An unexpected journey: The evolution and biogeography of New Zealand Idiopidae

Victoria R. Smith *1, Cor Vink 2, Rob Cruickshank 3, Adrian Paterson 1

1 Lincoln University, Springs Road, Lincoln, Christchurch 7647
2 Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Road, Christchurch
3 None

Eligible for student prize

The origins of most New Zealand lineages can be traced back to nearby continents, such as Australia. However, evidence suggests that a few lineages have been associated with New Zealand and its supercontinent, Zealandia, since the breakup of Gondwana. New Zealand’s endemic trapdoor spider genus, Cantuaria (Idiopidae), is one such candidate for a history of Gondwanan vicariance. Cantuaria appears dispersal limited and surprisingly speciose. We set out to use dated phylogenies, phylogeographic analysis, and ecological data to infer the history of Cantuaria in New Zealand. Were Cantuaria in New Zealand since Zealandia split from Australia 80 million years ago, or did they more recently undertake an unexpected journey?

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