Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae constitute part of the Lycosoidea clade that includes a diverse range of wandering spider species that inhabit terrestrial and semi-aquatic environments. Phylogenetic studies of these three families based on morphological and behavioural traits have produced contradictory results on their evolutionary relationships. To resolve their relationship, we constructed a molecular phylogeny based on five mitochondrial and three nuclear genes. We found support for the sister group relationship between Lycosidae and Trechaleidae. In contrast to previous findings, our results suggest that Pisauridae is not monophyletic, and that Dolomedes forms its own group. Both Pisauridae and Trechaleidae contain species that provide nuptial gifts. In combination with sampling of more species for this trait, our results provide a phylogenetic framework for assessing the evolution of nuptial gift giving in spiders.
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Vol. 17 • No. 4