Higher-level relationships of the spider family Ctenidae (Araneae: Ctenoidea)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2003
Authors:D. Silva Davila
Journal:Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History

A cladistic analysis based on parsimony is undertaken to test hypotheses concerning the monophyly of the ctenid spiders and the relationships among their various clades. The data matrix comprised a total of 98 species representing 16 families scored for 146 characters, with all but six taken from various morphological systems; the remaining are behavioral attributes. Ctenidae is shown to be polyphyletic as currently delimited, but the most severely ques- tioned taxa (i.e., Acanthoctenus, Cupiennius, and Ancylometes) are indeed members of this family. The so-called ctenid eye pattern is shown to be a synapomorphy uniting a more restricted set of taxa. This clade is recognized as Ctenidae sensu stricto and it comprises at least five major lineages: Acantheinae, Acanthocteninae, Calocteninae, Cteninae, and Virida- siinae. The latter taxa are hypothesized to be the sister group of all other ctenids. In turn, a clade formed by Miturgidae s.s. and Zoridae s.s. is proposed as the sister group of Ctenidae. The cladistic analysis also refutes the monophyly of Ctenus, Anahita, Enoploctenus, Celae- tycheus, and Leptoctenus. The following taxonomic changes are proposed: Anahita isaloensis Ono, 1993 is transferred to Vulsor Simon, 1888; Diallomus Simon, 1897, currently placed in Zoridae, is transferred to Ctenidae; Tunabo Chamberlin, 1916 is synonymized with Neoctenus Simon, 1897; Neoctenus is removed from Zoridae and transferred to Trechaleidae; Xenoctenus Mello-Leitao, 1938 is removed from the synonymy of Tunabo and considered incertae sedis, within Ctenoidea.

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