Monday, May 3, 2021

[Entomology • 2021] Sexually Dimorphic Characters and Shared Aposematic Patterns mislead the Morphology-based Classification of the Lycini (Coleoptera: Lycidae)

in Kusy, Motyka, Fusek, ... et Bocak, 2021. 
The Lycini (Elateroidea: Lycidae) contains > 400 species placed in four typologically based genera and numerous subgenera. We assembled a mito-ribosomal dataset representing ~100 species from the whole range and recovered a phylogeny rejecting Lycus and Lycostomus as polyphyletic assemblages. The male-specific wide elytra and elytral thorns are identified in unrelated Neolycus and Lycus. The morphological similarity based on sexual dimorphism and aposematic patterns defined terminal clades and misled the genus-rank classification. We delimit NeolycusRhyncheros reinst. name (= Thoracocalon syn. nov. = Lyconotus syn. nov.), Lipernes LycostomusHaplolycus and LycusDemosis and six subgenera of Lycus are synonymized with LycusCeliasis Laporte, 1840 is kept in the classification as a nomen dubium until any specimen is available. The deep lineages are known from the Americas and Asia. Africa was colonized by Lycus and Haplolycus. Each specific aposematic pattern occurs in a limited range, and the similar body shape and coloration evolved in unrelated sympatrically occurring lineages. High intraspecific polymorphism is putatively a result of the adaptation of various populations to local mimetic assemblages. Therefore, the delimitation of many phenotypically diverse species should be investigated.

Keywords: ancestral areas, divergence dating, net-winged beetles, taxonomy, zoogeography

The Lycini in nature.
A, Lycus trabeatus from South Africa (photograph B. Dupont, CC BY-SA 2.0).
B, Lycus sp. (photograph T. Rulkens, CC BY-SA 2.0).
C, Lycus melanurus from Mozambique, (photograph T. Rulkens, CC BY-SA 2.0).
D, Lycus sp., larva (photograph © Joyce Gross).
E, Neolycus sp. (photograph CC BY-NC 4.0 California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco). 
F, Lycus sp. (photograph P. Erb, CC BY-NC 4.0).


A, the revised distribution of genera and their alpha diversity.
B, the putative dispersal routes recovered by the analysis of the pruned dataset. The grey lines designate dispersal barriers that were never crossed by the Lycini.


Phylogenetic hypothesis of the Lycini relationships resulting from the maximum likelihood analysis of the mitoribosomal dataset. Upper numbers represent ultrafast bootstrap, lower numbers posterior probabilities obtained by the Bayesian analysis of the pruned dataset. The support values for terminal branches are omitted.

Dominik Kusy, Michal Motyka, Lukas Fusek, Yun Li, Matej Bocek, Renata Bilkova, Michaela Ruskova and Ladislav Bocak. 2021. Sexually Dimorphic Characters and Shared Aposematic Patterns mislead the Morphology-based Classification of the Lycini (Coleoptera: Lycidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 191(3); 902–927. DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa055