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Phylogenetic analysis of genera from the spiders family Caponiidae (Araneae, Haplogynae)

Grant number: 18/01538-8
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: May 01, 2018 - January 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Antonio Domingos Brescovit
Grantee:Antonio Domingos Brescovit
Visiting researcher: Alexander Sánchez Ruiz
Visiting researcher institution: Centro Oriental de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad (BIOECO), Cuba
Home Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The researcher's visit aims to conclude with a research begun during his postdoctoral stay at the Butantan Institute in 2016 financed by FAPESP. The main objective of this postdoctoral project was the taxonomic revision and phylogeny of Nops, the genus with the highest species richness in the Caponiidae spider family. As results, three articles were published that raised the level of knowledge of the taxonomy and morphology of spiders of the genus. In addition, the revision and phylogeny of Nops with the description of 12 new species and an analysis of the monophyly of the genus Nopinae were forwarded and accepted for publication in Zootaxa. However, during this stay, some additional studies were also started that were not in the initial plan of the postdoctoral project. During this posdoc other articles were also published describing three new genera of Caponiidae and several new species, among them we find the first blind caponiids (see scientific production of the visiting researcher). As part of these studies were collected a large amount of specimens from various fieldtrips and arachnological collections around the world, including also type specimens. All this material is currently available for study at the Laboratorio Especial de Colecoes Zoológicas of the Instituto Butantan. Nowadays, with the accumulated knowledge of Caponiidae during the postdoctoral stay and all the material available, it is possible to start working on a first phylogenetic hypothesis of the family. Most of the specimens to be studied come from collections preserved in 80% alcohol and were collected more than five years ago. Therefore, this first analysis will be based on morphological evidence. A still small number of caponids were collected recently and preserved in 100% alcohol for further molecular studies. Although these spiders are bright orange, they can be very difficult to find in nature, mainly due to their cryptozooic habits, however, some methods have been perfected during previous studies to facilitate their capture. The main objective of the researcher's visit is to conclude with these studies and deliver the first phylogenetic hypothesis of the Caponiidae family, taking advantage of all the infrastructure already created and all the material already gathered at the host institution. The results obtained during this visit will contribute to the understanding of the family in a more solid way and will constitute the first real approximation of the interrelationships of one of the less studied families of the Synspermiata clade. (AU)