum.
Dorsal groove - a median furrow, or groove, on the carapace marking the presence of an ingrowth of the body wall on which the dilator muscles of the sucking stomach are attached.
Dorsal view - viewed from above. Note that in the case of the epigyne which is normally viewed ventrally, to view its dorsal side one must detach it and view it from 'behind'.
Dorsomesal - towards the middle of the top of the body or appendage
Dorsum (adj. dorsal) - the back or upper surface.
Eclose - to emerge from a egg
Ecotonal - a transitional zone between two habitats.
Ecribellate - pertaining to spiders in which the abdomen has no cribellum.
Ectal margin - the outer margin of the cheliceral furrow in Mygalomorphae
Ectal view - from the outside, example; male palps are a paired asymmetrical structure, often viewed in the ectal view; away from the midline of the body
Edentate - untoothed
Edysis - moulting; the periodic act of casting off the outer layers of skin or integument.
Electrophoresis - a technique in which molecules of, for instance, a venom, are separated by passing an electric field through the substance held in a buffer, such as a gel. The particles, having differing charges and molecular weights diffuse at varying rates and form b
Emarginate - having a notched margin.
Embolic division - in the Linyphiidae, the terminal portion of the palpal bulb, consisting of the radix, embolus and various accessory sclerites. It is attached to the suprategulum by a narrow stalk
Embolus (pl.emboli; adj. embolic) - the terminal portion of the ejaculatory duct and its opening in the male palp.
Emerit's gland - oval cuticular glands found on the appendages of some spiders (e.g., Cybaeidae, Leptonetidae, Telemidae)
Endemic - restricted to a particular region or habitat
Endite - ( = maxilla = gnathocoxa = gnathobase) - the expanded lobe of the palpal coxa situated laterally of the labium
Endogean - occurring beneath the surface ( as opposed to epigean )
Entelegyne spiders - true spiders; spiders with female epigynum and complex male palpal organ. Also refers to the clade, Entelegynae, which includes the vast majority of living spiders
Entrance ducts - paired tubes leading inwards from the copulatory openings of the female to the spermathecae, and receiving the embolus of the male in copulation.
Ephemeral - short lived
Epigastric furrow - a fold and groove separating the region of the book lungs and epigyne from the more posterior portion of the ventral abdomen.
Epigastric plates - (branchial operculum) plate covering the book lung
Epigean - occurring on the surface ( as opposed to endogean )
Epigyne (epigynum) - a more or less sclerotized and modified external structure covering the female reproductive openings. In most spiders.
Epistome - an outgrowth of the body wall at the base of the labrum and partly covering the preoral cavity in front; thought to be the morphological equivalent of the insect clypeus.
Ethology - the study of animal behaviour in natural surroundings, including the causes of behaviour, its function and its development.
Ethospecies - species distinguished mainly by behavioral traits.
Exudate - a fluid which has, by oozing, escaped from or been secreted by certain tissues or organs of the body.Such fluid, often a mixture of protein and cells, frequently dries or coagulates to form a solid, irregular mass.
Exuvia - outer layers of the integument cast at ecdysis.
Eye formula - represents the eye distribution starting with the anterior row ( e.g., "4-2-2" means 4 eyes in the anterior row 2 eyes in the middle row and 2 eyes in the posterior row )
Eye tubercale - mygalomorphs, eye turret, eyes grouped together on a turret
Fang - claw-like distal segment of the chelicera; near its tip opens the duct from the poison gland.
Fang furrow - a depression along the distomesal surface of the chelicera that receives the folded fang.
Femoral spot - sclerotized spot of unknown function located ventrally and subapically on femur I and sometimes femur II, usually on females but can be present on males, as in Mysmenidae
Femur (pl. femora; adj. femoral) - the third segment of the leg or palp, outward from the body, located between the trochanter and patella
Fertilization ducts - ducts leading from the female's spermathecae, through which stored sperm is passed to fertilize the eggs.
