Molecular phylogenetics and taxonomic issues in dragonfly systematics (Insecta: Odonata)
Dragonflies (Odonata) are one of the ancestral groups of extant insects. They represent one of the three most basal branches in the phylogeny of winged insects. The other two groups are the Ephemeroptera, mayflies, and Neoptera, the latter which covers the remaining winged insects. The first paper is about the phylogenetic position of Odonata in relation to the other basal insect clades using 18S and 28S rDNA sequences. It was demonstrated that there are under certain parameters a strong statistical support for a sister-group relationship between Odonata and Neoptera forming the group Palaeoptera. The second paper is about the phylogeny of the Holarctic dragonfly Leucorrhinia. Dragonfly larvae are frequently equipped with spines on the abdomen, with great variation in spinyness between species. From an analysis of sequences of ITS and 5.8S rDNA it was found that spines have been lost at least twice in Leucorrhinia, in the European L. rubicunda and again in a clade of North American species. The third paper is on the subfamily Ischnurinae (Odonata: Coenagrionidae), a group dominated by the two larger genera Ischnura and Enallagma along with several mono- or oligotypic genera. From the presented molecular study, using mitochondrial 16S rDNA and COII sequences, it is demonstrated that Ischnurinae, and Ischnura are monophyletic. Enallagma is not monophyletic, and the genus name Enallagma should be restricted to the E. cyathigerum clade. he fourth paper is a catalog of the genus Coenagrion, with full information on synonymy, type material and bibliographical data. The fifth paper is an appeal to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature to suppress the genus group name Agrion. The letter of appeal elucidates the priority of Agrion, and demonstrates why it has fallen out of use. A case if made for why Agrion should be placed on the list of unavailable names, and Calopteryx given full validity.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Biology; Organism biology; Systematics and phylogenetics
Date of Publication:01/01/2006