Gnaphosidae
Ground Spiders

Diagnostic Features:

This family has large, cylindrical anterior lateral spinnerets that are widely separated. They also have a flattened, ovular or irregular posterior median eyes.

 

Family Distribution:

Found throughout North America, though concentrated in western and southern areas.

 

Interesting Natural History Notes:

They are the predominant spider family in arid and open regions. They live on the ground using rocks and tree and leaf litter for shelter. Most are nocturnal and wandering hunters with a wide variety of prey, including other spiders as well as ants.

 

Origin of Latin Name:

In Greek roots, though the meaning is debatable, it means “living in the dark.”

 

Genera found in the Northeastern United States:

Cesonia, Litopyllus, Nodocion, Sergiolus