Fickert's gland - a swelling of the sperm duct within the embolus found in some Linyphiidae
Filiform - thread-shaped
Fissidentate - teeth with multiple points
Flocculent - woolly.
Fluvial deposits - formed by flow of water.
Folium - a pattern of pigment on the dorsum of the abdomen which is often leaf-shaped.
Foothills Parkland - the Foothills Parkland is one of the warmest and driest region in our study area and occurs at the lowest elevations. The Foothills Parkland Ecoregion is characterized by a landscape mosaic of (Festuca scabrella) rough fescue grassland and aspen grooves
Form - a recognizable minor variant of a population or species, e.g. Oedothorax gibbosus f. tuberosus.
Fossa - deep pit
Fossorial - digging or burrowing
Fovea (pl. foveae; adj. foveal) - a short median groove on the thoracic part of the carapace, situated just above the internal attachment of the gastric muscles.
Fulcrum - a structure that serves as a support for another structure
Furrow - a short median groove on the thoracic part of the carapace, situated just above the internal attachment of the gastric muscles.
Fused chelicerae - chelicerae that are joined mesally, at least along the base (as in some Haplogynae)
Geniculate - bent, knee-like; usually pertains to chelicerae in which the basal segment (paturon) extends beyond the clypeus giving the chelicerae a bent appearance
Genital bulb - the copulatory apparatus lying within the alveolus of the cymbium on the male palp.
Genital groove - another name for epigastric furrow a transverse groove between the first pair of book-lungs in which lie the openings of the internal genitalia, of both sexes.
Genus (pl. genera. Adj. generic) - a taxonomic rank of closely related forms, subdivided into speices
Glabrous - smooth and shiny; refers to cuticle without hairs or spines
Glacial lacustrine deposits - related to a lake.
Globose - rounded, spherical
Gnathobase - ( = maxilla = gnathocoxa = gnathobase) - the expanded lobe of the palpal coxa situated laterally of the labium
Gnathocoxa - ( = maxilla = gnathocoxa = gnathobase) - the expanded lobe of the palpal coxa situated laterally of the labium
Gonopore - the genital opening, located in the middle of the epigastric furrow
Gossamer - a light, gauzy film of spider's silk, often enhanced by dew.
Guanin, guanine - fatty tissue, chalky white in colour, associated with the intestinal diverticula;often abundant subcutaneously in the abdomen, especially dorsally, and showing through unpigmented cuticle as conspicuous white markings.
Gynandromorph - a spider exhibiting gynandry.
Gynandry - an abnormal state, in adult spiders, in which parts of the body and genitlia are female and part male and in which the male and female components are themselves normally developed.
Habitus - general appearance
Hackle band - a batch of silk threads, hackled into a broad band of silk, by the cribellum and calamistrum
Haplogyne - spiders in which the female has no visible epigynum, and the male has a simple palpal organ
Head - that part of the cephalothorax anterior to the cephalothorax junction.
Heamatodocha - a ballon of elastic connective tissue, between groups of sclerites in the male palp,which distends with blood during copulation causing the palpal sclerites to separate and rotate. There may be up to three haematodochae-refered to as proximal, middle an
Hemocyanin - oxygen carrying molecule, pigment in the hemolymph
Hemolymph - body fluid
Hirsute - hairy
Holotype - also known as the type specimen. The original, individual specimen from which the species was first described. See LECTOTYPE, PARATYPE, SYNTYPE.
Hood - a pocketlike cavity at the anterior end of the epigynum of some female spiders (as in Lycosidae)
Hub - center platform of an orb web
Hyaline - translucent or transparent
Hydric - relating to an abundance of moisture.
Hygric - relating to moisture
Hygrorecption - sensing water or moisture gradients
Incrassate - thickened
Inferior claw - ( = median claw) - the third claw (not paired) located apically on the tarsus; absent from male palpi
Instar - a developmental stage prior to adulthood
Integument - the covering layer of tissue, including the cuticle (skin) and exoskeleton.
