Mitochondrial DNA fragments comprising more than 400 bases of the 16S rDNA from nine spider species have been sequenced: Cupiennius salei, C. getazi, C. coccineus and Phoneutria boliviensis (Ctenidae), Pisaura mirabilis, Dolomedes fimbriatus (Pisauridae), Pardosa agrestis (Lycosidae), Clubiona pallidula (Clubionidae) and Ryuthela nishihirai (syn. Heptathela nishihirai; Heptathelidae: Mesothelae). Sequence divergence ranges from 3-4% among Cupiennius species and up to 36% in pairwise comparisons of the more distantly related spider DNAs. Maximally parsimonious gene trees based on these sequences indicate that Phoneutria and Cupiennius are the most distantly related species of the examined Lycosoidea. The monophyly of the family Ctenidae, is therefore doubted; and a revision of the family, which should include DNA-data, is needed.
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