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Austrochilidae
Thaida chepu male, eyes.jpg
Thaida chepu, male eyes
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Austrochilidae
Zapfe, 1955
Genera
  • Austrochilus Gertsch & Zapfe, 1955
  • Hickmania Gertsch, 1958
  • Thaida Karsch, 1880
Diversity
3 genera, 10 species
Distribution.austrochilidae.1.png

Austrochilidae is a small spider family with ten species in three genera. Austrochilus and Thaida are endemic to the Andean forest of central and southern Chile and adjacent Argentina, while Hickmania is endemic to Tasmania. The monophyly of the family and the relationships among the genera are uncertain as of May 2017.

Taxonomy

As of May 2017, three genera are placed in the family Austrochilidae: Austrochilus and Thaida, found in Chile and Argentina, and Hickmania, found in Tasmania, Australia. The taxonomic placement of these genera has varied. In 1968, Lehtinen synonymized Austrochilus and Thaida under the latter name, placing the genus in a family he called "Thaididae", Hickmania being placed in the separate family Hickmaniidae. However, the family name "Thaididae" is preoccupied, being first used for a family of gastropods in 1887. A single family was accepted by Forster et al. in 1987, under the name "Austrochilidae". A large scale phylogenetic study in 2016 suggested that Hickmania is more closely related to the family Gradungulidae and the genus Archoleptoneta than to Austrochilus and Thaidu. Molecular phylogenetic studies agree in placing the three genera as basal members of the Araneomorphae, although the precise details and the family placement are not yet agreed.

Phylogeny

One hypothesis for the phylogeny of the genera placed in the family is shown below (Austrochilidae genera in bold). The family shows a mixture of "primitive" and "advanced" features. The retention of four book lungs places the family at the base of the Araneomorphae, whereas some features of their silk production are regarded as derived.

Araneomorphae

Hypochilidae + Filistatidae + Synspermiata






Hickmannia



Archoleptoneta




Gradungulidae






Leptoneta



Austrochilus + Thaidu




remaining Araneomorphae






Species

As of April 2019, the World Spider Catalog accepts the following genera:

  • Austrochilus Gertsch & Zapfe, 1955 — Chile, Argentina
  • Hickmania Gertsch, 1958 — Australia
  • Thaida Karsch, 1880 — Chile, Argentina
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