Intercalary sclerite - a sclerite located between the tegulum and the terminal apophysis and partially covered by the subtegulum
Intercoxal sclerites - narrow sclerites between the coxa
Intersex - a spider exhibiting intersexuality.
Intersexuality - an abnormal state, in adult spiders, in which parts of the body and genitlia are female and part male and in which the male and female components are themselves not fully expressed or developed.
Intromittent organ - external male sexual organ
Ipsilateral - on the same side.
Irregular web - space web of scaffold threads
Isolating mechanism - the intrinsic, (hereditary) differences between species that prevent than interbreeding in nature. Examples are courtship behaviour, timing of sexual maturity and differences in local habitat.
Jizz - silhouette, shape and behavior of a spider
Keel - a serrated ridge, truncated outgrowth of the cheliceral margin
kleptoparasite - spider living in another spider's web and stealing its host's food
krummholz - stunted, wind-trimmed trees between the timber and tree lines on mountains.
Labidognath - another name for an Araneomorphae true spider
Labiosternal junction - the boundary between the labium and sternum
Labium (pl. labia; adj. labial) - the lower lip, ventral to the mouth, lying between the maxillae and the attached to the anterior border of the sternum.
Labral cone - ( = labral spur) - a short projection from the labrum of certain spiders (Anapidae)
Labrum - the upper lip, which is appended to the epistome, with the combination forming the rostrum.
Lacustrine - relating to lakes, formed in.
Lamella (pl. lamellae) - any thin, flattened process or leaf-like plate; as present in the male palp of some spiders and in the book-lungs.
Lamelliform - leaf shaped
Lanceolate - shaped like a lance
Lapus calami - Latin term used in nomenclature meaning literally "a slip of the pen" for an inadvertent textual error made by the author rather than e typographical error
Lateral claws - paired claws
Lateral ocular quadrangle - (LOQ) - the total area occupied by the lateral eyes
Lateral view - from the side, viewing the bilaterally symmetrical.
Laterigrade - denotes the orientation of the legs of some spiders, which are rotated on their bases so that the prolateral surface is uppermost; also describes the mode of locomotion of such spiders, mainly in the family Thomisidae.
LE - lateral eyes
Lectotype - one of a type series subsequently designated to replace lost holotype or when no holotype was designated at the time of publication of type description.
Leg formula - a series of four numbers (e.g., 2143) that give the relative leg lengths, from the longest to the shortest
Leg numbering - legs are numbered using Roman numerals, as I, II, III, IV, starting with the anterior leg; for an example, tibia III refers to the tibia of leg III
Lip - the lower lip, ventral to the mouth, lying between the maxillae and the attached to the anterior border of the sternum.
Lobe - a rounded outgrowth of the cheliceral margin
Longitudinal - lying parallel to the midline of the body.
LOQ - lateral ocular quadrangle
Lorum - the tergum of the pedicel.
Lower Sub-Alpine - the Lower Sub-Alpine is characterized by closed coniferous forest and its altitude range extends from the Montane-Sub-alpine boundary from about 1650 m to 1950 m. Older forest are dominated by Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abie
Lunate - crescent-shaped
Macroseta - an erectile seta that arises from a membranous area on the legs and palp.
Maculate - spotted
Mastidion - a tooth on the cheliceral face
Mating spur - a rigid cuticular outgrowth, with or without apical spines, found on the anterior legs of some male spiders and used as a restraining structure during copulation
Maxillae (adj. maxillary) - the mouthparts ventral to the mouth and lateral to the labium, which are modified coxae of the palps.
ME - median eyes
Mechanoreception - sensing movement, tension or pressure
Median - in the middle or midline.
median apophysis - a sclerite arising from, or associated with, the tegulum and forming part of the middle division of the palpal bulb.
