Biology ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 12-3-2020


Ant-mimicking spiders in the subfamily Castianeirinae have had a number of taxonomic revisions and species descriptions. Despite these advancements, more species exist await formal scientific description and little scientific progress has been made in terms of reconstructing their evolutionary histories. This study 1) describes a new species Castianeira reiskind sp. n. from cloud forests in Nicaragua; and 2) presents a first look of the Australian Castianeirinae taxa in a phylogenetic framework. This analysis is used to explore the origins of Hymenoptera mimicry in this group, test the monophyly of this subfamily compared to the Corinninae and to test the current genera hypotheses in this group. This study shows a single origin of mimicry with model choice arising multiple times independently. The Castianeirinae was supported as monophyletic with respect to the Corinninae and current genera hypotheses were supported.


Ant-mimic, Australia, Castianeirinae, Nicaragua, phylogenetics, spiders

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Kelly Miller

Second Committee Member

Sandra Brantley

Third Committee Member

Robert Raven

Fourth Committee Member

Christopher Witt

Included in

Biology Commons