Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Molecular phylogeny informs generic and subgeneric concepts in the Schizoptera Fieber genus group (Heteroptera: Schizopteridae) and reveals multiple origins of female-specific elytra

Stephanie Leon , Christiane Weirauch


Wing dimorphism occurs in many genera of Schizopteridae, or litter bugs (Heteroptera: Dipsocoromorpha), in both males and females. In the largest genus, Schizoptera Fieber, sexual wing dimorphism is observed in several species with macropterous males and elytrous females. Phylogenetic hypotheses for Schizoptera are unavailable, but essential to reveal if female-specific elytra evolved once or multiple times and to test if elytra can reverse to macropterous wings. Additionally, generic and subgeneric concepts of this speciose genus group have not been tested in a phylogenetic framework, and relationships with other schizopterid genera remain largely unknown. Our molecular phylogeny documents that Schizoptera is currently polyphyletic, and we raise Kophaegis to generic rank to render it monophyletic. Relationships within Schizoptera reveal several well-supported clades with some corresponding to currently recognized subgenera. To examine the value of previously used diagnostic features, we optimize 11 morphological characters on the phylogeny and update generic and subgeneric diagnoses. Tracing transitions between macropterous and elytrous forms, we show that female-specific elytra evolved at least seven times within Schizopteridae and reversed to macropterous wings at least twice. We propose that Schizopteridae may be an excellent model to study the selective pressures that have given rise to sexually dimorphic traits.

IS16003  Accepted 09 November 2016

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