Body size of many animals varies with latitude: body size is either larger at higher latitudes (Bergmann's rule) or smaller at higher latitudes (converse Bergmann's rule). However, the causes underlying these patterns are poorly understood. Also, studies rarely explore how sexual size dimorphism varies with latitude. Here we investigate geographic variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism of the seed-feeding beetle Stator limbatus, collected from 95 locations along a 38 degrees range in latitude. We examine 14 variables to test whether clines in environmental factors are adequate to explain geographic patterns of body size. We found that body size and sexual size dimorphism of S. limbatus varied considerably with latitude; beetles were smaller but more dimorphic at lower latitudes. Body size was not correlated with a gradient in mean temperature, contrary to the commonly accepted hypothesis that clines are produced by latitudinal gradients in temperature. Instead, we found that three factors were adequate to explain the cline in body size: clinal variation in host plant seed size, moisture (humidity), and seasonality (variance in humidity, precipitation, and temperature). We also found that the cline in sexual size dimorphism was partially explainable by a gradient in moisture, though moisture alone was not sufficient to explain the cline. Other ecological or environmental variables must necessarily contribute to differences in selection on male versus female body size. The main implications of our study are that the sexes differ in the magnitude of clinal variation in body size, creating latitudinal variation in sexual size dimorphism, and that clines in body size of seed beetles are likely influenced by variation in host seed size, water availability, and seasonality.
We provide the first highly sampled phylogeny estimate for the dipteran family Chironomidae using molecular data from fragments of two ribosomal genes (18S and 28S), one nuclear protein‐coding gene (CAD), and one mitochondrial protein‐coding gene (COI), analysed using mixed‐model Bayesian and maximum likelihood inference methods. The most recently described subfamilies Chilenomyiinae and Usambaromyiinae proved elusive, and are unsampled. We confirm monophyly of all sampled subfamilies except Prodiamesinae, which contains Propsilocerus Kieffer, previously in Orthocladiinae. The semifamily Chironomoinae is confirmed only if Telmatogetoninae is included, which is closer to Brundin's original suggestion. Buchonomyiinae is excluded from Chironomoinae: it is a sister group to all remaining Chironomidae, conforming more to Murray and Ashe's argumentation. Semifamily Tanypodoinae is a grade and unsupported as monophyletic: the austral Aphroteniinae alone is sister to all Chironomidae (less Buchonomyiinae). Podonominae is weakly supported as the next sister group, in contrast to some estimates that place this subfamily as sister group to Tanypodinae alone. In Diamesinae, the southern African Harrisonini is confirmed as a member, but embedded within austral tribe Heptagiini, which is confirmed as sister to the undersampled Diamesini. Tribe Pentaneurini and ‘non‐Pentaneurini’ taxa are reciprocally monophyletic in Tanypodinae. Recent molecular findings concerning Podonominae are substantiated, with a monophyletic tribe Podonomini, Boreochlini forming a grade and Lasiodiamesa Kieffer placed as sister to all other Podonominae, but with uncertainty. In Orthocladiinae, a postulated two‐tribe system of Orthocladiini and Metriocnemini can be supported after exclusion of a Corynoneura group and a Brillia group, which is revealed as sister to Stictocladius Edwards. The marine Clunio Haliday and Thalassosmittia Strenzke & Remmert (given high rank in the past) are clearly embedded deep in Orthocladiinae. The finding of Shangomyia Sæther & Wang + Xyiaomyia Sæther & Wang as sister group to all other Chironominae justifies high rank, as their authors suggested. Pseudochironomini (untested by sampling shortfall) is sister to a monophyletic Tanytarsini (with a weakly supported inclusion of the enigmatic Nandeva Wiedenbrug, Reiss & Fittkau). The tribe Chironomini can be supported only by excluding Shangomyia + Xyiaomyia, and a postulated monophyletic clade comprising several taxa such as Microtendipes Kieffer, with six‐segmented larval antennae and alternate Lauterborn organs, that is sister group to Pseudochironomini + Tanytarsini. The tempo of diversification of the family, deduced by divergence time analysis (beast), shows Permian origination with subfamily stem‐group origination from the mid–late Triassic to the early Cretaceous. Crown‐group origination ranged from Podonominae on a short stem originating in the mid Jurassic to long‐stemmed Aphroteninae from the late Cretaceous. Node dates allow inference of some vicariance via Gondwanan...
