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Phylogeny and biogeography of armored trapdoor spiders with Gondwanan distribution: continental and intercontinental diversification patterns in Idiopinae (Idiopidae, Mygalomorphae)

Grant number: 23/11987-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Antonio Domingos Brescovit
Grantee:Rafael da Fonseca Ferreira
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:22/12588-1 - Expansion, qualification and modernization of the zoological collections of the Instituto Butantan with emphasis on taxonomy and systematic in neotropic haplogynae spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), AP.BTA.TEM


The armored trapdoor spiders (family Idiopidae), which build and inhabit burrows lined with silk and closed with a trapdoor, are the second most diverse group of spiders among Mygalomorphae, a lineage that also includes tarantulas and sheet funnel-web spiders. Members of the subfamily Idiopinae are characterized, mostly, by having anterior lateral eyes projected up front, away from the ocular tubercle; and the tibia of leg 1 of males with tibial apophyses with one or two apical branches. This subfamily comprises seven genera that occur in South America, Africa and South and Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, only species of the genus Idiops Perty, 1833, the most diverse within the subfamily with representatives distributed through these three continents were partially revised. This group is concentrated exclusively on Neotropical taxa, which represent only about one third of the genus diversity. The main objective of this project is to test the group monophyly, and to assess its evolutionary and biogeographic patterns, focusing on the genus Idiops, through phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses of, respectively, morphological characters and sequence capture of Ultraconserved Elements. Selected samples, that may include ethanol preserved specimens, thanks to advances in phylogenomic techniques, will be provided by zoological collections, or obtained by fieldwork and by collaborations with researchers from South America, Africa, and Europe. With an origin dated back to the Inferior Cretaceous, about 133 million years ago, and a Gondwanan distribution, Idiopinae spiders represent an excellent model to investigate and to comprehend evolutionary and biogeographic history of intercontinental taxa. Furthermore, the sedentary lifestyle, and apparent limited dispersal of trapdoor spiders will support the conservation of the environments in which some of these lineages live, especially those associated with Brazilian biomes. (AU)

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