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Nanometa clade

Dimitar Dimitrov and Gustavo Hormiga
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taxon links [down<--]Tetragnathidae Interpreting the tree
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Tree from Álvarez-Padilla et al. (2009)
Containing group: Tetragnathidae


The ‘‘Nanometa clade’’ is an Australian lineage that includes the genus Nanometa, some species currently classified as Orsinome and an undescribed genus. Very little is known about the biology and diversity of this group.


Spiders from the ‘‘Nanometa clade’’ have numerous unique characteristics that make them easy to distinguish from other tetragnathids. ‘‘Nanometa clade’’ members have ramified median tracheae (with a branching pattern very different from that of the tetragnathine genus Glenognatha). Females have cheliceral denticles between the anterior and posterior rows of cheliceral teeth. Males have stridulatory ridges on the book-lung plates and small denticles on the fourth coxae's mesal surface.

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Forster and Forster (1999) placed the genus Nanometa and the species Orsinome lagenifera in a separate family, Nanometidae, but they did not provide a explicit justification for their proposed new family. All phylogenetic analyses that have included Nanometa found it deeply nested within Tetragnathidae, which would of course render this latter family paraphyletic (Álvarez-Padilla, 2007; Álvarez-Padilla et al., 2009; Dimitrov and Hormiga, 2009). Nanometa and Orsinome sarasini are treated as a lineage under the informal name ‘‘Nanometa clade’’. The genus Orsinome is not monophyletic and the species Orsinome sarasini is not congeneric with the leucaugine Orsinome vethi (the type species). At present time it is not possible to ascertain how many of the species included in Orsinome are actually members of the ‘‘Nanometa clade.’’ The tree presented here is taken from Álvarez-Padilla et al. (2009).


Álvarez-Padilla F., Dimitrov D., Giribet G., Hormiga G. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of the spider family Tetragnathidae (Araneae, Araneoidea) based on morphological and DNA sequence data. Cladistics (In press).

Álvarez-Padilla F. 2007. Systematics of the spider genus Metabus O. P.-Cambridge, 1899 (Araneoidea: Tetragnathidae) with additions to the tetragnathid fauna of Chile and comments on the phylogeny of Tetragnathidae. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 150: 285–335.

Dimitrov D., Hormiga G. 2009. Revision and cladistic analysis of the orbweaving spider genus Cyrtognatha Keyserling, 1881 (Araneae, Tetragnathidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 317: 1-139.

Forster R.R., Forster L. 1999. Spiders of New Zealand and their Worldwide Kin. University of Otago Press, Dunedin, NZ.

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
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Scientific Name Undescribed Nanometa clade species
Location Australia
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Dimitar Dimtirov
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © 2006 Gustavo Hormiga
About This Page

Dimitar Dimitrov
Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen

Gustavo Hormiga
George Washington University, Washington, D. C., USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Dimitar Dimitrov at and Gustavo Hormiga at

Page: Tree of Life Nanometa clade. Authored by Dimitar Dimitrov and Gustavo Hormiga. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Dimitrov, Dimitar and Gustavo Hormiga. 2009. Nanometa clade. Version 09 March 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Nanometa_clade/134637/2009.03.09 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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