Defensive traits are typically studied in the context of avoiding antagonists, but may also mediate key interactions with mutualists. Plant chemical defences occur in flowers, suggesting pollinators may be agents of selection on defence. We hypothesised that floral defences would deter pollinators, and therefore, pollinators would select for lower defences in outcrossing than self‐pollinating species. We measured pollinator reliance and alkaloid levels in 32 greenhouse‐grown Nicotiana species. Using a comparative phylogenetic approach, we found significantly lower nectar, floral and leaf nicotine concentrations in outcrossing than selfing species, with a 15‐fold decrease in leaf nicotine levels. Nicotine concentrations were positively correlated across tissues, suggesting that selection against floral defences could constrain the evolution of leaf defences. Thus, pollinators could shape the evolution not only of floral defences but also of defences in other tissues where herbivores have traditionally been considered the dominant agent of selection.
A phylogeny of the Chironomidae subfamily Podonominae, significant in the history of phylogenetic biogeography, is estimated from an analysis of four genes. Fragments of two ribosomal genes (18S and 28S), one nuclear protein‐coding gene (CAD), and one mitochondrial protein‐coding gene (COI) were sequenced from specimens representing 13 of 15 genera, and analysed using mixed model Bayesian and maximum likelihood inference methods. Podonominae is monophyletic and sister to Tanypodinae – the shared development of the larval ligula is synapomorphic and diagnostic. Tribe Podonomini is monophyletic with the inclusion of Trichotanypus; tribe Boreochlini is a grade. Monophyly is confirmed for the genera Podonomus Philippi, Podonomopsis Brundin, Podochlus Brundin, Archaeochlus Brundin and Austrochlus Cranston, Edward & Cook: Parochlus Enderlein becomes monophyletic through the inclusion of Zelandochlus Brundin (n.syn.) with its type species, P. latipalpis (Brundin) n.comb. The ‘mandibulate’Archaeochlus plus Austrochlus is monophyletic with nonmandibulate Afrochlus weakly supported as a member of, or sister to, the African Archaeochlus. Subtending this group is Lasiodiamesa, although it associates in some analyses with the sister group Tanypodinae. Generic relationships coincide with those proposed based on morphology, particularly as understood via all life history stages of some problematic (autapomorphic, adult‐based) taxa. Divergence time analysis (beast) allows inference of Mesozoic diversification of higher taxa in Podonominae, of appropriate timing for fragmentation of Gondwana, post‐African divergence, to have caused vicariance. Shallower nodes (within genera) imply both younger vicariance involving Antarctica and some recent dispersal, including southern to northern hemisphere movement in the New World. New Zealand taxa test controversial biogeographical relationships and show proximity to southern South America without direct Australian sister taxon pairs: dating implies persistence of midges through the ‘Oligocene’ bottleneck.
Armoured scale insects are economically important parasites of woody plants and grasses. They are promising subjects for the evolutionary study of physiology (no complete gut), genetics (chimerism, paternal genome elimination, frequent parthenogenesis) and coevolution (with host plants, parasitoids, Septobasidium fungi, endosymbiotic bacteria). Little phylogenetic work has been accomplished with armoured scales, and uncertainty surrounds their classification. Here, we report the phylogenetic results of Bayesian and parsimony analyses of 705 base pairs of Elongation Factor 1a and 660 base pairs of 28S from eighty-nine species of armoured scale insects, representing forty-seven genera and five tribes in the subfamilies Diaspidinae and Aspidiotinae, together with two outgroups. 28S was aligned based on a secondary structural model. Our results broadly corroborate the major features of the existing classification, although we do not find perfect monophyly of any of the traditionally recognized subfamilies or tribes. The subfamily Aspidiotinae is paraphyletic with respect to the subfamily Diaspidinae. Diaspidinae consists of two main clades that only roughly correspond to the tribes Lepidosaphidini and Diaspidini. Diaspidini is nearly monophyletic, except that it includes a single aspidiotine species. Other members of the tribe Aspidiotini form a clade, except that the clade includes a single species of Leucaspidini and excludes Maskellia and Pseudaonidia. Our results weakly support the hypothesis that the most recent common ancestor of the Diaspididae had adult females that were permanently enclosed within the derm of the second instar (the pupillarial habit) and had diploid adult males that eliminated their paternal genomes during spermatogenesis (late paternal genome elimination).
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