Southeast Asian spider genus Aetana was very poorly known.
Only three species were known, each represented by a few specimens.
Here we describe fifteen new species, and present first SEM data and a
first phylogenetic analysis of the genus.
The cladistic analysis and field observations suggest that the ancestor of Aetana built its web close to the ground, in confined spaces among and under rocks and logs. In at least two cases, evolutionary shifts of microhabitat resulted in species being adapted to life in higher forest strata, with correlated morphological and behavioral changes. Below on the left is A. baganihan, a species that builds its web among vegatation; on the right is the closely related A. ocampoi that lives close to the ground, among logs and rocks.
Photos (c) B.A. Huber