Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography
RESEARCH ARTICLE

On the New World spiders previously misplaced in Leptopholcus: molecular and morphological analyses and descriptions of four new species (Araneae : Pholcidae)

Bernhard A. Huber A E , Leonardo S. Carvalho B C and Suresh P. Benjamin A D

A Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Germany.

B Universidade Federal do Piauí, Campus Amílcar Ferreira Sobral – CAFS, BR 343, KM 3.5, Bairro Meladão, CEP 64800-000, Floriano, PI, Brazil.

C Programa de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

D Institute of Fundamental Studies, Hantana Road, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka.

E Corresponding author. Email: b.huber@zfmk.de

Invertebrate Systematics 28(4) 432-450 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/IS13050
Submitted: 15 October 2013  Accepted: 23 January 2014   Published: 12 September 2014

Abstract

The generic placement of New World pholcids assigned to the genus Leptopholcus Simon, 1893 has long been questioned and recent molecular data have shown that Caribbean (Hispaniolan) representatives are more closely related to the Old World genus Micropholcus Deeleman-Reinhold & Prinsen, 1987 than to ‘true’ African Leptopholcus (Dimitrov, Astrin and Huber 2013, Cladistics 29: 132–146). Here we provide new molecular (16S, 18S, 28S, COI, H3, WNT1) and morphological data about Caribbean (Cuban, Puerto Rican) and South American (Brazilian) representatives, supporting the sister-group relationship with Micropholcus and suggesting a monophyletic New World clade that in turn consists of a Caribbean and a South American clade. The ten New World species previously assigned to Leptopholcus are thus transferred to Micropholcus for which an emended diagnosis is provided: M. baoruco (Huber, 2006), comb. nov.; M. brazlandia (Huber, Pérez & Baptista, 2005), comb. nov.; M. dalei (Petrunkevitch, 1929), comb. nov.; M. delicatulus (Franganillo, 1930), comb. nov.; M. evaluna (Huber, Pérez & Baptista, 2005), comb. nov.; M. hispaniola (Huber, 2000), comb. nov.; M. jamaica (Huber, 2000), comb. nov.; M. kiskeya (Huber & Wunderlich, 2006), comb. nov.; M. pataxo (Huber, Pérez & Baptista, 2005), comb. nov.; M. toma (Huber, 2006), comb. nov. Four Brazilian species are newly described: M. piaui, sp. nov.; M. piracuruca, sp. nov.; M. crato, sp. nov.; M. ubajara, sp. nov. Natural history data are provided for M. piaui and M. ubajara.

Additional keywords: Brazil, Micropholcus, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy.


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