canarias_satelite_copiaIslands are considered the test-tube experiments of evolutionary biology. However, the distinctiveness of traits and evolutionary trends of island organisms suggests that island evolution may be governed by different forces and subjected to different rules. There has been little effort to date to assess the uniqueness of the evolutionary process in isolated systems or, alternatively, demonstrating the parallelisms of species diversification on islands and continents. I aim to solve this deficiency by using a common analytical framework, based on species level phylogenies, to compare the patterns displayed by organisms that have undergone diversification within both systems. The circum-Mediterranean spider genus Dysdera lends itself to such comparisons. It has colonised all Macaronesian archipelagos and in some of them has undergone adaptive radiations, but is also one of the most species-rich genus in the neighbouring Mediterranean mainland. Central to my study is the inference of a molecular phylogeny for about 150 dysderid species that will be the basis to investigate three main aspects of the evolutionary process: rates of speciation, patterns of geographic speciation, and their relationship to morphological diversification.