TitlePhylogenetic analysis of Myxophaga (Coleoptera) using larval characters
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsBeutel, RG, Maddison, DR, Haas, A
JournalSystematic Entomology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

A phylogenetic parsimony analysis of fifty-four larval characters of Myxophaga (excluding Lepiceridae) resulted in two minimal length cladograms. The monophyly of Torridincolidae, Hydroscaphidae and Microsporidae is supported by several autapomorphies: miniaturization, flattened body with laterally extended tergites, broadened head, scale-like surface structures, broad tentorial bridge, disc-shaped labral sensilla, spiracular gills and pupation in the last larval exuviae. Hydroscaphidae are the sister group of Microsporidae. Larvae of both families are characterized by semi-entognathous mouthparts, tergites with posterior rows of lancet-shaped setae, claws with flattened basal spines and balloon-shaped spiracular gills. The monophyly of all families is supported by autapomorphies. Torridincolidae excluding Delevea is defined as a monophylum by four derived character states: body ovoid, thorax semicircular and as long as abdomen, labral sensilla fused and abdominal sternite IX distinctly reduced and triangular. The monophyly of Torridincolinae (sensu Endrody-Younga, 1997b) is supported by two autapomorphies. The proposed branching pattern suggests that the early representatives of Myxophaga (excluding Lepiceridae) were living in aquatic conditions with a preference for hygropetric habitats. The tendency to live on rocks in running water and miniaturization have played an important role in myxophagan evolution.

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