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Phylogeny and systematic position of Opiliones: a combined analysis of chelicerate relationships using morphological and molecular dataThe ordinal level phylogeny of the Arachnida and the suprafamilial level phylogeny of the Opiliones were studied on the basis of a combined analysis of 253 morphological characters, the complete sequence of the 18S rRNA gene, and the D3 region of the 28S rRNA gene. Molecular data were collected for 63 terminal taxa. Morphological data were collected for 35 exemplar taxa of Opiliones, but groundplans were applied to some of the remaining chelicerate groups. Six extinct terminals, including Paleozoic scorpions, are scored for morphological characters. The data were analyzed using strict parsimony for the morphological data matrix and via direct optimization for the molecular and combined data matrices. A sensitivity analysis of 15 parameter sets was undertaken, and character congruence was used as the optimality criterion to choose among competing hypotheses. The results obtained are unstable for the high-level chelicerate relationships (except for Tetrapulmonata, Pedipalpi, and Camarostomata), and the sister group of the Opiliones is not clearly established, although the monophyly of Dromopoda is supported under many parameter sets. However, the internal phylogeny of the Opiliones is robust to parameter choice and allows the discarding of previous hypotheses of opilionid phylogeny such as the "Cyphopalpatores" or "Palpatores." The topology obtained is congruent with the previous hypothesis of "Palpatores" paraphyly as follows: (Cyphophthalmi (Eupnoi (Dyspnoi + Laniatores))). Resolution within the Eupnoi, Dyspnoi, and Laniatores (the latter two united as Dyspnolaniatores nov.) is also stable to the superfamily level, permitting a new classification system for the Opiliones. c2002 The Willi Hennig Society.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Giribet, Gonzalo (Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States)
Edgecombe, Gregory D.
Wheeler, Ward C.
Babbitt, Courtney
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: Cladistics : the international journal of the Willi Hennig Society
Volume: 18
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0748-3007
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Evolutionary Biology
Non-NASA Center