Phylogenomic data reveal three new families of poorly studied Solifugae (camel spiders)

Siddharth S. Kulkarni*, Takeshi Yamasaki, Luong Thi Hong Phung, Nanguei Karuaera, Savel R. Daniels, Efrat Gavish-Regev, Prashant P. Sharma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The systematics of the arachnid order Solifugae have been an enigma, owing to challenges in interpreting morphology, a paucity of molecular phylogenetic studies sampling across the group, and a dearth of taxonomic attention for many lineages. Recent work has suggested that solifuge families largely exhibit contiguous distributions and reflect patterns of vicariance, with the exception of three families: Melanoblossidae, Daesiidae and Gylippidae. Morphological studies have cast doubt on their existing circumscriptions and the present composition of these taxa renders their distributions as disjunct. We leveraged ultraconserved elements (UCEs) to test the phylogenetic placement of three key lineages of Solifugae that cause these anomalous distributions: Dinorhax rostrumpsittaci (putative melanoblossid), Namibesia (putative daesiid), and Trichotoma (putative gylippid). Phylogenetic placement of these three genera based on UCEs rendered the families that harbor them as para- or polyphyletic, recovering instead relationships that better accord with a biogeographic history driven by vicariance. Toward a stable and phylogenetically informed classification of Solifugae, we establish three new families, Dinorhaxidae new rank, Namibesiidae new rank and Lipophagidae new rank.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number107989
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Feb 2024

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  • Arachnida
  • Biogeography
  • Phylogenetics
  • Taxonomy


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