Systematics and biogeography of the Cychrines, with particular reference to the North American genus Scaphinotus: Preliminary results and future directions

Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:48 AM
Portland Ballroom 256 (Oregon Convention Center)
Meghan Culpepper , Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA
The tribe Cychrini is comprised of approximately 150 species belonging to four genera:ScaphinotusSphaeroderusCychropsis and Cychrus. Cychrines are found only in the Northern Hemisphere, have highly reduced hind-wings and are unable to fly. Such limited ability to disperse suggests that phylogenetic diversification may be a consequence of geographical isolation. Previous studies suggest that the cychrine genera diversified about 44 million years ago; however it is still not known whether the Cychrini first evolved in ancient North America or in ancient Eurasia. The sister group of the Cychrini also remains in question. This project will provide the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the beetles in the genus Scaphinotus and will enhance prior research regarding the evolution of the cychrines with the specific goal of elucidating the ancestral origins of the group. Preliminary phylogenetic results are presented here based on a combination of morphological and molecular characters.