Phylogenetic Tree

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 to see the Phylogenetic Tree

"What common ancestor does the Zebra spider share with all other animals?"

        Zebra spiders, along with all animals, share the common ancestor, Choanoflagellates. Most choanoflagellates are sessile protists, some are colonial. Choanoflagellates are a window on early animal evolution. Both cell biological and molecular evidence indicate that choanoflagellates are the closest living relatives of multicellular animals. The genome of the choanoflagellate has been sequenced, and subsequent analysis has shown that they are closely related to animals. For further evidence of the close relationship between choanoflagellates and the animals, we see that there are specialized cells in sponges called choanocytes, which bear a great resemblance to choanoflagellates. Choanocytes can also be found in nematodes.

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Phylogenetic Tree

"How does the zebra spider fit in with other spiders?" 

         Jumping spiders can be divided into three major lineages: The lyssomanines, the spartaeines and the largest group of salticids. Thus, they are considered to lie near the base of the family. The Salticidae are comprised of  the largest spider family, making up more then 90% of jumping spiders. The Phylogenetic tree below shows how the jumping spiders' family Salticidae, breaks down into subfamilies. The Zebra spiders' subfamily is Salticinae. (Highlighted in red in image below, click on image to enlarge.)
The family Salticidae is well established through both phylogenetic and morphological analyses. There is, however, no consensus on what other group of spiders are most closely related to the jumping spiders. Suggested sister groups have included: the oxyopids (lynx spiders), thomisids (crab spiders), clubionoids (sac spiders), and web building spiders. Learn more about the zebra spider and their Habitat.



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