JOURNAL ARTICLE

Molecular phylogenetics of the spider infraorder Mygalomorphae using nuclear rRNA genes (18S and 28S): conflict and agreement with the current system of classification

Marshal Hedin, Jason E Bond
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2006, 41 (2): 454-71
16815045
Mygalomorph spiders, which include the tarantulas, trapdoor spiders, and their kin, represent one of three main spider lineages. Mygalomorphs are currently classified into 15 families, comprising roughly 2500 species and 300 genera. The few published phylogenies of mygalomorph relationships are based exclusively on morphological data and reveal areas of both conflict and congruence, suggesting the need for additional phylogenetic research utilizing new character systems. As part of a larger combined evidence study of global mygalomorph relationships, we have gathered approximately 3.7 kb of rRNA data (18S and 28S) for a sample of 80 genera, representing all 15 mygalomorph families. Taxon sampling was particularly intensive across families that are questionable in composition-Cyrtaucheniidae and Nemesiidae. The following primary results are supported by both Bayesian and parsimony analyses of combined matrices representing multiple 28S alignments: (1) the Atypoidea, a clade that includes the families Atypidae, Antrodiaetidae, and Mecicobothriidae, is recovered as a basal lineage sister to all other mygalomorphs, (2) diplurids and hexathelids form a paraphyletic grade at the base of the non-atypoid clade, but neither family is monophyletic in any of our analyses, (3) a clade consisting of all sampled nemesiids, Microstigmata and the cyrtaucheniid genera Kiama, Acontius, and Fufius is consistently recovered, (4) other sampled cyrtaucheniids are fragmented across three separate clades, including a monophyletic North American Euctenizinae and a South African clade, (5) of the Domiothelina, only idiopids are consistently recovered as monophyletic; ctenizids are polyphyletic and migids are only weakly supported. The Domiothelina is not monophyletic. The molecular results we present are consistent with more recent hypotheses of mygalomorph relationship; however, additional work remains before mygalomorph classification can be formally reassessed with confidence-increased taxonomic sampling and the inclusion of additional character systems (more genes and morphology) are required.

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