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Dimitar Dimitrov taxon links Phylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Pholcidae Interpreting the tree
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Tree from Huber (2001) with additions from Huber and El Hennawy (2007).
Containing group: Pholcidae


This group of pholcids includes several Old World and New World genera with globular abdomen and short legs. As a result of their small size and cryptic lifestyle ninetines are often overlooked and most of their biodiversity is probably unknown. Practically nothing is known about their biology.


Ninetines are small (1-2 mm) short legged pholcid spiders that live in the leaf litter or under stones and are often found in arid areas. Another character that is shared by all ninetine genera is the ninetine tarsal organ (Huber, 2000).

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

All phylogenetic analyses which included ninetine genera placed them as the most basal pholcid members (e.g. Huber, 2000, 2001; Huber and El Hennawy, 2007; Bruvo-Madaric et al., 2005). Little is known about the ninetines' intergeneric relationships. The only study with a fairly large ninetine sample is that of Huber (2001) and his results, with additions to accommodate results from Huber and El Hennawy (2007), are used to represent ninetine relationships here.

Huber and Brescovit (2003) have suggested that monophyly of ninetines in Huber (2000) was supported by morphological characters that might not be independent and it was, thus, not “convincingly supported”. However, studies that used molecular data confirmed the monophyly of ninetines (Bruvo-Madaric et al., 2005).


Bruvo-Madaric B., Huber B.A., Steinacher A., Pass G. 2005. Phylogeny of pholcid spiders (Araneae:Pholcidae): combined analysis using morphology and molecules. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 661-673.

Huber B.A. 2000. New World pholcid spiders (Araneae: Pholcidae): a revision at generic level. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 254: 1–348.

Huber B.A. 2001. The pholcids of Australia (Araneae; Pholcidae): taxonomy, biogeography, and relationships. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 260: 1-144.

Huber B.A., Brescovit A.D. 2003. Ibotyporanga Mello-Leitão: tropical spiders in Brazilian semi-arid habitats (Araneae: Pholcidae). Insect Systematics and Evolution 34: 15-20.

Huber B.A., El Hennawy H. 2007. On Old World ninetine spiders (Araneae: Pholcidae), with a new genus and species and the first record for Madagascar. Zootaxa 1635: 45-53.

About This Page

Dimitar Dimitrov
Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Dimitar Dimitrov at

Page: Tree of Life Ninetines. Authored by Dimitar Dimitrov. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Dimitrov, Dimitar. 2009. Ninetines. Version 12 February 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Ninetines/135179/2009.02.12 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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