The Hersiliidae of the Afrotropical Region is revised and the phylogenetic positions of taxa within the family cladistically analysed. The following genera have been newly erected: Tyrotama gen. nov. for Tama arida and seven additional species, and Prima gen. nov. for P. ansieae spec. nov. and one additional species. The genera Murricia Simon and Neotama Baehr&Baehr are recorded for the first time from the Afrotropical Region. All valid species are redescribed. The following 20 species are newly described: Hersilia beva, H. bubi, H. caronae, H. dilumen, H. eloetsensis, H. moheliensis, H. plara, H. salda, H. taita, H. tamatavensis, H. unca, H. woutrinae, Murricia emlynae, M. uva, Prima ansieae, P. syda, Tyrotama gamkasiensis, T. taris, T. makalaliensis, T. Namibia. The males of T. arida and T. bicava are described for the first time. The following species have been synonymized: Hersilia segeregata Benoit with H. occidentalis Simon, Hersilia nossibeensis Strand with H. insulana Strand, Tama obscura Smithers with Tyrotama arida (Smithers). For Hersilia insulana Strand a lectotype and paralectotype have been designated; a neotype has been designated for H. vinsoni Lucas. Hersilia corticola Lawrence was transferred to Neotama and Hersiliopsis madagascariensis Wundelich was transferred to Hersilia Audouin. The following species remain doubtful: Hersilia kauderni Strand, H. stumpfi Strand, H. fossulata Karsch. A total of 47 hersiliid species are recorded for the Afrotropical Region. Keys are provided to the six genera of the Afrotropical Hersiliidae and the species of Hersilia and Tyrotama. A cladistic analysis based on 48 characters and 22 species inferred the following phylogeny: ((Hersiliola Tyrotama) (Neotama (Prima (Murricia Hersilia)))). Morphological data supports the monophyly of Tyrotama and the phylogeny suggests that the genus is not closely related to Tama. The new genus Prima is weakly supported as the sister taxon of Neotama. Support for the genus Hersilia is weak and synapomorphies that unite five identified species groups within the genus are much more consistent than those that unite Hersilia. However, the genus Hersilia is retained until a comprehensive generic level analysis for the world is conducted.
Thesis (PhD (Zoology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.