Median claw - the third claw (not paired) located apically on the tarsus; absent from male palpi
Median lobe - the lobe-like protuberance along the midline of some epigyna
Median ocular area, MOA - (MOA = median ocular area = or quadrangle) - area encompassed by the four median eyes
Median ocular quadrangle, MOQ - (MOQ = median ocular quadrangle = or area) - area encompassed by the four median eyes
median septum - a raised longitudinal piece on the floor of the atrium of the epigynum.
Median spinnerets, MS - the innermost pair of spinnerets, typically small
Megaspine - a rigid cuticular outgrowth with a large apical spine
Merovoltine - >1 year/generation
mesad - toward the midline.
Mesal margin - the innermargin of the cheliceral furrow in Mygalomorphae
mesal view - view from inside, with paired asymmetrical structure (e.g. male palp).
mesic - relating to a moderate amount of water.
metatarsus (pl. metatarsi; adj. metatarsal) - the six segment of the leg, counting from the body end, not found in the palps.
middle division - that part of the bulb of the male palpus comprising the tegulum and associated structures.
MOA - median ocular area
Monophyletic - group of organisms sharing a common ancestor
Monotypic - taxon with only one subordinate member, as a genus composed of only one species
Montane Ecoregion - the Montane Ecoregion occurs along the foothills from the USA border, north through the Porcupine Hills, and then further north as a series of disjoint occurrences in major river valleys. The most northerly are to be found along the Athabasca River in J
MOQ - (MOQ = median ocular quadrangle = or area) - area encompassed by the four median eyes
morainal deposits - material laid down by ice.
morph - a recognizable minor variant of a population or species, e.g. Oedothorax gibbosus f. tuberosus.
Morphology - the form and structure or an organism
morphospecies - species distinguished mainly by morphological characters.
Multivoltine - >1 generation/year
Mygalomorphae - infraorder of spiders characterized by paraxial chelicerae and two pairs of book lungs
Myrmecomorph - resembling ants
Myrmecophilous - thriving in association with ants.
Nearctic - Temperate and arctic parts of North America, including Greenland
Necrotic arachnidism - the result of envenomation by a spider such as loxosceles spp. in which the toxin attacks the cells and the body tissues. See CYTOTOXIC
Neurotoxic - toxins, such as some spider venoms that attack the nervous system. Latrodectus toxin is neurotoxic. See CYTOTOXIC
Nomen dubium - Latin term for scientific names of unknown or doubtful application
Nomen nudum - Latin term for scientific names that could not be associated with recognizable biological entity
Nonclavate - not club-shaped.
Notched trochanter - one with a shallow to deep ventroapical excavation
Ocular quadrangle - the area enclosed by certain groups of eyes; e.g., the median ocular quadrangle of spiders with eyes in two rows is the area enclosed by the anterior median eyes and posterior median eyes.
Onychium - apical extension of the tarsus that bears the tarsal claws, prominent in Oonopidae and Ochyroceratidae
Opistosoma - the posteriorof the two major divisions of the body of a spider; often called the abdomen
OQ - the area enclosed by certain groups of eyes; e.g., the median ocular quadrangle of spiders with eyes in two rows is the area enclosed by the anterior median eyes and posterior median eyes.
Orthognathous - type of chelicerae that project forward with fangs articulating along the longitudinal (vertical) axis ; present in Mesothelae and Mygalomorphae
Ostia - an aperture or opening
Paired Claws - ( = superior claws = lateral claws) - found at the tip of the leg tarsis of all spiders
Palea - a convex usually rugose pad at the distal end of the genital bulb of the palpus in some male spiders.
Palp-coxal lobes - the paired lobes on the prolateral surfaces of the palpal coxae; they form the sides of the preoral cavity.
Palpal bulb (or genital bulb) - a collective term for the structures making up the male palpal organ.Arising from and partially contained within the alveolus of the palpal cymbium.
Palpal organ - ( = genital bulb) - the genital structure of the male spider containing the sperm reservoir and attached to the palpal tarusu; rarely fused to the tarsus, as in some Oonopidae, from which it can be differentiated by lacking seta
Palps (palpus) - the second appendage of the cephalothorax, originating behind the chelicerae but in front of the legs; its coxa also forms the maxilla;it lacks a metatarsal segment. I adult male spiders it is modified, for sperm transfer.
