User guide

General remarks:
Please keep in mind that most of the presented keys to genera and keys to species are based on “Spiders of Central Europe”. This implies that especially southern and eastern European genera / species are not yet included in the dichotomous key. If there are taxa which are not included, a message at the top of the key will indicate that there are further taxa listed at the end of the key. Furthermore, you will encounter some nomenclatural inconsistencies in the keys due to taxonomical changes of certain species (e.g. the species has been transferred to a different genus). The nomenclature will always follow the latest World Spider Catalog.


In order to use all features of the site, JavaScript has to be enabled and Flash Player should be installed. The interactive key to linyphiid spiders relies on the Java Runtime Environment (a link is provided on the page).

Species identification

You can choose between several entry points for identifying your particular taxon.

1 Key to families

2 List of all families or genera.
These lists provide a direct link to the key of the respective taxon (key symbol), if available.
In these lists you can also browse to lists of genera or species, respectively. In the list of species there are links to the species information page. A symbol will indicate if figures are available for the species in question.

3 You can search for a particular taxon.
The search fields will provide you with a list of suggestion that match your query.  Please note that free text search isn't possible.

4 Character based key to linyphiid species (currently there are 664 species included)
This key is in an experimental stage. Comments and suggestions are highly welcome.

Features in the dichotomous keys

At generic level you can compare figures of two or more species by clicking on the green plus symbol in the left column of the key. This will add the species to the compare list. Clicking the list symbol will open the compare list. "Compare species" will show all illustrations of the species listed.

You can also check the distribution of the species by clicking on the globe symbol.

Species information page

On the species information page you will find a short description of the species, a distribution map, the phenology of the adults, scientific drawings with references and a link to the particular entry of the World Spider Catalog for further taxonomic information. The link to the user information entry form (“Edit content”) is placed below the species name. You have to be registered to use the entry form. If you want to contribute information, please follow the instruction provided on the help page. You will find a link to the help page at the top of the entry form.

You can post general comments (e.g. wrongly assigned figures, etc.) directly on the species information page.