The evolution of aquatic wood-borers: A morphological and molecular phylogenetic study of the travertine beetles (Coleoptera: Lutrochidae)

Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:48 AM
Portland Ballroom 251 (Oregon Convention Center)
Crystal Maier , Division of Entomology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Lutrochidae, or the travertine beetles, are a small family of aquatic wood-boring beetles with twenty-one described species, though much of the diversity in the group remains unexplored. This monogeneric family is restricted to the New World and ranges from southern Canada to Argentina. As with many of their close relatives, they live in lotic habitats, often in forested streams. The North American species are restricted to high-calcium, travertine streams, while the South American species bore into submerged wood in streams and rivers, and the evolution of their unusual habits may provide key insights into understanding the evolution of wood-boring habits in the Elateriformia. Here, we present a molecular and morphological phylogeny to the group. The data gleaned from genes 28S and COI are used to construct the first molecular-based phylogeny for the Lutrochidae, revealing several monophyletic species-groups within the family, each with unique life history traits and geographic distributions.