Palpus - ( = genital bulb) - the genital structure of the male spider containing the sperm reservoir and attached to the palpal tarusu; rarely fused to the tarsus, as in some Oonopidae, from which it can be differentiated by lacking seta
Paracymbium (pl. paracymbia; adj. paracymbial) - a structure branching from, or loosely attached to the cymbium.most evident in the Linyphiidae.
Paraembolar apophysis - an apophysis on the base of the embolus in some male spiders.
Paramedian - along longitudinal axis
Paraphyletic - a group of taxa that excludes one or more descendants of the common ancestor
Paratype - specimens of the type series other than the holotype.
Paraxial - ( = orthognathous) - type of chelicerae that project forward with fangs articulating along the longitudinal (vertical) axis; present in Mesothelae and Mygalomorphae
Parmula - in Linyphiidae, the process arising from the dorsal wall of the epigynum; in some species dorsal to the scape. Also referred to as the dorsal scape
Pars cephalica - cephalic region
Pars pendula - a thin flap along the margin of the embolus in some male spiders.
Pars thoracia - thoracic region
Parthenogentic - reproducing without males
Patella (pl. patellae; adj. patellar) - the fourth segment of the leg or palp, from the body.
Paturon - the basal segment of a chelicera
Pectinate - comb-like
Pedicel - the narrow stalk connecting cephalothorax and the abdomen.
Peg teeth - spine-like teeth on the chelicerae situated in sockets
PER - posterior eye row
Petiole - a slender sclerite in the bulb of the male palpus connecting the sub-tegulum with the alveolar wall.
Pheromone (adj. pheromonal) - a chemical, secreted in minute amounts, when released will affect the behaviour of another animal, generally the opposite sex.
Phylogeny - the evolutionary history of a group of organisms
Pit - a short median groove on the thoracic part of the carapace, situated just above the internal attachment of the gastric muscles.
PLE - posterior lateral spinnerets
Plumose - feathery.
Pluridentate - with multiple teeth
PME - posterior median eyes
PMS - posterior median spinnerets
Polyphyletic - a group of taxa based on convergence that excludes the common ancestor
Porrect - extending forward; in spiders refers to the projecting diaxial chelicerae of certain Araneomorphae, as Dysderidae, to differentiate them from the paraxial chelicerae of Mygalomorphae
Posteriad - towards the posterior end.
Posterior - back; toward the back. Posterior view
Posterior eye row - (PER)
Posterior lateral eyes - (PLE)
Posterior lateral spinnerets - (PLS) - typically well developed
Posterior median spinnerets - (PMS) - the innermost pair of spinnerets, typically small
Posterior spinnerets - typically well developed
Posterolaterad - towards the posterior end and the side.
Posteromesad - towards the posterior end and the midline.
Precoxal triangles - ( = precoxal sclerites) - triangular sclerotized extensions from the sternum to the coxa
Preening brush - a cluster of setae at the ventral tip of posterior metatarsi
Preening comb - a transverse row of rigid setae located ventroapically on the ventral tip of the posterior metatarsi
Preoral cavity - the entrance passage anterior to the mouth, bounded anteriad by the rostrum, lateral by the palp-coxal lobes, and posteriad by the labium.
Pretarsus - the seventh or terminal segment of a leg or palpus; bearing the claws.
Primary eyes - anterior median eyes. These aremorphologically distinct from other eyes and are often reduced or absent.
Process - outgrowth of surface, margin, or appendage
Procurved - curved as an arc having its ends anterior to its centre.
Procusus - retrolateral paracymbium found in pholcids
Prograde - denotes the normal or nonlaterigrade orientation of the legs in spiders with limbs not rotated on their bases; also used to describe the mode of locomotion of such spiders.
Prolateral - of leg spines = on the side, directed forwards; in an imaginary state of all the legs straight out from the side, at right angles to the long axis of the body.
