0967 Fossils in Hawaii? The importance of a sub-fossil assemblage for understanding the Hawaiian Blackburnia radiation (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009: 3:23 PM
Room 102, First Floor (Convention Center)
James Liebherr , Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Nick Porch , Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T, Australia
The Hawaiian Islands are home to over 5,000 described, indigenous insect species. Intense phylogenesis has resulted in species radiations that serve as models for evolutionary biology. The genus Blackburnia (Coleoptera: Carabidae) has been the subject of numerical cladistic analysis characterized by 1, inclusion of all known species, 2, comprehensive morphological character selection; and 3, a test for monophyly using multiple outgroups. Phylogenetic analysis of extant species can now be complemented via the characterization of a pre-Polynesian insect community recovered from Makauwahi Cave, south-coastal Kauai. This community included both subsequently extirpated and currently extant carabid beetle taxa. Inclusion of sub-fossil taxa in the cladistic analysis of Blackburnia improves phylogenetic resolution while leaving previous taxic relationships undisturbed. Phylogenetic placements of sub-fossil taxa are uniformly in accord with area relationships derived from items-of-error biogeographic analysis based on extant species. Presence of sub-fossils representing extant species in the Makauwahi Cave deposit allows an assessment of the changes to biotic distributions that have occurred during the history of KauaiĀ’s human habitation.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.41212