The 2005 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition
December 15-18, 2005
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Molecular phylogeny of minute scavenger beetles: Specks at the bottom of the bag

Nathan P. Lord, nlord@uga.edu1, Christopher S. Hartley, CHartley@uga.edu1, Joseph V. McHugh, jmchugh@bugs.ent.uga.edu1, and Michael Whiting, michael_whiting@byu.edu2. (1) University of Georgia, Entomology, 413 Biological Sciences Bldg, Athens, GA, (2) Brigham Young University, Dept. of Integrative Biology, 401 Widstoe Building, Provo, UT

The family Latridiidae, with over 1050 described species, 29 genera, and two subfamilies, is a little recognized group known as the “minute scavenger beetles”. Phylogenetic relationships among the Latridiidae are currently unknown and are in need of a formal, quantitative analysis. The objectives of this study are to (1) test the monophyly of Latridiidae; (2) decipher phylogenetic relationships among genera, with an emphasis on the placement of Eufallia and Alakyptoischion; and (3) use the topology to decipher patterns of wing loss in Akalyptoischion and Metophthalmus. DNA sequence data from four genes (ribosomal 18S and 28S, mitochondrial COI and COII) were obtained for approximately twenty-five in-group exemplars of both subfamilies, representing roughly half the world’s known genera. These data resulted in a robust phylogenetic hypothesis under multiple analytical methodologies. Biological and taxonomic implications are discussed in light of our results.

Species 1: Coleoptera Latridiidae Akalyptoischion atrichos
Species 2: Coleoptera Latridiidae Stephostethus liratus
Species 3: Coleoptera Latridiidae Metophthalmus haigi
Keywords: Phylogenetics