Prolaterobasad - towards the prolateral side and the base.
Prolateromesad - towards theprolateral side and the midline.
Prolateroventrad - towards the prolateral side and the venter.
Promargin - the anterior margin of the fang furrow.
Promarginal - on the anterior margin
Prosoma - the anterior of the two major divisions of the body of a spider; or cephalothorax.
Proximal - closest to the body, or inner end.
Pubescent - bearing fine setae
Punctate - with impressed points or punctures
Pyriform - pear shaped.
Race - an intraspecific unit the members of which exhibit common biological, ecological, physiological or geographical characteristics which differ slightly from other members of the species.
Radix - sclerotized apophysis of the male palp
Ramus - a branch of a structure (e.g., in Salticidae)
Rastellum - a series of stout setae forming a digging structure on the chelicerae of certain spiders.
Rebordered labium - one which is thicker apically than basally
Recumbent - lying down against another structure, as in 'recumbent hair'
Recurved - curved as an arc having its ends posterior to its centre.
Relict - a persistent remnant of an otherwise extinct taxon
Repugnatorial glands - glands that secrete noxious compounds
Reticulate - covered with a network of lines or ridges; meshed
Retrolateral - of leg spines = on the side, directed backwards; in an imaginary state of all the legs straight out from the side, at right angles to the long axis of the body.
Retrolateral tibial apophysis - ( = RTA)
Retrolaterobasad - towards the retrolateral side and the base.
Retrolaterodisted - towards the retrolateral side and the tip.
Retromargin - the posterior margin of the fang furrow.
Rostrum - the combined epistome and labrum, which together cover the pre-oral cavity anteriad.
RTA - a sclerotized process on the retrolateral face of the male palpal tibia
Rugose - having a wrinkled surface.
Saprolite - disintegrated rock that lies in its original place.
Scales - flattened hairs of various shapes
Scape - a finger, tongue, or lip-like appendage, free at one end, arising from the midline of the females epigyne.
Sclerite - a discrete sclerotized structure,
Sclerotization - the process of becoming sclerotized, or thickened and hardened
Sclerotized - hardened or horny; not flexible or membranous.
Scopula (pl. scopulae) - a brush of hairs on the ventral aspect of the tarsus and metatarsus in some spiders.
Scutum (pl. scuta) - a sclerotized plate occurring on the abdomen of some spiders.
Secondary eyes - all eyes other than the anterior median eyes; only these may have the tapetum layer and appear shiny
Segment - one of a series of ring-like divisions into which the body or an appendage is divided.
Semidixial - chelicerae intermediate between the diaxial condition of araneomorphs and the paraxial of mygalomorphs, as in Hypochilidae
Seminal duct - a tube that conducts the semen from the interior of the male palpus to the embolus.
Seminal receptacles - paired sacs, forming part of the internal female genitalia, which receive and store spermatozoa, spermathecae.
Senescence - the process of aging
Sensu lato - in the broad sense
Sensu stricto - in the strict sense
Septum - a partition separating two cavities or parts.
Serrated - saw-like.
Serrula - a row of tiny teeth along the anterior edge of the endite
Seta (pl.setae) - a bristle-like outgrowth of the cuticle secreted by a single cell and supplied with a nerve; setae may be modified in shape, e.g., flattened or club-like.
Setose - bearing setae
Sexual dimorphism - the condition where there are marked differences in coloration, patterning, form and/or size between the sexes of the same species.
Sigillum (pl. sigilla) - an impressed sclerotized spot, usually reddish-brown in colour, pairs of which are often present on the abdomen.
Sinuate - S-shaped or wavy structure
Slit sense organs - stress or strain receptors in the exoskeleton
Somatic - pertaining to the body or soma, distinct from the genitalia.
Spatulate - flattened club-shape.
Spermatheca (pl. spermathecae) - paired sacs, forming part of the internal female genitalia, which receive and store spermatozoa,
Spermathecal ducts - paired tubes leading inwards from the copulatory openings of the female to the spermathecae, and receiving the embolus of the male in copulation.
