The assassination of a hypothesis by non-critical interpretation of molecular data

a comment on Sharma et al. (2017)

Glauco Machado*, Jonas O. Wolff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinion

1 Citation (Scopus)


In a recent paper, Sharma et al. (2017) tested the hypothesis that eggs attached to males’ legs in podoctid harvestmen are laid by conspecifics. Using molecular methods, they falsify the “paternal care hypothesis” and suggest that the eggs belong to spiders. Here we raise several criticisms to the authenticity of this finding and present arguments supporting the hypothesis that eggs belong to harvestmen and are not accidentally attached to the males. We argue that the falsification of the paternal care hypothesis in podoctids is premature and based on non-critical interpretation of molecular data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-348
Number of pages3
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018



  • egg attachment
  • opiliones
  • parental-care parasitism
  • paternal care
  • podoctidae

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