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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The biogeography and age of salticid spider radiations with the introduction of a new African group (Araneae: Salticidae). Bodner, Melissa R.


Globally dispersed, jumping spiders (Salticidae) are species-rich and morphologically diverse. I use both penalized likelihood (PL) and Bayesian methods to create the first dated phylogeny for Salticidae generated with a broad geographic sampling and including fauna from the Afrotropics. The most notable result of the phylogeny concerns the placement of many Central and West African forest species into a single clade, which I informally name the thiratoscirtines. I identify a large Afro-Eurasian clade that includes the Aelurilloida, Plexippoida, the Philaeus group, the Hasarieae/Heliophaninae clade and the Leptorchesteae (APPHHL clade). The APPHHL clade may also include the Euophryinae. The region specific nature of the thiratoscirtine clade supports past studies, which show major salticid groups are confined or mostly confined to Afro-Eurasia, Australasia or the New World. The regional isolation of major salticid clades is concordant with my dating analysis, which shows the family evolved in the Eocene, a time when these three regions were isolated from each other. I date the age of Salticidae to be between 55.2 Ma (PL) and 50.1 Ma (Bayesian). At this time the earth was warmer with expanded megathermal forests and diverse with insect herbivores. The two oldest region-specific clades are the South American Amycoida (41.1 Ma PL and 33.4 Ma Bayesian) and the Afro-Eurasian APPHHL clade (44.5 Ma PL and 33.8 Ma Bayesian), while the Australasian “core” astioids are younger (36.9 Ma PL and 27.3 Ma Bayesian). Mixing of fauna from isolated regions has been limited as large clades are geographically restricted, yet some more recent long-range dispersal events, such as the arrival of the genus Habronattus to the New World, have occurred.

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