Spermathecal organ - a small prominence at or near the junction of copulatory tube and spermatheca.
Spiderling - the nymphal or immature stage of a spider; able to move about and no longer dependent on the yolk for nourishment.
Spigot - a spinning tube, projecting from the tip of the spinnerets.
Spine - a fixed, usually pointed, rise in the body wall.
Spiniform - spin-shaped
Spinnerets - paired appendages at the posterior end of the abdomen, through its spigots silk is extruded.
Spinose - bearing spines
Spinule - small spine
Spiracle - the opening of the tracheae on the ventral side of the body.
Spur - a rigid cuticular outgrowth, with or without apical spines, found on the anterior legs of some male spiders and used as a restraining structure during copulation
Squamiform - scale-like.
Sternum (adj. Sternal - shield covering to the ventral side of the cephalothorax, lying posterior to the labium and between the leg coxae, often heart or oval shaped.
Stretcher - a pit at the tip of the epigynal scape found in some linyphiidae
Stria - linear marks, streaks, ridges or furrows. Part of the stridulating system or marks radiating from the central fovea on the carapace.
Stridulating organ - an area with numerous sclerotized, parallel striae which are rubbed by hairs or a tooth on an opposing structure thus creating sound.can be located on the palps, legs, chelicerae, abdomen or the carapace.
Stridulatory file - a series of fine grooves used in conjunction with thorns to produce sound, typically located along the ectal margin of the chelicera, or along the anteroventral margin of the abdomen. See also thorn
Sub species - in taxonomy, a subdivision of a species, usually geographically restricted and with minor morphological differences but physically capable of interbreeding with the species. See VARIETY
Sub-Alpine Ecoregion - the Sub-Alpine Ecoregion is divided into the Lower and Upper Sub Alpine Regions. They both occur above the Montane Ecoregion and below the unforested Alpine Ecoregion.
Subcutaneous - situated just below the cuticle or skin.
Subtegulum - the sclerite that forms the most proximal of the three divisions of the male palpal bulb; often a ring- or cup-like structure, it is attached to the cymbium by the proximal haematodocha.
Subterminal apophysis - a sclerotized piece in the apical division of the bulb of male palpus.
Subxeric - dry conditions, little water, but some available.
Sulcus - a groove or furrow.
Superior claws - ( = lateral claws) - found at the tip of the leg tarsis of all spiders
Suprategulum - in male Linyphiidae, a sclerotized structure arising from the tegulum
Suture - a groove in the body wall.
Sympatric - existing in the same geographical range, as when two species share the same locale. See ALLOPATRIC
Synanthrope - an organism associated with humans
Synapomorphy - shared derived character
Syntype - each specimen in a type series used to describe the species and from which no single specimen has been designated as holotype or lectotype.
TA - tibial apophysis
Tailpiece - in male Linyphiidae, a linear structure attached to the radix which generally points towards the proximal end of the unexpanded palp
Tapetum - a carpet or sheath of cells behind the retina of the eye reflecting light that enters the retina outward again, thus causing the shining of the eyes in faint light.
Tarsal claw - sharp curved structure at the tip of the tarsus, typically on the palp and 2 or 3 on the legs
Tarsal comb - a midventral series of serrated setae on distitarsus IV of some spiders; e.g., Theridiidae = calamistrum.
Tarsal organ - sense organs, usually pit-like, on the dorsal surface of spider tarsi
Tarsus (pl. tarsi; adj. tarsal) - the most distal segment of the leg or palp.
Teeth - conical, pointed, rigid outgrowths of the margins of the cheliceral furrow
Tegulum (pl. tegula; adj. tegular) - the sclerite that forms, with the medium apophysis, the middle of the three divisions of the male palpal bulb; often a broad ring-like structure.
