The family Palpimanidae is a global occurring, but not common family. The spiders are recognizable by their distinctive, greatly enlarged frontlegs. The metatarsus is in contrast to those of most of the other spiders quite short, about as long as the tarsus. This is typically broadened at the tip. They have usually barely markings and only two spinnerets. Therefore they build no web, but hunt freely on the ground on other spiders which are often larger than themselves. They are mostly nocturnal hunters, hiding during the day in undergrowth or under stones in a silken retreat. The spiders are mainly found in tropical and subtropical areas, but lacking in Australia. In Europe six species in only one genus occur.
Of the genus Palpimanus 35 species can be found worldwide, from which 6 occur in Europe in the Mediterranean area. It is the only genus of the Palpimanidae in Europe. The species are difficult to distinguish from each other and determination is often only possible on the basis of genital characteristics.