Project description


Pedro Cardoso

Jose Guadanucci

Ole Gudik-Sørensen

Søren Langemark

Nikolaj Scharff

Jesper B. Schmidt





Taxonomic revision and phylogenetic relationships of Hisponine genera (Araneae: Salticidae)



(this project is done in collaboration with Tamás Szűts  from the Hungarian

Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary)


The genera Hispo Simon, 1886, Tomocyrba Simon, 1900, Gorgopsina Petrunkevitch, 1942 (fossil), Prolinus Petrunkevitch, 1958 (fossil), and Massagris Simon, 1900, all share a conspicuous carapace constriction behind the posterior median eyes. The first four genera have been united in the subfamily Hisponinae due to this constriction, but no formal phylogenetic analysis have been carried out to test this classification. As the living genera Hispo and Massagris have both been taxonomically revised recently, our study concentrated on the genus Tomocyrba. A total of seven Tomocyrba species have been described; 2 from Madagascar (including the type species T. decollata Simon, 1900) and 5 from East Africa. Our preliminary results show, that Tomocyrba senso lato is polyphyletic and far more diverse than previously thought. More than 15 new species have been found on Madagascar and another 40 new Tomocyrba-like species have turned up in Africa. Several of these species are, however, not congeneric with the Tomocyrba from Madagascar and probably represent several new genera. We present the various species groups and characters that can be used to define them. We also present a first preliminary phylogeny of hisponine genera, based on morphological characters. It suggests that Hispo and Massagris are more closely related to each other than any of them are with Tomocyrba.



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