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Phylogenetic relationships of Western Mediterranean subterranean Trechini groundbeetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

Faille, Arnaud and Casale, Achille and Ribera, Ignacio (2011) Phylogenetic relationships of Western Mediterranean subterranean Trechini groundbeetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Zoologica Scripta, Vol. 40 (3), p. 282-295. eISSN 1463-6409. Article.

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00467.x


Carabid beetles of tribe Trechini (Coleoptera) are one of the main groups of insects that colonized the subterranean environment. Many species of this group have developed similar morphological modifications related to the subterranean life, resulting in a characteristic Aphaenops-like phenotype that obscures their phylogenetic relationships (depigmented, blind, elongated body and appendages, narrow head and pronotum). We present here the result of a molecular study using a combination of nuclear (small ribosomal unit, large ribosomal unit) and mitochondrial (cox1, cyb, rrnL, trnL, nad1) genes to investigate the phylogenetic placement of the highly modified subterranean genera of the tribe Trechini from the west Mediterranean area (France, Spain, Morocco and Sardinia). Our results confirm the multiple independent origin of troglomorphism among these genera, and reveal a pattern largely determined by geographical proximity. We discuss the validity of some groups proposed on the base of morphological features, and provide estimates of divergence between subterranean genera and other groups of Trechini, including epigean species of the same area. We compare the estimated age for the origin of the main groups resulting from two different calibrations, using one the standard mitochondrial mutation rate (2.3% divergence per Myr) and the other the separation between Sardinia and mainland 33 Ma. Under the first scenario, the main groups of genera would have a late Miocene origin, with a subsequent colonization of north Africa at the Pliocene–Pleistocene boundary. The assumption that the main groups originated through vicariance due to the separation of the Sardinian plate in the Oligocene results in a Messinian origin of the north African subterranean taxa, and a global mitochondrial rate reduced to 1% divergence per Myr.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:6901
Uncontrolled Keywords:Carabid beetles, tribe Trechini (Coleoptera), Sardinia
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/05 Zoologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Zoologia e genetica evoluzionistica
Publisher:Blackwell / Wiley
Copyright Holders:© 2010 The Authors, Zoologica Scripta © 2010 The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Deposited On:29 Dec 2011 10:32

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