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Exploring the morphological phylogenetic signal: a case study in the orb-weaving spider genus Wagneriana F.O.P.-Cambridge, 1904 (Araneae: Araneidae)

Grant number: 16/04437-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2016
Effective date (End): January 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Pinto da Rocha
Grantee:Jimmy Jair Cabra Garcia
Supervisor: Gustavo Hormiga
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: George Washington University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/20262-0 - Systematics and evolution of the orb-weaving spider genus Wagneriana Cambridge, 1904 (Araneae: Araneidae), BP.DR


Despite the increasing availability of massive molecular data for phylogenetic inference, understanding the evolution of the phenotype continues to be a key component in systematics. To date, few studies combine detailed morphological character analysis, which often requires time-consuming study, with molecular data for inferring phylogenetic relationships. In this project I aim to conduct extensive scanning electron microscope imaging of external (spinnerets, epiandrous fusules, cuticular surface and male palp morphology) and internal morphological characters (spermathecae, fertilization and copulatory ducts) for the 43 described species of the Neotropical orb-weaving spider genus Wagneriana and nine closely related genera, in order to establish hypothetical morphological transformation series. The morphological dataset will be added to an existing molecular matrix of nine gene fragments in order to infer the phylogenetic placement of Wagneriana within Araneidae and its species-level phylogeny. The feasibility of this project will be guaranteed by the examination of Wagneriana specimens deposited in three of the major arachnological collections around the world, unlimited SEM imaging resources, previously successful cooperation with the foreign institution and the expert collaboration that I will receive. This project will be pioneer in the comprehension of the phylogenetic diversity of a Neotropical spider genus using both morphological and molecular evidence.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
JAIRO OSPINA-SARRIA, JHON; CABRA-GARCIA, JIMMY. Parsimony analysis of unaligned sequence data: some clarifications. CLADISTICS, v. 34, n. 5, p. 574-577, . (13/20262-0, 12/10000-5, 14/03585-2, 16/04437-2, 16/25070-0)

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