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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Miturgidae

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida > Araneae > Araneomorpha

The family Miturgidae includes six southern African genera and most will generally not be encountered except for the genus, Cheiracanthium or long-legged sac spider. Cheiracanthium was previously placed in the family Clubionidae and is very similar in appearance and habitat to Clubiona. Phanotea and Griswoldia has recently been removed from the Miturgidae and placed in the family Zoropsidae.

Genera indigenous to southern Africa


One species: Argister africanus, endemic to Namibia.


Cheiracanthium (long-legged sac spiders)

Cheiracanthium spiders range from 3-12.15 mm in body length and make silk sac retreats, hence the common name of sac spider. They are creamy straw coloured but sometimes the carapace and legs might be slightly darker than the abdomen. They are often encountered in homes and have a nasty cytotoxic bite that accounts for about 70-90% of all spider bites in South Africa.


Derived from the Greek "cheiro" meaning "hand" and "mion" meaning "smaller", relating to the smaller body size. Cheiramiona was recently separated from Cheiracanthium and is very similar in appearance but has sepia patterns on the abdomen and legs. The legs of Cheiracanthium are not pigmented. The generic name implies a smaller body size, 3-12.5mm, appears not to be backed up by published records of Afrotropical species. An Afrotropical endemic distributed from the equator to Cape Town in the Western Cape with 18 species known from South Africa.



Parapostenus hewitti is the only species in this South African monotypic genus. It was previously known as Clubiona hewitti and not much is known its biology.



An Afrotropical genus with a possible undescribed or unidentified species recorded from South Africa.



One species: Thysanina serica, endemic to Namibia.


Text and images by Norman Larsen