For over 100 years, Eugène Simon's system of pholcid classification has been used with only minor modifications. Phylogenetic research over the last decade has shown that some fundamental changes are necessary if the formal system is to reflect putative evolutionary relationships. Based on cladistic analyses of morphological and molecular data and on qualitative character assessment, the family is here divided into five subfamilies: Ninetinae, Arteminae, Modisiminae, Smeringopinae, and Pholcinae. All currently valid genera are placed in a cladogram. Even though the evidence supporting some of the nodes and assignments is weak, the cladogram generates numerous testable hypotheses and provides an improved framework for the mapping of ‘new’ characters like those from sperm ultrastructure and chromosome analysis.
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Vol. 39 • No. 2