New publication: Revision of the dwarf spider genus Shaanxinus implies complex species evolutionary history

Previously the genus Shaanxinus only consisted of two Chinese species. Our work contributed 13 new Taiwanese and one Vietnamese species, which demonstrates the need of more efforts in spider diversity research in East Asia. In addition, micro-CT reconstruction gives new insight into the function of male spider palpal structures, as well as the detection and reconstruction of prosomal glandular tissues related to the production of nuptial gifts. Phylogenetic analysis on mitochondrial DNA sequences of the Taiwanese species implies complex species evolutionary history. Results of DNA barcode analysis question the search after a "barcode gap". Our findings suggest Shaanxinus to be a suitable species group for congeneric phylogeographic studies and for studying the role of sexual selection in speciation.

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