This thesis focuses on the systematics and taxonomy of two groups of arachnids with representatives in the Neotropical region: the pirate spiders of the family Mimetidae and the mite harvestmen of the family Neogoveidae. The spider family Mimetidae currently comprises 156 species in eleven genera, and can be found in most forests around the world, with its highest species diversity in Central and tropical South America. This dissertation addresses the phylogenetic placement of Mimetidae, its circumscription and its generic relationships using molecular and morphological data. A new genus of mimetids from Africa is described, and maternal care in Mimetidae is reported for the first time. The Neotropical mimetid genus Gelanor is revised, providing species descriptions for all its 11 valid species in the genus (after establishing synonymies and erecting six new species). The Opiliones component of the thesis addresses the systematics of the family Neogoveidae. It includes the taxonomic revision of selected clades of tropical neogoveids. Six new species of Huitaca, a previously monotypic genus from the Andes of Colombia, are described. In addition, the genera Brasilogovia, Metagovea and Neogovea are newly diagnosed and two new species (one Brasilogovia and one Neogovea) are described.
|Commitee:||Giribet, Gonzalo, Lipscomb, Diana, Powell, Scott, Pyron, Robert A.|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Arachnids, Evolution, Neotropical region, Systematics, Taxonomy|
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