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Morphological atlas of cuticular structures of Mygalomorphae spiders: representatives of the Australian fauna

Grant number: 15/06406-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): November 16, 2015
Effective date (End): January 15, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:José Paulo Leite Guadanucci
Grantee:José Paulo Leite Guadanucci
Host Investigator: Robert John Raven
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: Queensland Museum, Australia  


The spider infraorder Mygalomorphae, some of which are known as tarantulas, comprise a morphological homogeneous group, and the search for morphogical characters may be a hard task. Even though we have witnessed the growth of molecular tools for systematics, there is still a large unexplored universe of morphological features of cuticular structures for these spiders. In this context, a group of researchers (J.P.L. Guadanucci - UNESP, Rio Claro; R. P. Indicatti - Instituto Butantan; L. T. Miglio - Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi) have been developing the project "Morphological atlas of cuticular structures of Mygalomorphae spiders", with the objective of exploring these characters under the examination of Scaning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and evaluating the use of such characters in phylogeny. The project is currently under development (data collection), as we have representatives of 36 genera already examined, which includes all 16 families of mygalomorphs. After having contacted Dr. Robert Raven, I was invited to examine a large amount of material of such spiders, already mounted in metallic stubs and sputter coated with gold for SEM. This proposal has the objective of granting access to this valuable material to the coordinator of the morphological atlas project. The inclusion of this material will sum up 110 genera examined, making the outcome of this project more significative. Considering the present proposal as a complement of another project, we foresee the development of two manuscripts: 1 - Morphology of tarsal setae of Mygalomorphae; which we intend to complete within six months after the end of the present proposal; 2 - Morphological Atlas of cuticular structures in Mygalomorphae; which comprise a large study, which we intend to finalize within 18 months. (AU)

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