Phylogeny of a cosmopolitan family of morphologically conserved trapdoor spiders (Mygalomorphae, Ctenizidae) using Anchored Hybrid Enrichment, with a description of the family, Halonoproctidae Pocock 1901

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2018 Sep;126:303-313. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.008. Epub 2018 Apr 12.


The mygalomorph family Ctenizidae has a world-wide distribution and currently contains nine genera and 135 species. However, the monophyly of this group has long been questioned on both morphological and molecular grounds. Here, we use Anchored Hybrid Enrichment (AHE) to gather hundreds of loci from across the genome for reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships among the nine genera and test the monophyly of the family. We also reconstruct the possible ancestral ranges of the most inclusive clade recovered. Using AHE, we generate a supermatrix of 565 loci and 115,209 bp for 27 individuals. For the first time, analyses using all nine genera produce results definitively establishing the non-monophyly of Ctenizidae. A lineage formed exclusively by representatives of South African Stasimopus was placed as the sister group to the remaining taxa in the tree, and the Mediterranean Cteniza and Cyrtocarenum were recovered with high support as sister to exemplars of Euctenizidae, Migidae, and Idiopidae. All the remaining genera-Bothriocyrtum, Conothele, Cyclocosmia, Hebestatis, Latouchia, and Ummidia-share a common ancestor. Based on these results, we formally elevate this clade to the level of family. Our results definitively establish both the non-monophyly of the Ctenizidae and non-validity of the subfamilies Ummidiinae and Ctenizinae. In order to establish the placement of the remaining three ctenizid genera, Cteniza, Cyrtocarenum, and Stasimopus, thorough analyses within the context of a complete mygalomorph phylogenetic framework are needed. We formally describe the family Halonoproctidae Pocock 1901 and infer that the family's most recent common ancestor was likely distributed in western North America and Asia.

Keywords: Araneae; Biogeography; Molecular phylogenetics; Systematics; Targeted sequence capture; Taxonomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genome
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Phylogeny*
  • Phylogeography
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spiders / classification*
  • Spiders / genetics