Systematics and phylogeny of the ant eating spider (Araneae; Zodariidae) : a total evidence analysis


June 24, 2019

14 h 30


Auditoire SUD 05 - Place Croix du Sud

This PhD thesis mainly aims at the systematic revision of the ant-eating spiders (Zodariidae) using a combined phylogenetic approach. Initially, taxonomic description of several new zodariid taxa was carried out to document significant structures that had not been observed in spiders so far. As a result, a novel zodariid synapomorphy was discovered while describing the new genus Palindroma and a double femoral gland was revealed in the new genera Suffrica and Suffascar. Ultimately, a phylogenetic study on a global scale was undertaken, based on the largest taxonomic sample of Zodariidae analyzed to date. The character matrix comprised 153 morphological features spread over 11 structural groups and the molecular data included 5 genetic markers (1 mitochondrial and 4 nuclear markers). Different phylogenetic analyses were performed based on morphological, genetic and combined datasets. The results revealed 5 groups corresponding to 5 sub-families. As predicted, the Cyriocteinae appear sister to all other Zodariidae. The Lachesaninae, Cryptothelinae and the Zodariinae were redefined. The Storenomorphinae appeared paraphyletic in the molecular and combined analyses and fell into the Cryptothelinae. As a consequence, Storenomorphinae were fused into the Cryptothelinae. The Storeninae were re-established and redefined. Procydrela procursor could not be assigned to any subfamily and it may be considered to put it in a group of its own.