• 1 College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan 410081, China
  • 2 Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543, Singapore
  • 3 School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • 4 State Key Laboratory of Biocatalysis and Enzyme Engineering, and Centre for Behavioural Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, Hubei University, 368 Youyi Road, Wuhan 430062, Hubei Province, China
  • 5 Department of Zoology, National Museum of Nature and Science, 4-1-1 Amakubo, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken 305-0005, Japan
  • 6 Center of Excellence in Entomology and Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
  • 7 Department of Zoology, University of Yangon, Kamayut Township, Pyay Road, Yangon 11041, Myanmar
  • 8 Department of Experimental Taxonomy and Genetic Diversity, Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • 9 Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Xin Xu and Yong-Chao Su contributed equally to this work
Syst Biol, 2021 Oct 13;70(6):1110-1122.
PMID: 33367903 DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syaa098


The segmented trapdoor spiders (Liphistiidae) are the sole surviving family of the suborder Mesothelae, which forms the sister lineage to all other living spiders. Liphistiids have retained a number of plesiomorphic traits and their present-day distribution is limited to East and Southeast Asia. Studying this group has the potential to shed light on the deep evolutionary history of spiders, but the phylogeny and divergence times of the family have not been resolved with confidence. We performed phylogenomic and molecular dating analyses of 2765 ultraconserved element loci from 185 liphistiid taxa. Our analyses show that the crown group of Liphistiidae appeared in the mid-Cretaceous at 102 Ma (95% credibility interval 92-113 Ma), but it was not until the Neogene that much of the diversification within the family occurred in mainland Southeast and East Asia. This diversification was coincident with tectonic events such as the extension of the East Asian continental margin, as well as geological upheavals in Indochina induced by the collision between India and Asia. Our study highlights the important role of major tectonic events in shaping the evolutionary history, present-day diversity, and geographical distribution of mesothele and liphistiid spiders. [biogeography; concatenation; Liphistiidae; molecular dating; summary coalescent; UCEs.].

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.