A preliminary molecular phylogeny of the genus Pholcus in Iran, with notes on taxonomy

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Biology, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran.

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran

3 Department of Animal and Plant Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences and Technology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


Iran is a large country with diverse and unique climate and ecology; therefore, it is expected to discover an exceptional fauna with high species diversity by carefully examining the unknown areas. A few taxonomic studies have been so far conducted on the genus Pholcus in Iran. Taxonomic and preliminary phylogenetic evaluation of widespread species of the genus Pholcus from Iran is considered in the present study, based on specimens collected from northern and southwestern parts of the country. A molecular study was undertaken on some representatives of species of the Pholcus phalangioides species-group (cellar spiders) using newly designed primers with 350 bp of partial fragments of mtDNA gene, cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI). These preliminary molecular data in line with morphological identifications using characters related to the copulatory organs presented a total of five distinct clades of Pholcus that four clades were contributed with formerly identified species and one represented a distinct lineage unknown for science.


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