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Are Molopina of the Euro-Mediterranean region related to the Madagascan, South African and Australian Pterostichini? (Coleoptera, Carabidae)

AuthorsCasale, Achille; Ribera, Ignacio
Euro-Mediterranean region
Issue DateDec-2008
PublisherSocietà Italiana di Biogeografia
CitationBiogeographia 29: 33-44 (2008)
AbstractThe disjunct distribution of supposedly related carabid taxa in different continents highly stimulated the curiosity of carabidologists interested in Biogeography, which resulted in the proposition of a long series of hypotheses and theories. The tribe Pterostichini, one of the most diverse groups in the family Carabidae and with a world wide distribution, has been the object of some recent phylogenetic analyses and classifications, based on both external and genital characters and on molecular data. The main goal of the present contribution is the study, using a molecular approach, of the supposed close relationships between the Euro-Mediterranean taxa attributed to “Pterostichidae Molopini”, and some genera of South Africa, Madagascar, Australia and New Zealand. We studied three representatives of the southern hemisphere “Molopina” sensu Jeannel, 1948, two of “abacomorphic” and “zabromorphic” facies (Eucamptognathus (Heterabax) androyanus and Eucamptognathus (Mimozabrus) cf. oopterus), and one of “carabomorphic” facies (Eudromus striaticollis). For their phylogenetic placement, we used published and newly obtained sequences of Euro-Mediterranean “true” Molopina (genera Abax, Percus, Molops, Tanythrix and Styracoderus), plus other genera of Palaearctic Pterostichini (Pterostichus, Sterocorax, Corax, Poecilus, Astigis). We sequenced eight gene fragments from tissue samples of the ethanol-preserved specimens, six mitochondrial (cox1, nad1, nad5, rrnL, rrnS, tRNA-leu) and two nuclear (SSU, LSU), with a total of 5303 aligned nucleotides. Our preliminary data, exposed in the present contribution, show that the clade “Molopina”, including the genera Molops, Tanythrix (valid genus), Percus and Abax, but excluding Styracoderus, seems to be strongly supported. On the contrary, there is not any evidence to hypothesize that the Madagascan pterostichid beetles are related to the Euro-Mediterranean Molopina, which could be more likely derived from “Angarian” (Asiatic-European) lineages.
Description12 páginas, 12 figuras, 1 tabla.
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