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Single origin of subterranean adaptations in a lineage of Pyrenean beetles (Coleoptera: Leiodidae)

AuthorsRibera, Ignacio ; Fresneda, Javier; Rizzo, Valeria ; Cieslak, Alexandra
Issue DateFeb-2013
Citation2nd BioSyst.EU (2013)
AbstractThe evolution of the adaptations to the subterranean environment has attracted continuous attention from evolutionary biologists, but despite the detailed knowledge of the molecular and physiological basis of some of these adaptations, their origin and evolution remains poorly understood. This is specially the case for large radiations of exclusively subterranean species, commonly assumed to be the remnant survivors of several independent colonisations of the underground environment, with the subsequent extinction of all epigean relatives. Here we study the evolution of the subterranean adaptations in a diverse clade of Leptodirini beetles from the Pyrenees, including more than 220 species. We use ca. 5 Kb of combined mitochondrial and nuclear markers to reconstruct a robust phylogeny of the group, and map the evolution of the habitat of the species (epigean or shallow endogean, superficial subterranean environment, caves), their life cycle (three, two or one larval instars) and general body shape and size. Our results show the single origin of the adaptations to the deep subterranean medium in a large clade of strictly Pyrenean species (i.e. excluding some areas in the Basque Country), including a range expansion to the Catalonian coastal mountains in the Late Miocene of a lineage fully adapted to the underground (genus Troglocharinus). These results challenge the assumption that the highly specialised cave beetles are unable to disperse and diversify other than at very limited geographic and temporal scales.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el 2nd BioSyst.EU (BioSyst.EU 2013 Global systematics!), celebrado en Viena del 18 al 22 de febrero de 2013.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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