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Penestomine spiders were first described from females only and placed in the family Eresidae. Discovery of the male decades later brought surprises, especially in the morphology of the male pedipalp, which features (among other things) a retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA). The presence of an RTA is synapomorphic for a large clade of spiders exclusive of(More)
Spiders (Order Araneae) are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration(More)
Incorporation of fossils into biogeographic studies can have a profound effect on the conclusions that result, particularly when fossil ranges are nonoverlapping with extant ranges. This is the case in archaeid spiders, where there are known fossils from the Northern Hemisphere, yet all living members are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. To better(More)
The phylogenetic relationships in an endemic group of Malagasy 'assassin spiders' (Araneae, Archaeidae: Eriauchenius) called the gracilicollis group, are inferred from mitochondrial 12S, 16S and COI DNA sequence data. Archaeid spiders of Madagascar have evolved varying degrees of elongation in the cephalic area. These molecular data support the monophyly of(More)
The family Eresidae C. L. Koch, 1850 is reviewed at the genus level. The family comprises nine genera including one new genus. They are: Adonea Simon, 1873, Dorceus C. L. Koch, 1846, Dresserus Simon, 1876, Eresus Walckenaer, 1805, Gandanameno Lehtinen, 1967, Loureediagen. n., ParadoneaLawrence, 1968, Seothyra Purcell, 1903, and Stegodyphus Simon, 1873. A(More)
COLLECTING BIOLOGICAL specimens for scientific studies came under scrutiny when B. A. Minteer et al. [“Avoiding (re)extinction,” Perspectives, 18 April, p. 260] suggested that this practice plays a significant role in species extinctions. Based on a small number of examples (rare birds, frogs, and a few plants), the authors concluded that collection of(More)
Images are paramount in documentation of morphological data. Production and reproduction costs have traditionally limited how many illustrations taxonomy could afford to publish, and much comparative knowledge continues to be lost as generations turn over. Now digital images are cheaply produced and easily disseminated electronically but pose problems in(More)
The orb-weaving spiders (Orbiculariae) comprise more than 25% of the approximately 44,000 known living spider species and produce a remarkable variety of webs. The wheel-shaped orb web is primitive to this clade, but most Orbiculariae make webs hardly recognizable as orbs. Orb-weavers date at least to the Jurassic. With no evidence for convergence of the(More)
The new spider genus and species Trogloraptor marchingtoni Griswold, Audisio & Ledford is described as the type of the new family Trogloraptoridae. The oblique membranous division of the basal segment of the anterior lateral spinnerets of Trogloraptor suggests that this haplogyne family is the sister group of the other Dysderoidea (Dysderidae, Oonopidae,(More)