Slovak Arachnological Society

Araneae (spiders)


Araneae  •  Opiliones  •  Pseudoscorpiones  •  Palpigradi  •  Schizomida  •  Acari

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Spiders (Araneae) are among the largest and most diverse order of arachnids in Slovakia. In our country we recorded 969 species (Gajdoš et al. 2018). They can be distinguished from other arachnids by several characters. Spiders (especially species from the family Pholcidae) are commonly mistaken for harvestmen. In the comparison spiders have cephalothorax and abdomen joined by a pedicel. They have mostly eight or six eyes, excluding some true cave-dwellers which can have only rudimentary eyes. Chelicerae are two-segmented and on the distal segment (the fang) is the opening to the venom canal (some spiders, e.g. family Uloboridae, lack poison gland). On the abdomen they have got spinnerets that permits spiders to produce many kinds of silk for special purposes as webs, retreats and cocoons. Size of Slovakian spiders range from one millimeter dwarfs up to several centimeters beautiful giants (the biggest is Lycosa singoriensis). Spiders can be found in all kinds habitats. Monitoring of the synanthropic localities showed increasing of imported species. Our species are not toxicologically significant and only few species can be aggressive while they are disturbed or by inappropriate manipulation (e.g. Cheiracanthium and Lycosa).

Spiders are dominant arachnids, known to all men as the spinners of silk threads that are often used to make elaborate, ingenious and beautiful webs. Widely dispersed all over the world, including even the frigid regions of the sub-arctic and sub-antarctic.

arachnida did you know...

video peacock spider

Dancing. This spider is a male Maratus speciosus (Coastal peacock spider) and this is its way to appeal to a potential female mate (the brown spider at the end). It is approximately 4 mm in length and inhabits coastal dunes near Perth in Western Australia. Jürgen Otto (YouTube)

video Cartwheel Spider

Bizarre escape. Spider Cebrennus rechenbergi (Cartwheel Spider) lives in the sand dunes of the Erg Chebbi desert in Morocco. If provoked or threatened it can escape by doubling its normal walking speed using forward or backward flips. Amazing. Jeff DePaoli (YouTube)


arachnida external links go to

World Spider Catalog

Spiders of Europe

Encyklopédia Britannica


Spiders Worlds
Encyclopedia of Life
Tree Of Life web project
Spiders (AAS)
Jumping Spiders (Salticidae)
Jumping Spiders of the World

Online atlas České republiky
Fauna Italia
Australian Faunal Directory

Nicky Bay Photography
Thomas Shahan
British Arachnological Society
Spiders of Australia by Ed Nieuwenhuys
Australian Spiders by Volker Framenau

SARASEditors: Peter Gajdoš & Anna Šestáková
Last updated: 7th November 2018