Monday, December 10, 2007 - 9:29 AM

Phylogeny and evolution of host use habits in the Buprestidae (Coleoptera)

Amanda M. Evans, and Brian Farrell. Harvard University, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

Although buprestids are best known as woodboring beetles, several diverse groups within the family feed within leaf tissue as larvae. Currently, all but one of these leafmining genera are placed in a single leafmining tribe. However, a molecular phylogeny of the family supports the hypothesis that leafmining has evolved at least four times in the Buprestidae. The multiple origins of the leafmining habit allow a comparison of clades with differing host use habits to investigate the evolutionary consequences of shifts to leafmining on species diversity and ecological disparity. Morphological study of the Buprestidae is likely to reveal traits correlated with shifts to leafmining, suggesting convergent morphological evolution related to host use in the family.

Species 1: Coleoptera Buprestidae