Filistatidae is one of the most phylogenetically enigmatic spider groups, and the genus Kukulcania Lehtinen includes the commonest representatives of the family. Its type species, K. hibernalis (Hentz, 1842), remains a favorite candidate for studies on spider phylogeny and comparative morphology. However, little is known about the taxonomy, species limits, and distribution of its closest relatives, because no generic revision has ever been undertaken. We present the first comprehensive assessment of the taxonomy of Kukulcania. The species K. hibernalis, K. arizonica (Chamberlin and Ivie, 1935), K. utahana (Chamberlin and Ivie, 1935), K. hurca (Chamberlin and Ivie, 1942), K. brignolii (Alayón, 1981) comb. nov. (transferred here from Filistata Latreille), K. tractans (O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1896), and K. geophila (Chamberlin and Ivie, 1935) are redescribed based on our examination of type material. We show that the name Filistata brevipesKeyserling, 1883, which had previously been placed in Kukulcania, actually belongs to a prithine spider, and propose the new combination Pikelinia brevipes (Keyserling, 1883). Filistata geophila wawonaChamberlin and Ivie, 1942, is newly synonymized with Kukulcania geophila. Eight new species of Kukulcania are described: K. cochimi, sp. nov. (from Baja California), K. gertschi, sp. nov. (northern Mexico), K. mexicana, sp. nov. (central Mexico), K. santosi, sp. nov. (southern Mexico to northern South America; previously misidentified as K. brevipes), K. tequila, sp. nov. (western Mexico), K. chingona, sp. nov. (western Mexico), K. benita, sp. nov. (endemic to the San Benito Islands in Baja California) and K. bajacali, sp. nov. (Baja California). With this, the number of recognized species in the genus is increased to 15. All species have their distributions mapped and both sexes illustrated. The first identification key to the genus is presented. A study on the morphology of the genus is undertaken using light and scanning electron microscopy, and the phylogenetic position of Kukulcania within the Filistatinae is briefly discussed. A novel putative synapomorphy for the subfamily is proposed.
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