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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Clubiona 

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

Clubiona sp. [image N. Larsen ] Clubiona sp. [image N. Larsen ]

Clubiona is derived from the Greek "Kleos" meaning "glory" and "bios" meaning "life".

Clubiona is about 5-12 mm long, pale straw-coloured with the legs and carapace sometimes slightly darker in colour. Some species may have chevron markings on the abdomen. The eyes are uniform in size and are arranged in 2 rows of 4. The first and fourth pairs of legs are the longest and almost equal in length compared to Cheiracanthium having the first pair longest.

Clubiona is a nocturnal, free-ranging spider that aggressively chases prey on vegetation. With a speedy dash and a final jump, the prey is usually caught with its first pair of legs. Clubiona is an important agricultural pest controller and is very common in Proteaceae. Commonly called leaf-curling spiders, they construct sac retreats in a curled leaves or blades of grass and also under bark.

There are other terrestrial spider families found outside the home that are often confused with sac spiders but unlike Clubiona, the eyes are grouped in clusters. For example, Caponiidae (orange lungless spider) and Dysdera (the long or giant-fanged six-eyed spider) (Dysderidae) which has an enormous pair of fangs and is orange to reddish brown in colour.

Text by Norman Larsen .