The pholcids of Australia (Araneae, Pholcidae) : taxonomy, biogeography, and relationships. Bulletin of the AMNH ; no. 260

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[New York] : American Museum of Natural History
The pholcid spiders of Australia are revised. Only seven autochthonous genera are recognized: (1) Wugigarra, new genus, includes the Australian species previously assigned to Psilochorus Simon. This genus is largely restricted to eastern Australia. With 22 described species (20 of them new) and about 40 undescribed species in Australian collections, it is probably the most diverse genus on the continent. (2) Trichocyclus Simon is the dominant or only pholcid genus in most areas of Western and South Australia and the Northern Territory; 23 species are described, 20 of them new. (3) Micromerys Bradley is restricted to the tropical and subtropical areas of Queensland and Northern Territory; 7 species are described, 5 of them new. (4) Pholcus Walckenaer has within Australia the same distribution as does Micromerys; 4 autochthonous species are described, all new. Pholcus litoralis Koch is newly synonymized with P. phalangioides (Fuesslin). (5) Panjange Deeleman-Reinhold and Deeleman is represented by a single, previously described species in northern Queensland. (6) Spermophora is restricted to northeastern Queensland; 2 species are described, both new. (7) Belisana Thorell with a single new species in the tropical north of Queensland and Northern Territory. Nine pholcid species are introduced, some of them occurring throughout the continent. They are included in a key. A numerical cladistic analysis is performed using a matrix of 71 taxa (10 of them Australian) and 65 characters. This analysis suggests that the two highly diverse genera (Wugigarra, Trichocyclus) are most closely related to New World, African, and Middle Eastern genera. All other genera are included in the Pholcus group sensu Huber. It is argued that these are probably new tropical elements, having entered Australia from the north probably not earlier than the Pleistocene, while Wugigarra and Trichocyclus are relicts of Gondwanaland, with their presence in Australia dating back to the Mesozoic.
144 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 138-140) and index.