Computational protocol: A giant spider from the Jurassic of China reveals greater diversity of the orbicularian stem group

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Protocol publication

[…] The specimens come from finely laminated, pale grey tuff near Daohugou Village, Wuhua Township, Ningcheng County, Inner Mongolia, China (41°19.532′ N, 119°14.589′ E). The Daohugou beds were deposited in lacustrine conditions in a volcanic region (Ren et al. ) and are well known as a Fossil–Lagerstätte bearing plants, insects, crustaceans, arachnids, molluscs, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. A Middle Jurassic age for the Daohugou biota has been proposed based on the composition of the insect fauna (Ren et al. ; Huang et al. ), conchostracans (Shen et al. ), and isotopic dating (Chen et al. ; Liu et al. ). The material is deposited in the College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing.The specimens were studied and photographed under 70 % ethanol using a Leica MZ16 stereomicroscope, and photographed using a Canon EOS 5D MkIII digital camera attached to the microscope and DSLR Assistant software ( on an Apple MacBook Pro computer (Figs. ; ; and ). Figure , panels g and h, were made on a Leo 1550 field-emission SEM; see for details. Figure  was photographed on a Zeiss Sigma Variable Pressure Field Emission SEM. These are the first SEM photographs to be published of matrix-preserved fossil spiders (Selden and Penney ). Photographs were manipulated using Adobe Photoshop software, and final drawings were made from the photographs using Adobe Illustrator. All measurements are in millimeters and were made from the photographs using Photoshop’s analysis tool.Fig. 1Fig. 2Fig. 3Table  is a comparison chart of various characters visible on the fossils with those of possible relatives. The modern comparators were chosen because they show morphological similarities to the fossils. The morphological characters are discussed below, with their states as shown in Table  (coded as 0 for their state in Mongolarachne, ? = not known in the fossil, all unordered). The matrix in Table  was analyzed using Mesquite 2.75 ( (for which Mongolarachne male and female were merged) as an aid to examining the possible relationships of the Mongolarachnidae). […]

Pipeline specifications

Software tools Adobe Illustrator, Mesquite
Applications Miscellaneous, Phylogenetics