Tenent - enlarged seta associated with tarsal claws
Tergites - transverse sclerites on the abdominal dorsum in Mesothelae and some Mygalomorphae often flanked by strong setae, and representing the original segmented condition
Tergum (pl, terga) - the dorsal wall of a body segment.
Terminal apophysis - a variously shaped sclerite of the apical division of the genital bulb in the male palpus.
Thermoreception - sensing temperature
Thoracic groove - a short median groove on the thoracic part of the carapace, situated just above the internal attachment of the gastric muscles.
Thorax (adj. thoracic) - that part of the cephalothorax posterior to the cephalthoracic junction.
Thorn - small thick pointed seta used with stridulatory file to produce sound
Tibia (pl. tibiae) - the fifth segment of the leg or palp from the proximal end.
Tibial apophysis - ( = TA) - a process on the male palpal tibia, most commonly retrolateral, but may occur on other surfaces. See also retrolateral tibial apophysis, ventral tibial apophysis
Tibial spine formula - indicates the number of dorsal spines (1 or 2) on the tibia of legs I and IV, from front to back, (example 2-2-1-1) and is used in identification of the Linyphiidae.
Tm1 - this represents the relative position of the trichobothrium along the length of the metatarsus 1 expressed as a decimal fraction. This, and the presence or absence of a trichobothrium on the forth metatarsus (TmIV), is used in the identification of the
Tooth - a spine found on the chelicerae and assisting in feeding; also, a small outgrowth on the paired claws of the leg in many spiders.
Trachea - the internal system of tubes through which air exchange takes place, thus supplementing and sometimes replacing the book lungs; their openings are the spiracles.
Trachea (pl. tracheae; adj. tracheal) - paired tubes, through which air is carried around the body and which opens at the spiracle(s).
Tracheal spiracle - the opening to the tracheal respiratory system
Transverse - lying at right angles to the midline of the body.
Triad - a group of three contiguous eyes
Trichobothriotaxy - the arrangement and position of the trichobothria, particularly in relation to classification.
Trichobothrium (pl. trichobothria) - a long, fine hair rising almost vertically from a hemispherical socket on the leg, which detect air vibration and currents.
Trifid - three pronged
Trionychous, trionycha - denotes groups of spiders in which each leg tarsus has three claws.
Trochanter - the second segment of the leg or palp, counting from the proximal end.
Troglobite - an organism that only occurs in caves
Troglophile - a facultative cavernicole
Truncate - squared rather than rounded or pointed at the tip.
Tubercle - a small, fixed, usually rounded rise in the body wall; eyes may be located on tubercles.
Tuberculate - having tubercles or knob-like outgrowths on the body
Type specimen - the specimen that is used as the basis of a published species description
Unidentate - with a single tooth
Univoltine - 1 generation/year
Unpaired claw - ( = inferior claw = median claw) - the third claw (not paired) located apically on the tarsus; absent from male palpi
Upper Sub-Alpine - the Upper Sub-Alpine occurs from 1950-2250 m and is broadly ecotonal between Lower Subalpine closed forest and the treeless Alpine tundra. Most characteristic of the Upper Subalpine are the open forest and stunted trees (krummholz). Typical vegetation i
Urticating - irritating or stinging; used to refer to barbed hairs of some mygalomorphs
Van der Waal's forces - a force between non-polar molecules creating a temporary shift of orbital electrons between the molecules resulting in polarization and attraction
Variety - in taxonomy a category at a lower level than subspecies, denoting organisms displaying a variation of some kind within a species.
Venom gland - the venom-secreting gland within the chelicera or the cephalothorax, or both, and opening on the cheliceral fang.
Venter - the under surface of the body.
Ventral tibial apophysis - ( = VTA) - a sclerotized process on the ventral surface of the male palpal tibia, as in some Philodromidae
Ventral view - viewed from below.
Vestigial - a structure that is a remnant
Viscid - sticky
Vulva (pl. vulvae) - sometimes used as a term for the internal genital of the female spider.
Xeric - dry conditions in which plant growth may be limited by lack of water.