3 years ago

Discovering the silk road: Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data resolve the phylogenetic relationships among theraphosid spider subfamilies

Discovering the silk road: Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data resolve the phylogenetic relationships among theraphosid spider subfamilies
The mygalomorph spiders in the family Theraphosidae, also known as “tarantulas”, are one of the most famous and diverse groups of arachnids, but their evolutionary history remains poorly understood since morphological analysis have only provided mostly controversial results, and a broad molecular perspective has been lacking until now. In this study we provide a preliminary molecular phylogenetic hypothesis of relationships among theraphosid subfamilies, based on 3.5 kbp of three nuclear and three mitochondrial markers, for 52 taxa representing 10 of the 11 commonly accepted subfamilies. Our analysis confirms the monophyly of Theraphosidae and for most recognized theraphosid subfamilies, supports the validity of the Stromatopelminae and Poecilotheriinae, and indicates paraphyly of the Schismatothelinae. The placement of representatives of Schismatothelinae also indicates possible non-monophyly of Aviculariinae and supports the distinction of a previously contentious subfamily Psalmopoeinae. Major clades typically corresponded to taxa occurring in the same biogeographic region, with two of them each occurring in Africa, South America and Asia. Because relationships among these major clades were poorly supported, more extensive molecular data sets are required to test the hypothesis of independent colonization and multiple dispersal events among these continents.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1055790317303779

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