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taxon links [up-->]Araneomorphae [up-->]Mygalomorphae [down<--]Arachnida Interpreting the tree
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This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

example of a tree diagram

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

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Tree from Coddington and Levi (1991)
Containing group: Arachnida

Other Names for Araneae


Bond, J. E. and B. D. Opell. 1998. Testing adaptive radiation and key innovation hypotheses in spiders. Evolution 52:403-414.

Coddington, J. A. and H. W. Levi. 1991. Systematics and evolution of spiders (Araneae). Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 22:565-592.

Foelix, R. F. 1996. Biology of Spiders. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Gatesy, J., C. Hayashi, D. Motriuk, J. Woods, and R. Lewis. 2001. Extreme diversity, conservation, and convergence of spider silk fibroin sequences. Science 291:2603-2605.

Preston-Mafham, R. and K. Preston-Mafham. 1984. Spiders of the World. Blandford Press Ltd. Dorset.

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Latrodectus mactans or L. hesperus?
Creator Photograph by George W. Robinson
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Lactrodectus mactans; Black Widow Spider With Egg Sack
Source Collection CalPhotos
Copyright © 1999 California Academy of Sciences
Scientific Name Theraphosa blondi
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Theraphosa blondi; Goliath Birdeating Tarantula
Source Collection CalPhotos
Copyright © 2000
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Citing this page:

Tree of Life Web Project. 2006. Araneae. Spiders. Version 07 December 2006 (temporary). http://tolweb.org/Araneae/2546/2006.12.07 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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