TitlePhylogeny of carabid beetles as inferred from 18S ribosomal DNA (Coleoptera : Carabidae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMaddison, DR, Baker, MD, Ober, KA
JournalSystematic Entomology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The phylogeny of carabid tribes is examined with sequences of 18S ribosomal DNA from eighty-four carabids representing forty-seven tribes, and fifteen outgroup taxa. Parsimony, distance and maximum likelihood methods are used to infer the phylogeny. Although many clades established with morphological evidence are present in all analyses, many of the basal relationships in carabids vary from analysis to analysis. These deeper relationships are also sensitive to variation in the sequence alignment under different alignment conditions. There is moderate evidence against the monophyly of Migadopini + Amarotypini, Scaritini + Clivinini, Bembidiini and Brachinini. Psydrini are not monophyletic, and consist of three distinct lineages (Psydrus, Laccocenus and a group of austral psydrines, from the Southern Hemisphere consisting of all the subtribes excluding Psydrina). The austral psydrines are related to Harpalinae plus Brachinini. The placements of many lineages, including Gehringia, Apotomus, Omophron, Psydrus and Cymbionotum, are unclear from these data. One unexpected placement, suggested with moderate support, is Loricera as the sister group to Amarotypus. Trechitae plus Patrobini form a monophyletic group. Brachinini probably form the sister group to Harpalinae, with the latter containing Pseudomorpha, Morion and Cnemalobus. The most surprising, well supported result is the placement of four lineages (Cicindelinae, Rhysodinae, Paussinae and Scaritini) as near relatives of Harpalinae + Brachinini. Because these four lineages all have divergent 18S rDNA, and thus have long basal branches, parametric bootstrapping was conducted to determine if their association and placement could be the result of long branch attraction. Simulations on model trees indicate that, although their observed association might be due to long branch attraction, there was no evidence that their placement near Harpalinae could be so explained, These simulations also suggest that 18S rDNA might not be sufficient to infer basal carabid relationships.

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