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      The Morphology And Phylogeny Of Dionychan Spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae)

      Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History

      American Museum of Natural History (BioOne sponsored)

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          Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era.

          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 only once. We then examine spider diversification in relation to different web architectures and silk use. We find strong support for a single origin of orb webs, implying a major shift in the spinning of capture silk and repeated loss or transformation of orb webs. We show that abandonment of costly cribellate capture silk correlates with the 2 major diversification events in spiders (1). Replacement of cribellate silk by aqueous silk glue may explain the greater diversity of modern orb-weaving spiders (Araneoidea) compared with cribellate orb-weaving spiders (Deinopoidea) (2). Within the "RTA clade," which is the sister group to orb-weaving spiders and contains half of all spider diversity, >90% of species richness is associated with repeated loss of cribellate silk and abandonment of prey capture webs. Accompanying cribellum loss in both groups is a release from substrate-constrained webs, whether by aerially suspended webs, or by abandoning webs altogether. These behavioral shifts in silk and web production by spiders thus likely played a key role in the dramatic evolutionary success and ecological dominance of spiders as predators of insects.
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            Continuous characters analyzed as such

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              Arthropod phylogeny based on eight molecular loci and morphology.

              The interrelationships of major clades within the Arthropoda remain one of the most contentious issues in systematics, which has traditionally been the domain of morphologists. A growing body of DNA sequences and other types of molecular data has revitalized study of arthropod phylogeny and has inspired new considerations of character evolution. Novel hypotheses such as a crustacean-hexapod affinity were based on analyses of single or few genes and limited taxon sampling, but have received recent support from mitochondrial gene order, and eye and brain ultrastructure and neurogenesis. Here we assess relationships within Arthropoda based on a synthesis of all well sampled molecular loci together with a comprehensive data set of morphological, developmental, ultrastructural and gene-order characters. The molecular data include sequences of three nuclear ribosomal genes, three nuclear protein-coding genes, and two mitochondrial genes (one protein coding, one ribosomal). We devised new optimization procedures and constructed a parallel computer cluster with 256 central processing units to analyse molecular data on a scale not previously possible. The optimal 'total evidence' cladogram supports the crustacean-hexapod clade, recognizes pycnogonids as sister to other euarthropods, and indicates monophyly of Myriapoda and Mandibulata.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
                Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
                American Museum of Natural History (BioOne sponsored)
                0003-0090
                1937-3546
                June 27 2014
                June 27 2014
                : 390
                :
                : 1-374
                Article
                10.1206/821.1
                © 2014
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