A retrolateral projection of the male palpal tarsus is one of the most obvious characters in Pholcidae. Very few species are known to lack a procursus: e.g. Ninetis russellsmithi and an undescribed Pholcinae genus from the Philippines. In Papiamenta the procursus is almost non-existant. The cladogram implies that in all these cases the procursus has been reduced secondarily.
| Male chelicerae
In males of most pholcids, the chelicerae are sexually modified. This results from a mating position in which the male chelicerae are pressed against the female external genitalia (epigynum) during copulation. Unmodified male chelicerae have evolved several times independently, e.g. in Tupigea nadleri, 'Coryssocnemis' viridescens, Psilochorus acanthus, Pholcus satun. Pholcus kerinci.
| Clypeus about as
high as chelicerae long
| Only three
trichobothria on walking leg tibiae
Pholcid walking leg tibiae usually have three trichobothria, one dorsal, one retrolateral, and one prolateral. The prolateral trichobothrium on tibia 1 has been reduced at least four times: in ninetines, in Modisimus and close relatives, in a clade of smeringopines, and in pholcines.
|?Tarsus 4 comb hairs
(Huber & Fleckenstein 2008)
Comb hairs on the fourth tarsi are used for sticky silk wrap attack. They seem to be absent in some ninetines and it is not yet clear if this is a result of secondary loss or not.
(Bruvo-Madaric et al. 2005)
All sequenced partitions supported the monophyly of Pholcidae, but only a limited number of outgroup taxa were included in the analysis: three for 28S (Kukulkania, Plectreurys, Diguetia), two for 16S and CO1, and only one for 12S. The recent study by Dimitrov et al. (2013) provided very weak support for Pholcidae.