Synopsis of the super-family Lycosoidea (Araneae) in Israel: Taxonomy, checklist and a key for the families, genera and species found in Israel

Spiders are among the diverse orders known, with 43,244 described species in 111 families, 50 currently recorded from Israel. Yet only 13 spider families have been extensively studied in Israel thus far. The superfamily Lycosoidea is an example of a group that still requires a comprehensive study. The richest lycosoid family, Lycosidae, was never studied in Israel, and needs a complete taxonomical revision. In addition, the circumscription of the lycosoid families Zoridae and Miturgidae may be altered after a revision. Preliminary inspection of Prochora lycosiformis (O.P.- Cambridge in 1872) (Miturgidae) that is known from Sicily and Israel reveals an intriguing resemblance to an Australian miturgid species. This taxonomical puzzle raises a question about the relationship of the two lycosoid species. The proposed collection-based research aims to study the species richness and the taxonomical circumscription of the seven lycosoid families found in Israel. As part of the research, a review of the genus Prochora Simon, 1886 (Lycosoidea: Miturgidae) and its current classification will be conducted and the relationships with the Australian miturgid species will be tested. This proposed research will enable us to create a key and a checklist of lycosoid taxa of Israel, and will add knowledge on the taxonomy of this diverse group.