The unity of characters: ecological and morphological specialisation in larvae of Hawaiian platynine Carabidae (Coleoptera)
James K. Liebherr
14(6) 931 - 940
Life history information and first instar egg bursters are compared for larvae of 25 species across the monophyletic radiation of Hawaiian Platynini (Coleoptera : Carabidae). The plesiotypic larval duration is approximately five weeks, with derived extension of the larval period having evolved during phylogenetic diversification of the radiation. This extension in larval duration is associated with vestigialisation of the metathoracic flight wings. Egg size is larger in those brachypterous species with slower developing larvae, reflecting pervasive ecological specialisation of these taxa in the isolated, favourable, and temporally stable habitats of Hawaiian montane forests. First instar egg bursters are also compared across these taxa, with evolution of a keel-like egg burster congruently defining a clade also characterised by longer larval duration and larger egg size. A functional linkage between egg burster configuration and egg size is rejected by lack of any association between egg size and egg burster type in the related genus Calathus. Such rejection does not reduce the value of the egg burster for phylogenetic inference. The ability to assess taxa for both life history traits and egg burster configuration argues for similar treatment of all such characters, both ecological and morphological, when estimating phylogeny.
Full text doi:10.1071/IT00018
© CSIRO 2000