Systematics of Ctenidae

The family Ctenidae was proposed by Keyserling in 1877. He included the genera Ctenus of Walckenaer and Microctenus, Acanthoctenus and Caloctenus, all described by himself in the new family. Unfortunately the type specimen of the type species Ctenus dubius Walckenaer, 1805 is lost (Simó & Brescovit 2001), resulting in many species described in the genus and many synonymies. 

Simon (1897) regarded the ctenids as a subfamily (Cteninae) of the Clubionidae, while F. O. Pickard-Cambridge (1897) recognised a lineage of genera that he identified as ‘‘cteniform’’ and in 1900 he restored the family Ctenidae.

Higher taxonomic relationships of the Ctenidae were more recently studied by Diana Silva Davila (2003): She showed that the family belongs to the ctenoid complex within the Lycosoidea (one of the major monophyletic spider groups) and is still polyphyletic in its current delimitation. Ctenidae sensu stricto are characterized by the ctenid eye pattern. Within the family 5 monophyletic groups are recognized: Viridasiinae (no Neotropical species), Acanthocteninae, Acantheinae (Enoploctenus), Cteninae and Calocteninae (Polotow & Brescovit 2014). The most recent analysis of the phylogenetic relationships of Lycosoidea spiders (Polotow, Carmichael & Griswold 2015) newly considered Ctenidae polyphyletic. Cupiennius seems not to belong to the Ctenids and Viridasiinae is raised to family rank and excluded from the Ctenidae.

Current systematic classification:

  • Phylum Arthropoda
    • Subphylum Chelicerata
      • Class Arachnida
        • Order Araneae (spiders)
          • Infraorder Araneomorphae
            • Entelegynae
            • RTA Clade
              • Lycosoidea
                • Family Ctenidae