The combing of cribellar silk by the prithine Misionella mendensis, with notes on other filistatid spiders (Araneae, Filistatidae) ; American Museum novitates, no. 3563

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New York, NY : American Museum of Natural History
We present the first observations of the combing and attaching behavior in the subfamily Prithinae (Filistatidae), taken from Misionella mendensis. We compare its web architecture with that of other prithines (Pritha nana and Pikelinia sp. from Chile) and filistatines (Kukulcania hibernalis and Filistata insidiatrix). The combing behavior of M. mendensis corresponds to the stereotyped type I combing behavior, as is known for other filistatids. However, M. mendensis attaches the cribellar segments in a unique way, splitting the cribellar segment longitudinally and pushing each half to the substrate, attaching the silk with the tarsi of both legs IV simultaneously. These stereotyped movements result in web units of a very characteristic structure. We report the same split attachment behavior in the prithine Pikelinia tambilloi. We scored these observations into a previous dataset for filistatid relationships. Because of the missing observations on attachment behavior in the North American basal genus Filistatinella, the sister group of all other prithines, the evolution of split cribellar strands is a potential synapomorphic characteristic for the Prithinae, or at least the subgroup excluding its basal taxon.
14 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 13-14).