The molecular phylogeny of the Machaerotidae (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cercopoidea) and the Pectinariophyes problem

Monday, November 11, 2013: 10:37 AM
Meeting Room 8 AB (Austin Convention Center)
Adam J. Bell , Biological Sciences, State University of New York, Albany, Albany, NY
Gavin J. Svenson , Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, OH
Jason Cryan , Research and Collections, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC
Machaerotidae, currently with approximately 115 described species in 30 genera, is one of the five spittlebug families within the superfamily Cercopoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadomorpha). While spittlebugs are best known for the frothy mass produced by their nymphs, species of Machaerotidae produce hard, calcareous tubes in which they live and develop to adulthood. There has been little systematic research on the family, with Maa's (1963) "A Review of the Machaerotidae" being the most comprehensive to date, in which a generic level "probable family tree" was proposed based on morphological characters. More recently, Cryan and Svenson’s (2010) phylogenetic reconstruction included 12 exemplars of Machaerotidae which were placed as a monophyletic lineage arising from the most basal node of the cercopoid phylogeny as the sister-group to all other spittlebugs. One machaerotid genus, Pectinariophyes, is unique due to its disjunct distribution, with three sub-Saharan African species and seven Indomalayan and Australasian species. Maa hypothesized that this disjointed distribution was due to undescribed species in the interjoining regions. However, our recent analyses indicate that Pectinariophyes may be paraphyletic. The present study investigates the phylogeny of the family Machaerotidae with the specific aims of: (1) testing the monophyly of, and relationships among, the currently recognized subfamilies and tribes; (2) revising the classification of the Machaerotidae based the molecular phylogeny; and (3) addressing the apparent molecular paraphyly of the genus Pectinariophyes with morphological support.