Families of the Order Araneae Discovered
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Can't find the families you are looking for? Note:
Families on this list are only those contained
in the ATBI database,
and do not neccessarily include
all Park families from historic park reports, literature,
or other sources that have not yet been entered in the Biodiversity Database.
Also note: where the family name ends with '_family', it means that the family
name has not yet been agreed upon by taxonomists for this group,
or that it was not identified to this level.
In Case You Didn't Know ...
Spiders are perhaps our best predatory allies in the business of insect population control.
Thus far 531 species have been discovered in the Smokies. 41 of these have been discovered as new to science and 262 new to the Park since DLIA has been spearheading the ATBI. Worldwide their numbers swell to approximately 40,000, and are grouped into over 100 families.
Spiders are air-breathing, eight-legged Arthropods with chelicerae modified into fangs to inject venom.
Unlike its insect relatives, spiders do not possess 3 body segments, but just two, the cephalothorax (head and midsection fused together) and the abdomen joined together by a small, cylindrical area called a pedicel.
Most spiders use silk to catch food, for shelter, or to protect their eggs.
Only two spiders, in the park, are considered particularly dangerous to humans: the black widow (Latrodectus mactans) and the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa). Although these two are currently not in our database, park officials recognize them as being present.
Bite Info: black widow
; brown recluse