The Thoracic Morphology of Archostemata and the Relationships of the Extant Suborders of Coleoptera (Hexapoda)
Beutel, Rolf G.
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CitationFriederich, Frank, Brian D. Farrell, and Rolf G Beutel. 2009. The thoracic morphology of Archostemata and the relationships of the extant suborders of Coleoptera (Hexapoda). Cladistics 25, no. 1: 1-37.
AbstractThoracic structures of Tetraphalerus bruchi are described in detail. The results were compared with features found in other representatives of Archostemata and other coleopteran suborders. Differences between thoracic structures of Tetraphalerus and members of other archostematan subgroups are discussed. External and internal characters of larval and adult representatives of 37 genera of the coleopteran suborders are outlined, coded and analysed cladistically, with four groups of Neuropterida as outgroup taxa. The results strongly suggest the branching pattern Archostemata + [Adephaga + (Myxophaga + Polyphaga)]. Coleoptera excluding Archostemata are supported with a high Bremer support. Important evolutionary changes linked with this branching event are simpliﬁcations of the thoracic skeleton resulting in reduced degrees of freedom (i.e. a restricted movability, especially at the leg bases), and a distinct simpliﬁcation of the muscle system. This development culminates in Polyphaga, which are also strongly supported as a clade. Internalization of the partly reduced propleura, further muscle losses, and the fusion of the mesoventrites and metaventrites—with reversal in Scirtoidea and Derodontidae—are autapomorphies of Polyphaga. Archostemata is a small relict group in contrast to highly successful xylobiontic groups of Polyphaga. The less efficient thoracic locomotor apparatus, the lack of cryptonephric Malpighian tubules, and the rise of angiosperms with beetle groups primarily adjusted to them may have contributed to the decline of Archostemata.
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