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Family ties - molecular phylogeny of crab spiders



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Cladistics Cladistics 24 2008 708 722 10 1111 j 1096 0031 2008 00202 x Family ties molecular phylogeny of crab spiders Araneae Thomisidae Suresh P Benjamina b Dimitar Dimitrova Rosemary G Gillespieb and Gustavo Hormigaa a The George Washington University Department of Biological Sciences 2023 G Street NW Washington DC 20052 USA bUniversity of California Berkeley Insect Biology Division ESPM 201 Wellman Hall 3112 Berkeley CA 94720 3112 USA Accepted 2 November 2007 Abstract The rst quantitative phylogenetic analysis of three sequenced genes 16S rRNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I histone 3 of 25 genera of crab spiders and 11 outgroups supports the monophyly of Thomisidae Four lineages within Thomisidae are recovered They are informally named here as the Borboropactus clade Epidius clade Stephanopis clade and the Thomisus clade pending detailed morphology based cladistic work The Thomisus clade is recovered as a strongly supported monophyletic group with a minimal genetic divergence Philodromidae previously widely considered a subfamily of Thomisidae do not group within thomisids and is excluded from Thomisidae However Aphantochilinae previously generally considered as a separate family falls within the Thomisus clade and is included in Thomisidae The recently proposed new family Borboropactidae is rejected as it is paraphyletic The Willi Hennig Society 2008 Thomisidae Sundevall 1833 commonly called crab spiders are often cryptically colored sit and wait predators that do not build capture webs Fig 1 Thomisidae is the sixth largest spider family It includes 2062 described species in 171 genera Platnick 2007 with many more species remaining to be described They are mainly active during the day and ambush insects with their well adapted rst and second legs Homann 1934 Comstock 1948 Not surprisingly they are an important component of terrestrial ecosystems Riechert 1974 As predators of agricultural pests thomisids play an important part in natural pest control Riechert



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