Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era

  title={Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era},
  author={Todd A. Blackledge and Nikolaj Scharff and Jonathan A. Coddington and Tam{\'a}s Sz{\"u}ts and John W Wenzel and Cheryl Y. Hayashi and Ingi Agnarsson},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  pages={5229 - 5234}
The evolutionary diversification of spiders is attributed to spectacular innovations in silk. Spiders are unique in synthesizing many different kinds of silk, and using silk for a variety of ecological functions throughout their lives, particularly to make prey-catching webs. Here, we construct a broad higher-level phylogeny of spiders combining molecular data with traditional morphological and behavioral characters. We use this phylogeny to test the hypothesis that the spider orb web evolved… 

Figures from this paper

Novel Approaches to Exploring Silk Use Evolution in Spiders
Tengella perfuga, a rare cribellate-silk using member of the RTA clade, was selected for a case study of natural history, including web ontogeny, to find empirical support for the paradigm shift in the new Araneae Tree of Life (AToL).
Fecundity increase supports adaptive radiation hypothesis in spider web evolution
The prediction that orb and RTA clade spiders are not only more diverse, but also have higher fecundity than other spiders is tested and it is shown that RTAClade spiders average 23% higher fecundy and orb spiders average 123% higher fertility than their ancestors.
Phylogenomic Analysis of Spiders Reveals Nonmonophyly of Orb Weavers
Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life
Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orbweb, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers.
Early Events in the Evolution of Spider Silk Genes
A surprisingly rich silk gene diversity is uncovered from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and in particular, ECP homologs are found in the mesothle, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins.
Spidroin profiling of cribellate spiders provides insight into the evolution of spider prey capture strategies
Comparative analysis across families (Araneidae and Uloboridae) shows that the gene architecture, repetitive domains, and amino acid frequencies of the orb web constituting silk proteins are similar among orb-weaving spiders regardless of the prey capture strategy, which strongly supports the monophyletic origin of the Orb web.
The phylogenetic placement of Psechridae within Entelegynae and the convergent origin of orb‐like spider webs
The results firmly place a monophyletic Psechridae within the RTA clade, phylogenetically distant from true orb weavers, as clearly convergent, as also suggested by detailed comparisons of these two web types, as well as the spiders’ web-building behaviours and ontogenetic development.
Spider Silk: Molecular Structure and Function in Webs
All spiders produce silk, and most produce multiple types of silk fibers. How these silks function in prey capture webs provides a crucial link between the molecular biology of silk and spider


Are three-dimensional spider webs defensive adaptations?
It is argued that mud-dauber wasps are major predators of orbicularian spiders, and exert a directional selective pressure to construct three-dimensional webs such that three- dimensional webs are partly defensive innovations.
Web forms and the phylogeny of theridiid spiders (Araneae: Theridiidae): Chaos from order
The effects of intraspecific behavioural ‘imprecision’ on the appearance of new traits offer a possible explanation for this unusual evolutionary plasticity of theridiid web designs.
Silk Genes Support the Single Origin of Orb Webs
It is found that the distribution and phylogeny of silk proteins support a single, ancient origin of the orb web at least 136 million years ago and the repository of silk sequences that can be used for the synthesis of high-performance biomaterials is substantially expanded.
Tenacity and silk investment of two orb weavers: considerations about diversification of the Araneoidea
The idea that the reduction in site tenacity caused by the emergence of the viscid orb web has led to an increase in the exploration of different resources and to a greater diversification of the Araneoidea through the evolutionary time is investigated.
The Role of Behavior in the Evolution of Spiders, Silks, and Webs
Evidence for the evolution of silk production and web building as traits in spider phylogeny is explored in a coevolutionary arms race against insects.
Spiderwebs and silk : tracing evolution from molecules to genes to phenotypes
One-dimensional developmental system and life-long silk synthesis may preclude the evolution of high eusociality in spiders, and the comparative architecture of silks, fibrous proteins and their encoding genes in insects and spiders is studied.
vancement of Science that John Henry Comstock of Cornell University presented a paper on the evolution of the webs of spiders. With the advance since then in our knowledge of spiders, particularly
  • J. Bond, B. Opell
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1998
Testing the hypothesis that adaptive radiation and key innovation have contributed to the diversity of the order Araneae shows that the inequality in diversity between the Deinopoidea and the AraneoideA is significant, and that it is associated with the replacement of primitive cribellar capture thread by viscous adhesive thread and a change from a horizontal to a vertical orb‐web orientation.
Redesigning spider webs: Stickiness, capture area and the evolution of modern orb-webs
Araneoid orb-webs are better equipped to retain insects that strike the web, which increases the ability of araneoid spiders to subdue ensnared insects before they escape from the web and may favour the capture of larger prey.